This was how he was introduced to Clinton Armour, the CEO of ANEW Hotels & Resorts. “Clinton came on board as our client right as ANEW was trying to figure out their brand. And four years later, his business was big enough to invite me on board full time.”
Alan met Waldemar Smit early in his career, who was the training manager for Planet Fitness at the time, and helped him develop a genuine love for teaching and coaching, which he stills holds dear today. During this time, Alan got the opportunity to learn more about sales management training; knowledge that he has carried through to every business he has worked for, including his own. So, with ANEW’s people centricity and values, Alan found it to be a perfect fit for him.
“It’s been just a few months since I’ve joined ANEW full-time, and we’ve already put new systems in place and spent a lot of time and resources upskilling our team members. This is something that’s often neglected in the hospitality industry, as we’re often more concerned about service delivery.” He continues, “Hospitality is ever-changing, and I think the onus is on hotel groups to constantly find ways to upskill their teams, across all departments, from backend admin and finance to front-facing salespeople dealing with major government and travel groups.”
In 2008, Alan and Nic were named among the Top 20 Most Influential People in South African Golf and in 2012, Alan and his team were recognised as Entrepreneurs of the Year by Business Partners. In his first months of joining ANEW as Sales and Marketing Director, the group hit its sales budget for March, April and May, which is an achievement in itself, especially coming out of COVID. He says, “It’s great to see this unfold in the way that it has in the midst of such an uncertain time for hospitality. It has certainly brought a lot of hope to our crew.”
Alan is a big fan of challenging the norm, especially in business. “I believe that you should constantly wrestle with your own business and your own way of doing things.” He also values his team, believing his number one function is to make sure they’re motivated and empowered at all times. “The people I’ve worked with have been largely responsible for my success in life, and I don’t see that changing. I am blessed to have amazing people around me. I think that I’m good at figuring out how to make them better and how to extract as much value out of them as I can. So for the most part, I’m the jovial joker, but I’m also very target and results-driven.”
Alan, along with business partner Nic, discussed Project M early in their career, which is the concept of playing a meaningful role in the lives of 1 000 people. “That quest is ongoing, but with ANEW, I’ve landed with 1 000 people, and it’s always exciting to see where that family might grow into. It’s always a sobering thought to remember that’s who you serve at the end of the day.” In addition to Alan’s impressive resume, he has some personal achievements he’d like to hit as well. “Personally, Machu Pichu is definitely on my bucket list. I tend to like a good mix of authentic local experiences and being incredibly touristy, so I’ll go off the beaten track, but I have no problem visiting the pyramids or the Louvre as well.
Alan is also a big fan of the great outdoors and loves the juxtaposition of staying in hotels with camping. Alan can be found walking his rescue dog Quin on the beach or on a wine farm in his spare time. He is also a big supporter of the South African wine industry and continues his love of football, either playing the game on the pitch or watching his favourite team, Liverpool, in action.