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Hammer Food & Beverage Business Review

Oct-Nov ’15


Charnock

Jan-Feb ’18

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Editorial

HOTEL Business Review

HOTEL B u s i n e s s

R e v i e w

An Exclusive Business Magazine for the Hotel Industry

Publisher cum Editor Rajneesh Sharma rajneeshhammer@gmail.com Associate Editor Swarnendu Biswas Resident Editor Sharmila Chand (Delhi) Ashok Malkani (Mumbai) Layout & Design Hari Kumar V Abhishek Singh Rathore

M

Production Assistant Mamta Sharma

any of the hotel chains operating in the Indian hospitality industry nowadays are operating across several brands. This facilitates them to cater to diversified guest profiles, which eventually entail

catering to diverse markets. The Cover Story of this issue explores the trend of multi-branding across India’s hospitality industry in some detail.

Advertising Sales Delhi: Debabrata Nath, Sumesh Sharma Director Sales Sanjay Anand Mobile: +91 9811136837

difference to its revenues. Thus the role of human resource department

Director Operations Rajat Taneja Mobile: +91 9810315463

across hospitality properties, who are responsible for hiring and training the

Editorial & Advertising Offices:

The quality of human resource in hospitality business can make a crucial

personnel for the hotels, resorts, retreats and other hospitality properties,. also happens to be no less crucial. It is because only with hiring of the right personnel for the right role, and providing them with adequate training from time to time, hospitality industry can cater to the discerning guests’ evolving needs comprehensively. Imparting training and motivation can also arrest the menace of attrition to a great extent. In this regard, the topic covered in this issue’s Business Story, where HR department’s role in hotels, resorts and other hospitality properties are being discussed, can be of interest to the industry. Gauging of the happening food trends, which can influence the Indian food & beverage industry during 2018 and the near future; the linkage of toiletries to hotel’s branding; the crucial role of design curators in hotel projects; the review of a property nestled in pristine nature are some of the other interesting facets of this issue. With the hope that our esteemed readers would enjoy reading the issue as much as we had while developing it, I sign off while wishing the Indian hospitality industry a very fruitful Aahar 2018.

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Delhi: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 206, Samrat Bhawan, Ranjeet Nagar Commercial Complex, New Delhi-110008 Phone: 91-11-25704103, 45093486, 45084903 Mumbai: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 105, 1st Floor, Aarpee Centre, Gufic Compound, 11th Road, MIDC, Near Tunga Paradise, Andheri (E), Mumbai-400093, India Phone: 91-22-28395833 Telefax: 91-22-28388947 E-mail: info@hammer.co.in © 2018 Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher. Hammer Hotel Business Review is a bi-monthly magazine, printed, edited, owned and published by Rajneesh Sharma on behalf of Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 206, Samrat Bhawan, Ranjeet Nagar Commercial Complex, New Delhi. Printed at Swan Press, B-71, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase-II, New Delhi-110 028. Editorial Policy: Editorial emphasis in Hammer Hotel Business Review magazine is on educational & informational material specifically designed to assist those responsible for managing instututional Hotel business. Articles are welcome and will be published on the sole discretion of the editor. Disclaimer: The editor and publisher believes that all information contained in this publication are correct at the time of publishing. Content published not necessarily are the opinion or view of the editor and publisher. Editor and publisher declines any responsibility for any action taken based on the information contained in this publication, including liability for error or omission. Annual subscription rate within India is Rs. 450 and for overseas it is US $110, for surface mail. Single issue is available for Rs. 90 in India and US $25 for overseas. Cheques are payable to Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.


HOTEL B u s i n e s s

inside

R e v i e w

An Exclusive Business Magazine for the Hotel Industry

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COVER STORY

The concept of ‘One is Done’ is no longer relevant to the hospitality industry. Today, hotel chains like Marriott, AccorHotels, IHG, et al have a multitude of hotel brands within their ambit in different categories, to cater to the different groups or class of people.

The prudence of the Design Curator in designs of a hotel or a restaurant is as much needed as the creative extravagance of the designer. An outstanding hotel design is many a time the result of a successful collaboration of a creative designer and a prudent Design Curator.

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48 BUSINESS

Able and efficient human resource management is the foundation for gaining competitive edge in the hotel industry. Since the m o s t c r i t i ca l p ro b l e m s in the Indian hospitality industry are employment related, honouring the employees through effective communication, and training and benefit programs for them are essential elements of effective hospitality management in hospitality properties in India.

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FOCUS

While the hospitality brand influences the selection of toiletries, these articles that guests use for washing themselves can also influence the hospitality property’s branding in curious ways

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F&B

2018 is expected to unfold lot of interesting concepts for discerning diners, across the Indian food service industry. Lots of Chefs are of the opinion that grandmothers’ recipes will continue to rock during 2018, and the focus will be a lot more on healthy culinary fare.

DESIGN

TECHNOLOGY

The use of technology is changing various facets of working across the new-age Indian hospitality industry. O n e s u c h e n d e avo u r i s the initiative by Park Inn by Radisson New Delhi IP Extension. The hotel has recently introduced voice assistantenabled smart hotel rooms. This futuristic technology can help the hospitality property to stand out from the competition.

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PROPERTY

Tucked a few kilometers from Kumily, amidst cardamom, coffee, pepper, and jackfruit plantations, is a stunning retreat, truly a hidden gem i n G o d ’ s O w n Co u n t r y called ‘Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady’.

departments 04 Event 08 News Scan 18 Report 20 Appointments 54 SPA 62 Product Preview 64 Interview

Cover Pic: Golden Sarovar Portico, Amritsar

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Event

Hotel Business Review

Food&HotelAsia Returns as Even Bigger

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he most comprehensive international food and hospitality biennial mega t ra d e eve nt i n t h e re g i o n , t h e Food&HotelAsia (FHA), will be held from 24th to 27th April 2018 at two venues – Singapore Expo and Suntec Singapore. Celebrating 4 0 ye a rs of b us iness excellence, Food&HotelAsia (FHA) is the preferred choice for industry professionals to access an international showcase of food and hospitality products, equipment and solutions, which are needed to drive business inspiration today and tomorrow. The 21st edition of the show will house its biggest-ever industry congregation with 4,000 international exhibitors from more than 70 countries and regions; an increase of 25 percent compared to its last edition of the show. The event’s total floor area will span 119,500 sq. m, 23 percent increase from 97,000 sq. m. 68 international groups are confirmed with Armenia and Qatar being the newest countries to participate. 78,000 trade attendees from over 100 countries and regions are expected at the 2018 edition of the show. From innovative food ingredients, Halal food and beverages, speciality coffee equipment and accessories, unique tea blends, the latest bakery equipment, the most stylish of tableware and furnishing, to disruptive technology for backend food service or for frontend guest experiences and many more, FHA caters to your every business need! FHA organises and hosts a series of world-class culinary competitions, topnotch workshops and courses, as well as a comprehensive range of conferences, seminars and master classes.

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ProWine Asia 2018 Held alongside FHA for the first time in 2016, ProWine Asia, which is modelled after the globally recognised, world’s largest and most important trade fair for the wines and spirits industry — ProWein in Düsseldorf, Germany — will return with an 18 percent increase in exhibition area for this forthcoming edition of the show. To be presented by 300 leading exhibitors, ProWine Asia will bring the world of wines and spirits to South-east Asia through its extensive representation of international wine and spirit labels, a broad scope of solutions and concepts for the region’s diverse consumer markets, as well as through its specialised master classes and seminars by industry speakers.

12 teams from 10 Asian countries and regions are confirmed, of which three teams will emerge as winners and will represent at the Gelato World Cup 2020 in Rimini, Italy. The winners will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges, including president of the Gelato World Cup, Giancarlo Timballo as head judge, Philippines’ TV celebrity Chef Jackie Ang Po and General Secretary of Indonesian Pastry Alliance Louis Tanuhadi, among others. Medals and Certificates of Awards will also be given out for Best Gelato Cake, Best Plated Dessert, Best Artistic Showpiece, Best Tasting Gelato prize and Best Team Spirit. Capfruit, Carpigiani, Elle &Vire, Fabbri 1905, IFI, Irinox, KitchenAid, REDMAN by PhoonHuat and Valrhona are sponsors of the competition.

Selection for Coppadel Mondo of Gelateria Organised by UBM and supported by the Singapore Pastry Alliance, the Asian Gelato Cup – the first official Asian selection for the highly accredited - Coppa del Mondo of Gelateria (Gelato World Cup), will be held from 24 to 27 April 2018 in conjunction with Food&HotelAsia (FHA). As a region known for leading dietary and robust food trends, and Singapore being home to the Asia Pacific champion for the renowned Gelato World Tour and other emerging gelato-makers, FHA2018 is the perfect host for the official Asian selection of the Gelato World Cup. In delivering on its successful legacy for 40 years, FHA has added another feather in its cap - to unleash new gelato trends, bring about the best in creativity and professionalism, and showcase the artisanship of the finest talents in Asia.

