Profile of The Month: Richard Daguise, CEO of Mesa Hotels & Resorts

Originally from France, CEO & Managing Director of Mesa Hotels & Resorts, Richard Daguise, has been in Indonesia for more than 23 years and has climbed his way up to where he is now, going from one hotel group to another. What’s New Jakarta had the opportunity to squeeze in a little chat session with Daguise in between his busy schedule managing 6 properties spread between Indonesia, Vietnam, and Spain, to get to know the man who have become synonymous with Mesa Hotels & Resorts.

Throughout your professional experience in Indonesia, what do you think is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
Never give up, and really keep following your dream. There is always going to be ups and down, but it’s important to have that goal in the horizon that you focus on. It’s very easy to give up, Indonesia is a very challenging country because of a lot of aspects. Managing Indonesian people is very different than managing westerners. So, some people will give up, some will stay. I tend to believe that those who stay are the one who will become successful.

In your own words, what are Mesa’s strong points?
Mesa differentiates itself from the fact that we are not only purely a hotel management group. Our hotels, from one to the other is very different, as we are all about experiences. We range from $ 100/night to a $7500/night room; it goes from a very affordable city hotel, to a different kind of niche market. So it’s really about what kind of experience you want to get, when you stay in our hotels.

We always say that, you go to a hotel to sleep, stay, eat, then you leave. And I think the main thing for Mesa is for people to experience all these things, but also that when they leave, they take these good experiences with them.

What excites you the most about your job?
Diversity and also challenges. Because anywhere there’s a challenge, it is bound to get exciting. Some people will see it as negative, but I see it more as a way to learn more. To learn how to deal with situation, to overcome issues, there’s always something to learn. What’s really exciting is to have all these people in a company, that actually present different challenges. My background is actually in psychology, so I like to be challenged when it comes to learn about different types of characters, cultures, and to deal with each person.

What’s your style of management like?
I tend not to babysit. I always have a strong vision, which can be very far or very near. In the end of the day, I would have a team of professionals who know what is expected of them. So my type of leadership is to guide them, rather than to micro manage them. Because I believe that no one wants to be babysit. So my job is to make sure that everyone understands the vision and working towards the same goal.

In the end of a tough day, what gets you moving again?
Usually to unwind, after a tough day, I like to just go into some kind of solitude, a me time. Where I introspect, or I just enjoy being with myself. I also do lot of sports, I play tennis, go to the gym, but it’s more about letting go of your frustrations. But if I really want to unwind, then I will find time to be with myself.

What do you love the most about Indonesia?
The people, obviously. I find them very endearing and close to my heart.

Your favourite travel destination in Indonesia?
To visit, I’d have to say Komodo Island. It goes back to my preferred way of unwind, which is to find solitude. I’ve been there twice, and thinking of going once again. I find the fact that you can hardly find any signal for your hand phone or internet connection, means you get to cut yourself off from the outside world and to be with nature with yourself.

Where do you spend your spare time in Jakarta?
I work out at the gym, play tennis, watch movies on the weekend with the kids.

Five words that describe you best.
Integrity. Loyal. Kind. Moody. Perfectionist.

What’s New Jakarta would like to thank Richard Daguise and his team for the time spared for the interview. For more information about Mesa Hotels & Resorts, visit

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