Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum 2013

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Dato” Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg 

Director-General, Tourism Malaysia

Humble Beginnings:
Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg received his early education at the Government English School in Bagan Serai, Perak, Malaysia. Upon completion of Senior Cambridge, with all options available to him for his tertiary education, Dato’ Mirza chose to pursue studies in Tourism by enrolling in the nation’s premier Hospitality Management School at UiTM.

He earned a Diploma in Tourism Administration (DTA), followed by a Degree in Business Administration (BBA) and finally, capping his academic qualifications with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from UiTM/ Ohio University, USA. His studies and all the research work were focussed on issues relating to tourism and hospitality services in Malaysia.

Every opportunity was used to familiarise with the innate workings of the industry. This was done by way of industrial placement with Malaysia Airlines in 1977 and TDC in 1979.

Employment Service & Achievements:

On leaving College, Dato’ Mirza was once again confronted with a situation of accepting lucrative offers from the financial institutions and the rapidly growing international trade & industry. Here again, his interest gave him the courage to accept a job at a fraction of the salary others offered.

He left a job he took up during the interim before the Tourism Malaysia (previously known as the Tourist Development Corporation or TDC) was finalised. He was the Contracts Executive with Wearne’s Brothers, a leading trading company in the automotive industry representing General Motors, Chrysler and Subaru. It was also an agent of major automobile accessories, garage equipment and proprietary parts.

In 1982, Dato’ Mirza joined TDC, due to his interest and commitment; he was selected to serve the industry in various capacities. Whilst at the Development and Project Management Division, Dato’ Mirza was appointed to serve as the General Manager (GM) of two premier hotels namely, Langkawi Island Resort in P. Langkawi and Tanjung Jara Beach Hotel in Dungun, Terengganu. His performance was duly recognised by the Management of Tourism Malaysia. Subsequently, he was recommended for other important assignments.

His assignment in the International Promotions Division, he completed two key overseas assignments, firstly, as Director of the Frankfurt Office, where he was responsible for the promotional activities in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland and finally, as the Director for Tokyo Office, which was Malaysia’s fastest growing market and largest source of international visitors from the long haul. Following this assignment he was elevated to head the division.

As Director of the International Promotion Division, Dato’ Mirza spent most of his time overseas promoting Malaysia. He led many Sales Missions and represented both, Tourism Malaysia and the Ministry of Tourism at various international seminars and conventions. He was Malaysia’s Deputy Commissioner General at the World Expo in Brisbane, taking various leadership positions in Association of National Tourism Organisation (ANTOR) and headed the various task forces at the ASEAN NTO heads meetings.

In 2004, Dato’ Mirza was promoted to Deputy Director General (operations). In this position, he was tasked to oversee the key function of Tourism Malaysia ranging from International Advertising and Promotions, Conventions and Incentive Marketing to Marketing Support Services, Communications and Domestic Promotions. It was during this period that the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 (VMY) campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Malaysia’s independence, conceived and launched by the Ministry of Tourism.

He was appointed as the Director General of Tourism Malaysia on 1 September 2006, where he assumed many responsibilities and faced new challenges. During his term of office, the VMY Campaign was successfully promoted, organised and celebrated. The Malaysian tourism industry successfully recorded the highest number in tourist arrivals and receipts. With an invaluable tourism background and experience behind him, Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab is one of the few personalities in the country that can tackle the travel industry hands-on. To the travel trade members, he is an icon synonymous to the tourism and hospitality industry. To the many in the travel trade industry, he is truly a leader by example.

While Malaysia’s tourism industry’s performance has been very impressive paving the way for rapid growth in every sphere of the industry, ranging from expansion of transport and communications, development of hotel and resort to upgrading of services and greater employment. Somehow, the whole scenario has been quite differentin its leadership and management.