The Hepburn Group, CEO.
Advisory Board Architects, Managing Partner, Asia
Alan Hepburn worked at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in various flagship properties throughout Asia for 14 years. During his tenure at MOHG, he held various senior management roles, including General Manager. Following this, he worked in The Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai, then left to become the founding Managing Director of the renowned Three on the Bund, before moving on to become a managing partner of Advisory Board Architects and to set up The Hepburn Group.
When you first started in the hotel industry, it was as a Junior Waiter, and when you left Mandarin Oriental, you left as General Manager. What advice do you have for Forever Fans trying to build their career in hospitality?
Work with the best, and you won't go far wrong and take any feedback you may get as a precious gift. Be a thoughtful servant leader and recognise the journey you are on is your own, but that you can help, influence and teach others along the way; remain mindful that you touch many lives in the hospitality world.
After leaving Mandarin Oriental, you have had an incredibly successful career outside of the hotel industry. What did you learn during your time at M.O. that helped you in your career growth?
A high performance, customer-centric culture, such as the one at MO, applies well in any service sector industry. Keeping in close touch with guests and creating the systems and processes which deliver them consistency, excellence, and an ethos of 'getting it right the first time', was something I learned from many of the great M.O. leaders I worked for. This approach to business has served me well since.
I had a selfless and highly professional mentor at M.O. who helped me a great deal in the early days, and as a result, mentorship is something that I've embedded into any company I've built since.
What is your most memorable career moment with Mandarin Oriental?
There were many high points over the years, but what stands out most are the people I had the privilege to work with, many of whom I'm still in touch with today. Their collective passion for excellence was both infectious and inspirational.