Road to GM: Career progression of General Managers in Maldives.

I looked 25 General Managers from Maldives and checked how they progressed from their first position to General Manager position. There are similar researches done by others and mostly it was done in US, Australia, UK etc. But the problem was they are a bit old. Like the most recent one was 2012. I also think that the information we get from GMs in Maldives will be more useful to those who want to build a career in Maldives.

I have taken only the front office background GMs because I come from front office. I have ignored GM from F&B, Sales, and those who joined hospitality after working in other industries.

Career I will define same way it was defined by Ladkin. It is a series of jobs one hold during his lifetime. We are interested in this series. What are the jobs they did and for how long.

The duration from the first position to GM it takes between 16 to 19 years. Most GMs reach that position in 18. While 16 was the quickest.

The position series goes like this: Guest service Agent/Receptionist > Guest Service Supervisor > Duty Manager/Guest Service Manager > Assistant Front office Manager > Front Office Manager > Rooms Division Manager/Director of Rooms > Hotel Manager/Resort Manager > General Manager.

Their educational qualification was mostly a diploma. There is a significant cases where they hold a diploma. The cases where the formal education was below diploma, they have done an executive training. I have noticed that those who started without college goes up to certain level and they were not able to move up without further formal education. Which was either an executive training or a diploma.

Here are some exceptional GMs whose career progression made me wow in one way or another:

GM 1, General Manager who is a Maldivian:
Started his position as receptionist in Four seasons. Moved to senior receptionist > Duty manager > AFOM > FOM > assistant director of villas > RM > GM. Duration of the whole career from Receptionist to GM was total 17 years.
Highest formal Education was Diploma in hospitality.

GM 2, Indian, currently GM of 5 Star resort in Maldives. The career progression was as follows: Lobby manager > Front office Manager > Room Division Manager > Resident/Executive Assistant Manager > General Manager.
Total duration was 23 years.

GM 3 A Maldivian, working as a GM in Maldives. Based on information he provided, the career progression is as follows:
Front office Manager to EAM to RM to GM
Duration from FOM to GM is 8 years.
His career before FOM was not provided so I assume it was about 10 years. Which makes his total 18 years to become a GM.
His educational background is a Bachelors degrees

GM 4 A Srilankan working as a GM in a resort in north Malé atoll. His career progression is as follows:
Reception supervisor > Reception Manager > FOM > Operations Manager > GM
The jobs before FOS was not provided.
And the duration from FOS to GM was 11 years. From his first position to FOS position I would say will be 5-7 years. So it makes total duration of his career to reach GM position in 16-18 years.
His highest education qualification is diploma in Hospitality

GM 5 A Maldivian working as a GM in Raa atoll resort.
His career progression was as follows: Front desk agent to Guest relation officer to Assistant front office Manager to FOM to EAM to Hotel Manager to GM
Total duration from Front desk agent to GM was 14 + 5 years. Which makes it 19 years.
His educational qualification is not clear. But he has some college education. Maybe a diploma

What’s surprising is that he made a jump from GRO to AFOM. This jump was done from one resort to another. I think it was a very bold move. After making the jump he was able to stay there for 3 years plus got a promotion to FOM. This surprised me.

GM 6 Here is one of my favorite GM who is currently working in Maldives. Based on the information she provided, her career progression is as follows: Guest Service Agent > Assistant housekeeping Manager > Assistant front office manager > Front office manager > Director of Rooms > Resort Manager > General Manager.

She started her career in 2000 and she became a GM in 2015. Total 15 years time. Also from GSA to Asst HK manager wow what a jump. But this position lasted less than a year and she moved to front office. Probably because she didn’t like it or she sees nothing up front. During her career she haven’t got internal promotion or inter company promotion except From RM to GM. All other cases she moved from one resort to another for next position. She holds a bachelor’s degree.

Those are the six special GM whose career progression some how caught my interest quite deep way.

Revised on 05-03-20.