Name: Ratchadet Suksin
Position title: Corporate Director of Training and Talent Development
Company name: Centara Hotels & Resorts
When and why did you join the industry?
I joined the industry in 2011, and it has been almost 5 years. I decided to change my job and join the hotel industry because I wanted to utilise the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired during my overseas education in hospitality. I studied this field and used to work in Food & Beverage at Holiday Inn Sydney Airport Hotel. When I came back to Thailand, I became a teacher in the Bachelor’s degree programme of Hotel & Tourism at Dhurakij Pundit University, one of the most reputable private universities in Thailand. After teaching for almost 5 years (my last position was the Deputy Dean), I had a strong passion to apply the knowledge & skills I have in real-world situations.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most is the fact that I have to become a tremendously multi-skilled person working in this industry. Working in HR doesn’t mean that my job gets restricted to HR only. However, in fact, I have to use multi-disciplinary skills, acting as a PR – connecting to the external authorities and internal staff, acting as Marketing – creating and promoting staff engagement campaigns, acting as Accountant – doing budget and monitoring expenses, etc.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
My biggest achievements are the two major awards I was given by PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) in 2013 and 2014. The first award was the 2013 PATA Grand Award in Training & Education for the educational programme of 4 Cs: Centara Career Creation for Children intended for the underprivileged students and done in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and PLAN International.
Another major award I was granted was the 2014 PATA Face of the Future for Special Contributions. I feel so honoured that PATA has recognised my performance and contributions in this industry.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
The best advice I’ve been given was the advice by K. Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer, who once stated a key message which reflects the true philosophy of HR, and that is “Before you can make our staff happy, always bear in mind that you have to initially make yourself happy so that you can deliver the amount of happiness to the staff from your heart and then the staff can deliver the happiness to the guests.”
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
I admire both K. Suthikiati Chirathivat, Chairman of the Board and K. Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO. K. Suthikiati is very sharp in his way of thinking. He knows the balance between achieving the business results and taking good care of the people. K. Thirayuth is also my role model in the way that he opens his heart to the staff, managing with empathy and no hierarchy. He shows me that the success in teamwork relies on how you win the heart of the people around you.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
People can expect a “Happy Workplace” culture at Centara Hotels & Resorts. We have an internal tagline of “Your Extended Family”. We treat each other with a sense of family-like care and empathy. Our HR team has also modernised several practices in order to upgrade staff facilities and services. We have recently opened a state-of-the-art staff recreation centre called the “Inspiration Room” located at the head office at CentralWorld. It is a prototype recreation and learning centre with electronic zone, entertainment zone and meeting zone. From next year onwards, the practice of an Inspiration Centre will be extended to the property level.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
The destination on my list is “Greenland”. I know that it is not a common place where tourists visit and it is not easy to reach. However, I’ve wanted to go there to acquire a unique, exotic experience in the placid environment surrounded with ice, small colourful cottages and the smile of the Nuk local people. I have said to myself firmly that this is the place I must visit for sure one day.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
The memorable travel experience was the recent one I had at The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
I visited these three countries all by myself, enjoying visits to the art galleries, particularly the Handbag Museum in Amsterdam because I love handbags and to collect them. I appreciated the moment of sipping aromatic coffee at a small, cosy coffee shop located by the canal in Amsterdam. I had a chance to visit the house of Anne Frank whose story has inspired me a great deal. During the visit to Belgium, I missed the train back to Amsterdam and had to stay one more night in Brussels. The experience was quite adventurous but it added spice to the travel experience. I also love the moment when I drove the car aimlessly in Germany, with a scenic view of mountain ranges and picturesque nature all around until I reached an area called Heiterwang, which is a border between Germany and Austria. I parked the car, and was just sitting on fluffy grass in a vast meadow and enjoyed the serenity.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
The three things I would always take with me when travelling are 1) my designer clutches — They give me a sense of confidence and glamour when travelling. I love carrying my designer clutches. My favourite ones are the hand-made beaded clutch by “Sarah’s Bag”, a brand based in Beirut, and the clutch by the British designer, “Mary Katrantzou”. Her unique print creates a unique look to my outfit. 2) my perfume — While travelling, I need to feel confident with my favourite fragrance. My favourite fragrances are “Narciso Rodriguez”, “Viktor & Rolf”, and the provocative fragrance by “Agent Provocateur” (sometimes I wear female fragrance.) 3) my favourite book — I need to rid myself of boredom by reading my favourite books or magazines. I love reading “Monocle” and “Kinfolk” magazines, and enjoy reading the novels written by a Japanese writer, “Banana Yoshimoto” whose novel conveys a poetic tone. My favourite novel of hers is called “Asleep”.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
The famous person with whom I would like to travel is “Khun Pye, Pattriya Na Nakorn”. I met her once when she did a TV show at Fifty-five Restaurant at Centara Grand at CentralWorld. She is glamourous and a very artistic person. She has abundant knowledge about artists and fashion. I really had a great time having the fruitful conversation with Khun Pye and it would be great if I could travel with her in Italy. I think she will be able to inspire me and bring me to the unique boutiques of local brands.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
I picture Centara Hotels & Resorts growing and expanding to more and more international destinations. I see our properties of Centara located in several prime destinations in international countries in the future. The brand will become more globally recognised.
Ratchadet Suksin, Corporate Director of Training and Talent Development