Hailing all the way from Austria, Alexander Poindl’s illustrious career has taken him to prominent cities like Vienna, Bali and Jakarta. His newest venture is helming the opulent The Langham, Jakarta as the general manager. He shares stories about himself and the hotel with Exquisite Media. By Runi Indrani
E: How did you get into the hospitality industry?
A: I had to finance my university studies, so I found a job in a hotel doing the night audit. That’s how I got into the hospitality industry, and then I also worked during the holidays, in finance, and then in sales, and I simply stayed.
E: Has it always been your passion?
A: Just as my mother told me, it’s always been my passion. I love to be in hotels, and I was always talking about being a manager of a cruise ship when I was very young.
E: So did you ever become a head of a cruise ship?
A: Never! I was never even a guest on a cruise ship.
E: How did you decide to move to Indonesia?
A: It was by fate. I was on the transfer list, could have been sent anywhere, but it was Indonesia. I had to Google the assignment first, it was in Bogor. So, I said, okay, I’m up for an adventure. I thought it would only be for one contract, but it continued, and I’m still here.
E: Even before the opening, The Langham Jakarta had created quite a buzz. Can you tell us something about the hotel that many people don’t know?
A: What many people know is that the hotel is famous for the staircase, for ALICE, and for TOM’S restaurant. What many people don’t know is that three restaurants and outlets are still to come. Coming very soon, there’s the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant T’ang Court, Artesian rooftop bar with indoor and outdoor spaces, and at the end of the year, Morimoto our Japanese restaurant.
E: What’s the biggest challenge you have come across, and how did you overcome it?
A: I think the biggest challenge in the past years was the pandemic-related crisis. This put the hotel industry really into jeopardy. Now it’s getting better we can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.
E: What’s the most memorable or rewarding moment in your career?
A: I always find it very rewarding when team members or colleagues that I have coached, trained or believed in, and met on a staff level, text me on Instagram or Facebook, and say “Hi, Pak Alex, just to let you know I’m a general manager now”. I find it very rewarding, this is always a good moment, and it keeps happening. In my 12 years here in Indonesia, I have had the chance to meet a lot of talent and see their drive to improve.
E: What’s a typical day for you?
A: I can sum it up with one word: long.
E: And what’s a typical day off
A: Also one word, rarely!
E: What is the key to success in becoming a leader?
A: I think to be a successful leader you need three qualities: passion, respect, and being an example. Show respect, and you will get respect back. Be an example, whatever you do, your team will do as well. And passion, you need a heartfelt passion for what you do. Love what you do, and do what you love.