Mohamed Rasheed is the first hotelier from Raa Atoll’s, Meedhoo Island. He made his way from a Trainee Accounts Clerk to the Head of Finance for Heritance Aarah. Here is Rasheed’s inspiring journey.
Some would call it fate, some pure luck – whatever it may be, Rasheed’s encounter with Aitken Spence Hotels was a timely one. While the young boy with big dreams in his eyes looked towards new ventures and becoming a trendsetter for those back home, Aitken Spence Hotels, part of the Sri Lankan blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC penetrated the Maldivian waters in 1999 with the first of its now famed ‘Adaaran’ brand of Resorts. As chance would have it, Rasheed grabbed the opportunity when an opening was advertised, and he became the first employee to be hired by the hotel chain from the Maldives!
Mohamed Rasheed was born and brought up in Raa Meedhoo. He finished his education at Raa Atoll Education Centre, becoming one of the first to graduate with O/L results from Meedhoo island in 1998.
Rasheed’s devotion, passion and enthusiasm paved way for many opportunities from which he learnt and grew. By 2005, he was an accomplished bookkeeper for the resort. Three years later, he was promoted as Accounts Executive, from which he climbed the corporate ladder as Assistant Accountant and Accountant subsequently.
I handle one of the most important and crucial areas of the resort’s operations where I have to manage and control the operational angle and work to meet the demands of divisional heads, General Managers, Sector Heads and the aspirations of the Board of Directors and Owners. Being loyal to my workplace and working with integrity is the main principle on which my work life is based; and I truly believe these qualities have helped me become the person I am today.”Mohamed Rasheed
Two decades of working with Atiken Spence Resorts has made Rasheed the respectable and inspiring man he now is. During his career, Rasheed served under three sector heads and fifteen General Managers. He was also a part of two pre-openings of hotels under Atiken Spence Hotels.With only his O/L results and his dedication, Rasheed acknowledged his success to the opportunities given him from the company. As the Head of Finance of the first luxury resort in his home atoll, he regards this accomplishment as his greatest personal achievement.
According to Rasheed, the qualities of loyalty, integrity, commitment and patience are the factors which ensured his longevity in this industry. Rasheed witnessed many ups and downs like any other during the two decades of working in the industry. He claims loyalty and integrity are the keys to creating and living a successful work strategy. He added that commitment is significant quality that everyone should adopt in whatever they do in life, and emphasized on the need of doing what one loves and loving what one does.
When it comes to resorts and property management, we handle the assets of shareholders and we therefore, need to uphold a responsibility to the public as well since we are a public listed company. The clarity of work is a responsibility which falls on the finance hoteliers’ shoulder. So, while it is a challenging role, it is also a professionally rewarding one.”Mohamed Rasheed
Rasheed describes himself as someone who is “in it for the long haul” having started his relationship with the company 21 years ago. Atikens Spence Hotels has provided him with the right platform to establish a fulfilling work environment for himself. Hence, his devotion for the company remains the same.
Patience is a trait which I believe new hoteliers need to embrace early and nurture continuously. As I look back and compare with the industry’s present conditions, young hoteliers have many opportunities in store for them. However, you need to have the patience to grow and acquire the relevant skills and knowledge as well as be patient when trying to seek career positions and titles. As the old school rhyme says, ‘slow and steady wins the race.”Mohamed Rasheed
Over twenty years of experience with the company has taught Rasheed so much and has helped him evolve into the man he is. As a tip for those who aspire to embrace a career in hospitality, Rasheed emphasizes on the importance of being disciplined and adhering to an ethical work approach. By leading with value, one can no doubt win in his or her quest, he assures.
I simply cannot highlight one particular person because I have been groomed and mentored by many and I’m so happy to have selected Aitken Spence Hotels as my career partner. From the COO, to the MD to the Finance Heads – my path was enriched by their valuable guidance and advice. In my personal life, I wish to thank my father who has always been behind me every step of the way and pushed me to keep going towards achieving my goals.”Mohamed Rasheed said when asked about mentors who contributed to his professional and personal growth.
Adaaran Resorts and Heritance Hotels and Resorts are a part of Atiken Spence Hotels, the leading Sri Lankan company, Atiken Spence PLC. The company’s portfolio comprises of 22 hotels, ten of which in Srilanka, four in Oman, one in India, and seven in Maldives. Adaaran Resorts was established in 1993. The company launched its latest property in 2019 with the opening of Heritance Aarah in Raa Atoll, Maldives.