The tourism and hospitality sector is traditionally one of the core drivers of Singapore’s economy. In fact, the year 2016 saw a record number of visitors who spent a lot of money here while 2017’s reports showed that the trend continued for the first half of the year.
But, in spite of the growth, it is a punishing industry, as hostelier Adler Poh can attest to. The 2017 A-Lister is the owner of Adler Hostel, a luxury hostel located along South Bridge Road. He started the hostel in December 2012 and has garnered multiple global awards along the way.
“I have always been in love with the tourism industry, thanks to my family’s involvement in the field. With my passion to serve and eye for design, the dream of creating this oxymoron property – a luxury hostel – came naturally to me,” said Adler.
“My personal struggle is having to garner investments. The country is so tech-focused at the moment. It’s quite a pity, in my opinion. Although there are unicorn opportunities in tech, it’s few and far between. This might be my bias speaking but brick and mortar businesses are the way to go for their stability.”
There have been many ups and downs for Adler on this road so we hooked him up with a Brother printer (MFC-L5900DW) to help him defray the high costs of daily operations. Here are Adler’s thoughts on the hospitality business and the printer, after having used it for a few weeks.
How has the tourism and hospitality business treated you?
So, here’s a story I want to share. An IE Singapore representative once criticise Adler Hostel and asked, “What’s so special about us?” I guess there’s nothing special about us since we’ve made a name for ourselves globally (laughs).
Singapore is a key tourism destination in Southeast Asia. Our racial diversity, rags-to-riches story and varied architecture are just some of the few elements that make us unique, which are the reasons why so many hotels plant their flags here.
However, Singapore’s business landscape is plagued by obscene rental prices and shortage of quality manpower. To put it simply, high rental prices mean creativity is limited. Most owners have to focus on cost cutting measures just to make businesses viable instead of actually focusing on creating experiences.
Manpower is also a struggle not only in my market segment but also in five-star hotels. I’ve noticed that etiquette and service seem to be missing in them nowadays.
So I’m quite thankful that Brother has sponsored the (MFC-L5900DW) for my business. It really helps to defray the day-to-day costs of running a hostel and helps me to focus on the more important parts of running Adler Hostel.
How are you using the printer to help your business?
Right now, we’ve placed the Brother printer at the reception to scan passports, print residents’ documents as well as other ad-hoc requests. I must admit, the printer is deathly fast. It helps us to work efficiently. It’s also been very reliable so far and easy to operate, which is important in our field since printing volumes are quite high.
What did you like most about the new Brother printer you’re using?
Besides its printing capabilities, the scanning function is also really quick. You know how other printers take time to warm up and then scan before spitting out the document? The Brother printer cuts this process by a lot, which makes it perfect for our high volume counter transactions. I also really like the wireless printing option. Wires can be quite unsightly. Plus it’s quiet too, which is great for my hostel.
If there is one drawback, I don’t really like how bulky it is but with all the other pros about the printer, I suppose it is a small price to pay. Brother, if you’re reading this, make it smaller and you honestly have the perfect printer! (laughs)
What is your favourite feature of the Brother printer?
Hands down, it has to be the wireless feature. I can print and scan just with a few taps on my smartphone.
Before using the Brother printer, what were your thoughts about the brand?
This sounds really ignorant but I always thought Brother only made sewing machines (laughs). However, after having used this printer, I’m definitely going to check out its other products. After all, Brother’s sewing machines were incredible pieces of equipment and the printer I’m using continues this trend of quality. I imagine the rest of their products would also be just as good, if not better.
And yes, I wholeheartedly recommend the Brother printer. Sometimes, marketing tends to inflate the value of some tech brands but when you use their products, they fall short. Brother seems to adopt the other philosophy – staying quiet and letting its products do the talking. I can definitely relate to that.