General Manager, Melbourne Marriott Hotel
Gaurav Wattal grew up in a military family where his grandfather was in the navy whereas his father was in the army. He initially wanted to follow in their footsteps, but later on decided to follow his passion instead and joined the hospitality industry.
When asked how he started his journey with Marriot, he said: “I was exposed to the hotel industry at a very young age and with a F&B background, I quickly flew to Australia and met with the General Manager of Sydney Harbour Marriott when there was a position looking for someone to reposition their food and beverage outlets.” He then added: “I have always dreamt to work with an international brand and Marriott was the first choice with its stellar reputation.” It took only 4 years before Guarav was given the ultimate hotelier’s dream of being trusted the keys to his own hotel. It was one of the most exciting moments in his professional journey as he was not only assigned the new General Manager of the Melbourne Marriott Hotel, but it also showed how he had received recognition and trust from the YTL Hotels Group.
“It is certainly a big job as I am accountable and responsible for the wellbeing of all stakeholders including the owner and the brand. It is important to remember that the buck stops with me and my decision will impact the business,” emphasized Gaurav. Although being the new kid on the block, but this new general manager is confident that he is a force not to be taken lightly. Gaurav has worked for 11 different hotels and opened 17 restaurants and bars.
Taking up such an important job at the same time the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic was definitely another unforgettable moment in his career. The pandemic has hit the world by surprise and created an unprecedented impact that has brought the travel industry to its knees. As John Maxwell said: “The pessimist complaints about the wind; The optimist expects it to charge; The leader adjusts the sail.” Gaurav described this unfortunate happening as “One of those crazy movies with global pandemic themes.” “The immediate cause of action is to evaluate our business to see what the most efficient way is of operating and to ensure our guests and associates are safe and healthy in this new world order,” Gaurav said.
“Have the right attitude whatever you may be facing, take on your fears and learn from your mistakes.”
When it comes to his principle in life, Gaurav said: “Have the right attitude whatever you may be facing, take on your fears and learn from your mistakes.” He also added: “Things may be tough or easy, but nothing clears your mind and gives you a sense of freedom and exhilaration like riding a bike!” This obsession of Gaurav’s is exactly like his Harley Davison’s slogan which is ‘Screw It, Let’s Ride.”