Our Very Own Abjee Armani
Abjee, our Executive Housekeeper, is to Kuredu what Armani is to the world of fashion. Due to his dedication, resourcefulness and phenomenal talent, it could easily be his name under Georgio Armani’s quote: ‘To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.’
The man behind the big smile and the big department (read more about Abjee’s career path here) has been living and breathing Kuredu for 24 years now, and not only does he fully live up to the ‘Abjee Armani’ nickname with his creativity, he is a funny person of broad horizons, so don’t miss your chance to have an interesting chat with him at the Repeaters’ Party.
Here’s a recent interview with Kuredu’s very own ‘Abjee Armani’.
Abjee, tell us about yourself.
I am married and have two children, a son and a daughter. I am from Velidhoo, Noon Atoll. My favorite food is Garudiya and Roshi, and I love the colours black and white. My favorite sports are windsurfing and chess, and I was a very good football player many years ago. I was only 18 when I set foot in Hospitality industry, without much knowledge and skills. I put in all my effort, enthusiasm and sincerity into work, which gave me the opportunity to build my career. I learned from my mistakes and with the help of my supportive colleagues, Kuredu Management and the Owners, I have managed to turn the Housekeeping Department into a very successful operation.
What has the Housekeeping Department achieved in the last two years?
Anything can be achieved with a good team! We have won the Tug of War Championships, the Volleyball and Pool Volley Tournaments. We also won Rounders, which is familiar in other places in the world but not yet in the Maldives. Over the last two years, my Department has had six Employees of the Month and two Supervisors of the Month winners. Not too bad, right?
Excellent! And is there anything that you have learned from working with your expat colleagues?
I have learned a lot, and I am very grateful to many for helping me to become the manager and the man I am today. I have learned all about what it means to be part of an organization. I first learned what guests would like, and later I learned how to exceed guest expectations. The culture differences helped me to grow as a person, my English improved enormously and I have learned to be a great manager. People from other countries, cultures and ideas inspire me to create beautiful things—and that is why my friends tease me and call me ‘Abjee Armani from the Maldives’.
You’re known for being very creative. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
I make all uniforms for the Resort and come up with new designs. Apart from that, I design all the costumes for occasions like the Gladiators Show, the Street Market, cultural dresses, pageant dresses for Miss Kuredu, as well as linen and pillows for our 383 rooms, gifts for our repeat guests, and honeymoon gifts. I make things like banners, flags, crowns, sashes happen, not to forget the beautiful flower shirts I designed for the purpose of our Long-service Team Members’ trip to Bangkok. That was when Bibi, our HR Manager, declared she would make ‘Abjee Armani’ a famous brand!
Tell our readers about your travels, Abjee.
I was fortunate to travel to Bangkok and Singapore twice as the tour guide/chaperone for our Long-service Team Members. We visited one of the world’s largest markets, Chatuchak. We enjoyed street food and buffet dinners, and saw great performances, including the must-see Siam Niramit. The group also visited the historic Ayutthaya. But you know I can’t tell more—what happens in Bangkok, stays in Bangkok! But I can tell you I also represented the Company at the world’s leading travel trade show, the ITB in Berlin, and joined a study trip to Srilanka.
What changes have you seen during your years at the Resort?
Guest transfer to the Resort has changed a lot. Our guests used to get here by boat, first we used the Native Dancer, then the Kuredu Express. I can still remember the helicopters that were in use before Trans Maldivian Airlines came to be. The seaplanes really make what was once beyond belief for many a reality, it’s amazing!
We know you’re also a big supporter of sustainable policies, what is your view in that regard?
Laundry is one of the main power consumption areas and we’re doing everything we can to substitute it with more eco-friendly ways: we use line-drying whenever possible and make the Maldivian sun work to our advantage to reduce the environmental impact. We’ve written about Kuredu’s green laundry solutions before.
You have also made Kuredu’s ‘Ladies in Red‘ famous.
That’s right, these hardworking women keep the island spotlessly clean, and with an area of 300,000 square meters, that’s not an easy task at all; we appreciate their work enormously. Guests have also been asking about their uniforms: they were designed to reflect the ‘Digu hedun’, the traditional Maldivian dress. The red uniform together with their friendly and hospitable characters is what gives them their nickname.
Abjee, we hope your creations continue to impress us for many years to come. You’re one of a kind and we’re incredibly glad to have you on the Team.