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IHG people: Philip - Europe Vice President, Revenue Management
IHG® is filled with great people. People from different countries and cultures, speaking different languages, driving our company forward around the world.
Today, we meet Philip Gardner - Vice President, Revenue Management, Europe at IHG.
A hospitality veteran; Philip shares learnings, advice and experiences garnered from 20 years in the industry.
What attracted you to hospitality?
I was interested in hospitality from an early age. I remember staying in a hotel for the first time at the age of seven. Having only ever before had self-catering caravan holidays around the UK, I thought hotels were wonderful. The buzz and excitement of it all, as well as the people working in the hotel, inspired me and I knew then that it was my destiny to work in hospitality.
Have you always been in the Hospitality industry?
In a word, yes. I’ve worked in this industry and in hotels for 20 years. I know I don’t look that old, but I started young - honestly!
How did you end up in Revenue Management?
I’ve worked in a number of functions within hotel operations, starting in a part-time role when I was a student. My first full-time role was in Reservations and Sales. Revenue Management wasn’t very well developed at that point in my career, but I found it interesting and saw it’s potential for growth as a function and a career.
What skills would you say are essential to anyone considering a career in Revenue Management?
First and foremost, you need to be an excellent communicator. Being able to present information to others so that decisions can be made and actions can be driven is key to being successful in Revenue Management. A big part of this is building strong relationships across the business.
The ability to be open minded to new ideas and challenge thinking, whilst having the discipline to follow process are also really important.
Which of these skills can you develop on the job?
There is often the perception that in Revenue Management you need to be a numbers, data and analytics expert. Whilst this certainly is important, it isn’t the core skill needed to have a successful career in Revenue Management.
Possessing skills around being adaptable in communicating and influencing others is more important than the more numerical aspects of the job, which can be learnt.
Any tips for anyone just starting out in their career with IHG?
You’ve chosen to work for an excellent company with great brands. I hope you enjoy working for IHG as much as I do.
When it comes to tips: Firstly, invest as much time as you can in building relationships. We achieve nothing alone and so building a strong network around you is vital.
Secondly, be up for a challenge. What has served me well is being proactive in taking on new opportunities, whether that be in terms of roles, leading certain initiatives or taking ownership for certain pieces of work.
Thirdly, take time out to reflect. Being self-aware and looking to yourself first can be very powerful.
Lastly, IHG is full of a wonderful variety of people – embrace it. Remember you aren’t alone; you have fantastic colleagues to support, advise and mentor you.
Are you interested in a career in Revenue Management at IHG? Take a look at our latest opportunities here and see where a career with us could take you.
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