As part of our Basing Folk campaign and to celebrate International Men's Day, we spoke to influential men from around Basingstoke Town Centre. One of these was Amit Rai, General Manager at the Red Lion Hotel.
What is your current role?
I am currently looking after the Red Lion Hotel, working as the General Manager.
What’s the most exciting part of your role?
The most exciting part of my role is the fact every day is different. I get to meet different people and deal with various problems. I get satisfaction from solving these issues for people and seeing them happy.
What is your most vivid memory of working in Basingstoke?
I’ve got lots of vivid memories of working here. I’ve worked here for two years now, looking after the hotel. It’s a great independent business and its been good to see the broader groups within the town starting to work together. It’s been a very interesting journey. I can’t recall one specific memory. For me, it’s been a very interesting and positive experience working here.
What are the challenges for a man in your role?
The main challenges in this role come from ensuring that everyone is happy. Every individual has different needs and different demands. I think it’s a challenge sometimes to match their expectations, but we have built an excellent reputation for doing this. We now have a lot of locals coming in for a meal or booking functions, weddings and various events. Overall, I think it’s very positive for us to be here at the Top of Town.
What do you see as the future of Basingstoke?
Basingstoke has got a really bright future. I never knew much about the town until I came to work here, but there’s a lot of potential here. We’re seeing a lot of corporates and a lot of business opportunities opening up for them here. We’re experiencing a lot more demand for functions and weddings as the population expands. We’re also seeing a lot of new businesses opening around the town. I think it a very exciting time to live or work in Basingstoke.
What advice would you give young men starting their careers?
If you are a young person looking to a career in the hotel industry, I would say, at the start, it will be challenging. However, if you engage with work, you will love it. I can assure you that every day is different. For me, the most critical part of working in a hotel is resolving any issues the guest might have, and making sure they are happy. You have to make sure they leave the door smiling, with a good memory of their stay. If you enjoy problem-solving and building a relationship with the public, then you’ll definitely enjoy this career. I think patience is also a necessary trait to have in any profession, you need to stay focused on what you want to achieve over the next few years.