Sunday 7th July 2019
By Michelle Hammond
Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude
I looked up to my father, who is an extremely honest and ethical person, sometimes even when it was in his best interest not to be like that. It cost him promotions, opportunities. At the time, when I was young, I could not understand it and was sure that I will be different. With years, I understood why my father is sleeping calmly at night. His conscious was clear because he was honest and ethical even if it meant being stepped over.
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are
Being up to date with latest developments and trends, create a team which shares the same values, ethics and goals, connect with the world trough social media to have the opportunity to present yourself. As a leader, listen, understand, support and develop your colleagues. Make sure your P&L works.
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
My best business decision, was not to pursue the goals that my parents set out for me, which was to become a Physical Education Teacher. I decided to combine things that I liked the most, foreign languages which I learned in high school (I speak English, German and Italian), knowledge that I gained while studying to become a Physical Education Teacher so that I can apply for positions in hotels which have departments that combined leisure, sport, recreation & spa activities. Back in the day, in my home town, there was only 1 internationally branded 5 star hotel, it was in the pre-opening phase and they decided to hire me, because my story made sense to them. This started my career in the hospitality industry.
Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?
The first two people that I actually met when I started to work in hospitality influenced the me the most. My first GM, Mr. John Wood and his Resident Manager Mr. Peter Loesch. After 1 year or so, Mr. Wood went on to manage another hotel and Mr. Loesch remained as the new GM. He taught me it means to work in hospitality, combination of hard work, dedication and passion, which is then rewarded by recognition from guests and colleagues. He was the first, and to this day the only GM that allowed me to express my opinion freely, even if it meant completely disagreeing with him in a meeting room full of other department heads. From that time onwards I never nodded my head to something that I disagreed with. Sometimes it worked and sometimes I was the black sheep. This is only thing in my character that will never change.
Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?
When I resigned from a job that I loved due to a difference in opinion with the person that influenced my career the most. Look at the answer number 4. :-)
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?
The ability to adapt, change and evolve. Being a very emotional and energetic person also very stubborn. I had to understand my flaws, accept them and learn how to change.
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
I follow my mantras, these change daily, weekly, monthly, given the circumstances. At the time I borrowed my mantra from a gentleman that recently celebrated his 100th birthday:
1. Do not worry about anything ever!
2. Do not hate anyone, then you are becoming the same as the person you hate!
3. Whatever your wife tells you, always answer “You are right darling”
Q8 – How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?
I take my wellbeing very seriously, as everybody should. For the past 5 years I have moved away from conventional exercise regimes and diets, I am developing myself to become Integrated Holistic Wellness Expert, meaning that in my life and in my work I am following the concept that includes activities for the soul & mind (meditation & breathing techniques, Yoga), Functional Fitness without expensive and useless Gym machines, combined with top of the range Spa treatments, retail products with organic and natural ingredients and healthy Mediterranean and Alkaline diet.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?
Spa is not Wellness. Wellness is not only Spa. We are not here only to push, promote and sell massages and retail products with scientifically proven carcinogenic ingredients. As much as I accept the fact that we rely on revenues, my therapist will only recommend the treatment that suites your needs and concerns and that might not be the most expensive one. When it comes to retail products I am working towards a goal that in my Wellness centre, you will only find retail products from organic and natural ingredients and we will only recommend the products that suits your needs.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever
Please see answer number 7 ;-)
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1. What’s your favourite book?
“The name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco
2. What’s your favourite film of all time?
“Mad Max 2 : The Road Warrior”
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be
Diego Maradona but 20 yrs ago. I was a soccer player, enough said. My son is named Diego.
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
Anywhere, as long as my son and my wife are with me
5. Your perfect dinner is?
Vegetables + Kobe steak – nobody is perfect
6. Your go to drink is?
I start my day with lukewarm water with few drops of lemon. In certain occasions, I like to drink wine, beer, whiskey, gin & tonic, mojito – again nobody is perfect ;-)
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
I do not care for sweets that much. My wife makes this simple cherry cake and I eat the whole thing in one go. My son gets upset. Nothing for him, sugar is bad.
8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?
Lavender, reminds me of home
9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?
Shirodhara Oil Flow Treatment, it is not a massage it is a wellness experience
10. What’s your favourite flower?
Honestly, I do not have a favourite flower. Strongly against cutting and giving flowers as gifts, except in flowers pots. I believe that plants are living beings and that when you cut a flower to give it away as a present, you have committed a flowercide.
11.You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
Deep controlled breathing exercise
12. You want to energise fast, what do you do?
I do Anuloma – Viloma breathing exercise, check it out. It is great.
13.The theme tune to your life is?
At the moment “DJ Monolink” Mayan Warrior – Burning Man Festival 2018 session
14. What makes you laugh to your belly?
Stand up comedy, Robin Williams, Will Ferrell, George Carlin, Jimmy Carr…
15.What’s your favourite season?
16.What’s your favourite colour?
Combinations of blue
17. Your favourite time of day is?
18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would
19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
GOT all over again
20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
I play a guitar. I would like to play as Chat Atkins, tons of magic dust needed
Milan Banic Spa & Leisure Manager at Corinthia Hotels Limited
Experienced Club Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Business Planning, Hospitality Management, Customer Service, Hotel Management, and Business Development.
Expert in healthy lifestyle coaching and integrated holistic wellness concepts. Promoting and implementing mind & body stress relief techniques through spiritual activities without dogma (Meditation & Breathing techniques), ideal balance of tension and relaxation through exercise and adequate top of the range Spa treatments in addition to retail products made exclusively from naturally grown and organic ingredients without additives, combined with healthy food options with emphasis on organic ingredients and Alkaline diet principles.