Sona Avagyan

2010/11/02 | 13:07


Hungarian Native is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Armenia
Marriott Hotel

"There is nothing impossible, just that people are incapable. In
other words, I believe that basically if one dreams something, then
he should also be able to execute it."

This is the main motto of Zoltan Konsanszky, Director of Sales and
Marketing at Armenia Marriott Hotel, Yerevan.

Zoltan started his career at the Marriott Hotel 10 years ago during
his college studies, when he worked as a waiter for 2 years, just
like any other restaurant waiter in Budapest.

"In Hungary the system is that you have special schools where you
work one week and study one week. Between the ages of 14 and 17,
one week was pure physical work, cutting vegetables on the board and
one week was studying. This is how I started," Zoltan says.

After graduating from the college, he became a sales executive at
the Catering Division. Afterwards, he managed the Budapest Marriott
Hotel Sales Department. From 2006 to 2010 he worked as Director of
Event Management at the same hotel.

Two years ago NATO's Informal Defense Ministerial Meeting was held
in the Budapest Marriott Hotel. Zoltan was the point man to see that
everything ran smoothly.

"To reach tomorrow's goals one must be excellent today"

"I think this event has been the highlight of my career so far. Back
then, I basically said that by a certain time I would become an
executive team member; and I made it. Now I already have my next goal
in mind. This is nothing new. This is an approach passed down from
all the masters of the world, painters, sculptors, and all different
type of artists. Before you start out, you need to have a goal in
your head at all levels of your life; for your private affairs and
for your business. So this is already today's history, you have
to focus on tomorrow. But in order to reach tomorrow you have to be
excellent everyday at your job. It's really like an art," Zoltan
Konsanszky says.

In his words, life is a never-ending learning process and he is still
at it. At the same time, he is not going to study the Armenian language
since he thinks it's better to focus on something more realistic.

"I think you have a very unique language. There are certain words
which I know and I will get to know even more later on. But honestly,
I don't think I will be able to learn the alphabet," Zoltan
Konsanszky says.

He has been working as a Director of Sales and Marketing at Armenia
Marriott Hotel Yerevan for the past 10 months. He had visited Armenia
for two days before taking the job and got to know Armenia a bit. "I
had the chance to evaluate if I am coming or not, and I decided to
come," Zoltan says. His grandparents had visited Armenia in the 70s
and told Zoltan about their impressions. Zoltan came here buoyed with
his grandfather's "sweet memories."

Big difference in Hungarian, Armenian hotel markets

In Zoltan's words, there are differences in the hotel markets between
Hungary and Armenia. In the last 10 years Budapest has been a rapidly
growing capital, very close to Western Europe. Because of distance,
it's very easy to get to Budapest from other countries as opposed to
Armenia. Thus, a lot of foreign investments were made in Hungary. In
1989 there were only 4-5 international hotels in Budapest, but now
there are twelve 5-star hotels and dozens of 4-star and 3-star hotels.

The demand and supply in the market are much bigger in Hungary than
in Armenia.

Zoltan believes there is not enough "real" competition amongst
hotels in Armenia and there are no equal hotels in Armenia both in
price and in features, either. "Because of this, a lot of times
it's like competing between "Porsche" and "Lada"," he says.

At the same time Zoltan Konsanszky notes that the set-up, the type of
business and focus of all the hotels, are totally different. Also,
all Armenian hotels have a certain nice advantage, whether it is a
pool, an atrium or a good location. So, all hotels, at least in one
aspect are better than the rest.

When Zoltan began working at Armenia Marriott Hotel, it seemed to him
that the lobby was nice but a bit dark. So they redid the lobby. "One
thing which is good about this company is that it's continuously
changing. The Armenia Marriott is a good example. So I might say
that I want to change this and that, but whatever I said yesterday
is different today," he says.

They have many plans for further changes and are going to complete
guest room upgrades in December by changing the TVs to big, flat
screen TVs and increasing the number of channels from 16 to 40.

Zoltan wants to promote Armenia to the outside world

Zoltan's desire is to have enough time and finances to promote
Armenia outside Yerevan and abroad. He wants to make sure that people
who have the potential to visit foreign countries think not only of
going to the Far East, or Dubai, but also to Armenia and visit its
picturesque sites.

"It's important that we "Armenians" offer a good, memorable
experience, a positive impression they can bring back and spread
the word about. This is important because the best marketing for a
country is word of mouth. And if one hotel is full then the next,
the third and fourth will be full," Zoltan Konsanszky says.

He has visited many sites in Armenia. He has been to Tatev, Garni,
Geghard, Khor Virap, Marmashen, Gyumri, Artik, Sevan, Sevanavank,
Etchmiadzin, the Zvartnots ruins and Tzaghadzor. He is impressed
by the nature of Armenia but agrees that there is always more that
should be done to protect nature. "Still, with the foreigner's eye,
there are some very nice spots. Armenia definitely has a very special
landscape," Zoltan Konsanszky says.

Zoltan needs time to integrate into Armenian society. "I don't speak
the language. So I don't know if I should talk about integration
at all. I assume that to feel like a foreigner is a good approach,"
he says.

Sometimes he feels that people are looking at him when he walks in
the street. But it doesn't make him feel uncomfortable. "I feel
more uncomfortable because I am almost 2 meters tall", Zoltan
jokes. "I've never had any bad experiences."

He says there are similarities between Hungarians and Armenians. Both
nations are hospitable and love to eat. Gata is Zoltan's favorite
Armenian dish. Maybe the reason is that they don't bake anything like
gata in Hungary. "Tolma is good and so is khorovats. But my favorite
is gata, hands down," says Zoltan, who by the way, is originally a
chief by profession.

From: A. Papazian