Meet the Team: Charles Lim
Meet the Team: Charles Lim
Someone once said, “a beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset”. That has been true for Charles Lim, Manager of Catering Sales at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove. And he attributes it to the ambience at the marina.
“I had heard about this place, but had never been here,” he says, recalling the day he first stepped foot in the Club. “I was amazed by the view—it was something that I had never seen before in my experience of working in hotels on the mainland. It keeps me calm and stress-free at work.”
The 35-year-old has just completed one year at the marina, but the jaw-dropping feeling he had continues.
THE RIGHT FIT
Charles’ career in the F&B industry began in 2017 in banquet operations, after which he moved to a sales position at One Farrer Hotel, and on to his current role at the Club. However, these were all far removed from his training in supply chain management and first job in freight forwarding.
It was a cafe venture, during a career gap year of sorts, soon after his National Service that brought about the career pivot. He ran a Peranakan cafe, which morphed into a sports bar by night. The business couldn’t keep up with the competition in the buzzing Joo Chiat neighbourhood, but it kickstarted his entry into F&B.
As Manager of Catering Sales, he does dip into all his varied work experiences, but it’s the interpersonal interactions that stand out most to him. Charles’ clients are mostly Members planning parties—for birthdays, gender announcements and more—and couples looking to tie the knot at the Club. He also handles corporate events.
The romantic in him ticks the part of “helping couples plan their special celebration for a once-in-a-lifetime event” as most fulfilling.
Charles works closely with them, planning their big day three months ahead of time, from confirming the decor, to finalising the guest list—while noting special dietary requirements and requests—seating arrangements, and more. He then coordinates with the various in-house departments involved to ensure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed for the event day.
Not all relationships are made equal and not all couples want the same thing either, but Charles does not find that aspect daunting.
“We do come across challenging couples with higher expectations or those who are very particular. One of the other aspects I love about my job is that I get to meet people with unique personalities and quirks,” he enthuses. “I just need to better understand their needs. That often means reading between the lines.”
While the ambience of his workplace plays a part, Charles also admits to being someone who is calm and collected when approaching challenges—“I am not the type of person who panics easily—my thinking is very solution-based,” he says.
“I think my parents play a big part in that aspect of my personality. When I was a young boy, I used to cause trouble at school. While they focused on disciplining me, they would always also want to know what caused my behaviour,” he recalls. That kind of reasoning helped Charles develop an all-rounded approach to problem solving.
He is also astutely aware that it is an important part of his job. “To be honest, the place sells by itself. Establishing and maintaining good customer relationships beyond the sale is the main part of my job. If I were to be in their place, it would be important for me to have a good connection with my wedding planner,” he says.
He is quick to also give credit where it is due: His team. “We are a small, but strong team. The strong interdepartmental relationships we have go a long way in ensuring things progress seamlessly,” he says.
For someone who is all about making good connections with the people he plans weddings for, Charles has very different views about what his own would be. At the time of this interview, his fiancé and he are planning their special day at the Club in August. Or should we say “not planning”. Charles is very particular that theirs would have none of the frills he loves executing for others, but more of a free and easy event with no formal ceremonies. “We are just going to eat and have fun with friends and family,” says Charles.
When it comes to his own home however, he is particular, especially about one of the rooms. “My partner has the say in almost everything in the house, but I get to design the kitchen,” laughs the cooking enthusiast.
Given that he is the son of a Peranakan father and Taiwanese mother, there is a natural affiliation to the culinary industry, but Charles does not see himself getting back into the restaurant business.
“I like cooking, but I don’t think I am that good a cook,” he jokes. “This is where I find my interest to be in,” he says categorically about his current job scope. “Seeing the couples’ happiness and gratitude is most fulfilling. I don’t think I want to change my portfolio anytime soon—I just want to do weddings throughout.”
The original article was published on the September/ October 23 issue of Longitude, ONE°15 Marina’s Club magazine. Read it here.