Meet Mr. Sehgal, the GM of Taj Exotica
Maldives Promotion House – In this highly competitive world, only a handful of people reach the top, and there are even fewer who having reached the top become successful. Mr. Girish Sehgal – General Manager of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives is a popular figure in the Hospitality Industry of Maldives.
Within a short span of 13 years Mr. Sehgal has made his way through the ranks of the Hospitality Industry from a Management Trainee to a General Manager of the multi award winning resort.
Mr Sehgal grew up in Dehra Dun, a picturesque valley nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. Known for its rich cultural heritage, Mr Sehgal was from a very young age exposed to Indian values and traditions. During his school days he volunteered with SPIC – MACAY (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Among Youth) to promote Indian Classical music among the youth. He says “Sadly most of the youngsters today are averse to their own culture. They think that the West is probably the thing to emulate, and that your own culture is best left to the older generation.”
It was through his association with the above society that he first got introduced to the Hospitality world. He said, “When I was growing up in Dehra Dun, which is known for its educational institutes, I found most of the children aspiring to be engineers, doctors. However none of these careers interested me. Having met some good hoteliers, and hearing about their experiences I decided to take up hospitality. I was keen to explore world and the aspect of travelling, meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds; and learn about various countries and cultures fascinated me.”
After his 13 years of being a student, he started his career at an Institute of Hotel Management in India in the year 1993. He spent three years at the Institute. In 1996 he joined Leela Kempinski the flagship property of the Leela group for a two year Management Trainee program.
After completion of his training his travels brought him to the Maldives for the first time in 2000, where he had the opportunity to work for Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa, Maldives as a Front Desk Manager.
“I was very excited when I first came here. It was amazing. I couldn’t stop telling my family and friends about the place. The warm clear waters, the abundant marine life was just wonderful.” Mr. Sehgal said.
Mr. Sehgal spent one and half year working in the Maldives and was then sent to the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. “I worked for Four Seasons for about eight years in four different countries, including Maldives.”
After spending two years as a Rooms Division Assistant Manager at Four Seasons Boston, Mr. Sehgal was promoted as the Director of Guest Services where he opened Four Seasons Resort in the Bahamas. Thereafter he worked in Four Seasons Toronto for about three years and joined Taj in 2008.
His first posting with the Taj group was at the charming, heritage property Taj West End, nestled amidst lush 22 acres of lush gardens in the tech city of Bangalore in India. There he officiated as the Executive Assistant Manager, Accommodation. He worked at this property for just under a year and was chosen for the Taj General Manager program and after its completion he returned to the Maldives to join as the General Manager of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in early 2009.
“I came back to Maldives after about eight years. It is wonderful to be back here and this time with my wife and our two young children. I have always had fond memories of Maldives. The best thing about Maldives is the breathtaking natural beauty, the stunning marine life and variety of water sports, which our elder son enjoys a lot” he said.
Mr Sehgal has a thirst for knowledge. He looks at life and all its experiences as lessons. When asked if he would study to further his career, he smiled in confirmation. “I have never stopped learning. In fact the industry has taught me a lot. I have been in all the different departments of hotels, from housekeeping to Room Service, and Food and Beverage to Guest Services and Front Office and the heart of the house departments as well,” he said.
“I recently got selected for an MBA at Glion, Switzerland. This course is rated at among the top three in the world, and I’m very excited about it,” Mr. Sehgal added.
Mr. Sehgal has worked in three island resorts, one in the Bahamas and two in the Maldives. When asked about the challenges he faces on an island resort, he said “Every place has its own challenges; however, I think it is more about the mindset. It is most crucial to have the right people around you. The right team! As there are no challenges that a unified team with same vision and goals cannot overcome. In Taj Exotica , we all work as a team and enjoy the challenges that come our way.”
What Mr Sehgal has said is evident by the 13 international awards won by Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives within the last year and a half, including the Best Leading Hotel of World award, several Conde Nast Reader Choice awards and so on.
Mr. Sehgal is a warm and friendly person with a very calm demeanour. He teaches us that nothing is too hard. He shows us through his own experiences that determination is the key to success. As long as you work hand in hand with the rest of the team with passion and dedication there is a lot that can be achieved.
We at Maldives Promotion House congratulate Mr. Girish Sehgal on his achievements and wish him more success in his career ahead. We thank him for his words of wisdom and advice and for his kind gestures, hospitality and time. Thank you.