As a brand ambassador for Wanda hotels in Dongguan, Fuat Koroglu presents a proud yet modest nature to the Dongguan hotel scene. Well-traveled and well-informed, it’s clear that Fuat is an asset here.
The first time I met Fuat, I remember him saying, “I am not a tree, I cannot stay in one place!” To which I chuckled and agreed. It resonated with me, as I’m sure it does with many of you readers. His way is to stay for no more than four years within a job role in a particular place, before seeking out the next venture. Upon this meeting at the Wanda Christmas lighting ceremony, I knew that I wanted to delve deeper.
Originally from Turkey, Fuat started out his career in 1990 following graduating from the University of Istanbul with a master’s degree in Tourism Business Administration. His first job in the hotel industry was a food and beverage stewarding member, and after 10 years he decided to take on the challenge of sales and marketing, under the position “Director of Events.” Naturally, four years later he became Food and Beverage Director. Another four years followed, and Fuat moved to the rooms department as Executive Assistant Manager, having learned that this is one of the core businesses of hotels. As of 2010, Fuat now holds the General Manager title, with Wanda Vista Dongguan being his fourth endeavor.
Prior to moving to Dongguan, Fuat was working with Wanda in Beijing already. Some years ago, he was approached by them with the opportunity to move to Beijing, which after some deliberation he accepted, despite staying with his previous company for 24 years. “Wanda was a very young company at the time, but because of the opportunity in Beijing I said yes,” Fuat continued, “It’s all about time; if you get the timing right with your opportunities then you can be successful and reach your goals even at a young age. If you mess up the timing, someone else will fill your spot.” It’s worth noting that Fuat set himself a target some years ago to become an international general manager before he reached 45, and impressively, he made it at 42.
It was obvious that Fuat has lived a colorful life, having also worked in the hotel and tourism industry in places outside of China such as Istanbul, Dubai and Cairo, as well as being involved with task force rebranding and opening in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He was working with his previous company in Cairo during a difficult period for the industry, however due to his efforts and pursuit he received a very honorable Pro AM General Manager award—being one of only three people to attain the award within the 120-year-old company.
As the brand ambassador of Wanda in Dongguan, Fuat wants “To make sure that Dongguan receives the best possible international services and products within Chinese hospitality,” he added, “We act internationally and live locally.” He believes that Wanda Vista Dongguan will amalgamate social life and business life, with the intention of establishing a lifestyle in the hearth of this city for both social and business people. Being in the business of “people,” Fuat’s entire day is based around that notion. He said, “I try to start the day with going to the gym and a light breakfast while reading reports as early as possible, then I can have enough time for people.”
As one of the top hotels in Dongguan, and a renowned hotel brand, Wanda Vista certainly must maintain its title and meet the expectations of clients and customers. “In the hospitality industry the raw material is people; and in order to create consistency, we need talent,” Fuat commented. Wanda has a very useful talent program for young people, drawing in ambitious types from various universities. Wanda properties also have a large budget for training and development, allowing for Wanda culture to be embedded in the staff’s attitude and methods, providing confidence and a willing to go the extra mile to exceed customer expectations.
Fuat clarified that this line of work is not so popular these days, due to the job being very demanding. He admitted that you must be ultimately flexible and in control of the unforeseeable changes that are inevitable. However, the attractive part about the role is that you can work anywhere in the world. And yes, he does feel it’s very rewarding— “Two months ago I was in Beijing and I didn’t know I would be here in Dongguan meeting you and meeting many different people, undergoing diverse experiences and challenges. Now Beijing must be -10 degrees so I am loving the weather here!” For aspiring hoteliers, his advice was to “Keep learning by experiencing, work hard and try different things.”