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The Movenpick Sales “Orchestra Director” at Vatel
The Movenpick Sales “Orchestra Director” at Vatel - Vatel

The Movenpick Sales “Orchestra Director” at Vatel

Francis Bertrand, the International Sales Vice-President of Movenpick Group, explained his job to Vatel's student.

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1st hint: I’m a Swiss multinational corporation.

2nd hint: My activities include gastronomy, hotels, wine trade and distribution.

3rd hint: My International Sales Vice-President, Francis Bertrand, presented me to Vatel students and explained his job.

Who am I? The Movenpick group, of course!

 

 ***
 

You’ve been working for quite a few years now, Mr. Bertrand, for Movenpick Hotels & Resorts. Could you tell us about what you did before and introduce us to the group?

I started at the Movenpick Hotels & Resorts Group nearly 15 years ago, on June 1st, 1999. Before that I had held operational and international sales positions with Concorde Hotels and Millennium Hotels & Resorts. I had worked in operations (F&B, Rooms division), for quite a while, before changing to Sales in 1986. I decided to join Movenpick Hotels & Resorts as I wanted to expand my knowledge in the four and five-star hotel sector and increase my responsibilities.

I created the French market global sales structure and then did the same thing for the other European markets. I currently manage six sales divisions in Europe: Paris, Moscow, London, Frankfurt, Zurich and Vladivostok. This represents nearly 14% of the group’s total turnover. Europeans make up the majority of our guests. This means we have to be very present on these markets.

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts is a Swiss group. It has nearly 100 hotels either open or undergoing construction, all targeting high quality service and gourmet food, in 27 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

 

What does your job consist in? What are your daily activities?

I’m like the orchestra director for a team of 25 sales persons, all located in Europe. I thus have to spend a lot of time in managing my human resources. Both individually and as a team. I have to lead our teams, be the mediator between them and our hotels. When an orchestra plays successfully, it’s not only because of its director, but also because of the orchestra itself and all of its players.

When I’m in the office in Paris, I have a lot of meetings with my work colleagues, either in person or using Skype, and I spend a lot of time in administrative tasks: emails, contracts to be drawn up or checked, training personnel, rolling out our strategy, sales action plans, etc.

Outside of the office or when I’m traveling for business, I regularly visit our sales offices as well as our key strategic customers, both in France and abroad. We set up a lot of meetings in Zurich or in our regional branch offices in Dubai, Cairo and Bangkok.

 

What career opportunities could Movenpick offer to Vateliens?

Each person who is motivated has a place in our company and in the hospitality industry in general. Vatel is a step in front of the other hotel management schools because it is so close to our jobs. Nonetheless, when you graduate from Vatel, or any other school in that matter, there is still a lot to be done. Vateliens will be welcomed into our organization if they can prove their motivation and willingness. I always give junior employees a chance in my department. And the same thing will be true in all of our hotels, if the Vatelien shines with this special little light that means so much to an employer, when he or she is doing the job interview.

Movenpick is a group that is focused on human values; these same values are also conveyed by Vatel Group. When I visited Nimes, I was very impressed about how professional and interested students were, and that is always a good sign for any future job vacancies.

 
In your opinion, what are they key skills and qualities that Vatel students must learn to develop?

As for qualities, I think that these few words sum it all up:

- Listening
- Modesty
- Sharing
- Open-mindedness
- Tolerance

 

And as for skills, I think they are intertwined with our profession and in particular with our core values:

- The ability to construct relationships
- Trust and confidence
- Leadership
- Drive
- Care

 

What do you think about job opportunities in the hospitality industry? What would you like to say to high school students who are wondering about these kinds of jobs?

We work in the most fantastic industry there can be. The one about hospitality and well-being. It’s up to us to convey our passion for hospitality, the finer things in life, gourmet food, etc. Each segment in the hospitality industry, from the cost-effective hotel up to the luxury hotel, has to participate in this. Hospitality is the best job in the world!

 

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