Moe Ibrahim, a creative and dedicated entrepreneur in the hospitality industry, specializes in the “turnaround” process for high-potential hotels. Moe is passionate about the one-of-a-kind services that resorts have to offer; whether guests take a one-time trip or return again and again, they should enjoy where they eat, work, play, and sleep. Through his work as a hotelier Moe makes sure that these one-of-a-kind services exceed expectations — all while continuing to brainstorm and implement more exciting opportunities for staff and guests alike.
Moe originally entered the hospitality industry through his career in finance. In 2004 he launched his own highly successful hedge fund which focused on turning around distressed assets, and in 2006 the fund acquired Bintan Lagoon Resort (BLR), a 750-acre resort property located in Bintan, Indonesia. Unbeknownst to Moe, the BLR acquisition would lead to his “aha” moment.
As Moe immersed himself in the Bintan Lagoon Resort he realized that Bintan Lagoon, like any other independent hotel, had the potential to create its own unique brand — yet because it had no access to the global infrastructure of a hotel chain, this well of opportunity was left untapped. It was simply too cost-prohibitive, especially considering the current financial strife of the hotel. Moe decided to expand his own role from finance into operations as well, and within six to seven months he invested in numerous physical changes in the resort. General managers and trusted partners oversaw day-to-day operations as the resort began to grow rapidly.
Under Moe’s guidance Bintan Lagoon Resort expanded into a thriving 500-room integrated resort with about 700 staff members. Thanks to its proximity to Singapore (and Moe’s strategic planning), the resort also opened a direct ferry route between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore and a new ferry terminal at BLR. The BLR Terminal was also certified as an international immigration point for the country of Indonesia. Within just a few years Moe Ibrahim had supported Bintan Lagoon Resort to be the largest integrated resort in the Riau Archipelago, and in 2015 he officially rebranded it as BLR.
The BLR rebranding project focused on two objectives: differentiate and rejuvenate. Moe took hands-on roles within multiple initiatives for entertainment, culture, cuisine and more for the resort. Three new restaurants were launched within three months, with a sport bar officially opening a few months later; Moe also hosted the resort’s inaugural BLR Golf Club Presidents Cup, an exciting social event in the most exceptional golf courses in Indonesia. Moe also focused on making the resort more family-friendly and launched the Kids’ Jungle Gym in November. Moe’s work with the rebrand project has won numerous awards, including the Bronze award in the Award for Innovation in Brand Renovation/Rebranding category of the Asia Pacific Stevie Awards. It also ranked within the top five winning entries in the Singapore Marketing PR Awards Product Relaunch Category.
Moe is passionate about revolutionizing the hotel industry inside and out. There is no doubt that the industry in its current state is all but broken. Smaller, independent hotels have little to no chance at branding themselves, while even 5-star chains frequently struggle with imbalanced commissions systems that leave them with very little money. To address these issues it is essential to understand the entire foundation of a hotel, and Moe strategically analyzes the operational, financial, and technological components of hotels in Indonesia and in Thailand in order to make real changes.
Much of Moe Ibrahim’s work in the hospitality industry revolves around the integration of intelligent technology; he hopes to maximize profitability by helping hoteliers control their inventory, analyze unstructured data about their customers, and create better pricing models based on existing demand. Moe also founded tech startup Journeyful, a rewards-based hotel booking engine which wrapped up in 2016. Moe’s work with Journeyful has been featured on Web In Travel, The Sunday Times, and more.