Leading a top team

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

"The team and I do everything that is required for the growth of the group," said Holger Friedrichsen, a partner at Queensgate Hotels & Leisure.

"We work together on projects, which includes: making strategic decisions together and establishing our business model - what is it, where do we want to go and what do we want to achieve? As a partner, I am required to pull my weight as expected for the success of the team and the organisation as a whole."

Friedrichsen plays a key role in the growth of the group, which is based in Cape Town. "I worked in Germany before and I gained essential experience that I have applied in my work. It is important to grow your work experience and learn different skills which will benefit you greatly in your career.

"It is also important to have management skills to manage people, the business and of course, yourself. You also need people skills. You have to find the right people to surround you, who will implement the plans and decisions we envisage. This is a success for the whole team."

Friedrichsen said that one needed to have the ability to visualise what was in the industry and its impact in the long-term. "As a partner you must have future plans and a vision. Our future plans include: ensuring we increase our tourist base in Cape Town and to increase our visitors from the business community. The long-term focus is on growing in sub-Saharan Africa."

The group has faced certain impediments in its growth.

"We are still in a growth phase and accessing capital has been difficult. But when you have a difficulty you look for an alternative and we found other sources of capital," he said.

"There is also the issue of skills. Finding the right skill is important but that is very hard. Therefore, it is our long-term goal to develop an academy to nurture the skills required by the industry and ensure the potential is well used."

Implementing new strategies can also be trying because the market may reject or approve of them.

"It is easy to develop a strategy but the true test is in implementing it practically. Then you shall know whether you have succeeded or not."

To keep updated he reads widely - newspapers, news websites, tourism journals and business publications.

"This requires filtering the right information and having team discussions where we share the information that we have," said Friedrichsen.

"We use the media to keep us updated on our tourism and wellness business. There are several fairs that we attend such as the Indaba South Africa and the fair in Berlin, Germany. This is where we get to know the latest industry trends in the world," he said.