Our CEO Marloes Knippenberg has been listed by CIO Views magazine as one of The Most High-Impact Leaders Making a Difference in 2021. In exclusive interview she shares her journey in the hospitality industry and the roadmap that lies ahead.
What motivates you to get up every morning and keep on doing what you do?
My biggest daily motivation is triggered by all the new initiatives we are launching, diversity, the young people I work with, as well as the world’s ongoing challenges, because it is essential to take action. We believe that if we don’t do something promptly, no one will! We are constantly en route to drive change and development and that has been the key reason I had to spend 90% of my time on planes shuttling from project to project, prior to the World pushing the Snooze button.
The vibe and the experiential part of our industry has continuously motivated and fascinated me since the very first moment I have been exposed to hospitality making it my career choice and my true passion – something that would remain unchanged.
What part of your leadership journey and experiences have shaped you to become the leader you are today at the steering wheel of Kerten Hospitality?
Being an agile hospitality operator that needs to continuously adapt to the industry’s evolving requirements through our Lifestyle brands requires keeping the pulse on trends but remaining truthful to your key value proposition: helping people with tailored experiences, contributing to entrepreneurship and building communities through transformational collaborations and partnerships with global best in class organisations. The constant learning curve is what keeps you focused on the key objective.
Collaborating with the new generation, having a front row seat to their innovative ideas, the understanding of sustainability and the real solutions provided by young millennials and GenerationZ have been a big part of this learning journey. Being a Co-Chair of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (https://www.thestudentchallenge.com/) – a global sustainability and innovation competition between the Top Tier global hospitality schools mentored, judged and supported by leading C-Executives from the industry has taught me how important it is for all to collaborate for the greater good.
Tell us about Kerten Hospitality’s core values and share how do you ensure a culture of creativity and innovation in your company and how do you manage to keep the team motivated?
Our key pillars are Innovation, Mentorship and Sustainability all combined in initiatives that empower entrepreneurship and support the local communities and the reason we build brands with a purpose and create destinations that help people build communities based on wellbeing and locality. We always seek to work with visionary owners who seek to make a difference and create Ecosystems across.
Those pillars have been recognized for its merit and impact – an assessment that comes from the multiple global recognitions we received in the last 2 years: Disruptor of the year, Most Innovative Company, Leading Hotel Group, in addition to multiple team recognitions and the most coveted award for Best Recruitment and Onboarding Strategy by the Future Workplace Awards 2020 for our newly launched Remote-ship programme that was created to support the young generation of industry leaders.
Sustainability, women in hospitality, and supporting the new entrepreneurial generation are some of our key ESG activities that we do out of passion, and believe that only in this way we can make a difference in the industry.
Kerten Hospitality is now engaged in some of the largest development projects in the Middle East and Eurasia regions and is striving to push the envelope of innovation, to create meaningful partnerships and collaborations and to contribute to the local Communities where we are present and where we are going to have our openings.