Currently Pascal Gauvin is responsible for more than 25,000 people across India, Middle East and Africa, but he had very humble beginnings in the hospitality industry when he started his career as a waiter.
Gauvin joined the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in 1993 and has been with the company for the last 26 years. He became the chief operating officer for India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA) in 2012, followed by a promotion to the post of the managing director in 2018. With close to 40 years’ experience in the industry, Gauvin has been part of the Power 50 list several times.
IHG currently operates 93 hotels and more than 32,000 rooms across the MENA region. The group’s pipeline is one of the largest in the region with 38 hotels and 13,700 rooms expected to open.
After the successful reflagging of Dubai’s Nassima Royal to Voco Dubai, the group recently signed the ‘world’s largest’ Voco property in Makkah. The property comprises 4,200 rooms and will be the second Voco-branded hotel in the region. Another upcoming IHG property will be the first InterContinental Hotel in Ras al Khaimah: the InterContinental Mina Al Arab Resort, which will launch in 2021.
Since Gauvin took over as the COO, IMEA in 2012, there has been an exponential growth in IHG’s regional footprint as well as the hotels’ performance.
There is no stopping Gauvin when it comes to improving the brand; he told Hotelier Middle East that his vision for the Middle East is to drive high value growth, drive operational excellence and deliver great results year on year and to continue developing talent. Gauvin said, “Given that we are now growing at a faster speed and openings more hotels consistently, we need a robust talent pipeline. I want to continue investing in training and development programmes that enable us to drive our talent pipeline and deliver against our growth.
“We are focused on developing talent across the region and have a strong commitment towards Saudisation, Emiratisation and Omanisation to support our growth plans in the Middle East,” he added.
IHG secured the second place in the ‘Great Place to Work’ 2018 survey in Saudi Arabia. IHG in Saudi Arabia was also recognised amongst the “Best Multinational Workplaces in Asia in 2019” and ranked sixth on the list this year.
“These achievements,” Gauvin said, “bring me great satisfaction as a leader and in turn motivates me to keep doing a great job.”