A Seasoned Luxury Hospitality Executive with extensive experience in Ultra-High-Net-Worth Leisure Asset Management, Human Resources Strategies, Strategic Management, Luxury Hospitality Operations, Brand Development in Cruises, Yachts, and Hotels.
Bertrand Petyt is an enabler of excellence, helping organizations to achieve their goals by rejuvenating management and operational processes. His methodology includes deep-dive business and operational analysis focusing on growth results and personnel retention. Bertrand is a strategic thinker and incisive communicator and currently holds Senior Management roles for leading organizations.
Bertrand comes from a hotel & cruise background, having worked for many years in several operational management positions for the Sofitel brand in the US and then as Corporate Fleet HR Manager for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Bertrand then took over the position of Business Manager for V.Ships; in this position, he oversaw the recruitment, training, and consulting services of V.Ships, working very closely with hotels and cruise lines in defining and implementing their Human Resources, Operational Standards, Recruitment, Brand Development, and Training strategies.
Bertrand also worked as Hotel Director on-board the 6-star vessels of Silversea Cruises, voted the Best Ultra-Luxury cruise line 9 years in a row, before rejoining the V.Ships group as Crew Operations Manager. V.Ships Leisure is the largest ship management company in the world, with over 1,200 vessels managed including the six-star fleet of Silversea Cruises.
Bertrand then assumed the role of General Manager & Chief Operating Officer for Monaco- based Parkview Private Collection, a company that regroups several leisure Ultra-Deluxe assets. In his capacity, Bertrand ensured the strategic and operational management of some of the most recognized luxury hospitality assets in the world, including Asia’s largest and most rewarded Private Yacht (Saluzi), Beijing’s Best Hotel (Eclat), Europe’s most prestigious Private Residence (Le Beauvallon), China’s largest Contemporary Art Museum Collection (Parkview Museums), as well as a London-based Townhouse available for private rentals.
Today Bertrand holds the responsibility of Chief Executive Officer of Ausonia Cruise Holdings, a Monaco-based cruise investment venture bringing together a team of experienced finance professionals and cruise industry experts to act on investment opportunities in this sector of the tourism industry.
Bertrand is also an Adjunct-Professor of Management at the International University of Monaco where he is responsible for Hospitality Operations Management and Human Resources Management classes for Master-level students as well as Leadership classes for Bachelor-level students, as well as Board Advisor at Long Island University.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Bertrand Petyt: 2020 and 2021 have changed the game for most companies, in the sense that the paradigms we held as true have been shattered. Creating shareholders or even stakeholders value – the ultimate goal derived from the 1980’s and 90’s corporate beliefs, have been replaced with the more holistic concept of creating and nurturing a great eco-system.
Human values have been placed back at the center of the corporate equation, something that we not true with the taylorism system derived from the industrial revolution. Leaders have to be able to inspire through an authentic, genuine and meaningful message. We now understand that indeed, social progress is compatible with corporate performance… Better even, these two are interlinked and interdependent, in ways that was not considered before.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Bertrand Petyt: It is easy for companies to fall back into “prior-pandemic” habits. I would suggest that we grasp the profound changes the pandemic brought onto us and seek for opportunities to do things differently. As Simon Sinek rightly advocates, it is time to focus on the WHY, not on the HOW or WHAT any longer. Companies that will succeed are those with a profound, clear understanding of their own “Why”, their purpose. People are inspired by seemingly impossible, but meaningful goals, as well as with whether they feel in adequation with the values of their organisation.
I would also advise leaders to be come great story tellers! Everyone has a story, every corporate entity has a story, and the ability to share these stories will define inspiring leaders and engage teams vey effectively. Story telling is a skill not often taught in business schools, which is a real shame as it is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful tool leaders have access to!
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Bertrand Petyt: I work in the cruise industry, one of the very few industries hat was brought to a complete stop by the pandemic. Every single cruise ship docked for more than a year and a half, with the financial, logistical, branding and human consequences one can imagine! We lost, as an industry, a lot of valuable talent. We are an industry relying on human interactions to create magic for our guests. Without a great crew, a cruise ship is nothing but several thousands of tons of steel. In my opinion, the pandemic showed us that our first priority should be to take care of our crew, so in turn they can excel with our guest.
What does it mean to take care of our crew? What actions, what policies, what opportunities do you consider for your teams to ensure that you truly value the human element in your business? The pandemic also forced us to consider simplicity rather than complexity in the way we operate, which is a great move in my opinion. People tend to believe that the more complex something appears, the better it must be; complexity brings emotional satisfaction.
I will argue that simplicity ins over complexity. Simplify what you do, how you do it, make it bullet-proof, revisit systems and eliminate anything and everything that does not bring extraordinary value to your operation. COMPLEXITY CONFUSES, SIMPLICITY CLARIFIES. It is often much more difficult to create simplicity than complexity!
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Bertrand Petyt: Don’t try to predict the future too much! You just don’t know what the future brings. Instead, be agile, be authentic, focus on what I call “beta-decison-making” (nothing is perfect, everything is perfectible).
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Bertrand Petyt: Online systems are just that: system, tools! The are great and can help you design the right work environment or work-processes. But, and this is a big “but”, human species thrive on interactions that are real, physical even. Our senses have been developed through hundred of thousands of years, and we base our decisions and emotions on all sensory reactions, knowingly or not. Always value direct, personal human contact when making important decisions.
Shaking the hand of someone is a better seal than a signature at the bottom of a contract (even though such a signature has great importance). I expect that people will find, in time, a better balance between the productivity of online business and the personality of human interaction, using both interchangeably with ease and a sense of purpose.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Bertrand Petyt: A lot.. Too much…. and that has a profound impact on the quality of your work. Being online, with access to information, data, gives the a feeling of control, of great productivity. This is a dangerous and erroneous feeling. Balance your time in front of a screen with time away from technology, whether you feel it is productive or not, your body needs it!
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Bertrand Petyt: Storytelling is information sharing through a contextual narrative. It allows you to take a set of facts and ideas and communicate them to your audience in an engaging way. Storytelling connects us, helps us make sense of the world, and communicates our values and beliefs. A good story makes us think and feel, and speaks to us in ways that numbers, data, and presentations simply can’t.
Storytelling invites conversation, captivates attention, inspires the imagination and captures hearts. It is the oldest form of communication, after all. The power of good storytelling is unrivaled. I always use great stories whenever I can, both in my professional or academic duties, as I find that the power of inspiration it brings is unmatched. And, frankly, I have lots of fun sharing stories!
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Bertrand Petyt for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Bertrand Petyt or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.