A thought on the state of the HR department in the Maldives, then and now…

  • Travel
PUBLISHED 14 May 2023

When I arrived in the Maldives in 2006, Human Resource departments in the hotels where not professional, compare to now where the Maldivian Government has created   MAHRP, and registered with the Ministry of Home Affairs on 28th January 2018, and its official inauguration ceremony was held on 24th February 2018. MAHRP’s Official NGO registration number is CRCR/04/2018. MAHRP is a non-profit organization which drives activities and initiatives to add value to the Human Resources Professional Network across its country. MAHRP is committed to make the association an all-inclusive Human Resource Professionals Association in which everyone has a chance to add value, and work together to build a much-needed human capital excellence within the Maldives. Excellence is the key here, it stands for “The Maldives Association of Human Resources Professionals (MAHRP)”, and it is Maldives’s first professional association registered at “The Ministry of Home Affairs”, devoted to human resources and people development. Its mission is to serve the needs of Human Resource professionals by providing the most current and comprehensive resources, and to advance the profession by promoting Human Resources essential, setting professional standards and providing a  know-how. The network is committed to link, and connect Human Resource professionals, and practitioners locally and oversees through its signature events and membership activities.

Maldives has great Human Resource Directors, Managers, Assistant Manager and line employees, I know it because I worked in Maldives 4 years as Hotel Manager for the Angsana Velavaru, I did the rebranding of the resort in 2006, it was very emotional and very tough project. Firstly, because the previous General Manager died pinned down by his desk during a tsunami, second because the island was far from Male and it was my first time in Maldives, and I was hit by the loneliness syndrome. It did not last very long but the experience was intense and I am glad to have survived it. During my time with the company BTHR, I never had to complained about the way we were handled as employees, the company was excellent in its treatment of its employees, they were very organized and kind to all of us. Then in 2008 I joined another company where employees where as well very well treated Soneva, I had only good memories of the senior management, and the way they handled us, in 2008 I received the President Green Award, most environmentally friendly at Soneva Fushi by Six Senses.

Finally in 2012, Cheval Blanc asked me to open their resort under LVMH, again we were extremely well handled, by the management company. The level of Human Resource services rendered to us as employees by this company was very high and professional. Of course, this cannot be said by everyone working in the Maldives, who have been mishandled, mismanaged, psychologically abused, even physically pushed in force labor, not being paid on time, the list goes on… by either the management companies or their owners.

To a lesser extent, I want to talk about the professional level of some HR professionals who work in the Maldives in some resorts, and which to me are not at the professional level required to be at this level. I know the Maldivian government has now changed some labour laws, to ensure that leaders in HR department must hold a Bachelor degree. This is a great move by the authorities, but of course there is still work to do, employees are human beings, and as such have expectations and emotions, these should be addressed and answered in the utmost professional manners. I was flabbergasted, in 2021, after applying for a GM job with a big company, to receive a reply from the HRD, saying I quote, ”As we have received many applications, only the  selected candidates will be contacted and informed.” Unquote. Come on, what kind of an HR Professional are they, to reply in such manner, to someone who took the time to prepare is CV, who is looking for a job, maybe has been waiting for months or even years. He or she cannot even receive a professional answer, a caring reply!?

I remembered at BTHR, we were taught to reply to every e-mail, letters, SMS within the day we received it, until today I never leave my office with a single e-mail, letters, SMS, unanswered. It is a professional “pressure” I was taught, and never changed it in 30 years that I worked in this industry. As a respect to my fellow colleagues, and human beings, be it in the company I work for or outside of it. Even as a LinkedIn member I have more than 7400 members and every year, I wish happy birthday to all of them, yes, I do! Why, you may ask, because they made the wish to follow me, and I respect them, every single one of them, is that simple!

Something happened in 2021, I was recommended by someone important to a big hotel company in Maldives, they were voted one of the best hotel companies to work for, sorry let me take a step back here. I am recommended right, a HRD in charge not in Maldives called me, the interview went well, then nothing, I call him back after 3 weeks! He replied, I quote “I am so sorry the hotel already hired someone”. Unquote.

First, this Area HRD called me for the GM job in Maldives.

Second, he finds out the job is already gone from the local resort HRD. Before calling me, he should have converse with the local HRD.

Third, he does not let me know.

Fourth, never apologized for the confusion.      

Remember this is a company which received the “best hotel companies to work for”. What are they teaching their employees in this company, I do not want to know what the other companies do; who have not received the award, I trust to believe they must do a better job at handling people and respecting them. I mean come on, who gives this kind of award, are you joking me? Really!

This is the way they treat candidates, like rubbish, no compassion whatsoever. Yes, we are human being, and I believe we deserve to be treated as such, compassion is the key word…………

I am so glad the Maldivian government is looking at this and pushing for a greater more professional Human Resource department work force. It is such a wonderful country, which great people, a lot of my friends are from The Maldives. I am happy to know some great Maldivians HRD, like Mister Mauroof Mohamed HRD of Dusit Thani Maldives an exceptional man and professional, Mister Dhakshina Moorthy HRD of Raffles Resort, I spoke to him in 2021 such a great professional too, and together with the government and all the members of MAHRP, I am sure now that the HR status and its professional level will grow better, and better with the years to come.  


Philippe Cavory

General Manager Luxury and Quality consultant.      

Higher diploma holder, from WSET England.

 Life member Wine Academy England, 

UKBG England, winner.

 Technicien Hotelier, BTH Nice Management.