Mark Struik – ”Good opportunities will come – it’s just sometimes you have to ask for them”
About Mark Struik (cohort 2005, BA)
Mark has managed to combine his love of hospitality and passion for sales with his career. Now CEO of Please Ask M, the AI assistant for the meetings industry, he aims to help hotels focus on the guest experience rather than time-consuming booking and reservation tasks.
If you want to make a difference, now is the time
“During my work experience for my studies, I became fascinated by the sales people working for the hotel I was at. Their work seemed to involve meeting up with clients, having lunch with them in the restaurant and travelling all over the place. It looked great and I hadn’t realised such a department existed, so I asked if I could join them. It made me realise that however important the front desk and food & beverage are, a lot has already been done in terms of marketing and commerce before our guests even turn up at the hotel or restaurant.”
“Commerce isn’t just having a great website for our guests. It’s the first interaction we have with our guests. They need to feel the same sense of welcome as when they walk up to the front desk. One of the things we saw in the commercial department was that guests complained about it taking too long for their emails to be answered. We tackled the problem in a design sprint and in just one week we developed a prototype, an automated AI assistant who read the emails and responded directly. We’ve now taken that concept and developed it further, creating software that helps process and automate business requests in the hospitality sector.”
“I love creating efficiency so that we can make a difference for guests. My decisions are data-driven and I truly believe that we are part of the fourth industrial revolution, that of data and AI. Being part of that change is really exciting. With new technologies and new ways of applying them, we can really change the way the hospitality world works. We can make the world a better and healthier place – there’s so much to be gained.”