More than a Mega Trade Event Beyond the traditional sourcing ground, FHA also offers many experiential networking and learning opportunities through new and improved speciality zones and industryrenowned competitions such as the FHA Culinary Challenge 2018 and Asian Pastry Cup 2018. Through these activities, visitors will gain insights into the rapid changes impacting the F&B and hospitality industries, and with easy access to the necessary tools, contacts, skills and knowledge, they will be able to stay relevant and maintain their competitive edge. The three-day FHA2018 International Conference, to be held in two venues from 24 to 26 April, will feature industry experts and business thought-leaders sharing perspectives, tips and strategies across 10 key tracks, from hotel revenue management and bakery, to central kitchen and F&B technology.


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Jan-Feb ’18

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Event

Hotel Business Review

Ambiente 2018 Gets More International Than Ever partner country presentation was staged by the Dutch industrial designer Robert Bronwasser. Also, numerous activities and events were held on the partner country day – all masterminded by Dutch organisers. The presentation of a partner country is one of the most popular shows at Ambiente, alongside the Trend Show and draws large audiences. India will be the partner country for Ambiente 2019 which will be held from February 8 to February 12, Messe Frankfurt announced at a festive ceremony on the penultimate day of Ambiente 2018. “With its population of over 1.3 billion, India has an incomparable diversity, a rich culture and also a tradition of art and craft. It’s also among our absolute top countries in terms of exhibitors. I’m confident that its presentation will be a real highlight at Ambiente 2019,” Braun said.

A

mbiente is one of the biggest international trade fairs in products associated with dining, cooking, household goods, gift items, jewellery, fashion accessories, interior decoration, ideas for the home and furnishing accessories. The 2018 edition of the show, held in Frankfurt, Germany from February 9-13, trade visitors from more countries than ever before spent their time networking and ordering the latest products from around the world for their companies. According to official statistics, 4,441 exhibitors from 89 countries occupied an exhibition space of 308,000 square metres and over 80 per cent of all the exhibitors at the five-day event came from outside Germany. In total, 134,600 buyers from 168 countries visited Frankfurt am Main to attend Ambiente 2018. In the 2017 edition of the show, the buyers came from 153 countries, organiser Messe Frankfurt said in a statement. “Consumerism is fashionable! Ambiente hosts the entire world. Every February, the international consumer goods industry receives direction here for the entire year. This is impressively borne out by the number of orders and the quality of German and international buyers,” says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. This year, the top ten visitor nations after Germany were Italy, China, France, the United States, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain,

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Jan-Feb ’18

Turkey, Korea and Switzerland. Satisfaction ratings among visitors remained stable at 96 per cent and aboveaverage growth in visitors’ numbers was recorded from China, Korea, Russia, the North African countries, South Africa, all of South America, Turkey, Lebanon and Cyprus, Messe Frankfurt said. “Ambiente 2018 went very well for us. We reached our targets, and so we can be pleased with the results,” said one of the exhibitors Maren Lehmann, Director of Internal Sales at the porcelain company Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen. “Whether it’s architects, hotels or restaurants and cafés, Ambiente attracts the B2B visitors we want to appeal to. Contract business went extremely well again this year: Both the quality and the number of visitors were just right. We achieved our sales targets, and we are pleased,” another exhibitor Alexander Haas, Sales Manager at wood furniture manufacturer Scholtissek said. The trade fair ran very much under the Dutch banner in 2018. The traditional

EVENTS’ CALENDER Aahar 2018

13-17 March 2018, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi www.aaharinternationalfair.com

ProWein 2018

18-20 March 2018, Dusseldorf Fair Ground Düsseldorf www.prowein.com

Hotelex

26-29 March 2018 Shanghai New International Expo Center Shanghai, China www.hotelex.cn

FHA 2018

24-27 Aprial 2018 Singapore Expo & Suntec Singapore www.foodnhotelasia.com

SIAL China

16-18 May 2018 Shanghai New International Expo Center Shanghai, China www.sialchina.com

Thaifex World of Food Asia

29 May-02 June 2018 IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand www.thaifexworldoffoodasia.com


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Hotel Business Review

N ews Sca n

Rajasthan’s Jodhpur Gets its Sarovar Hotels Strengthens its Portfolio First Radisson Hotel The first Radisson hotel in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur is now open. Radisson Jodhpur has 96 rooms. Positioned to be a preferred hotel in the upscale segment and the first choice among leisure a n d b u s i n ess travelers, the hotel is situated two kilometers from the airport and four kilometers from t h e ra i l way station. It is situated within a radius of five kilometers from international tourist attractions like Ummaid Palace, Birkha Bawri Step Well, Merangarh Fort, Ghanta Ghar and Mandore Garden. “I am delighted to welcome our first Radisson hotel to Jodhpur,” said Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. . Spread over around 70,000 square feet, the hotel’s architecture is reminiscent of Rajasthan’s erstwhile culture and style.

In line with its target of having 100 hotels under its portfolio by 2 0 2 0 , S a rova r Hotels Pvt. Ltd., part of the global hospitality major Lo u v re H o t e l s Group, has added several hotels to its portfolio early in 2018. In New Delhi, the company announced in February the opening of Taurus Sarovar Portico, New Delhi. Situated close to Indira Gandhi International airport, the property features 83 guestrooms designed to cater to the taste and needs of modern travellers. This is the second hotel opening of the year by Sarovar Hotels after the opening in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The company announced the launch of Singhania Sarovar Portico, Raipur, in January. The hotel, located at just 5 kms from the railway station and 24 kms from the airport, has 60 well-appointed rooms. Commenting on the launch, Ajay K. Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels, said, “We are glad to be setting our footprints in this emerging state of Chhattisgarh.” “The hotel brings to the city exceptional facilities and houses a banqueting and conferencing space of over 3300 square feet managed by professionals to host events seamlessly,” Bakaya added. In January, Sarovar Hotels signed a new hotel deal in Dahisar, marking the group’s strong foothold in the Mumbai market. One of the fastest growing hotel chains in India with over 75 operating hotels across 50 destinations in India and Africa, the group signed the agreement for a 112 suites hotel, Royal Hometel Suites, Dahisar. Owned by M/s Lion Pencils Limited, Royal Hometel Suites is expected to open in 2018. In the same month, it signed two other hotels — The Vaishnodevi Sarovar Portico and Shri Vaishnodevi Sarovar Portico — marking the group’s footprint in Katra and its growing presence in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Sarovar is already present in the pilgrimage destinations of Badrinath, Amritsar, Haridwar, Vrindavan and Tirupati.

ITDC Posts Rs. 18.30 Crores Profit in Q3 India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) Ltd, the public sector undertaking under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism, posted a noteworthy performance in the third quarter of the current financial year 2017-18. The total turnover in third quarter ending December 2017 stood at Rs. 108.01 cr and the company registered Profit Before Tax (PBT) at Rs. 18.30 cr as compared to Rs. 13.14 cr in the corresponding quarter last year, an increase of 39.27 per cent.

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Hotel Business Review

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Radisson Hotel in the Heart Sofitel Mumbai BKC wins of Kolkata World Luxury Hotel Award Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge in February rebranded itself to Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge. The hotel, which features 92 wellappointed rooms, is situated not far from the international airport and railway station.

“I am glad to welcome our first Radisson hotel in the heart of Kolkata. West Bengal is a key market for us and Kolkata remains a promising destination due to its thriving leisure and business footprint. We appreciate the investment that Mukti Group has made in upgrading this hotel and the trust they have demonstrated in the Radisson brand”, said Raj Rana, chief executive officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. The Carlson Rezidor portfolio includes a powerful set of global brands — Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.

S of i t e l M u m b a i B KC i n January said that it won the “Best Luxury Boutique Hotel” award in the regional category at the World Luxury Hotel Awards ceremony held in Switzerland. Wo r l d L u x u r y Aw a rd evaluates a multitude of factors while making the ultimate decision. Over 300,000 international travelers vote every year during a four-week period to select the winners. The winners are determined after taking into consideration various other aspects including brand, location, overall guest satisfaction from online reviews, services and facilities, design and menu offerings, besides voting. Sofitel Mumbai BKC has won the “Best Luxury Boutique Hotel” award for the second consecutive year. “We are extremely delighted to win the award for the best luxury boutique hotel two times in a row. Sofitel Mumbai BKC proposes a range of unique experiences based on four emblematic themes — embracing and celebrating local culture, showcasing the best in gastronomy combined with traditional French techniques, dedication to the art of well-being and passion for classic and contemporary design. All these are important and in 2018, we look forward to continue excelling while delivering exceptional guest experiences that create lifelong memories,” said the hotel’s General Manager, Biswajit Chakroborty.

Vintage & Classic Car Rally In association with the Vintage & Classic Car Club of India (VCCCI), Sofitel Mumbai BKC organised a vintage & classic car rally on February 11. The rally flagged off at Horniman Circle and culminated at Hriday – the hotel’s 30,000 sq.ft. outdoor venue in the heart of the Mumbai. The visitors witnessed over 220 of the best classic and vintage cars of iconic brands like the Rolls Royce, Humber, Bentley, Austin, Ford, Chrysler, Packard, Lanchester, Mercedes-Benz, Morris, Dodge and Cadillac, among many others. More than 60 motorcycles were seen from the works of BMW, BSA, Royal Enfield, Triumph, Vespa, Norton, Jawa, among others. “Sofitel Mumbai BKC is known for encouraging collaborations that create unique and bespoke experiences. Over the years, the luxury property has been privy to hosting numerous events of premium brands from the automobile industry. On the occasion of completing six years of the hotel, we are delighted to have the parade of vintage and classic cars showcasing spectacular design and fine craftsmanship through the rally,” said Biswajit Chakraborty, General Manager, Sofitel Mumbai BKC.

