Ms. Inna, Could you please tell us about your journey to the hotel and hospitality industry?
t’s a long journey, that’s for sure. I started it absolutely unexpectedly back in 2003 when I was a student. It was a small hotel, called Hybusiness Hotel. But since that moment I clearly realized that this is what I want to be busy with for a long time! It was love from the first sight! Then 9 consecutive years followed at Armenia Marriott Hotel, holding different positions. In 2014 I joined Republica Hotel Yerevan pre-opening project as a General Manager. It was a great creative experience. Even after 5 years, I have the same enthusiastic feeling: we do not stop creating, enhancing, planning new projects. The hospitality industry is my passion for more than 18 years and many more to come. I enjoy each aspect of it every single day, despite all the challenges the industry may face.
Nearby Republica Hotel on Amiryan street and closer to Republic Square there are several hotels that have different concepts. What do you think about the competition in Armenia and what are the specifications of your hotel?
The first thing I would like to state is that the competition in Yerevan today is very open-minded and cooperative as it has never been before. And it’s a great achievement of all of us in the market since that helps to figure out obstacles and challenges together. The proof of that is the re-establishment of the Armenian Hotel Association in the mid of this year. That means that the hotels are in healthy competition for each niche. In reality competition pushes for nothing more but self-development and development of the market. Coming back to the specifications of our hotel, I would definitely mention the boutique style of Republica. We have relatively limited space, but we did the best to create an unforgettable atmosphere for our guests, to deliver hearty service, individual approach, tailor-made services’ scope. Also, we are aiming to a gastro-hotel positioning.
According to feedbacks and reviews especially on TripAdvisor, your hotel is in the best position, and the highest rates are for cleanliness, staff, and service. What are the main characteristics you consider when you hire people?
I will quote one of my favorite executives, Herb Kelleher, since no one said it better: “You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.” Of course, that’s not enough to fulfill a leadership position where the skills, both hard and soft, are very important. When people love what they do, they will succeed, there is no way around. When you are surrounded by a team, which goes above and beyond to deliver the best, when they have a pride for their personal and team achievements, you can aim to the highest benchmark. Worth noting, that it’s a huge work of the whole team day in and day out what stands behind those high rankings.