Adapt and Succeed

Ken Shapiro I love a good success story: There’s something about watching solid business decisions build one on top of the other until the tipping point when risk becomes reward. This issue’s cover story, “Secrets of Their Success” (page 14), doesn’t disappoint. Alejandro Zozaya-Gorostiza, president of AM

By: Ken Shapiro

I love a good success story: There’s something about watching solid business decisions build one on top of the other until the tipping point when risk becomes reward. This issue’s cover story, “Secrets of Their Success” (page 14), doesn’t disappoint. Alejandro Zozaya-Gorostiza, president of AMResorts, began the company with a simple concept, “all-inclusive luxury,” and today that idea is at the core of one of the fastest-growing resort companies in Mexico and the Caribbean going from two resorts to eight in just five years, with over $1 billion in assets.

“I thought there was a great opportunity to come up with a concept that was a little more entertaining, while keeping the high level of luxury you could find in hotels,” says Zozaya-Gorostiza in the story. “I saw what was going on with the growth of all-inclusives in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, and noticed that travel agents were pushing the all-inclusive concept. It’s a very convenient way of selling a vacation.”

AMResorts’ path to success reminds me of other great success stories, and whether it’s intentional or not, Zozaya-Gorostiza takes after great entrepreneurial pioneers, such as Henry Ford. Many people think that Ford “invented” the assembly line. In fact, the assembly line was in use in various ways long before Ford. What he did is adapt the concept of the automated assembly line to automobile manufacturing. His success is in part the result of recognizing a good idea and thinking creatively about how to apply it in a fresh way.

In the case of AMResorts, Zozaya-Gorostiza experienced all-inclusive luxury with a tour operator and he saw it being used successfully in the cruise industry and he was able to make the leap and see that the same principle could work with resorts. What followed provides a great lesson for all of us in how sometimes success doesn’t always come from once-in-a-lifetime bolts of inspiration. Some of the greatest success stories come from identifying a good idea, and adapting it in a new and original way.

In this way, with a little luck, we all have the potential to write our own success story. K.S.

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