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THE REIMAGINING OF RADISSON HOTEL GROUP


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MAKING EVERY MOMENT MATTER WITH A TRAILBLAZING FIVE-YEAR STRATEGY WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN PRODUCED BY

MANUEL NAVARRO


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RADISSON HOTELS

WITH ITS FIVE-YEAR PLAN ‘DESTINATION 2022’ IN FULL SWING, RADISSON HOTEL GROUP HAS ITS EYES SET ON BECOMING ONE OF THE THREE TOP-OF-MIND HOTEL COMPANIES IN THE WORLD

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t’s been a little over a year since Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group rebranded as Radisson Hotel Group – but that’s not

the only big transformation the company is making. 04

In fact, in many ways it could be argued that Radisson Hotel Group is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance, pulling out all the stops to ensure that, as its signature promises, ‘Every Moment Matters.’ Radisson Hotel Group is already flying high in the hospitality industry: today it stands as one of the largest hotel groups in the world, with more than 1,400 hotels in operation or under development. Its new go-to-market name, capitalises on the strong partnership between Radisson Hospitality, Inc. (formerly Carlson Hotels, Inc.) and Radisson Hospitality AB (formerly Rezidor Hotel Group AB) which has master franchise agreements to develop and operate several brands across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


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RADISSON HOTELS

“T HIS PLAN WILL ENABLE US TO BECOME ONE OF THE TOP THREE HOTEL COMPANIES IN THE WORLD, NOT IN TERMS OF SIZE, BUT IN TERMS OF BEING TOP OF MIND FOR OUR CONSUMERS, OUR STAKEHOLDERS AND OUR TALENTED PEOPLE”

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— Chema Basterrechea, Executive Vice President & COO, Radisson Hotel Group

As innovation keeps up its blistering pace in the hospitality sector, the group was keen to energise and reinvent itself. The first step? Creating ‘Destination 2022’, a meticulous five-year plan spearheaded by the Global Steering Committee of Radisson Hotel Group, with representatives from both Radisson Hospitality Inc. and Radisson Hospitality AB’s Executive Committees. Working his way up the ranks in the hospitality sector, Chema Basterrechea, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), has an innate understanding of the intricacies of the market. He believes this latest strategy will take the hotel firm to new heights. “This plan will enable us to become one of the top three hotel companies in the world, not in terms of size, but in terms of being top of mind for our consumers, our stakeholders (especially our hotel owners) and our talented people,” he enthuses. With over 25 initiatives in the pipeline, this is no ‘quick win’ strategy. Instead, Radisson Hotel Group is zeroing in on fundamental pillars such as Brand and Products,


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘GONZALO CARPINTERO, VICE PRESIDENT EMEA OPERATIONS AT RADISSON HOTEL GROUP ON LEASE PORFOLIOS’ 07 Marketing, Sales and Revenue

franchised hotels under its wing.

Management, Organisation Talent

“In my opinion, this gives us a very big

and Responsible Business, Best

competitive advantage,” Carpintero

Systems, Scale, Portfolio Management

asserts. “Why? Because it encourages

and more.

us to significantly better our property

Sitting down in the company’s

operations to deliver better profitability.

bustling European headquarters in

For that reason, unlike other international

Brussels, Gonzalo Carpintero, Vice

hotel companies, we have a big opportu-

President Operations for EMEA,

nity to demonstrate to our portfolio that

asserts that the “aggressive yet

all the strategies we believe in – all the

challenging” business plan will

models, tools and technology that we

“transform the way the firm operates

want to implement — are working.” It’s

its hotels”. Indeed, Radisson Hotel

a matter of setting an example.

Group already has a resilient business model, with leased, managed and

Now in the second year of its strategic plan, Radisson Hotel Group w w w.ra di sso nho te l grou p . com


RADISSON HOTELS

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘CHEMA BASTERRECHEA, COO AT RADISSON HOTEL GROUP EMEA THE FIVE-YEAR PLAN-RADISSON HOTEL GROUP’

is already reaping the fruits of its

“We are trying to support best practice

labour. “Last year, we had outstanding

operations with technology,” Carpinte-

results – they were in fact the best

ro explains, noting how the firm is using

results in the history of Radisson

digital tools to promote productivity

Hospitality AB – but we were able

and automate day-to-day operations.

to do something very important: we

“For instance, we’ve implemented a

were able to not only maintain the

productivity tool that allows us to

quality levels but also slightly increase

forecast the amount of staff we need

them compared to our competitors.”

and we are also trying to simplify

The secret behind this operational

day-to-day operations like handovers

success? It might be down to the

for housekeeping and repairs.”

company’s unwavering commitment

Carpintero is keen to add that technol-

to quality, or it may partly lie in the

ogy isn’t diminishing the role of the

group’s dynamic use of technology.

people at Radisson Hotel Group.


