Dharmik Kumar has been headhunted by Apple to set up and run its flagship store in Macau, and multiple stores as they come on line. He was previously Director of Rooms at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur.
At ICHM from 2000–2003, Dharmik says the experience defined him as a human being.
‘I went into ICHM a child and left an adult. I learnt everything, from managing a business through to managing my life’, he says.
In Adelaide in late January with his wife Vipra and daughter Samika, Dharmik says he initially had mixed emotions about leaving an industry in which he had been successful for 13 years. ‘But I wanted to get into something more global and much larger and my wife and I are very excited about the move’, he says.
Before taking up the appointment in Macau, Dharmik is in Hong Kong for a few months of training.
With his father a diplomat, Indian-born Dharmik and his family travelled extensively, especially in Asia. When trying to make a career choice between aeronautical engineering and hotel management, Dharmik’s love of cricket tipped the balance. ICHM meant studying in Adelaide and playing cricket for Prospect, the home ground of cricketing legend Sir Donald Bradman.
Dharmik’s internships were at the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, the Century Novotel Hong Kong and the Cairns Radisson by the Pier in far north Queensland.
His career with the Hyatt has also taken him to Mumbai, as Assistant Manager, Front Office; and Singapore, as Assistant Front Office Manager and then Executive Assistant Manager–Rooms, before the move to Kuala Lumpur.
Another graduate, Yota Ogura, has been a senior manager with Apple in Tokyo for the past year.
According to ICHM Chief Executive Gerald Lipman, it’s not by chance that two graduate high fliers have been talent spotted by Apple for its corporate sector.
‘A career at the top end of any industry is demanding; however, it rewards bright, original thinking and hard work. It is likely that Apple values the customer focus, hospitality experience and teamwork ambitious hotel school graduates bring to the company’, he says.