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Hotel Business Review

AccorHotels opens ibis in Hinjewadi, Pune Hinjewadi, widely recognised as the IT hub of Pune in Maharashtra has opened its doors for an ibis hotel, AccorHotels’ economy brand that promises modernity, comfort and service at the best price. The launch of ibis Pune Hinjewadi in January marks AccorHotels’ third property in the city. Strategically located within five kilometres of the MumbaiBangalore highway, this hotel featuring 136 well-appointed rooms is in close proximity to the International Biotech Park and with va r i o u s m u l t i n at i o n a l co r p o rat i o n s s u c h as Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Accenture and IBM located nearby. The hotel is situated approximately 20km from Pune Airport and the railway station. “This is our first ibis p ro p e rty to d e b u t i n Hinjewadi Phase ll. India is a core expansion market and we are delighted to see the demand for international hospitality brands grow in the country. The key to our development over the last ten years has been the iconic acceptance of the ibis brand by Indian consumers,” said Jean-Michel Casse, Chief Operating Officer, India and South Asia,

AccorHotels. “The launch of ibis Pune Hinjewadi gives us an opportunity to showcase the 18th ibis hotel in the country and highlight AccorHotels’ growing network in the western region,” Casse said. To d e v e l o p a network of ‘ibis’ hotels across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Accor Asia Pacific established a joint venture with InterGlobe Hotels in 2004. InterGlobe Hotels plans to have a portfolio of 22 operational hotels with room inventory of about 3,900 rooms by 2022. “InterGlobe Hotels is committed to continue its rapid expansion over the next few years in key locations across the country. Speaking of Maharashtra, Ibis Pune Hinjewadi is our fifth hotel to commence operations in the state,” said J.B. Singh, President & CEO, InterGlobe Hotels. “We also have three additional properties within Maharashtra in various stages of development which will be operational by 2021,” Singh added.

Andaz Delhi Opens The Hong Kong Club Innovations That Will Change The Way You Cook

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Andaz Delhi, a luxury lifestyle hotel by Hyatt, has opened The Hong Kong Club, a multil eve l eve n i n g d e s t i n at i o n that promises to take guests vicariously through the exciting dining experiences and pulsating nightlife of Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Club features modern Cantonese dishes and small plate servings prepared by Chinese chefs, a contemporary bar that elevates to a club lounge and live entertainment that aims to replicate the energy of one of Asia’s most buzzing cities. “Working with Chef Fuhai – Chef De Cuisine at The Hong Kong Club, we have created a menu inspired by Hong Kong Cantonese cooking. Using carefully sourced ingredients, many from our local partners and time-honoured techniques brought up to date. As a result, we have created a modern menu with punchy flavours and the occasional edgy twist,” said Alex Moser, Executive Chef, Andaz Delhi. The menu at the restaurant represents the modern Hong Kong Cantonese repertoire, and is inspired by the traditional dim sum teahouses, little restaurants at street corners and sophisticated fine-dining restaurants and bars that are peppered throughout Hong Kong’s high street. The bar menu while boasting of the finest spirits from across the globe, offers a special menu of cocktails inspired by the twelve signs of the Chinese Zodiac.


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Gaurav Pandey of Conrad Pune Wins Hilton F&B Masters Award Gaurav Pandey of Conrad Pune Hotel has won the South East Asia & India F&B Masters 2017/2018 (Hilton ISEA F&B Masters 2017/2018) award in the “Sommelier Challenge” category. Hilton held the grand finale of its ISEA F&B Masters 2017/2018 in Hilton Bali Resort in February. Following a series of rigorous competitions in the bar, barista, culinary, dessert and sommelier disciplines, the winners were declared on February 13. The other four winners of the competition are Larry Dimapilis of Conrad Manila in “Bar Challenge”, I Komang Karsana of Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport in “Barista Challenge”, Rakchanok Buangam of DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok in “Culinary Challenge” and Mulyadi Sain of DoubleTree by Hilton JakartaDiponegoro in “Dessert Challenge”. “Hilton South East Asia & India F&B Masters is a testament to our commitment as a global business leader to celebrate the amazing breadth of talent we have in this region. Through this

competition, we seek to create meaningful opportunities for our team members and excellent F&B experiences for our guests,” said Paul Hutton, Vice President, Operations, South East Asia, Hilton. “As F&B continues to serve as a cornerstone of Hilton’s guest experience, we leverage on the competition to raise the bar of our F&B offerings and foster loyalty among guests as Team Members deliver exceptional and memorable dining experiences,” Hutton added. At the Hilton ISEA F&B Masters 2017/2018 finals, 23 participants from across eight countries — India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand — competed and demonstrated their skills, innovation and flair while using local produce sourced across Indonesia.

Park Inn by Radisson IP Extension Introduces Voice-Activated Smart Rooms Park Inn by Radisson IP Extension in New Delhi has launched its voice assistant-enabled smart hotel rooms that allow guests to control light settings, music played in the room, and even the television with simple voice commands. Six of the property’s spacious studio rooms have been fitted with Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered Echo Dot devices, said a Park Inn by Radisson IP Extension statement in January. With this facility, guests can now request for services such as room cleaning, wake-up calls, laundry, in-room dining, and room check-out by merely speaking to the smart device. “Internet of Things (IoT) and voice-enabled technologies are, without a doubt, the future and we are excited to pioneer these comprehensive and intuitive smart hotel room features in India,” said Saurav Dutta, General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson IP Extension. “With the voice-activated in-room solutions we expect a 50 percent improvement in housekeeping efficiencies; ensuring speedier completion of service requests. Eventually, the intent is to diversify & grow the connected room features, as part of our on-going efforts to offer bespoke experiences that evolve with the needs of our patrons,” Dutta added. The property also offers guests an option to manage basic room functions and service requests with just a tap of their personal mobile phones — without downloading any app — with Web RTC (Real Time Communications) technology. WebRTC is an open framework for the web that enables Real Time Communications in the browser. It includes the fundamental building blocks for high-quality communications on the web, such as network, audio and video components used in voice and video chat applications, according to Webrtc.org, a project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera, among others.

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Hotel Business Review

onefinestay Launches ‘Higher Living’ Concierge Programme Guests can access it with a mobile app that will enable them contact a concierge L u x u r y p r i v a t e h o m e re n t a l b ra n d , onefinestay, has announced its concierge programme called Higher Living. A i m i n g to re d ef i n e h o s p i ta l i ty for discerning travellers by offering individualised stays and services, the company seeks out the best homes around the world Fo u n d e d i n 2 0 0 9 , o n ef i n es tay became part of the AccorHotels family in 2016, joining luxury brands like Fairmont Raffles and Sofitel. The Higher Living programme is the first initiative that the company launched since its merger in 2017 with upscale home rental service providers TravelKeys and Squarebreak, which brought its portfolio of homes — beachside villas, mountain ski chalets, historic country mansions – from 2,500 in nine cities to over 10,000 in 200 destinations around the world. The programme grants all guests access

to onefinestay’s brand of services and experiences. This is the company’s first formal guest relationship programme, and

it is also a first-of-its-kind for the industry as it is available to guests for a whole year after their stay. With the launch of the programme

in March, guests can access it with a mobile app that will enable them contact a concierge. A c c e s s t o t h e p ro g ra m m e i s complimentary for the first year, with additional cost for experiences and services. Guests gain access to more and more exclusive benefits every time they stay with onefinestay, and the concierge service becomes more tailored to their individual tastes. “ H i g h e r L i v i n g i s c u t f ro m t h e same cloth as our renowned luxury service, which is beloved by guests, and emblematic of our overarching vision: to unlock a whole new level of living for all of our guests,” said Javier Cedillo-Espin, CEO of onefinestay. “Guests love us because we have always set out to bring special experiences to their stays, and now we are extending our service outside of their travels, and into their lives,” Cedillo-Espin said.

Whirlpool Ventures into the Commercial Appliances

Whirlpool of India, a subsidiary of Whirlpool Co r p o rat i o n , h as ve nt u re d i nto t h e commercial appliance segment with its new innovative range of products from its European product portfolio. These new products include dishwashers, ovens and ice makers with state-of-the-art technology. The commercial appliance market’s estimated worth is around Rs.5000 Cr (as of May 2017) and is growing at a rate of 10-12 percent annually. Huge growth in the segment urged Whirlpool to introduce its new commercial products in the market, riding on its superior technology. The company is currently eyeing a five percent share in the overall commercial appliance business. Th e co m m e rc i a l a p p l i a n ce s f ro m

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Whirlpool will be introduced in a phased manner. These will be initially available in cities like Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Pune and then will slowly expand to other cities. The Whirlpool commercial appliances are currently imported from Europe and are backed by a strong service facility in India. The brand has a wide range of products in terms of capacity and pricing. The products are competitively priced and will compete against already present international brands in India. The immediate focus of the company is towards associating with the right channel partners and tying up with kitchen manufacturers, project consultants, interior designers, etc. With this launch, Whirlpool is poised to have its products present in hotels, bars, restaurants and hospitals that

cater to large number of people at any given time. Sunil D’Souza, Managing Director, Whirlpool of India said, “With the number of restaurants, hotels, institutes, hospitals and food service businesses growing in the country, we see huge opportunity for commercial appliances in India. We are foraying into the Kitchen equipment market of the commercial industry initially and

eying a total of five percent market share.” Whirlpool Corporation markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Ariston, Indesit and other major brand names in more than 170 countries.


