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Felix Busch

General Manager
Hilton Nagoya
Nagoya Hilton Co., Ltd.

Date of birth: July 18, 1977

Hometown: Meschede, Hochsauerland, Germany

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 2 (as of November 2017)

Felix Busch
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

My stepfather is a huge Japan fan and since young, I was able to learn about the Japanese language, food, pottery and philosophy. During my stint in London, I opened a Japanese sushi restaurant and worked closely with some great Japanese chefs and suppliers.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

My motto is “Enjoy every day as if it is your last.” I strongly believe in cultivating mindfulness of our lives, cherishing our time with family, and giving our 100 percent best in everything we do. For a balanced mind and body, I like to challenge myself through my running and cycling activities.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

One of my key achievements is the Rooms Master Plan — the largest renovation ever at Hilton Nagoya. The entire project took 18 months at a total cost of over $25 million. The project was completed ahead of schedule, in line with the budget and with very little guest disturbance. At the same time, we increased our Hilton guest satisfaction score to the highest of any Hilton in Japan.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I would like to see through the successful renovation of our food and beverage outlet in Nagoya and elevate our hotel as the leading hotel in Nagoya. The team at Hilton Nagoya is totally dedicated about delivering outstanding customer experiences. I am really proud that we moved up to take the No.1 spot on Tripadvisor! Personally, I would like to enjoy more of Japan and the culture with my wife and two daughters.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

I strongly believe that team members are the most important part of my organization. Many times foreigners hide behind the language barrier. As a leader we have to be involved and connected to our team. We need to know their stories, their worries and their passions. Is it more difficult in Japan? Yes, but the key is to persist, to stay honest and be with the team — from the front-line team member to the manager. I make an effort and as often as I can, I eat in my team members’ restaurant with different team members, take time and talk and listen to them. Happy team, happy guests and guess what? Happy me.

Last updated: Oct 2, 2018