Home' Hotel Management : HM April 2018 Contents Cover Story
A MANTRA GROUP PROMOTION
antra Group stands today as the leading
Australian-based accommodation provider
with more than 130 properties, 24,000 hotel
rooms, 6,000 team members and four well-
known and trusted brands across Australia, New Zealand,
Indonesia and the United States.
In every Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree
property, Mantra Group accommodates more than 30,000
guests each and every night. This growth took time and a
dedicated team to build up the organisation over the last
12 years. For global hotel chain Accor to bid to acquire the
Company for AUD$1.2 billion is a testament to the success
of Mantra Group and the team behind the company.
In 2006, a group of executives decided to combine
their expertise to craft a hotel business that was at the
time no more than a raw opportunity. What followed was
the acquisition of a small portfolio of properties – some of
which were beyond their useful life – as the Group aimed
to establish a brand presence in key regions.
It was at the beginning of the journey during these
formative years, as team members wrestled with regular
challenges of whipping a new business into shape, that
the cornerstone of the Group’s mantra was created.
Largely born out of a shared determination to succeed
and faith in team members around them; a no-nonsense,
no-ego culture was formed.
In 2009, while competitors boasted great scale,
brand strength and market dominance, the Company
changed from Stella Hospitality to Mantra Group.
This was a move that allowed the team to focus on
what really matters – providing an authentic, friendly
and helpful service in each hotel with an emphasis on
building, maintaining, and growing strong industry-based
relationships at a corporate level.
It was the people, and knowing what matters, that
helped the Group to stand out from competitors. It was
this difference, from which the Company ’s motto is based,
that saw their reputation and credibility increase.
As a business, Mantra Group continued to grow with
the procurement of more national and international assets;
including a new metropolitan-style accommodation brand
in Peppers Retreats, Resorts and Hotels.
In 2011, Mantra Group welcomed Australian sporting
hero Pat Rafter on board as brand ambassador. Pat,
as a father of two, former world number one tennis player and all round genuine guy,
exemplified the team’s commitment to providing premium accommodation for both
business and leisure markets.
In June 2014, after more new acquisitions increased the portfolio, Mantra Group took
the opportunity to list the business on the Australian Securities Exchange, entering the
ASX 200 the following year.
This move allowed the Group to expand into new regions, with purchases including
Ala Moana in Hawaii, Peppers’ first luxury villas in Bali, and four Outrigger properties
Throughout these years, the Group began partnerships with both the Australian Red
Cross and the Luke Batty Foundation, key charities with visions that the team was eager
to get behind and support. The partnerships also left a lasting impression on many within
the team. In particular the personal connection many felt after an emotional speech from
Luke Batty’s mum, and former Australian of the year, Rosie Batty at one of the Mantra
Group Conferences. This resulted in team members rallying behind the charities to raise
hundreds of thousands of dollars for those in need.
Proving that Mantra Group’s team members really are at the heart of the business,
‘ Women in Mantra’ was an initiative developed which helped to promote more female
team members within the business. The program has provided flexible working
arrangements and career development plans to help close the gender pay gap and
encourage women to take up leadership and executive
positions within the Company. This initiative which is
now in its third year, has seen a 16 per cent increase in the
number of women heading departments, while the number
in General Manager roles has also increased substantially.
The focus on celebrating and rewarding staff is
further exemplified through the Group’s annual Service
Star, Rising Star and Emerging Leaders programs.
These initiatives offer pathways, tools, and training to
all Team Members who wish to succeed in leadership
roles and show a dedication to the Group’s ‘Knowing
What Matters’ service philosophy. These employee-led initiatives and commitments
helped to place the business on a trajectory to become an employer of choice, as
awarded by HRD last year. This recognition is confirmation that it is the people
from whom the group gets its strength. A fact Bob East, and the Executive team, are
immensely proud of.
In the middle of last year, Mantra Group introduced its ‘my kind of wonderful’
campaign to launch Mantra Hotels; a strategically developed master brand to showcase
all of the brands together for the first time to consumers. Inspired by the unique
moments guests experience when choosing to stay at leisure and CBD destinations, this
campaign highlighted the Group’s core values of authenticity and approachability.
Late last year, the Company acquired the Art Series Hotel Group - this was a rare
opportunity to acquire a collection of exceptional hotels, which enhanced the Group’s
existing portfolio and presented an opportunity to increase the footprint in three key
locations; Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. The acquisition saw an extra seven
boutique luxury hotels added to the Group’s growing network of hotels and resorts.
From 20 properties and challenged finances to a $1.2 billion business with 136
properties across four countries, Mantra Group has grown to become one of the most
profitable hotel companies in Australia. The truer story of success is one of deeper
relationships and a refreshing approach to the owners, guests and team members that
have helped to make it all possible. With Mantra Group and AccorHotels being a very
strong strategic fit, this will leverage competitive advantages to an unprecedented level in
the Australian market. n
To find out more, head to www.mantragroup.com.au .
“In 2006, a group of executives
decided to combine their expertise to
craft a hotel business that was at the
time no more than a raw opportunity.”
From a raw opportunity in 2006 to a billion-dollar company in 2018, Mantra Group, led by Chief Executive
Officer BOB EAST, has become one of Australia’s greatest travel industry success stories. In this special
feature, we look at the journey of a hotel business that will be talked about for generations to come.
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