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Hotel Business Review

Architectural Photographs Showcased at India Arch Dialogue FCDI - FCML Design Initiative India Arch Dialogue 2018 held during 9-25 February, 2018 at New Delhi. The theme of this edition was “Moments in Architecture - An Exhibition on Architectural Photography, Talks and Events”. It was held at Ojas Art Gallery, 1AQ, Qutub Complex, Mehrauli, New Delhi. With an aim to discuss, create and debate art, architecture and photography, the three weeks event had interactive sessions with different architect powerhouse from various platforms. FDCI’s India Arch Dialogue 2018, hosted talks, workshops and an exhibition on architecture, showcasing 184 work of art by 58 exhibitors, comprising photographers and practicing architects, who captured the marvels of architecture through their lens. The event was curated by Verendra Wakhloo, Rachit Srivastva, Madhav Raman and Sudipto Ghosh, saw interactive sessions with the participation of several architects, artists and photographers across globe who are all masters in the industry with extraordinary

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skills and unequivocal excellence of design practice, who have worked towards shaping the face of architecture and design milieu. Abha Narain Lambah, Abin Chaudhuri, Aniket Bhagwat , Asim Waqif, Dominic Sansoni, Rohan Shivkumar and Partner - Avijit Mukul Kishore, Paul Clemence, Robert Greenwood, Iwan Baan annd Juergen Mayer are some of the architects whose work were showcased. Visitors saw works of renowned photographers like André J. Fanthome, Bharath Ramamrutham, Dayanita Singh, Ram Rahman, Paul Clemence, Sebastian Cortés, Iwan Baan and Dominic Sansoni. ‘’The very idea of the Indian Arch Dialogue is to be inclusive and provide an interactive platform for nationally and internationally distinguished architects and designers. Exhibitions, talks, workshops on architecture, art, fashion, photography generate a large resource of ideas,” Wakhloo said. Madhav Ram, another curator said: “This year, the best architectural photographs and some of the most creative minds from around the world share their thoughts on photography. The idea is to help people connect with architecture and architecture to connect with people.” FCDI also invited Amateurs & Professional photographers to participate in the Architectural Photography Competition “Indian Architecture & Cityscapes”. The total prize money offered for the winners was $4000.


IFB

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Hotel Business Review

his ambit. A seasoned hotelier with an experience spanning over three decades, Keswani started his career in the year 1986 with Taj Hotels and has since worked for several prestigious brands like Hyatt, Hilton and IHG.

Prior to joining Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, Chatterjee had worked with Accor Hotels as the Operations Manager of Lavasa International Convention Centre while also overlooking the operations at Mercure Lavasa Hotel – both in Maharasthra. His previous assignments include working with Novotel Kolkata Hotel & Residences & Novotel Ahmedabad, The Westin Mumbai Garden City, The Resort Mumbai, P&O Cruises UK, and The Ambassador Mumbai.

Aditya Shamsher Malla DoubleTree by Hilton has appointment of Aditya Shamsher Malla as the General Manager at its Pune hotel. An industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, Malla has had the opportunity to work with some of the best global brands such as Marriott, Hyatt, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Shangri La International and Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. In his new role as the General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Pune - Chinchwad, Malla will be responsible for curating strategic initiatives that will lead the hotel to continue its guest focused approach and consolidate its leadership position. He will focus his efforts to deliver year-on- year growth, staff engagement activities and spearhead the corporate social activities.

Gagandeep Singh Gagandeep Singh has been appointed as the new General Manager of Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Agra. Besides focusing on the parameters that drive revenue and profitability of the hotel, Singh will also work toward reducing carbon foot-prints of the property. Singh has over fifteen years of experience in the core hospitality and customer oriented operations with hotel chains like Intercontinental Hotel Group, Sarovar Hotel & Resorts and Accor. Prior to joining Marriott International, Singh held the position of General Manager at Holiday Inn Jaipur City Centre.

Punith Sharma Novotel-ibis Chennai OMR, a combo property, has appointed Punith Sharma as the Director of Food & Beverage. Sharma brings with him multi-dimensional exposure in various roles across convention, luxury, business, upscale and economy segment. In his career spanning over 15 years, Sharma has worked with reputed brands such as Marriott International, Olive Beach Bar and Restaurant and Graviss Foods Pvt. Ltd. (Baskin Robbins). Sharma holds a Hotel Management d e g re e f ro m t h e I n s t i t u te of H ote l Management, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.

Sanjay Keswani Sanjay Keswani has been appointed as General Manager at Four Points By Sheraton Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Pune. In his new role, Keswani will be spearheading various specialised functions of the hotel and will be responsible for steering the management team. Prior to his present role, Keswani held the position of General Manager at Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida. He orchestrated the growth of the property, which received many accolades under

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Surajit Chatterjee Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has appointed Surajit Chatterjee as the General Manager of Park Plaza Ludhiana. A passionate hotelier with over 20 years of experience in hospitality, Chatterjee brings with him a hands-on experience in operation management, inventory management, customer relationship management, team management and preopening of hotels.

Jayakrishnan Sudhakaran AccorHotels has appointed in Jayakrishnan Sudhakaran as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Novotel-ibis Chennai OMR as well as Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing for Chennai region.


Ap p oi n tm en t s Prior to this, Sudhakaran, who has over over 14 years of experience in the industry, was the Director of Sales and Marketing at Novotel Goa Hotels and Resorts. As the Cluster Director of Sales & M a r ket i n g fo r Acco r H ote l s C h e n n a i , S u d h a ka ra n w i l l b e re s p o n s i b l e fo r overseeing the pre-opening activities, reactive and pro-active sales efforts along with determining and developing marketing communication activities.

Hotel Business Review

In his new role at Novotel Hotels & Resorts, Goa, Sherin’s core responsibilities w i l l i n c l u d e m ax i m i z i n g t h e h ote l ’ s revenues through result-oriented sales and marketing strategies, and exploring business opportunities through events. Prior to joining Accor Hotels, Sherin was the Director of Sales and Marketing at Hyatt Place Goa. In the past, he had been associated with some of the renowned hotel brands including Taj Hotels & Resorts Chennai, Taj Fisherman’s Cove Chennai, and Hyatt Hyatt Regency hotels in Chennai and Goa.

Varghese Thomas Varghese Thomas has been appointed as the Cluster Director of Revenue Management, Chennai Region by AccorHotels. Prior to this, he served as the Director of Revenue Management at Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences. Thomas brings with him over a decade of experience across leading international and domestic hotel brands such as Zuri Hotels and Resorts, The Lalit Hotels, and Royal Orchid, to name a few.

- South. His primary responsibility will be to facilitate the growth and development of SaffronStays’ in the southern parts of India, and to build its presence across all holiday destinations in that region. Prior to his current role, Karthik served as the Micro Market Head of the budget hospitality brand, OYO Rooms where he was responsible for the development and growth of the brand’s business in the Andhra and Telangana regions.

Vinesh Gupta Sarah Raina Sarah Raina has been appointed as the Director of Sales & Marketing at the JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa. Sarah is a seasoned hotelier with over a decade of experience in various roles across prestigious hospitality brands. Her last held position was of Director of Sales at the Grand Hyatt Goa. At the JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa, her core responsibility will be to maximise the resort’s revenue from various market segments and work with the team to conceptualise and implement innovative sales and marketing strategies. Sarah will also work towards positioning the resort as one of the most luxurious destinations in Rajasthan.

Vinesh Gupta has joined The Den Hotel, Bengaluru as the General Manager. Gupta is a seasoned hotelier who has worked for several international hotel chains such as Starwood, Shangri-La, The Leela Kempinski, Hyatt, and the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. He had also spent three years working with Hilton Hotels & Resorts, managing their Labriz Seychelles Resort in Seychelles. Prior to joining The Den Hotel, Bengaluru, Gupta was with Moevenpick Hotel and Resorts Bangalore. He has been actively involved with Hotel Schools in Education and Management, and during his time in the Seychelles, Gupta was on the board of The Seychelles Tourism Academy.

Sherin Mathew Sherin Mathew is the new Director of Sales and Marketing at Novotel Hotels & Resorts, Goa. With over 12 years of experience in the areas of sales, business development, strategic planning and team management, he brings with him a sound understanding and a wealth of expertise in the sales and marketing function.

N Karthik SaffronStays, a micro hospitality collective, has appointed N Karthik as its Regional Head

Chef Kapil Dubey The Den Hotel Bengaluru has appointed Kapil Dubey as the Executive Chef of the brand. Dubey brings with him more than

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15 years of culinary experience ranging from all facets of cooking to department and training a range of junior chefs in developing menus and recipes. Dubey started his career with Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa in 2002 and then wen on to work with One & Only Royal Mirage Hotel, Dubai; Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giravarru Maldives; Ritz Carlton, Dubai; JW Marriott, Mumbai; The Westin Pune, Starwood Hotels; JW Marriott Absheron, Baku, Azerbaizan; The Westin Gurgaon New Delhi, and Sheraton Hyderabad hotel.

