Club Med’s director of Indonesia shares his experience in building a brand that stands out and his love for Jakarta.
I’m loving my company. I’m loving what I’m doing. I think everybody in the company takes the same approach. And that makes a difference I think.
For Bruno Courbet, his dream job involves creating happiness and joy for other people. After almost twenty years in the hospitality industry, Courbet is now the director of Indonesia and emerging markets for Club Med –the world-famous all inclusive resort that has more than twenty properties worldwide.
However, Courbet was not always at the forefront of the hospitality industry. He started out his career as an IT expert, creating software for resource management. He first joined Club Med in 1992 and it wasn’t before 2006 when he passed the formalities to be qualified as a manager. He was then swiftly appointed to run the IT and revenue management at the company’s Singapore office. “I was in charge of group business, pricing, and promotions,” Courbet says. “It was my wish all along to move into commercial.”
For Courbet, loyalty towards his company has been his driving force and his recipe for success after all this time. He believes that by staying in one company for an extended amount of time will bear beneficial fruits and that you can move up the corporate ladder more easily. “If you change companies often, I like to think you can only move laterally and not vertically,” Courbet says.
Born and raised in France, the 51-year-old now calls Jakarta his home after the establishment of the Club Med sales office in the city back in September 2014. Currently Courbet is in charge of developing new business not only Indonesia, but also the region in countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. And Courbet is keen on bringing that experience to more and more people in Indonesia because he admits that most Indonesians are still not familiar with the Club Med model –even though there are two properties (Bali and Bintan Island) in Indonesia. “We strongly believe in the future of Indonesia. I think the outlook is strong,” he says. “The country’s marvellous and people are travelling more and more.”
Prior to the opening of the sales office in Jakarta, he was constantly travelling back and forth between Jakarta and Singapore. After almost two years living in Jakarta, Courbet feels like this is his home now. Due to this admirable commitment towards his job, he has moved his family to Jakarta. “I’m loving my company. I’m loving what I’m doing. I think everybody in the company takes the same approach. And that makes a difference I think,” says Courbet. “Furthermore, I think Indonesian GOs (Gentils Organisateurs –a name for the Club Med staff) are the best in the world. I think they are the most appreciated by our guests. We have Indonesian GOs in every resort we have in Asia.”
10 things I love about Jakarta
- The people
I don’t see any other Asian countries where the local people get along with expatriates as well as they do here.
- The language
I’ve only taken a few days’ worth of Bahasa Indonesia classes and right now I’m able to talk to my driver, order food, and make small conversation with everyone else. I think the language is simple and easy to learn.
- The food
I appreciate the fact that there’s a huge diversity in Indonesian food. I can try something new every day for the rest of my life I think.
- The country in general
Indonesia is beautiful! There are so many nice beaches and so many natural landmarks to see.
- The vibe
The city and country in general is so full of energy, it’s electric! The dynamism of the society will keep surprising me even after living here for a while.
- Endless possibilities
Everything’s possible in this city, you just need to seek out opportunities. Every time I talk to a new person, I will always learn something new that will no doubt help me in the future.
- Living cost
Compared to Europe, living in Jakarta is still considered affordable. Meaning that I don’t have to fork out a lot of money to be able to live the way I want to here.
- At your service
As I said before, most Indonesian people who work in the service industry are amazing. They’re friendly, courteous, and willing whenever they’re doing their job. The level of service is just impeccable.
- Call me crazy
But I like the traffic sometimes. I’m a positive person and I consider my time stuck in traffic useful to do other things such as business phone calls or replying emails.
- The security
I’ve heard some people say bad things about Jakarta and how it’s unsafe. But I think it’s the opposite. You can walk down the streets or go to any part of the city and you won’t feel threatened.