It is not the worst idea at the age of 40, tired of a busy and stressful life, to decide to leave everything and go miles away on a tropical island in the middle of the ocean to open a luxury resort. It is a success guaranteed for the pocket as well as for personal wellbeing: good money and good life, looks like paradise! But it is actually not that easy.
Opening and managing a resort implicates several actions and issues: after finding the most favorable location, negotiating for the land and starting constructing, with the help of architects and designers, one of the crucial points that actually makes the difference is the staff recruitment.
It is a key point for a business in a foreign country, more than in other situations, because you left your home (remember? To escape far far away) and the place of the new business is a land of people of a completely different culture, religion, habits and language.
As a result, the understanding, integration and collaboration with the local community is an important and delicate factor to consider. It can be powerful if it works well, but it can also be very dangerous if it doesn’t.
A recent case in support of this idea happened in a luxury resort in the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. The owners and managers, Italians who came to the island many years ago and decided to start a business on the Swahili coast in December 2015, just recently found out that all their employees, Tanzanian people, were stealing every day from their offices and from clients not only rice and shampoos, but also money.
Anger and disappointment were particularly accentuated after the scandal, because the relationship with these people used to be extremely positive and they have been taught for months to perfectly accomplish all the tasks, from making cocktails to serving at the tables as a French maître. Moreover, all the Italians had learnt to speak Swahili in order to better communicate, and they built a friendly and trustly relation with the staff, which made it a double shock .
As a consequence, the bosses decided to fire the worst thieves, without denouncing them to the police because they would be killed (theft is a serious issue between Muslim population) and to keep the ones who were just stealing washing powder under strict surveillance with hidden cameras everywhere.
It is a somber story, because ideally people should trust other people, but it is actually important to consider that if starting a business in a foreign and not developed country the choice of the people you work with is decisive and in general whenever money are involved no employee can be trusted or being considered as a friend.