Operations Management trainee with The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, after which he joined The Oberoi, Mumbai and Trident Nariman Point a Sales Executive.

appointed Anoop Pandey as Resident Manager. In his new role, Pandey will be responsible for developing business plans and implementing new ideas in order to improve guest satisfaction and profitability. He will also oversee the daily rooms operations encompassing front office, housekeeping, Spa, and food & beverage. His career, spanning over 10 years, started with The Leela Kempinski Hotels in 2006 as a Management Trainee and after a successful completion of the extensive t ra i n i n g at va r i o u s Le e l a Ke m p i n s k i properties, he became the Assistant Manager – Front Office at The Leela Palace Kempinski, Bangalore. He went on to work with The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace, The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi and the St. Regis Mumbai before returning The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi as the Resident Manager.

Shipra Sumbly Kaul Shipra Sumbly Kaul has been appointed as the General Manager of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bengaluru Racecourse of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). Kaul, who brings with her 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry, will be responsible for spearheading the successful operations of the hotel. Prior to joining Holiday Inn Express and Suites Bengaluru, she served as the General Manager of Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway. She had also worked with several other renowned hospitality brands including the Taj Palace New Delhi, Trident Gurgaon, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Leela and Royal Orchid Hotels in different capacities.

Karen Mendes Park Hyatt Hyderabad has appointed Karen Mendes as Director of Sales and Marketing. Known as a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions/ Events) specialist, Mendes has 16 years of experience in the hospitality industry during which she has worked with esteemed brands like Marriott and Hyatt, among others.

Mohit Kanwal Mohit Kanwal has joined Hyatt Regency Delhi as Director of Sales and Marketing. He brings with him more than 18 years of experience in the industry, which gives him an in-depth and holistic understanding of the hospitality business in the country. Prior to joining Hyatt Regency Delhi, Kanwal served as Director of Sales and Marketing at Hyatt Regency Mumbai and Hyatt in Pune. Kanwal began his career as a Hotel

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Anoop Pandey The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi has

Suresh Thampy Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport, part of the InterContinental Hotel Group, has appointed Suresh Thampy as the Executive Chef. Thampy brings with him over 19 years of hospitality experience and enjoys crafting new and innovative creations as much as he likes preparing them. In his new role, Thampy will assist in the functioning and processes of the hotel right from mentoring the culinary team and setting the menu to ensuring the customers are served well. Thampy has worked with some of t h e f i n es t h ote l s i n c l u d i n g S h e rato n Grand, Bangalore; Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai; Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai; and JW Marriott Hotel, Mumbai, among many other prestigious properties.


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Cover Story

Multi-branding Mushrooms The concept of ‘One is Done’ is no longer relevant to the hospitality industry. Today, hotel chains like Marriott, AccorHotels, IHG, et al have a multitude of hotel brands within their ambit in different categories, to cater to the different groups or class of people. Nowadays, hospitality companies are seen having different categories or profiles of hotels – luxury, upper upscale, upscale, upper midscale, midscale and budget, etc. within their ambit. One of the ways in today’s hospitality industry to reach out to varied market segments is through mergers and acquisitions and the other is through multi-branding. Both are not mutually exclusive. The mergers and acquisitions do not prevent the hotel groups from continuing the growth of their multiple brands. Ashok Malkani examines the present multibranding scenario and its future, in the context of the Indian hospitality industry. 24

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W

i t h a p l e t h o ra o f hotels opening all over the globe, and also in India, it has become extremely important for them to compete with each other. One of the unique features of modern day hospitality industry is that a growing number of hospitality brands are owned by the same parent company. Over the past few years, multi-branded hotel chains have mushroomed in the country. In its early days, multi-branding resulted from unique circumstances. Today, it is a common practice. Hotel chains have expanded and diversified their offerings to capture more of the travel market. Along with multi-branding, merger of brands is also taking place. The Indian Hotels Company, owned by Tata Sons, some time back launched a new brand, Vivanta by Taj, in the upper upscale segment. With this Taj was slotted in the luxury space, Vivanta by Taj in the upper upscale segment, Gateway in upscale, and Ginger in the economy segment. However, in January this year, the hotel chain brought its Vivanta and Gateway hotels under the ‘Taj’ brand as part of a major rebranding exercise. Under this new initiative, the company is upgrading all the 53 premium hotels of Vivanta and Gateway in India and abroad, and migrating them into Taj brand. These hotels will now be divided into four sub-categories—Taj Hotels, Palaces,

Resorts and Safaris depending upon the location and nature of the properties.

For Diversified Guest Profiles Th e b u s i n ess p h i l o s o p h y b e h i n d t h e multi-brand portfolio is actually quite straightforward. Over the years, new consumer segments have emerged within the hotel industry and one brand doesn’t fit all. Different brands cater to different consumer segments. Even within cities too, there are different

markets for the hospitality industry. For example, people from South Mumbai could have a different taste for hotels from the people of Borivali. What appeals to one set of customers can be a put off for another set of people. Patrick Pacious, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Choice Hotels International is of the view that travellers’ needs vary over time. He is right. Whether one is travelling for business or leisure, alone or with family, locally or internationally, and

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Hotel Business Review

whether one would be requiring a short stay or an extended stay, hotel companies want to cater to all kinds of needs of varied range of travellers. This has probably paved the growth of multi-branding in hospitality. The increase of soft brands is another driver of brand proliferation. “Unique, boutique or historical hotels want to keep their identity, but at the same time they also get the benefits of a larger company’s reservation system, marketing efforts and rewards programs,” added Patrick. Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer (COO) – India and South Asia, AccorHotels, disclosed, “The concept of multi-branded hotel chains has been becoming extremely popular primarily due to the rise of diverse types of guests. Moreover, the profile of guests today is very different when compared to those from 15 or 20 years ago. Over the years, increased disposable incomes; easier access to affordable flying and exposure to various destinations have all contributed to a number of cohorts of travellers with varying expectations.” “As hoteliers, we at AccorHotels have ensured that our multiple hotel brands reflect the ever-changing demands of both the consumers and the industry,” he stated further. “Multi-branding is very popular in this era. It helps the umbrella brand to monitor each and every hotel in an easier way. Every hotel falls under one major campaign for the year followed by monthly campaigns by the hotel which is monitored closely,” averred Henna K Punjabi, Marketing Executive —

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Tina Edmundson Holiday Inn Chennai. “IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has 14 brands under it all around the globe. In India, we have four brands: InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Crowne Plaza. These hotels operate in major cities of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and so on,” disclosed Henna. “In India, AccorHotels has the fastest growing network of hotels spanning from the luxury to economy segments. In India, we have 45 hotels across nine brands namely — Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Swissôtel, Novotel, Grand Mercure, Mercure, ibis, and ibis Styles. Across pan-India, we are present in 22 cities, spread from Mumbai to Kolkata and Delhi to Kochi,” stated Jean-Michel Cassé. “ G l o b a l l y, A c c o r H ot e l s h a s o v e r

20 brands across economy to luxury segments; operating in over 95 countries, encompassing more than 4,200 hotels, resorts and residences and over 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe,” he pointed out. “Marriott International presently has 84 hotels in India, spread across 15 brands, which include The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Le Meridien, Westin, among others,” stated Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer, Marriott International, about a year earlier. “I am not sure how well-known is the fact that Marriott has 450 hotels in the luxury and lifestyle space. When you think about Marriott International you obviously think about Marriott hotels, but there are so many other brands—many of which don’t carry the Marriott designation—that are certainly part of the portfolio. Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Autograph, AC, and Moxy are all part of our portfolio,” she affirmed. She is vehement in her assertion that each brand of Marriott International is a different proposition and they live and breathe on their own. She adds that the strength of Marriott International “lies in the unmatched diversity of our portfolio as we offer the largest and most compelling range of properties in hospitality. This allows our guests to pick the hotel that best suits their travel needs. We see great strengths and synergies in guest loyalty and owner satisfaction,” pointed out Tina. She believes that for a hotel to become a favourite these days it is essential for it to lead in digital space and cultivate the spirit of innovation, in general. As far as Marriott brands are concerned, she asserted that she would continue her focus on growth, while ensuring that the individual spirit of each brand remained intact. Lo o k i n g at t h e I n d i a n h o s p i ta l i ty industry, one can opine that some of the brand proliferation may be driven by a desire for hotel chains for growth, to sign more operating agreements, rather than identifying unique customer segments. One is expected to be left gaping when one is given details about the number of brands under different giant hotel chains. Marriott International now manages 30 brands under its corporate umbrella. The  Wyndham Hotel Group  has 18 brands across 8,000 hotels.  Choice Hotels International’s 6,500 hotels include


Cover Story 11 brands. Hyatt Hotels Corporation carries a portfolio of 13 brands, distributed among about 700 properties.  AccorHotels, based in Paris, manages 17 brands worldwide. The list could go on. Choice currently franchises more than 6,500 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms, in more than 35 countries and territories. Ranging from limited service to full service hotels in the economy, mid-scale and upscale segments, Choicebranded properties provide business and leisure travellers with a range of high-quality, high-value lodging options throughout the United States and internationally.  “Over the last few years, Choice International terminated contracts with 600 lower quality properties and invested 40 million USD to spruce up the rest, including updates like modern lobbies, flat-screen TVs and faster Wi-Fi. More than 50 additional Comfort Inns are planned or are under construction,” Patrick disclosed. The proliferation of brands under one parent company can also be construed as a byproduct of hotel companies’ consolidation exercise. Tina is of the opinion that the more

Hotel Business Review

Patrick Pacious hotels and choices that a hospitality group offers the more competitive it becomes.

