Back-of-House interview: Meet Georgios Anastasakos, cluster director at Radisson Blu Hotel
Georgios Anastasakos, cluster director of revenue, of Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront and Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Canal View talks about his role
Describe your job in 50 words
My job combines many tasks. The outcome is to ensure that we drive revenue and reach our budgets. I work with numbers and a lot of comparisons; excel tends to be my best friend. I enjoy thinking cross departments, looking at different aspects, finding new ways to support our hotels.
My hospitality journey
I never wanted to study hospitality and tourism but I had an extra space to fill on my university preference list, so hospitality it was. Today, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I started my professional career as a front office trainee, at the Athens Hilton hotel in 1994. In mid-1997, I moved to London to expand my working experience by attending a post graduate programme in Hospitality Management. By August 2000 I had achieved my first managerial position at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel as a reservations manager. In June 2005, I decided to return to Athens and joined one of the largest hospitality chains in Greece, Aldemar Hotels & Spa. When the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, had asked me join them in 2011, I moved to Dubai as a Revenue Manager. From September 2013 until this day, I have been part of the Radisson Hotel Group family and hold the position as a cluster director of revenue Management.
My three biggest challenges
The vast expansion of doing business over the world wide web the past few years has led to an explosive increase in sources of business for all the hotels, many of which are not even contracted. As such, it is a daily challenge to monitor and tackle all the rate parity issues and rate leakages appearing online. With that comes the challenge to keep the business relationship going with the “offending” partners and find the solutions that will satisfy both parties. And of course, the biggest challenge is to steer away from the ongoing “price war” between hotels, and persuade our hotel’s sales forces that not all the guests are buying based only on rate, but also on added perks and enhanced experiences, which we should be offering in order to differentiate ourselves.
Three things you absolutely enjoy about your job
I personally see myself as a very strategic person, I like developing strategies, executing them and relishing the results!
As Michael Corleone quoted at the world famous film, “The Godfather”; “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. In my job function, I am bombarded daily with all sort of data and intelligence that comes from reliable sources and reputable companies, which charge significant fees every year, for collecting and sharing these with their clients. Of course these data form the basis for designing and proposing the strategies, but I always seek for more. Through my career I have learnt that the best source of information is the “enemy” himself, when you can keep him close. For that I am always trying to build relationships with my counterparts in the areas where my hotels are operating, and through regular exchanges trying to extract vital information that will then assist me in forming or aligning my strategies.
Describe your single biggest achievement
When it comes to my career I am very proud of creating a company-wide best practise tool in 2015, I enjoyed the challenge and it was a great opportunity for myself and the organisation. The tool is being used by all our hotels within our region and has been a great success. When it comes to my personal life it’s definitely, my two children.