You became a hotel manager instead of a soccer player. Why?
I realized early on that I have even higher skills in another area and luckily that is in the hospitality industry.
You've had a storybook career, literally a dishwasher career. From the waiter to the sommelier to the manager. Have you ever doubted yourself?
I doubted, yes, but I never lost my optimism. At the end of the day, I always knew that hard work will pay off.
At what moment did you have doubts?
(He thinks for a long time and searches for words ... ) This is a bit personal now: But I had my doubts when I made a financial commitment to bear all the costs of a loan myself.
I took out a loan to finance my training at the hotel management school. That was 60,000 francs and I had no income at the time.
With a career like that, you could certainly count on the help of a woman. Who was that?
That was clearly my mother. On the one hand, she showed me discipline, on the other hand, she always encouraged me. That was the biggest help. She always believed in me.
You were already married, you still run the Kulm Hotel in Arosa together. What's it like still working with your ex-wife?
Isn't this question something very personal?
On Google, the information is easily accessible and public.
Alright: Yes, we work well together with the ex-wife, but it also takes courage from both sides to break away from social images in this phase of life. If both look positively into the future, it's feasible. But honestly, this question is now so stereotyped. Do people always think that something like this can't work out?
Yes, that's the idea, in this interview series we ask the stereotypical questions. Like this: You're 38 years old, wouldn't it be time for kids?
For me, children are not dependent on a specific time in life, regardless of age.
But definitely dependent on a woman by your side?
No, also on many other factors.
But is there a wish? (Journalist looks apologetic for the indiscretion.)
(Looks understanding but slightly irritated): Yes, having my own family is a big wish of mine.
You run several hotels and inns, do you still have time for a private life?
I really like running companies, that's true, I really like working, and the mix of personal and professional, so I can manage my time well.
But you said earlier at lunch that you don't have much of a private life?
It's a mix. For example, this interview for me is private and not work.
Maybe more of a mix. (Both laugh.) You choose your appearances in the media in a targeted manner, you have published your brilliant personality profile on your website, according to the NZZ you belong to the country's elite: Everything perfect, or does Bardhyl Coli also have a downside that he stands by?
I am me, I stand by everything I am, shadow or not.
Your public image is very polished.
Okay, I'll tell you: I tend to drive my car too fast, and my list of fines tends to be higher. I'm a good customer of the state.
Where do you get your bite, strength, and belief in yourself from?
I was a good soccer player and, in sport, you learn that with more confidence you automatically change your posture and then luck comes to you. Something like that.
You are originally from Kosovo. How did moving to Switzerland shape you?
We came to Switzerland in 1991, when I was five. We first emigrated to Sweden in 1989 and stayed in Germany for another six months. It has shaped me in that I always know where I come from and who I am and reach out to new things. We originally had a green card to travel to the US, but just before we left, a friend of my father's called and told him that at best we could get residency status in Switzerland, and that's how we ended up in Meiringen.
What quality about you is typically Swiss?
There are many: I love agenda lists, for example! I even have an online template that I work with, so my employees receive emails directly from it. And otherwise ... (thinks.) I defend Switzerland abroad, totally patriotic.
What is typically Albanian about you?
I love company, preferably large tables to eat with lots of people around.
You also celebrate the entrepreneurship of Albanian-born Swiss at a ball. Why is this important to you?
Because entrepreneurship in Switzerland is a virtue per se and good sustainable management changes many things for the better. We want to be involved in this area in the long term.
Do you want to make your compatriots more successful?
I want to motivate them to use their skills for a company and to stand up for it.
Are you a feminist?
Maybe, but I don't use that word because I see both sexes as equal in all aspects.
But they aren't.
I am convinced that both sexes should have equal rights, with all the consequences.
If feminist means that I am in favor of both genders being equal, then yes, then I am a feminist.
Do you have a specific diet plan that you follow?
Yes - I eat a lot of lentils because they taste very good, are very nutritious, and contain no meat. My employees always laugh at me when I come back with a lentil plate.
Are there things you would absolutely never eat?
I wouldn't eat insects or dogs.
You are a beautiful man, in which situations do you take advantage of that?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it would never have occurred to me to take advantage of that, but I gratefully accept the compliment.
How have your good looks influenced your career?
(Looks at me in disbelief.) Are such questions really asked of women? (Thinks for a while.) Since all those who encouraged and promoted me were men, I don't know how that helped me... (We both laugh.)
What outfit do you usually wear for work?
Usually a t-shirt and jacket in summer and a turtleneck and jacket in winter.
From entrepreneur to entrepreneur: How do you actually find elleXX?
I find elleXX exciting and cheeky. You are well-positioned for your project.
No, in order to express criticism, I would have to delve deeper into your offer.
Do you want a membership with us?
Now that I'm a feminist, yes, I'd love to!
Very good, thank you for the interview.