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Chema Basterrechea, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer (COO), Radisson Hotel Group (EMEA) Chema Basterrechea serves as the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at the Radisson Hotel Group (EMEA), reporting directly to Federico J. González, President and CEO of Radisson Hospitality AB and Chairman of the Global Steering Committee of the Radisson Hotel Group. Basterrechea is responsible for all operational matters across EMEA. The five geographical areas of RHG EMEA report to him, which include: Nordics and Baltics; UK, Ireland and Western Europe; Central and Southern Europe; Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey; Middle East and Africa. Moreover, the following departments are under his area of leadership: Operations, Franchising, Food & Beverage, Asset Management, Safety & Security, and the Commercial teams of Revenue Management, Sales, E-commerce and Marketing. He has more than two decades of successful experience providing strategic and operational leadership in the hospitality industry. As former Chief Operating Officer of NH Hotel Group and Chief Executive Officer of NH Hotel Group Italia, he brings a strong track record of performance in turnaround and fast-paced organizations. His keen insights, team approach and strong customer-centric philosophy drive organizational improvements and best practices implementation. Basterrechea is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, and holds a master’s degree in business finance from the University of Wisconsin in the U.S. and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Oviedo in Spain. He also is a graduate of the London Business School’s Senior Executive Program, IESE Business School of Madrid and Dublin City University. w w w.ra di sso nho te l grou p . com

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RADISSON HOTELS

E X ECU T I VE P RO FI LE

Gonzalo Carpintero, Vice President Operations at EMEA, Radisson Hotel Group

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Gonzalo Carpintero serves as Vice President Operations at Radisson Hotel Group EMEA, reporting to the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Overseeing more than 400 hotels operating under different business modalities, his main role is to lead the transformation of the Radisson Hotel Group’s Operating Model, which aims to convert the group into the top hotel operator in the markets where it operates. Setting clear guidelines, bringing new technology and fostering the sharing of best practices across properties are his key areas of responsibility. Prior to joining Radisson Hotel Group, Gonzalo served in several positions at NH Hotel Group, where he was engaged in business transformation, business development and asset management. Before NH, Gonzalo worked as M&A Associate for PwC and Consultant for Deloitte at Madrid. The combination of several roles related to Commercial, Expansion and Operations, has allowed him to develop a wide perspective of the hotel business as well as a multinational comprehension of the different challenges affecting different markets, from Nordics to South Africa. Gonzalo holds an MBA from IESE and a bachelor’s in Law and Business Administration from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He is f luent in English and Spanish.


“L AST YEAR, WE HAD OUTSTANDING RESULTS; THEY WERE IN FACT THE BEST RESULTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE COMPANY”

guest loyalty programmes, sales, property management and much more. “EMMA is a new, totally integrated end-to-end platform,” explains Basterrechea, noting how the platform aims to drive operational efficiencies. In fact, with the use of EMMA, employees are able to access guest profiles

— Gonzalo Carpintero, Vice President Operations at EMEA, Radisson Hotel Group

which offer valuable

If anything, it’s making their

past stays that

roles more important than

will help employ-

ever before. “We want to

ees create

help our people avoid

personalised,

non-value-added tasks

unforgettable

and focus on what is

guest experiences.

data about guests’ previous purchases and

important: our guests,”

“With a cloud-based

he adds.

platform, we’re

As part of its five-year

able to significantly

plan, Radisson Hotel

decrease the cost

Group has also shed

of our maintenance

some of its legacy

and initial investment,”

technology platforms

Basterrechea adds.

in favour of a soon-to-

“It’s also a single system

be-launched unified

which is a key advan-

system, ‘EMMA’ (Every Moment

tage because, up until

Matters), which is programmed to

now, most hotel companies have used

help with tasks like reservations,

multiple devices and multiple applications. w w w.ra di sso nho te l grou p . com

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RADISSON HOTELS

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE TEAM IS EVERYTHING’-ADRIAN OYEKANMI, SVP, GLOBAL STRATEGIC SOURCING, RADISSON HOTEL GROUP EXPLAINS WHY!

It will provide a clear cost advantage

breakfasts, showers, bedding and

to the owners of our hotels and it

more, which are vital to get right every

will enable us to maximise our guest

time. “It is so important to listen to the

satisfaction.”

customer,” says Carpintero, noting how

A multi-million-dollar technology

last year the firm received more than

investment, however, is just one part

one million reviews online for the first

of Radisson Hotel Group’s five-year

time in its history. “We’ve invested

plan. ‘The customer is everything’

€12mn in our 55 leased properties in

may be a well-versed platitude in

EMEA to enhance our Brilliant Basics.

the hospitality sector, but its impor-

We’re learning from our guests and

tance rings true. With this in mind,

bringing fresh new ideas to improve

Radisson Hotel Group has underlined

the customer experience.”

