Lodging Leaders brings together the best and brightest minds of the hotel industry to share their stories, insights and actionable advice. Each week, LodgingMetrics.com founder and entrepreneur Jon Albano interviews inspiring hoteliers and leading industry professionals that have produced amazing results to help you maximize profits, scale your portfolio, protect your investment, and so much more. Let the collective intelligence of the hotel industry lead you to better results.
Mukesh Mowji, in addition to being a co-founder & CEO of Pracrea, Inc., is also a Principal in Silver Creek Hospitality and Everest Hospitality. Mukesh is a Charter member of The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE), served as Chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) and was President of Leuva Patidar Samaj of USA (LPS). Previously, Mukesh held various senior executive positions in Silicon Valley-based companies, including Schlumberger, LTX Corporation, and LogicVision. He was part of the executive team that took LogicVision public in 2001. Mukesh has been involved in multiple hotel, gas station, restaurant, and convenience store ownerships, operations, and transactions. People’s desire to serve comes from 2 different motives: 1) To serve & 2) The emotional ego attached to serving. Mukesh’s main motive to serve AAHOA was that he watched as the organization was growing with pain and felt it wasn’t necessarily headed in the right direction. He knew that if he wanted to look out for the generations to come, he had to make the differences today. He saw them (the members) as family businesses and felt a responsibility towards those families and felt an urge to serve them WELL. Mukesh is a firm believer that the structure of a hotel business should be based on a CHARTER. Everything should be run based on policies and procedures. This is to avoid favoritism or faulty decision making. Strict guidelines keep everything fair. Everything can be audited that way and thus everything remains pure. Leadership Mukesh’s experience at LTX gave him a profound meaning of Leadership. He saw that the CEO was held accountable for the performance of the company. This was because the CEO was obligated to answer to the shareholders (not some middle man). A true leader acts like one! After spending decades in the hotel industry, Mukesh sees that the most important quality of a leader is his/her ability to vision the future. It is about the ability to see what makes a difference. A leader also maintains the mentality that everyone in the company wins. It is about ethics. Mukesh breaks it down like this: VISION - don’t stray from the vision. CARE FOR PEOPLE - if you lead people, you must care for them and their interests SENSE OF DECISIVENESS The fundamentals of leadership don’t change and a leader does what’s right for the whole. Mukesh also speaks to controversy and how that causes change. Controversy can be a positive attribute. If people have different insights, it’s important to listen. As an effective leader, you are open to being accountable to yourself and others. A true leader performs as an example and knows it’s a team effort. When you win, everybody wins. When everybody wins, you win too. A leader understands the significance in investing in these relationships. Are leaders born or made? Mukesh feels there are some who are raised as leaders. Then again, there is some level of DNA in each person. You can see it from an early age. If you go into any kindergarten class, you’ll often see that one child that has the ability to take 3 others under his wing. So, Mukesh thinks it’s got to be BOTH! The world needs type A’s and the shy characters. We need the entire spectrum to make the world complete! What are some of the common pitfalls Hoteliers fall into today and how can they avoid them? The world is changing for Hoteliers. Technology is moving forward and at a faster pace than ever before. Proximity devices move us forward. Compare that to the use of brass keys for example. It’s important to keep up with technology. As Hoteliers, we must have business intelligence to make intelligent business decisions. A Hotelier should know what’s happening in their city and town. Be in the know about what other hotels are doing. Studying operational parameters and metrics is how you improve to the next level. What was a defining moment in your career?