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Carsten K. Rath's early stages in the service industry began in the Upper Black Forest in a family-run hotel at tranquil Lake Titisee bordering on the town Hinterzarten.  But Carsten wanted to see the world so he took off into the world of hospitality; this included global positions as Opening Deputy Director of the legendary Grande Roche Hotel in Cape Town and as Opening F&B Director at Lufthansa City Centre Beijing.

Particularly influential was his commitment as a preopening and opening professional in the Grand Hotel industry. Indeed, there is almost no continent where Carsten K. Rath has not opened a Grand Hotel. With his vast experience, Carsten K. Rath has also been a management board member of several companies including Design Hotels ™ and aovo AG.

In November 2008, Carsten K. Rath finally decided to go into business for himself and that gave rise to the Richtigrichtig.com Academy.

I was fortunate enough to talk to him and he is truly as dynamic and wonderful as I anticipated.

I hope you enjoy his interview as much as I did!

Tell us a little bit about yourself
I was gearing up to be a professional tennis player and then at 17 I had a bad accident so that was the end of that. By chance I got an apprenticeship in a hotel. I found my passion and was a waiter much to my father’s dismay. He was an academic and in some ways I had failed but this was my path of that I was certain! I wanted more and I wanted to see the world, and I wanted to set up service oases in places that were service deserts.

What got you into the hotel industry?
The concept of Service excellence, the ability to make another person happy, is what I really like. Plus I was very fortunate to have real mentors at a very early stage in my career like the CEO of Kempinski and Executives at Ritz-Carlton.

What is it about your hotel that sets you apart?
Our guests decide. We focus on the obvious….the design and the colours, which makes the difference to our guests’ experience. Our focus is on empathy, having an empathetic attitude literally making empathy part of your DNA when it comes to serving our guests. You have to truly want to make people happy; it has to be a personal crusade. We at Kameha encourage team spirit from the very beginning. To realize our ultimate goal, “How does this benefit my guest?”, team spirit is as important as interpersonal relationships and internal communication.

What does leadership mean to you?
Anticipation, clarity, observation and mindfulness. You have to communicate, walk the talk, and inspire people, helping people grow.
Indeed the satisfaction of watching people grow out of their comfort zone and get better and better; there is no other feeling like it!

What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Be humble

What's the next challenge for the hotel industry?
Hotels have to behave like a community. The rating categories 3, 4 and 5 stars are over.
Many hotels used to be able to bank on brand loyalty, but today’s world of online travel deals has left that loyalty in the dust. Greater transparency means the consumer can research and book directly through suppliers, search engines, comparison sites, affiliates, agents and more. Conducting in-depth trainings and giving empowerment to your team can only achieve service excellence. Having faith in your employees is key in order for them to evolve and display their individual qualities and talents.

What's next for us?
My book “55 reasons to open a Grand Hotel”. My first title, “Sex please only in the suite”, was based on my real life experience requesting a rock star to refrain from having sex in the lobby…I can’t possibly tell you what he told me to do but I am sure you can guess!

What's next for you?
I would like to do more consulting and teaching staying in the realms of the hotel industry …and do my favourite – public speaking.
I want to pass the baton to the next generation and help them along their journey. Therefore I have created a special learning tool, we-learning.com.

For more information about Carsten K. Rath services and workshops, please visit his website: http://www.carsten-k-rath.com/en/

Bio

sunita blogphoto 150

Sunita is an Executive Coach, Trainer and Consultant. She is of Indian origin and was born in London before moving to Geneva in 1992. She has a Psychology background (specialising in Occupational Psychology) and a Post Graduate in the Development and Training of Adults. She also completed a Masters in Ressources Humaines, Coaching et Gestion des Carrières at the University of Geneva.

During her 25 years experience Sunita's drive has always been to help people to do their best and hence led her to create Walk The Talk.

In her free time Sunita is a Mentor for the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship and a proud member of the School in The Cloud Team.