its customers’ top must-haves (socalled ‘Brilliant Basics’), such as

From the mouth-watering food on its menus to the crisp linens on its


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Adrian Oyekanmi Senior Vice President, Global Strategic Sourcing, Radisson Hotel Group Adrian Oyekanmi serves as Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Sourcing at Radisson Hotel Group. He is responsible for building and developing relationships with key strategic vendors, overseeing contract negotiation, vendor compliance, and accountability across the Radisson Hotel Group globally. Adrian is based in Brussels and reports to Iùigo Capell, Executive Vice President & Global Chief Resources Officer at Radisson Hotel Group. Adrian is an industry veteran who joined Radisson Hotel Group in April 2017. Since then, he has worked to develop and implement a comprehensive sourcing strategy built to improve value proposition for the entire hotel portfolio and its owners, focusing on cost reductions, and promoting the company’s responsible business practices. Prior to joining Radisson Hotel Group, Adrian spent 17 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. He served as Vice President of Supply Chain, where he led finance and business analytics, contract management, the implementation of an award-winning procure-to-pay platform, and Six Sigma process improvement. His other assignments at Starwood include Controller, Director of Finance, and Regional Director of Finance. Prior to Starwood, Adrian worked at Forte Hotels in London. He received an International Baccalaureate diploma from the United World College of the Atlantic in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Building and Construction Management from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Adrian is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA, CGMA).

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beds, ensuring these Brilliant Basics are delivered is a task that’s fallen partly into the capable hands of the group’s procurement team. “Procurement forms a critical backbone to Radisson Hotel Group,” asserts Adrian Oyekanmi, Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Sourcing. “We’re leveraging the power of Radisson Hospitality, Inc. and Radisson Hospitality AB whilst never losing sight of the local aspect of our role. We’re leverag-

“I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE FUTURE HAS NEVER BEEN MORE EXCITING AND BRIGHTER FOR THE RADISSON HOTEL GROUP” — Adrian Oyekanmi, Senior Vice President, Global Strategic Sourcing, Radisson Hotel Group

ing our size and sourcing muscle like never before and we see ourselves

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very much entwined within the fabric

reflects where we are as a group,” he

of operations.”

says. Any professional will tell you that

One of the most pressing challenges

behind any strong procurement team,

for any procurement team is the

or indeed any successful hotel

delicate balancing act between getting

company, there is also a passionate

value for money and maintaining

team. “The team is everything: they’re

quality. Radisson Hotel Group has

what makes you as a company,”

deftly tackled the challenge, with

enthuses Oyekanmi. In the group’s

Oyekanmi noting that, more than

EMEA headquarters in Brussels,

anything, procurement is about

you’ll find that a range of accents

creating value. “Getting the best deal

– from Spanish and German to English

is about more than just getting the

and American – are always within

cheapest price; it’s about creating

earshot. Oyekanmi argues that this

value for our owners and our brands

multiculturalism is a key asset. “I often

and protecting that value without

pinch myself that I’m in this role

forgetting the sustainability focus that

because I think one of the exciting w w w.ra di sso nho te l grou p . com


RADISSON HOTELS

$7.697 bn System revenue

1972

Year founded

95,000

Approximate number of employees 18

things about working for Radisson Hotel Group is the global nature of the business. We have folks

word. Just as the firm’s international

working in so many different countries,

team has been a key enabler of its

from so many different backgrounds.

five-year plan, Oyekanmi outlines how

Everyone brings a different perspec-

strong partnerships are pivotal in

tive which, for sourcing especially,

today’s ever-global market. “Ensuring

can be a really big advantage.” With

that we are partnering with the right

offices spanning from Cape Town and

vendors who share our vision and ideals,

New Delhi to Oslo and Frankfurt,

who are coming to the table with

Radisson Hotel Group is a business

innovative ideas, who are able to pivot

which is ‘global’ in every sense of the

as we’re pivoting, is critical,” he affirms.


CO MPAN Y FACT S

• Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest hotel groups with seven distinctive hotel brands and more than 1,400 hotels in operation • More than 95,000 global team members work for the Radisson Hotel Group

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Now, in the second year of its five-year plan,

changes we’ve seen is that we’re now part of the Jin Jiang International family

Oyekanmi outlines how the firm is

– that’s a family of over 8,000 hotels

“firing on all cylinders” to ensure that

globally. We’re already exploring how

it delivers a truly meaningful stay to its

to best leverage being part of the

guests. “I can tell you that the future

second largest hotel company in

has never been more exciting and

the world and deliver eye-popping

brighter for the Radisson Hotel Group,”

competitive advantage to our owners

he adds. “We’re delivering record-

and hotels. So, stay tuned.”

breaking value to our company, which is really exciting to see, but we’ve only just started to scratch the surface. I think one of the really interesting w w w.ra di sso nho te l grou p . com


Radisson Hotel Group www.radissonhotelgroup.com

Profile for Business Chief Europe

Radisson Hotels August 2019  

Radisson Hotels August 2019