Understanding Multi-branding But operating different brands in several c o u n t r i e s p o s e s p ro b l e m s t o w a rd s maintaining identical standards of service level in all the hospitality properties coming under a given brand.

Jean-Michel Cassé, however, is not fazed by this challenge. “AccorHotels’ approach ‘Born in France, Made in India’ is what strings all our brands together,” he affirmed. “At AccorHotels, we ensure that our team members understand the brand culture, as that is exactly what translates into our guest experience at our hotels. In order to achieve a consistent work culture throughout the team, it is pivotal for every team member to understand the brand’s mission and vision, thus enabling us to adhere to them. It also allows us to work towards delivering seamless services to our guests,” proffered Jean-Michel Cassé. “Every AccorHotels brand has its unique set of offerings and facilities, tailored to the clientele it caters to,” Jean-Michel Cassé pointed out. “For instance, the SOPs that a server would follow while waiting a table would be the same, but the product that he/ she serves would vary depending from brand to brand, in each country,” he explained. The question often posed by the layman is: Why should one hotel group have so many brands? Doesn’t it lead to confusion?

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Hotel Business Review

The answer to this is that brand can easily communicate the standards of quality and service you can expect. You know that Westin gives you an upscale experience, with comfortable beds and curved shower rods in the bath. You know that Marriott stands for consistency. A customer becomes aware of a brand and chooses a hotel flying that flag because the brand tells them just what they are going to get – that consistent experience they are comfortable and familiar with and feel favourably towards. There are some basic characteristics of a reputed brand. Henna states that today’s travellers want to be as productive as possible, so they can work while they travel. They are aware that their best work requires a comfortable environment conducive to productivity. They seek a hotel experience that blends work and relaxation. That is what IHG hotels offer, according to her! However, there is a flip side to this too. With too many brands, and brands that don’t clearly distinguish themselves, it is hard for guests to ‘get’ the brand’s idea. Chinmai Sharma, the Chief Revenue Officer of Taj Group, said, “It is becoming increasingly difficult for customers to differentiate between 10-15 brands of the same hotel chain. After going through an internal exercise, discussing the matter with our guests, loyalty members and our staff and associates, we realised that everyone basically wants a hotel with delicious food and beverage offerings, and with clean rooms which provide good sleeping experience. Brands don’t matter so much.” “Every hotel can have several brand standards towards its approach of work. A great hotel is a 24/7 proposition, requiring a constant and sustained customer focus. At Holiday Inn, we have morning meetings where all the managers of every department, along with the General Manager of the hotel, sit down and discuss the activities and priorities for the day; keeping in mind our main motto – Great Hotels, Guests Love,” said Henna. “Hospitality is all about the way you showcase your brand to the client by means of service. Service methods can change from country to country, based on the environment or society, but the main goal is being the best possible hotel for guests, in a given category. Facilities can change based on who your target segment is and what category does the hotel come under,”

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Jean-Michel Cassé emphasised Henna. In this digital age, which is also the era of globalisation, luxury and luxury good can easily move from one country to another. When it comes to luxury, service quality and satisfaction, positive customer experiences are vitally important, because a positive experience will cause the customer to wish to return or stay longer and/or to recommend the establishment to others. Many experts are of the opinion that today guests in hospitality properties seek trustworthy brand experiences based on the optimisation of conflicting needs. For example, some people want brands to address the opposing desires of wanting to belong and wanting to be an individual; being known to many and preserving anonymity; craving something rare that is easily available.

The Present and the Future So how fast have different brands of the

Henna K Punjabi

hospitality groups been growing? “Multi-brands of hotel chains in India have grown like wildfire. Nowadays, it seems every umbrella hotel chain brand wants to have different categories of hotels under it. In IHG, we recently acquired AVID, which is now an IHG hotel,” observed Henna. “The Indian tourism and hospitality industry has been burgeoning and in turn driving the growth of branded hotels in India. International hotel chains which account for the bulk of branded hotels in India, are on an expansion spree as their growth has stagnated in most global markets,” pointed out Jean-Michel Cassé. “It is estimated that international hotel chains will account for 47 percent of the share in the Indian hospitality industry by the year 2020, and approximately up to 50 percent by 2022 as compared to 44 percent at present,” he asserted. Here it deserves a mention that international hotel chains have been expanding much faster across the country than the Indian ones. “With this growing pace of brands across various segments of Indian hospitality industry, it is vital to ensure each brand creates its unique identity and the target audience can distinguish one brand from another,” opined Jean-Michel Cassé. But overall, what would be the future of multi-brands in India is a question that has been intriguing several hospitality stalwarts. J e a n - M i c h e l Ca s s é s e e m s t o b e optimistic. He disclosed, “Research suggests about 25 percent of the Indian hospitality industry falls under the branded category as compared to developed economies, where it is about 40 percent.” This portends a huge potential of growth of multi-brands in the Indian hospitality industry. “Owing to higher disposable incomes, profound infiltration of technology, awareness and reach, the Indian hospitality industry has seen a significant shift of customers from the unbranded segment towards the branded segment,” he proffered. Henna too speaks in a positive vein. “In future, multiple branding will be the norm in that segment of the Indian hotel industry, which operates in large scale. In IHG, we have the IHG Rewards Club which induces our guests to stay at our hotel brands only, thereby making them loyal customers. Likewise, some brands have different categories of hotels under them, which helps customer stay loyal to the brand across their choice of category and class,” she analysed. n


Enquiry on Visiting: Ms. Komal Sanghvi, Promosalons India, T: +91 22 6610 0401 E: ksanghvi@promosalons.com Jan-Feb ’18

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Hotel Business Review

The human resource departments in the hospitality industry do not directly serve any customer nor do it bring direct revenues but they play important role in the hospitality proper ties’ efficient operations which, in turn, can boost the properties’ reputation, resulting in greater chance of their increased business. The function of this department is not only to get the right people but also to train them well and keep them abreast of the latest developments in the hospitality industry. Besides, it has also to maintain friendly relations among all ranks of employees to prevent a high rate of attrition, a feature which is rampant in the Indian hospitality industry. Ashok Malkani finds out the various aspects of having an efficient HR department in the hotels.

HR Facilitates

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Revenues A

ble and efficient human resource management is the foundation for gaining competitive edge in the hotel industry. Since the most critical problems in the Indian hospitality industry are employment related, honouring the employees through effective communication, and training and benefit programs for them are essential elements of effective hospitality management in hospitality properties in India. The International Society of Hospitality Consultants cites labour and skill shortages as among the industry’s top 10 challenges. The human resource department of a hotel has thus to pay heed to all these necessities to ensure that the property is able to project a favourable image and attract impressive footfalls, thereby increasing the chances of profitability. Today, the HR department is responsible for several aspects of running a hotel efficiently and economically. The HR department in hotel today has a multitude of diverse responsibilities. Angad Sathe, Assistant Training Manager, Marriott Suites Pune, declared, “Gone are the days when the HR department used to only do recruitment for the hotel business. Today, the HR plays the role of a strategic business partner contributing to the success of the hotel. Today HR is not restricted to only working in the offices but its role is more hands on; it includes everything from being present on the shop floor, to getting connected with people, to understanding how they are faring on the job and whether they are getting the correct resources to perform their job responsibilities.”

The Role of Human Resource “Today, employees of a hotel play a key role to ensure more footfall for the hotel. At Marriott, we believe in creating ‘wow’ experiences for our guests. Every associate is always looking for an opportunity to go out of the way and build a unique rapport with the guest. We often have guests coming back and remembering the names of our employees, and the gesture that he or she did for them. Apart from that, our marketing initiatives help in keeping the customers abreast of the latest events and happenings at the hotel, which in turn also boost footfall,” averred Angad. “HR is a strategic partner in today’s business. The role of HR is critical to ensure that right talent is

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Business hired for the right role. The HR philosophy at Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru is very simple. We treat our colleagues like our guests and strive to ensure that they feel valued and comfortable in their working environment. This translates into higher employee morale and the focus is on delighting guests through our self-motivated staff. This leads to enhanced guest satisfaction, which is an important factor towards retaining our guests within the brand,” stated Vivek Srinivasan, Director of Human Resources at Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru. “ I n a h ospitalit y s et-u p, each and every individual is a sales person. They engage with the guests, understand their requirement and help close the loop which, in turn, helps gain guests’ loyalty. Guests do come back to the hotel not only for its facilities but also because of the service professionals who have delighted them in their previous visit/s. There are many examples where guests have moved their loyalty due to the trust in our colleagues,” explained Vivek further. “Not just inside the hotel but even outside they can help in brand building. In today’s socially connected virtual world,

