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Ismail Isam: Nurturing Professional Development at Kurumba Maldives

In Maldives, where the hospitality industry thrives on the pulse of its people, Ismail Isam stands as a testament to resilience and growth. His journey, marked by an unexpected twist of fate, led him from the structured world of banking to the dynamic realm of human resources in the hospitality sector.

At the tender age of 19, Ismail embarked on his professional path at the Bank of the Maldives, juggling work and studies at Villa College. However, life had other plans. A knee injury and subsequent surgery forced him to step away from his job, leading to a period of introspection. It was during this time that his brother Sham, recognizing Ismail’s untapped potential, suggested a career shift to hospitality—a move that would redefine his future.

Ismail’s entry into the hospitality industry began with a six-month contract as an HR assistant at One&Only Reethi Rah, thanks to Shiyar Ismail, who saw in him the makings of an HR professional. His dedication quickly paid off, earning him a permanent role and the mentorship of Aalim Mohamed, who would become a pivotal figure in Ismail’s career, challenging him to step beyond his comfort zone and guiding him through the intricacies of human resources.

With a master’s degree in business administration under his belt, Ismail’s career trajectory soared. From an Assistant Human Resources Manager at Dhigali Maldives to the HR Manager at Kurumba Maldives, and finally, to the esteemed role of Director of Human Resources, his ascent was a blend of opportunity, hard work, and the unwavering support of figures like Ali Adam, who illuminated the path ahead.

At Kurumba Maldives, Ismail’s approach to human capital is as vibrant as the environment he operates in. Recruitment is a quest for passion and attitude, with a keen eye on diversity and skill. Through initiatives like the Universal Foundations Discover Hospitality program and active participation in recruitment fairs, Ismail ensures that Kurumba remains a beacon for talent.

Understanding the importance of individual growth, Ismail has implemented strategies that not only track yearly personal development but also provide the scaffolding for career advancement. Mentorship and internal promotion opportunities are the cornerstones of this philosophy, allowing team members to flourish within the Universal Resorts family.

In the multicultural tapestry of Kurumba Maldives, Ismail champions inclusivity and teamwork. Engagement activities, cultural celebrations, and open communication are the tools he uses to weave a fabric of unity, respect, and collaboration among the diverse workforce.

To keep pace with technological advancements and evolving guest preferences, Ismail leverages the Universal Learning Gateway, offering courses that empower staff to deliver exceptional guest experiences. International certifications further ensure that the team’s skills remain sharp and guest-centric.

Recognizing the challenge of employee retention, Ismail’s strategy focuses on creating a nurturing work environment, listening to employee concerns, and providing avenues for skill enhancement and career progression. Performance management at Kurumba Maldives is a blend of clear goals, regular reviews, and constructive feedback, all aimed at fostering a culture of continuous improvement and accountability.

As the Director of Human Resources, Ismail’s role transcends operational duties. He is the custodian of the organizational culture, aligning HR practices with the company’s values and mission, and ensuring that the spirit of excellence permeates every aspect of the employee experience. In an industry increasingly conscious of its environmental impact, Ismail integrates sustainability into HR policies and engagement initiatives, ensuring that Kurumba Maldives not only leads in hospitality but also in responsible stewardship of its paradisiacal setting.

Looking to the future, Ismail envisions a landscape where the challenges of today become the stepping stones of tomorrow. With strategic planning, community engagement, and a commitment to professional development, Kurumba Maldives is poised to cultivate a workforce that is diverse, skilled, and aligned with the company’s ethos of excellence.

Isam’s role as a leader in human resources is not just about overcoming the challenges of the present but also about seizing the opportunities of the future. By fostering a culture of growth, inclusivity, and sustainability, he is setting the stage for Kurumba Maldives to continue its legacy as a premier destination in the world of hospitality.