Originally this QnA was planned for all those fabulous Marcomm people that kept Bali’s hospitality brands ticking across all mediums… However, since C19 came along a few of these talented professionals have had to find other employment …
The Yak tracks them down and asks “Where are you now?”
Name, age (if you want to tell us) and where were you born?
Melody Garcia Siagian, 34, born in Bandung – West Java, Indonesia.
When did you come to Bali?
I was 15 years old the first time I came to Bali, and it was for a school holiday. Since then, I visited Bali once or twice a year for summer vacation, but it was in February 2016 that I decided to live in Bali.
Do you have family here? (We include your furry friends into this question).
In my first year living in Bali, I was alone here. But not long after, my sister decided to study and live on this beautiful island too. Although Bali is an island of diverse experiences and discoveries, there are times you still feel homesick, and it is good to have family living close to you. She’s a good cook too, so I am lucky…Every time I miss Bandung or Philippines home-cooked food, she will cook for me and we can spend all day at home, eating good food and watching movies.
What brands have you worked for over the years?
I have been working in the marketing field for about 13 years. I started my career as a DJ and marketing staff at a local brand in Bandung called Odeum & Mansion Club. After I graduated from university, I put aside being a full-time DJ and focused on building my career in marketing and public relations. I was doing the marketing and PR for a restaurant under the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf brand before I started my career in a hotel, as the pre-opening team of The Trans Luxury Hotel Bandung (A high-end, local Indonesian hotel group). After few years, I was promoted to become Public Relations for the entire Complex (the hotel, Trans Studio Mall Bandung, and Trans Studio Theme Park Bandung. When I moved to Bali, I worked with Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran, and now I am working for the Trans Hotel Group Bali and oversee four different brands: The Trans Resort Bali, Fashion Hotel Legian, Four Star by Trans Hotel in Denpasar, and The Trans Luxury Yacht – which will launch later this year. In addition, I also have done branding and marketing freelance projects for Australian Fashion Brands, local villas, and restaurants in Bali. To sum up, it’s a mix of local and international brands that I have worked for over the past 13 years.
Nineteenth of March 2020. When you first heard of the Bali “stay at home” / #dirumahaja regulation what went through your head?
I was anxious and a bit worried when I heard that we needed to stay at home, so I rang my sister, for her to stay at my place for a while, as we stocked up on food (but not toilet roll), haha.
What was your company’s reaction to this regulation?
Regardless of the uncertain situation, I am glad that the company reacted positively. While other hotels decided to temporarily (some permanently) close their doors, Trans Hotel Group (The Trans Resort Bali, Fashion Hotel Legian, and Four Star by Trans Hotel) remained open and continues to operate since the beginning of the pandemic until today. The company was able to adjust the way they run things, so as to keep the business and its employees. Not only from managing costs and expenses, but also launching creative campaigns which are different from other hotels, such as the Trans-vengers and Go Local campaign. Taken from the famous American superhero movie, the staff at The Trans Resort Bali is given this motivational name to keep their spirits up and to keep fighting for the business while extending great service and taking serious precautionary measures against the Covid-19.
How much longer did you work for the company?
I have only been with CT Corp (Trans Hotel Group) for over 8 years (4 years in Bandung and for over 4 years in Bali).
What backup measures did you start putting in place when the writing was on the wall? (Covid 19 regulations were extended).
Given the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy, including the hospitality and tourism industry causing hotel closures, mass layoffs, and salary cuts, personally, the first thing I did was to review my financial management by cutting all unnecessary expenses, review my savings & investment plans, as well as finding possible business opportunities that could help me survive during unprecedented times. I believe that having more than one income stream is one of the best backup measures in these challenging times, at least it will help you not to be too worried about your finances and still be able to enjoy the life – like treating yourself to good food at your favorite restaurant or enjoying a relaxing day in a spa once in a while.
What was your mental state and how did you move forward into a more positive attitude?
I admit, there were times I was anxious and was tired mentally and physically. However, I understand that change brings discomfort and this discomfort leads to learning. If we are smart enough not to give up, this learning will yield growth and foster success. I never thought I would start my consulting business if I wasn’t courageous enough and had the right attitude to overcome the difficult situation. I am also very grateful to be surrounded with family and friends who support and care about me endlessly, this is important to keep your mind positive and motivated.
Finally, what are you doing now?
I’m still working with Trans Hotel Group Bali as the Director of Marketing & Communications, on the other hand I’m trying to expand my ventures as well as enjoy the work-life-balance on the island ?
Definitely let us know if we can support you and we very much hope to catch up all together at some point soon. Until then, we salute your perseverance and strength!
And readers do please go and support these fabulous people in their positions and companies!