Jason Tam: Committed To Staying Abreast Of Industry Developments And Trends

Jason Tam: Committed To Staying Abreast Of Industry Developments And Trends

 Jason Tam,  Director - Engineering

Jason Tam

Director - Engineering

A new-age thought leader with a non-traditional approach, Jason Tam, Director of Engineering at Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay is renowned for his wealth of expertise and experience. He embarked on a career shaped by a foundation in electronics engineering with a specialized focus on researching and developing new technologies. His professional journey commenced in a research and development firm, where he spearheaded innovation in wireless home scene lighting control systems utilizing wireless radio frequency (RF) and zigbee protocol.

Transitioning to The Peninsula hotel group, Jason's expertise found expression in elevating guestroom experiences across various hotel openings and renovation projects. Notably, his pivotal role in the inaugural Peninsula Tokyo in 2007 established a benchmark in in-room control systems, later refined and implemented in Shanghai (2009) and Paris (2014), enhancing functionalities like air-conditioning, lighting scenes, and audio/video systems.

His tenure at The Peninsula presented invaluable experiences, overseeing on-site construction, and honing luxury hotel project management skills, pivotal for subsequent involvements in preliminary project designs for The Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong (2012), Beijing (2015) and Chicago (2015). Venturing to Wynn Resorts in Macau, he contributed significantly to the development of Wynn Palace Cotai, focusing on guestroom functionalities during its 2016 opening.

Not confined solely to new constructions, Jason actively engages in hotel renovations and operations, exemplified by his current role at Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay. His professional profile extends to affiliations with esteemed technical institutes like the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET), Project Management Institute (PMI), Society of Operations Engineers (MSoE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (MIEEE), and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Airconditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Jason's academic trajectory evolved from his beginnings in Electronics Engineering towards a deliberate route in management studies, culminating in a Master's degree and ultimately an MBA. Beyond his professional pursuits, he exhibits a passion for exploration, indulging in holiday travels that encompass driving to new destinations, engaging in technology-oriented readings, and experiencing diverse hospitality trends through stays in various hotels. Let’s hear more from Jason in this one on one interaction.

Describe the distinctive experiences provided by City University of Hong Kong and the valuable lessons gained beyond academic learning within the campus environment.

Engaging in three degrees at City University of Hong Kong, all pursued during evening sessions after regular work hours, provided a unique educational journey. Situated in the heart of the city, adjacent to a bustling shopping mall and subway, the university offers a convenient location for part-time students commuting from various corners of Hong Kong.

CityU's emphasis on internationalism is evident through its robust global engagement initiatives. The institution draws in a diverse cohort of students and faculty members from across the globe, fostering a multicultural and inclusive atmosphere. Moreover, the university facilitates numerous opportunities for studying abroad, engaging in research collaborations, and participating in exchange programs with partner institutions worldwide.

The university's diverse student body, comprising individuals from different parts of the world and mainland China, creates a platform for studying alongside them. This environment presents an invaluable opportunity to exchange ideas with individuals from varied hometowns, broadening perspectives and nurturing a global outlook. One notable experience was my participation in the exchange management program with the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business during my MBA studies. This endeavor allowed me to interact with another esteemed institution, immersing myself in their academic life and environment while fostering meaningful communication and cultural exchanges.

Give a brief account about your flagship offerings and what are the value additions that customers can expect from your offerings?

My role encompasses adept team leadership skills. I specialize in assembling diverse teams and ensuring smooth coordination, effectively managing workflow even amid team conflicts, displaying a knack for conflict resolution that enhances overall productivity. My extensive experience in luxury hotels globally equips me to uphold and deliver luxury standards to our clientele. Having worked in various international luxury hotels, I possess a keen understanding of the high-end customers' requirements and preferences, allowing me to cater to their distinct needs effectively. Furthermore, my academic and technical background serves as a strong foundation for resolving intricate technical issues and effectively handling multifaceted projects. This background enables me to navigate and address technical challenges efficiently, ensuring seamless project execution within the organization. Describe your leadership style and the principles you adhere to as a leader.