Hotel Business Review

our employees act as the promoters of the brand. This enhances the network which also in turn gives us visibility and contributes to our overall footfall,” he observed. So when employees play such a crucial role in the hospitality industry towards brand building, hiring and managing the employees cannot be anything less crucial for the hotel business. Ishrat Noor Siddiqui, Head HR, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Alibaug affirmed, “To

gain competitive power for a hotel, human resource management is an important factor. Human resource management can be regarded as the foundation of a hotel to acquire competitive advantage. HR helps in achieving high level of guest-centric services, needed for the success of the hotel.” “My strong belief is, if you take care of your people, your people will take care of your guests and your business will take care

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Business

Hotel Business Review

Venkataramana Reddy of itself,” opined Ishrat. “HR also plays a crucial role in influencing an employee’s attitude. Keeping control of the costs associated with employment, including those connected with wages and benefits, is a strategic and important role of the HR department. Indeed, the entire organisational structure of the hospitality organisation may rely upon the HR department to ensure smooth business function,” Swetlina Mishra, Human Resource Manager, JW Marriott Hotel Pune, elaborated. “Developing employees is essential towards providing a consistent level of guest satisfaction over time. The Indian hospitality industr y, with its high turnover rates, can benefit from grooming outstanding professionals. Doing so retains consistency within the business as well as in facilitating enhancing of guest footfalls,” she pointed out further. T h e H R d e p a r t m e nt p l ay s a ve r y important role in aligning the company’s

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success goals. “The customers will never love a company, if the employees don’t love it first”, is an axiom worth noting. “ H u ma n re s o u rce s d e p a r t m e nt at hotels is very crucial to their success as the department functions as strategic business partners and contributes to the top line. The department drives important aspects of guest satisfaction through training & development and thus helps get favourable guest feedback scores in terms of excellence in staff service,” pointed out Neesha Mohapatra, Director HR at Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway. “Hotel associates should be trained in interpersonal communication skills which assist them in connecting with guests and anticipating their needs. This in turn drives guest satisfaction and contributes to increase in footfall. As a unit, we drive various internal recognition initiatives which are great motivation for the associates for attracting business and boosting their morale,” she affirmed. I t m u s t b e re m e m b e re d t h at t h e employees which are hired in a hotel can really alter the quality of service and the whole atmosphere of the hotel. Lakshmi, HR Manager, Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway, added, “HR is the backbone of any industry. It has the job of hiring the right people at the right time. Half of your tension is resolved if you have the right talent at work. Hence HR plays a key role in the success of all industries, which of course, include the hospitality industry.”

Hiring Rightly Swetlina asserted, “The key to the success of a hotel starts with selecting the right people.

Angad Sathe Our selection process is predominantly a group decision wherein General Manager is also very much involved. The focus is mainly on the talent as well as on personal values. We look for people who genuinely enjoy their contact with people and in helping others. It is about caring and respecting others.” Venkataramana Reddy, HR Manager, The Corinthians Resort & Club Pune, averred, “The HR department can be construed as the nerve center of hotels. People will always come to a place where its employees are known for the 3Cs: Care, Concern & Commitment,” And selecting the people with these three essential attributes for hospitality personnel and also of grooming them is the responsibility of the hotel’s HR department. “Skill gaps and worker shortages are overcome by ensuring a solid recruitment infrastructure, best practices, leveraging the brand equity and with a consistent recruitment service. Our hiring philosophy therefore is very simple — look for will and attitude rather than skills and aptitude,” disclosed Vivek. “The human resources department of the hotel as strategic business partners needs to ensure that the hotel staff strength is optimal for running smooth operations. We, at Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway have a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy. We have several tie-ups with elite hotel management & aviation institutes in the city to recruit fresh graduates and interns. We also have a comprehensive industrial training program where we recognise high potential trainees as Brand Ambassadors, who are more than keen to come up as employees to our hotel after graduation. We conduct frequent visits and lectures at these colleges to interact


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Business

Hotel Business Review

with fresh talent and educate them about Marriott; as a company for their future career prospects,” Neesha informed.

Training is the Key The HR department of a hotel has not only to pick the right candidates but also ensure that they are trained, retrained and retained, so as to check attrition. Today, the Indian hotel industr y is going through continual evolution where its employees not only need to be aware of the new technologies being introduced but should also be informed about the guests’ increasing expectations. Thus the HR department of hotels has to be on its toes to train the employees from time to time and also to ensure that they are kept satisfied so that they give their best. Employee motivation is one of the major issues faced by every organisation. It is the major task of every HR Manager to motivate the personnel or to create the ‘will to work’ among the personnel. S o h ow d o e s t h e H R d e p a r t m e nt in hotels hire the right person for the right position and what are the different procedures adopted by hotels to train and retrain their employees? Ishrat confessed that, at times his resort had to face shortage of skilled workers due to the geographical location (Alibaug), which has limited infrastructural facilities visa-a-vis to metros. “We bridge s k i l l g a p s by i m p a r t i n g a p p ro p r i ate training base d on individ ual training need analysis, guest’s feedback, quality performance reviews, etc. We strive hard to develop flexible operating models, organisational structures, and career paths focused on skills rather than business functions. Employee motivation techniques, par tnerships with hotel management colleges, training tools developed by our subject mentors in conjunction with the senior leadership team help us to bridge those gaps,” he explained. “It is obligatory for all the employees in our hotel to undergo Hotel’s Brand Orientation and other behavioral and skill development training, which are conducted by a certified learning & development expert, at regular intervals in a year. Each employee is given access to undergo online training through our brand connect web portal (Learning Link); through this channel employee can choose a topic as per her/his choice and complete the training in the prescribed duration. Our

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Neesha Mohapatra constant endeavo ur remains that all the employees are empowered to take decisions to satisfy guest needs at any given point. Employees in Development Centre can get connected to other fellow colleagues to explore further or in clearing their doubts, if any. To keep pace with the technological changes in the field or as and when new tasks are assigned to the existing employees refresher training (retraining) is conducted,” Ishrat informed. “In our property, training calendars (annual/monthly) are made in respect of various employees, which are closely monitored by L&D (Learning & Development) Manager in conjunction with the Departmental Trainers. Briefings/ right time training/ skill development/ SOP/ brand awareness and other trainings are conducted by the HODs/Departmental Trainers as per the training schedule. E x ter nal train e r s fro m var io us h otel management colleges are also invited, from time to time, to conduct workshops for the employees,” Ishrat disclosed. Swetlina follows a comprehensive HR concept, which can be summed up as

Lakshmi

Reinvent, Re-evaluate, Recruit, Realign and Collaborate. She disclosed what each step involved. “Training is the most crucial aspect in hospitality as it puts your staff in a better position to contribute to the hotel’s success. Make training a part of day-to-day management, so that it is not considered as an additional task. This goes for both staff and management,” she opined. Swetlina stresses on training of hotel personnel on departmental expectations, behavioural training, body language, and communication. “The different types of training we have are on the job training, coaching and mentoring, surprise audits and guest lectures/ classroom session,” she conveyed. “In my opinion, the key to HR success in hotel business is to ensure that we improve the personnel’s experiences at the hotel rather than thinking that they will leave some day. It is very important to keep your associates/employees engaged/ motivated each day because the work does become monotonous especially in the hotel industry with long working hours adding to the scenario,” opined Angad. “It is very important that associates are briefed about the current trends in the hospitality industry. Daily briefings & monthly department meetings are the best way to share important knowledge & information,” he pointed out. “ W ith us , at th e b e gin ning of th e employee’s journey itself, he or she is given a set of trainings that will guide him through the role. A buddy is also assigned to ensure that he or she settles in easily. From time to time, new modules of trainings are assigned to the employees, which ensure that they keep learning and enhancing their skills,” averred Angad. “On the job trainings are more essential than classroom trainings as by this way the information can be imparted quickly as well as demonstrated easily. Of course, certain mandatory trainings are required to be done in classroom at regular intervals. At Marriott Suites Pune, we also conduct s p e cia l s e s sio ns w h e re p e o p l e f ro m the industry are invited to share their experiences and knowledge. Our company offers a lot of online training portals for the employees, where in they can log in and be part of the sessions. We have certain targets for all our employees with regard to the number of hours of training required each month, hence it is the duty of the


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Business

Hotel Business Review

each department head to ensure that those hours are fulfilled,” elaborated Angad. “There is no special formula to overcome skill shortages. Training and re-training is the only solution. In a world where the generations to come are always inquisitive, on the move to learn more and increase their monetary benefits, movement from one organisation to another will continue and so will be the learning curve,” claimed Venkataramana. “One could, in a way, overcome some percentage of skill gaps and wor ker shortages by enhancing empathy levels, emotional management levels and creating an intellectual data base which provides the platform for employees to look to, on any work day,” he conceded. “Change is the only constant in life. To help in maintaining a lean and dynamic team, training and re-training cannot be emphasised enough. This helps in enabling the employees to cope with the continuous changing environment,” Venkataramana affirmed. “Training should be done based on needs, and should be imparted based on the gaps observed in the knowledge, skill or attitude / soft skills,” he iterated. Ve n k at a r a m a n a b re a k s d o w n t h e ideal module of training in hotels; to be impar ted for various needs. “Product familiarisation trainings should be done before a new product is being launched or commissioned followed by an assessment check for the product and its operators. If a product is upgraded then retraining is necessar y. Changes in the existing processes should be informed to teams in advance; every training done to be backed by an audit to check for effectiveness of training imparted. Safety related trainings should be done as mandated by law, which should include cer tified programs for first aid, firefighting and pool life guards, food safety, etc. Once inducted, the new joiners should be taken care of by buddy / departmental trainers who ensure new joiners are mentored till they are ready to deliver as per expectations /standards. Workshops should also be conducted quarterly or half yearly as per need, where one can train the trainer, supervisors, etc.,” opined the HR expert. “In our company, the entire chain of trainers imparts the training based on the specific needs of their departments, which are prioritised based on statutory compliances and guest needs. The training

