Interview with Matt Neal, General Manager Autogrill Indonesia


Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m 44 years young, Australian, born in Melbourne, 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl. (16/14/9). Been in Hospitality for 15 years, mainly in franchising but also have owned/operated hotels/bar and organic cafes. Prior to this, I was a Police Officer for 13 years and met my wife in the Police Academy. I enjoy golf/surfing/running and the odd roadie!

Tell us about your work

I’ve been the HMSHost GM for Indonesia nearly 4 years, operating in Bali and Jakarta and also looking into other areas for expansion. It is a very exciting industry to be working in, never a boring day! Work with a great team of people who I highly respect and they are the main factor for me to stay motivated and focused. The role requires me to work with many stakeholders and ‘juggle’ different situations and personalities. Always challenging but highly rewarding!

What is the most challenging thing in your current position you have experienced so far and why did you decide to work in Bali?

Biggest challenge was working through a complicated JV separation in 2016. Mainly due to keeping team members engaged and ensuring they felt secure in their positions. Very unstable time but the entire team, and both JV partners, worked together to get a good outcome.

Came to Bali in 2014 for a long holiday to escape some stresses in Australia after a hard couple of years in business. Got introduced to HMSHost through a mutual connection and then the opportunity for my role was offered to me in September 2014. I was happy to accept and haven’t looked back!

 Share with us the most memorable moment that has ever happened during your career

So many memorable moments since I have been doing my role as GM, hard to mention just one! I would say that our financial performance and general business development in 2017 has been amazing. After a challenging 2016, the entire team re-grouped and focused on making 2017 successful. We received huge accolades from our headquarters in Amsterdam and received several awards for the effort. Incredible year!

If you could pick one place to be your dream destination anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

New York. I love the vibes of the city, such a nice place with so much to see and do! An awesome place to put some comfortable shoes on and just walk and take in the atmosphere!

Describe yourself in 3 words.


What is your biggest weakness?

Sometimes I get too excited with a vision and want to move too quickly without having the right structures in place. I can be too impulsive and perhaps need to take things slowly at times! Good food and wine is also a weakness!

 What do you do for fun during your day off?

Spend time with my family. I enjoy running, but need to do more! If I have time, I like to play golf

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