Success is brewing for young Hotel Institute Montreux alumnus and entrepreneur, Zdenek Prusa, founder of Botanico Teas in Zurich. Discover his 6 steps to success in your professional life.
1. Know what your passion is and pursue it
Working in hospitality and hotels has been a tradition in my family for a long time and I am the third generation to follow this path. I grew up in this industry and have always known that it is what I wanted to do. I have had a passion for this spectacular sector for as long as I can remember. As I gained international experience in the hotel industry, I began to get a better understanding of the food & beverage sector and the world of tea. This is why I chose to develop my tea company and embark on this adventure in 2018.
2. Get the education you need to pursue that passion
I was lucky to have great parents who told me that Switzerland had the top hospitality and business management schools in the world. As a result, I knew that attending Swiss Education Group schools was a must. I participated in an ‘Open Day’ at Swiss Education Group and was impressed by the level of professionalism, the way people treated each other, and the multicultural environment. I also had the chance to see how students are prepared to become leaders and to be involved with leading hotel chains. At Hotel Institute Montreux, I witnessed first-hand the way everything should be done and how good examples are set. From the moment I entered the building of Hotel Institute Montreux, I knew what I wanted to study and where I wanted to be.
3. Find inspiration in others
My parents have always been my greatest inspirations. They successfully run their own business and are my key role models. In addition, during my work and while traveling, I have met other professionals who have given me essential knowledge and expanded my creativity. Another reason I chose to study at Hotel Institute Montreux is that I knew that students were getting the best, both from the academic lecturers and the industry, and that they were being prepared to join some of the best leaders in the hospitality industry.
4. Understand people
It’s important to consider everyone as an individual. As a leader, you have to be able to adapt your approach to different types of people. The interactions with people are, in fact, among the things that I enjoy most about my current job. These include collaborating with my team and working with them creatively in the development process. I should point out that it takes time to assemble and coordinate a strong team whose members truly understand your mission and who are prepared to follow you and to support your vision. Of course, it’s gratifying to see the end result in our products which, in turn, leads to our clients’ satisfaction. That is ultimately what confirms that we have achieved positive results.
5. Develop courage and flexibility
It is essential to have the courage to make your dreams a reality and to have people understand and follow you. I believe every leader should be willing to take risks. As a business owner, you need to be ready for every imaginable kind of change and be prepared to use different strategies at any time. Preparation is essential, as is the awareness that you are the owner of your own time and activities, and decisions. You are responsible for these as well as for the costs they create. How we make our schedules, how we manage our time, how we set the priorities we choose, and the choices we make are entirely up to us. I will continue my tea adventure by expanding my tea network internationally and seeking to develop a more global tea culture. I would like more people to understand the process of developing tea and the importance of the quality of tea in the food & beverage sector. If we are able to achieve this, then more people will consume tea. It’s important to help people understand that what we consume is who we are.
6. Establish a solid business plan
My main advice to people who would like to start their own companies is that they should establish a very precise business plan. Anyone who is not sure about some of the aspects of creating one should add someone with the right knowledge to the team and should hire or collaborate with professional mentors. As young company owners, we have to be open to learning and we should always know our weaknesses before jumping head first into business.
HIM prepares students for these skills particularly well. The bachelor’s program, particularly during the third year, gives you a strong understanding of international business through classes like Business Ethics, Strategic Planning, or Yield and Revenue Management. Students also compete in an international online business simulation called Glo-Bus. Competing against students from around the world, teams are responsible for assessing market conditions, determining how to respond to the actions of competitors, forging a long-term direction and strategy for their company, and making numerous decisions related to production, marketing, and distribution.