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Inspirational woman: Ranju Alex | General Manager, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa

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Tell us about yourself

I am the General Manager of the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, and if I may mention, the first lady GM in the 14-year tenure of the property. An alumnus of IHM Kolkatta, I joined Marriott International in the year 2010 after being the officiating GM at the Oberoi Grand Hotel, Kolkata. I moved to Goa after completing a successful tenure with the first Marriott property in Pune as the GM of Courtyard by Marriott, Pune Hinjewadi.  In my current role, I am responsible for overseeing all aspects of operational and strategic management of the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa.

Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you are working on

I am a keen advocate of women in leadership primarily because I believe that we ourselves do not explore our potential to the fullest. I am currently working on two projects . The first one being WeConnect, which is a project which took its shape in the US but started its India Chapter approximately three years ago. This organisation works towards encouraging women entrepreneurship. The second project is more generic wherein I am working closely with the senior leadership in Marriott to build a structure which promotes women employment and leadership.

I was invited earlier this year to be a guest speaker at India Unlimited, a platform held in Sweden to showcase the opportunities with India in trade and business as well as to promote tourism and cultural awareness about modern lndia. The session I addressed was on, “Gender Diversity: Key to Success”. I was extremely honoured and grateful to the Indian Embassy forhaving given me this platform to speak on a topic I feel so strongly about – women’s empowerment.

I believe that women are as capable as men, or even more so, in all spheres of life and commerce. In fact, I am passionately involved with WEConnect International, a forum which has been formed for the upliftment of women entrepreneurs. A wholehearted advocate and supporter of this organisation which seeks to promote and expand the scope of women at the fore of commerce and industry today, I regularly attend the monthly calls and contribute views and opinions on the women workforce scenario today, as well as provide feedback and suggestions on ways to lead and organise the development potential of this sector.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

My biggest challenge in achieving success has been my own quest to be a super woman! I have always wanted to excel in everything I do. Whilst the thought itself is very inspiring, it is extremely draining to be trying to juggle all balls in the air at the same time. It has taken me a lot tears, a few grey hairs and some sleepless nights to realise that I am a human being and there is only so much that I can do. I have been very demanding on myself but lately I have begun to let go.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

My biggest achievement has been my role as a mother. I have two teenage kids and I would like to believe that I have given them a well rounded upbringing, despite my limited hours with them. I am glad that my daughter can look up to me and take some notes of how to be a professional and yet be there for the family. I will be even more happier if my son takes a cue from his own parents and learns to respect the career of his wife as much as his own.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

I have always been attracted to the hospitality industry. Hence if not in hotels I would have probably pursued a career in the airlines. I love each day of my job to the fullest and I would not want it any other way!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I always get inspired by women who break the glass ceiling and achieve greater heights. So whilst I admire my cousin and sister who joined the armed forces, I also admire the Finance Head of my hotel who is a lady in a predominantly man’s world. I was reading some statistics the other day and I came across one which said that 70% of India’s female working population is from rural India which includes women who work as domestic help as well as those who work in fields. Well, I salute them because they are doing that against a lot of adversities.

What does the future hold for you?

Apart from my professional milestones I hope I can inspire women into a career in hotels. I really wish the numbers would go up and if I can be instrumental in that in any way I will be a very proud of my contribution.

I bring with me close to two decades of experience in hotel management and operations. A Diploma holder in Hotel Management, I am an alumnus of IHM Kolkatta. I am also a gold medalist from the Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development (OCLD).  I lead my team by example, by personally interacting with guests in a manner that I’d like to think of as warm, hospitable and affectionate.

My commitment to work has never come in the way of me leading a fulfilling personal life. A firm believer in ‘health is wealth’, I am very fitness conscious and love my sports; tennis and swimming, as much as I love cooking for my friends and family. Travelling is another favourite hobby, as this allows me to spend quality time with my two children and husband. I am an avid reader and have a home library of 6000 books, on topics including women’s issues, domestic affairs, inspirational stories, etc.  I am also passionate about charity, believing that it begins at home and in small gestures. I believe in living life to the fullest and maximising every moment of my time to its full potential, be it professionally or personally.

Web: www.goamarriottresort.comMarriott-Logo

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