Embarking on a career in tourism, and the hotel industry, in particular, requires a great deal of perseverance, determination and foresight. This is what guides Naeem Jugon, Food and Beverage Manager at Solana Beach Mauritius, whose exemplary career path could inspire those considering entering the exciting world of hospitality.
Nothing destined young Naeem to find a job in the hotel industry. He had no relatives in this field. But when he finished his HSC, he chose to enter the hotel school because he saw that his future lay in this sector. He chose the restaurant industry and did his courses in alternation with an internship at Domaine Les Pailles. It is there that he will start his career as a waiter. This was in 2001.
The following year, Naeem moved to Maritim. After six months, he went from waiter to head waiter. In 2004, he did not miss his first opportunity to enrich his experience abroad. Recruited at the Jumeirah as a Team Leader, he spent a year and a half in Dubai before returning to Seychelles to work at the Beachcomber Saint Anne. In 2006, he settled in France, in Montpellier, in a seafood restaurant.
Naeem returned to Mauritius for the opening of Tamassa in 2007, where he held the position of restaurant supervisor. Two years later, his outstanding performance propelled him to the position of Restaurant Manager in the main restaurant. He held this position for four years before being promoted to Assistant Food and Beverage Manager. Seven years later, Naeem embarked on a new adventure by accepting to join the Solana Beach Mauritius as Food and Beverage Manager.
But this achievement was to have an unexpected and difficult start. The year is 2020 and in March the coronavirus pandemic brings tourism to a standstill. Naeem was not discouraged and adapted to the conditions that were imposed during the border closure. « We offered impeccable service to quarantined customers. So, we worked a lot during this period and that was a great help financially. Today, things are almost back to normal and I can now ensure my mission, which is to raise the quality of service and go beyond the customer’s expectations.
For example, he is introducing exclusive dining experiences for couples on the beach, revising the cocktail menu with a focus on creativity, launching the Rum Passport at Lakaz Rum and bringing more identity to the different restaurants through different cutlery in each outlet. With the Front Office, he finalises a project launched during the quarantine period, the 50 Shades of Solana, an exclusive poolside dining experience that starts in the room for couples.
Courageous, persistent, ambitious, and patient. These are qualities that Naeem displays. For him, you have to do everything to make sure that the customer leaves with the satisfaction of having had a good stay beyond their expectations and what they paid for. « We must always adapt to the customer, and accept criticism; not all customers are necessarily nice and courteous, but it is up to us to always be concerned about pleasing the customer.
If he has any advice for young people starting in the profession or considering entering the hotel industry, it is « to have a contagious attitude in the right direction, as much positivity as possible, kindness, attention, perseverance, and not to get discouraged; once you have mastered the skills, you will progress very quickly; you must never say no to the customer and always propose an alternative ». Definite keys to success!
© Beau Vallon Hospitality 2023. Tous droits réservés.
Solana Beach Mauritius
Beau Vallon Hospitality
Riche-en-Eau,St Hubert, Mauritius