We spoke with Jagjot Hayre AIH, who manages EMEA sales activity for the PPHE Hotel Group. Jagjot discusses the essential ingredients for a successful career in hospitality, his future aspirations and how competing in Tough Mudder events helps him unwind outside of work.
Where are you currently working and what is your role?
I am working at PPHE Hotel Group in which I am the Regional Sales Manager – Corporate UK.
PPHE Hotel Group operate the majority of our properties under four brands: Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, art’otel, Arena Hotels & Apartments and Arena Campsites
To provide you with a quick overview, I manage the corporate segment through total account management (Corporate, MICE and Corporate Group) of my companies within the sales team.
My role is predominantly UK based but I do have accounts that I manage throughout EMEA for which I travel often to meet.
How does it feel working for such a well-known and popular hospitality brand?
I really love working for PPHE Hotel Group. It’s been a fantastic step within my career to have the opportunity to be part of the PPHE family.
It’s now been 2 and a half years working for the company and I’ve personally progressed and developed myself as an individual from various opportunities available within the company such as apprenticeships – Level 5 Leaders and Managers Course (through the ILM)
When you were growing up did you always want to work in hospitality?
When I was younger, I actually wanted to become a Pilot and joined the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (1846 Southall Squadron in West London). Starting as a Cadet and progressing to my final rank as Cadet Flight Sergeant before moving on as an adult instructor within the Air Cadets. My roles included assisting with the management of the Squadron (full of Cadets and Adult Instructors, approx 60 pax) while maintaining my duties as Adjutant, Sports and Flying/Gliding Officer.
What are your ambitions within the hospitality industry?
When starting my first role at Thistle hotels as a Call Centre Agent within the Central Reservations team. I always had the passion and ambition to become a hotel General Manager (an all rounded General Manager).
I contacted the General Managers at Park Plaza hotels to meet and understand their routes to becoming a General Manager. As I’ve come from a background focussing on Sales, General Managers are required to have experience within the operational aspects of the business. I wanted to gain more knowledge of potential work experiences I can receive from the General Managers in order to gain more hours in Operations (I completed F&B breakfast shifts prior to my shift starting at 9am (gained 20 hours in total with different allocation shifts), M&E Operations Management during the weekend for an event with up to 120 delegates).
The most interesting was when I met with Daniel Pedreschi FIH (Regional General Manager UK, PPHE Hotel Group). We sat down and he had on the table a printed copy of his CV.
We ran through and noted the years of experience he gained within different departments (Food & Beverage, Meetings & Events, Front of House, Hotel Operational Management) in which he advised as one of the key reasons for him to be able to understand and provide assistance to his departments.
That is what I mean by an all rounded General Manager. Gaining working experience within different departments to help me become a stronger General Manager.
What’s the best piece of advise you would give to someone considering a career in hospitality?
My personal advice would be:
It is a fast paced environment and can be challenging. You will be pushed out of your comfort zones many times but learning and growing would help you succeed to becoming a well rounded individual.
Remember, the hotel has several departments with different roles/targets yet one goal! Ensuring guest’s have the highest standard of service before, during and after their stay.
Which books have you read and would recommend?
I highly recommend the following self development books –
The Book of Leadership: How To Get Yourself, Your Team And Your Company Further Than You Ever Thought Possible (by Anthony Gell), The Winning Mindset: What Sport Can Teach Us About Great Leadership (by Professor Damian Hughes).
These books provide a strong insight on ways to help develop yourself, your team and assisting to further increase your Emotional Intelligence (EI).
Hospitality is a difficult job to switch off from at times, but what do you like to do to unwind?
In my spare time, I really enjoy playing football and calisthenics training (bodyweight training) with a few tricks such as Human flag, front/back lever, muscle up, planche and the iron cross.
I am very competitive in which I like to see how far I can push my body and the rewards of sheer strength developed from natural workouts.
Some achievements – completed Tough Mudder x2, Spartan Race, Survival of the Fittest, Rat Race, several football competitions and much more.
You have joined the Institute of Hospitality in the last few months, what made you decide to join?
I wanted to develop myself and further grow my network within the wider hospitality industry. The IoH has allowed this with different aspects such as the branch network, professional development workshops, mentoring and much more.
Which elements of your membership do you think you will use the most?
Management guides, e-resources collection and mentoring scheme. The mentoring scheme has been interesting yet exciting. I have had the opportunity to be partnered with an experienced General Manager (Jason Parry FIH) who I am learning lots from and I know I will be utilising the guidance provided from Jason.