With the complexities of juggling a corporate role whilst maintaining a work-life balance, sustaining the energy and focus you had at the outset of your career requires strenuous effort and a strong work ethic. HR Head cum L&D Manager for Adaaran Select Meedhupparu and Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Ahmed Anwar is a vibrant personality. Being named among 50 best HR leaders in the Maldives for two consecutive years – in 2017 and 2018 – is a testament to his commitment and passion.
Anwar’s dedication originated from his primary education in Maduvvari, from which he moved to the Raa Atoll Education Centre at Meedhoo for his secondary education. His academic qualifications include bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Hotel and Resort Management at the Maldives National University, being the first from Raa Atoll to graduate in the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies. Anwar also holds certifications as CHDT Certified Hospitality Department Trainer under (American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute), CIPD HR Business partner, SSMI® Applied Lean Six Sigma Practitioner and a member of the Maldives Association of Human Resource Professionals.
His initial step into the hospitality industry was in the F&B Department in 2002, at age 18. However, given his aspiration of making a difference in the lives of those who dedicate themselves for others, he was motivated to change his career line into the human resources sector in 2014. Owing to the diversity of roles he appraised before his decision to take on the task of human resources, he is today, an all-rounder with experience in hospitality operations, F&B and HR functions.
Working at Aitken Spence Hotels, the umbrella brand under which Adaaran Resorts fall for 12 long years, Anwar is grateful for the opportunities given for him to grow in his role. “I have truly enjoyed the journey I have had with Aitken Spence Hotels. They have nurtured me not only on a professional level, but also helped me develop personally. The secret to success is to love what you do and to be determined to do whatever task that is given, to the best of your ability. Commitment to this oath has helped me, be who I am today,” he said. He is a proud example of the success of one of our core values, ‘put people first’. His work ethos and professionalism has propelled him to become a trailblazer amongst HR leaders in the Maldives today.
As Anwar’s active nature and ability to lead was proven, he was promoted to the position of L&D Manager cum HR Head for the Meedhupparu properties of the Aitken Spence arm in the year 2019. During the inception of Heritance Aarah – Aitken Spence’s latest Premium All Inclusive resort in the Maldives, – Anwar played a crucial role in instituting the HR segment of the resort.
Anwar is an active contributor to the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and has demonstrated his capabilities through innovative approaches. His second home Adaaran select Meedhupparu was bestowed with two Best CSR Award by MATATO – Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators and by SATA – South Asian Travel Awards in 2017 for his stance towards progressive change not just for the industry, but the community as a whole. This award is a testament to his efforts in uplifting the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategies.
Anwar’s charisma and integrity has inspired passion and elevated long-term engagement among employees of Adaaran Select Meedhupparu and Adaaran Prestige Water Villas. His warm personality and the support he extend to the local community has earned respect among the island’s councils.
As a professional in the tourism industry who understands what it’s like to have started from scratch, Anwar notes that developing a strong sense of passion is the key success factor for those with a hope to carve out a career in this dynamic field. Anwar also encourages youth to think big and embrace an industry that is not only exciting, fulfilling and spontaneous but also highly rewarding. “The world truly does become your oyster!”
Adaaran Resorts and Heritance Hotels and Resorts are part of Aitken Spence Hotels, the hospitality arm of leading Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate, Aitken Spence PLC. The Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio consists of 22 hotels, with ten hotels in Sri Lanka, seven in the Maldives, four in Oman and one in India. Adaaran Resorts, which commenced its operations in the Maldives in 1993, has an inventory of 750 rooms. The Company launched its latest property Heritance Aarah, in 2019 and caters to its guests with a unique Premium All Inclusive package.