Learning To Survive

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Jakarta, Feb 17: During the pandemic, the hotel industry in Indonesia was gripped by a deep crisis that forced a number of hotels to choose to stop operating.
Some are trying to survive with various tactics, such as reducing employee salaries by up to 50 per cent or paying permanent employees based on working hours. Even employees are also forced to be willing to do physical tasks that are far from their competence, such as maintaining a garden, being a waitress or cleaning the hotel physically.
This was revealed in a study conducted by Dr Paulina Lo, titled “Building Resilience in Hospitality Business Based on Crafting Strategy Resources.”
He presented it in the Open Dissertation Examination of the Management and Entrepreneurship Doctoral Program at Prasetiya Mulya University recently.
Lo conducted research involving hundreds of independent hotel managers and owners in Bali.
In his research, he found a number of hotel managers who worked hard to keep their hotels open, even though there was no financial support from the hotel owners.
As a result, there are five-star hotels that sell bento packages to swimming pools.
Even three-star hotels are used as boarding houses.
“When Bali suddenly opened to tourists, the hotels that forced themselves to continue operating turned out to take profit earlier than the hotels that had closed and then started operating again after the pandemic.
“In terms of infrastructure, these hotels are still well maintained because during the pandemic the workers were still taking care of the buildings, air conditioners and other items,” he said.
In fact, a number of hotels that he found in this category managed to make a profit and cover their losses in just nine months after experiencing a lack of visitors during the pandemic.
“Meanwhile, hotels that chose to close during the pandemic had to deal with various problems of physical and equipment damage in the hotel.
“Some hotels even admit that preparing to open a hotel after not operating for two years requires funds of up to 80 per cent of the initial investment.
“It’s quite heavy.
“Not to mention that many employees have resigned, returned to their hometowns or moved to other hotels,” he added.
Lo’s research also provides recommendations to hotel industry players to strive to have as many human resources as possible that can be adapted to the changes and challenges they face.
According to him, human resources are considered the most important by hotel managers. During the pandemic, the role of hotel leadership, staff loyalty, team spirit to share burdens and concern for the economic conditions of hotel employees greatly contributed to the hotel’s resilience in facing crises.
“Hotels need resilience to face various disturbances and increase competitive advantage. Human resources are resources that are easily changed or adjusted to face challenges, because they can contribute to efforts to build hotel resilience,” he said.
Meanwhile, other resources, such as financial, physical, natural and some cultural factors cannot adapt when hotels face disturbances.

The Theorising Businessman

Lo is the first graduate of the Management and Entrepreneurship Doctoral Program at Prasetiya Mulya University, the first doctoral program in entrepreneurship in Indonesia.
He has a background as a businessman with the position of CEO and Co-Founder at Pro-Health International which operates in the health industry.
“As a businessman, I used to think that the decisions we made in dealing with problems in the company depended solely on intuition.
“Because we are struggling with the same things, even though there will definitely be challenges.
“After taking the S3 I realised that in fact there is a theory,” Lo said.
By understanding the theory, he also feels that he can develop the process so that it becomes more robust, and can even be used to support the training of staff in his office or other research.
Fathony Rahman, DBA, Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Prasetiya Mulya University, acknowledged that the Doctoral Program on campus was dominated by practitioners. “We understand the needs of practitioners in this uncertain era.
Those who choose the Doctoral Program are visionary business leaders who are expected to be able to significantly solve major problems faced by companies and industries,” he said.
To support them from a scientific point of view, program participants have been supported from the beginning by mentors, involvement in research with mini surveys and interacting with researchers from other campuses in various countries.

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