The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things

I embody a modern leadership approach that diverges from conventional methods reliant on frequent mandatory meetings and authoritarian management styles. Preferring flexibility, I adopt a collaborative and amicable management approach, prioritizing a close and harmonious working relationship with my team over asserting authority. This inclusive atmosphere fosters open communication, ensuring a seamless and efficient workflow among team members.

Central to my leadership philosophy is a commitment to active listening and the exchange of ideas. I place value on soliciting input from team members, valuing their opinions and insights before arriving at a decision. This collaborative process not only encourages mutual respect but also ensures that decisions are well-informed and inclusive of diverse perspectives within the team.

What methods do you employ to stay abreast of current industry trends and guide your organization's trajectory towards the future?

I find that my penchant for travel offers a unique opportunity to immerse myself in diverse hotel environments, often opting to stay in various hotels across different cities and brands. Exploring newly opened hotels allows me to gain fresh perspectives and insights into emerging trends within the hospitality industry, especially regarding technological advancements. Additionally, I actively participate in seminars and engage in professional activities hosted by engineering institutes to ensure I remain updated with the latest developments in the technical aspects of the field.

What were the primary hurdles you faced while establishing yourself as a successful leader initially? How did you navigate these challenges to emerge as a proficient professional?

The vast expanse of engineering and project management knowledge posed a significant challenge during my journey. Working alongside numerous seasoned professionals from diverse backgrounds worldwide, I found myself continually learning and accelerating my learning curve. As I progressed, I noticed my responsibilities evolving, necessitating the management of increasingly experienced individuals with varied backgrounds.

To overcome these challenges, I adopted a continuous learning approach. I never ceased accumulating experiences and insights from diverse individuals. As I enriched my knowledge base and honed my leadership skills, I developed the confidence to tackle issues that arose. Even when faced with unfamiliar technical problems, I adeptly managed my team to resolve them, turning each challenge into a learning opportunity. This enabled me to independently handle similar issues should they arise in the future.

Going forward, what are the changes in market behavior that you anticipate and what are the opportunities that you foresee?

The evolving market trends indicate a dual focus on AI mobile technology and a fusion of travel and business-oriented clientele. In the realm of AI mobile technology, hotels are increasingly investing in enhancing guest experiences through mobile based services, encompassing streamlined check-in/ out processes, payment functionalities, pre-ordering amenities, and room services via mobile apps. Mobile devices serve as multifunctional tools, doubling as room keys, controllers, and service platforms, fostering efficiency and convenience while also breaking language barriers and reducing paper waste. However, traditional hospitality elements, such as welcoming staff and luxury services, remain essential for guest care and hotel branding.

Post-pandemic shifts have spurred a blend of travel and business engagements, necessitating adaptable work settings and services catering to this hybrid clientele. The emerging trends in this sphere suggest a demand for diverse services such as spa relaxation, yoga classes, well-equipped gyms, and a wider array of room service meal options. Additionally, there's a growing need for room technology catering to virtual meetings and adaptable furniture setups, reflecting the changing landscape of customer needs and expectations.

What lies ahead as your future destination?

I maintain an open-minded perspective regarding my future destination, believing that all possibilities are within reach. My aspiration is to garner more appreciation, accolades, and recognition for my leadership abilities.

Considering your extensive industry expertise, what counsel would you offer to the emerging leaders in this field?

In this age of rapid technological advancement, I strongly advise aspiring leaders within the hospitality sector to uphold exceptional service standards and actively explore and implement new technologies. This proactive approach is crucial to ensure that the industry remains abreast of the latest trends and innovations.

Jason Tam, Director, Engineering At Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay

Jason's academic trajectory evolved from his beginnings in Electronics Engineering towards a deliberate route in management studies, culminating in a Master's degree and ultimately an MBA.

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