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Swetlina Mishra provided at our hotel includes knowledgebased training, skill-based training and soft skills training,” Venkataramana conveyed. “Besides, our in-house training programs are tailored to suit us in addressing the skill gaps. We also partner with various universities and continue to work with them in hiring and training future talents,” he pointed out. “Colleagues can par ticipate in our talent development programs and various initiatives to fast track their career in the organisation. We do also allow our colleagues to move within our properties, which help us to retain the talent within the brand,” said Vivek. “We have to continually keep exploring new ways of engaging with personnel, be it training or conducting activities. One such example is the introduction of mentimeter tools which we use almost on a daily basis to run short quizzes, surveys

or feedback sessions right from the day of their orientation to the exit in order to analyse, understand and make offerings that appeal to them,” he informed further. “IHG ensures that introductory training and knowledge about its hotels is imparted as and when employees are joining. Post which ever y depar tment has its own departmental trainers taking care of their team members with Buddy System. Once a week all mandatory trainings are imparted and the same are refreshed on a monthly basis,” informed Lakshmi. “ With us ever y depar tment has departmental trainers who are certified trainers by IHG. They are responsible for the trainings of the personnel of their department, which are monitored by us from time to time. Apart from this we do conduct Role Plays and Capsule Trainings in the working areas, etc.,” Lakshmi put forward. “We have various tools with respect to keeping the knowledge of the colleagues updated. We have an extensive database of FAQs that we have now made available online, which becomes easy for us to update and the colleagues get a ready reckoner on the go to refer to. There are also daily briefings in which there is always a 10 minutes long trainer topic which largely focuses on the latest trends that are required by the colleagues. For topics and procedures that require more attention and recall and would also be a legal compliance we have biyearly training,” articulated Vivek. “We have a structured plan for training in the departments. Our hotel orientation theme is named the DICE - Discover, Care, Explore. Under the Discover phase, colleagues go through a detailed orientation of the whole hotel and then when they get to their respective department they are given a TCI (Task Competency Inventory) that guides them with the plan of training based out of their role and these are a combination of on the job and theory. The Department orientation is of 180 days where the colleague has a buddy who helps him/her through the various trainings. On a monthly basis, the departments evaluate their received feedback and quality scores and decide on training priorities for the month,” he elaborated further.

Employee Relationship Vivek Srinivasan

To ensure that the employees give their best, there has to be a well-oiled machinery


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Hotel Business Review

for maintaining cordial relations with them. Venkataramana said, “All human beings thrive on the need for social bonding and the need to have a healthy relationship in their personal and professional lives. The need to be recognised and be socially linked and accepted as part of a group plays a big part in enhancing and improving the relationship levels people have at the work place.” “With proper emotional management and high empathy levels we ensure the relationship levels are maintained in a healthy fashion. At the Corinthian Resort & Club Pune, the management makes it a point to support the associates as required, over and beyond the call of duty,” he maintained. “Empowerment Matrices are put in place to enhance decision making skills, starting at the associate level. Committees for various activities have been put in place to ensure people feel valued in the system. Strong Reward and Recognition Program is also in place. Besides these we also have strong employee engagement programs like Fun Wednesdays, Periodic Sports Tournaments held for cricket, football, chess, and carrom. For the ladies, the International Women’s Day is being celebrated with pomp and grandeur since the last three years,” stated Venkataramana. “ We also believe that to maintain a s u c c e s s f u l te a m w e m u s t h ave a transparent communication system. We have a strong grievance management system in accordance with the legal r e q u i r e m e nt s i n p l a c e to d e a l w i t h grievances as soon as possible. Associate O pinio n S u r veys are co nd u cte d in a transparent manner where employee confidentiality is maintained” he stated. “At Marriott Suites Pune, we encourage eq ual par ticipation in any activit y conducted at the hotel. So it does not matter whether he is on payroll or off payroll or whether he is a trainee or a permanent employee, everyone is given the same respect. We also conduct a lot of engagement activities for our employees to ensure that they are refreshed & reenergised before they step back into their duties. Theme lunches, Zumba sessions, financial wellbeing sessions, inter hotel cricket tournaments keep our employees e n gag e d a n d reju ve nate d ,” as s e r te d Angadh. “At Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru, we are steadily adapting a conversational

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Ishrat Noor Siddiqui method of providing them with feedback rather than a yearly performance review. We encourage and train our Managers on having constructive conversations and being a guide and support leader than a typical boss. Under the employee relations, we plan a lot of team building activities that give time and opportunity for the teams at all levels to engage and collaborate effectively,” disclosed Vivek. “Our human resources department, in conjunction with the General Manager, ensures that the senior leadership team ef fe c tive l y e s t a b lis h e s a n d n u r t u re s re latio ns hips with fe l l ow e m p l oye es . Supervisory Development Programs are also being conducted for supervisory and other senior staff at regular intervals to strengthen their relationship with junior staff,” emphasised Ishrat. “At J .W M ar r iot t H ote l P u n e, we believe that the following steps will lead to better employee relationship. They are making work a more fun environment; it will help employees love where they work. Recognising your employees with rewards (like gifts or a points-based reward system), letting your employees know you value them, providing them ongoing training, aligning individual employee’s goals with company goals (let them know their specific goal helps the company meet its goals, which will give employees a sense of achievement) are some other steps in this direction. Sharing the company’s success; letting the employees know how the company is doing, create a strong team environment through team events, making sure your team has the tools it needs to perform its best, which could be something as simple as extra pens at the reception desk, are some other measures,” elaborated Swetlina.

“At Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway there are numerous platforms for employees to interact with Managers and Executive Committee. Our employees get to share ideas, opinions & concerns, which facilitates to build an inclusive environment of team work and innovation,” informed Neesha. “Such opportunities as well as an open door policy, encourages to develop a sense of belongingness and cohesiveness among the associates. Marriott, as a company, stands firm on its guarantee of fair treatment, and associates are educated on freely communicating any g r i eva n c e s , w h i c h a re a d d re s s e d i n an unbiased manner at all times,” she expressed. “The InterContinental Hotel Group is known for employee benefits, employee welfare and employee engagement. In keeping with this trend, we at Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway keep our employees engaged by way of conducting periodic activities, health camps, help desks, providing cross trainings in other departments, etc. We have an open door policy wherein any employee can reach up to GM to share his/her feedback,” informed Lakshmi. “With the right career guidance and comprehensive incentive & recognition plans in hotel; along with exciting employee engagement initiatives, employer iteration can be curbed to a great deal. In the end, human resource department of a hotel’s primary focus should be on retention of talent and gaining the edge on training the associates to deliver world-class service to guests,” aired Neesha. “We face challenges in our hotel for recruiting the right person for the right job. However, with the right tools and right trainers we assess them carefully and train them accordingly. HR & L&D departments strive hard to ensure training sessions which are conducted are relevant, interesting and effective for the employee,” said Ishrat. As one can gauge from the wealth of information and perspectives of some of the industry players, human resource m a n a g e m e nt i s t h e c o r n e r s to n e o f effective hospitality management and of the success of the hospitality property. Its functions include a variety of activities. Getting the right HR team can lead to better quality of personnel, or rather the right kind of personnel for a given role in the hotel. n


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Hotel Business Review

Toiletries Linked to Hotel Branding While the hospitality brand influences the selection of toiletries, these articles that guests use for washing themselves can also influence the hospitality property’s branding in curious ways By Jyotismita Sharma

R

ome was not built in a day, and building a brand out of a hotel also takes time and effort — sometimes months, and often years. But the difference, many would agree, reveals itself in the details. They may be very small things that people tend to overlook. The toiletries a hotel uses can be one such detail. It is indeed quite intriguing to note that the articles that a hospitality property provides for its guests to wash their bodies have an intimate relation with the property’s branding. This relationship is not one dimensional. Here is how. Now it is an open secret that many guests at hospitality properties have a tendency to pack toiletries such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste on their return journey. They do it for various reasons. Some people take them back for use at home, perhaps as a reminder of the luxury he/she has had at the hotel, while others pack them for the purpose of distributing – often among maids and servants. And yet another group may take them just because these articles at hotels come without an additional price tag. Whatever may be the reason, when guests take some material things back with them – however small they may be in terms of value, there is a possibility that their association with the hospitality brand would deepen. Stronger bonds with guests can bring many benefits, either in terms of generating repeat visits or garnering positive recommendations through word of mouth. “Hotel toiletries carry a huge weightage in promoting a particular hotel brand among guests. Hence, it is always a priority for

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hotels to offer quality toiletry products to guests for enhancing the experience of their stay at the hotel,” said Manish Kumar Jha, Procurement Manager, Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity. There is, however, one more dimension to the relationship between toiletries housed in hospitality properties and their branding. The hospitality property’s image or brand positioning can influence the selection of toiletries. Take, for example, the case of Fairmont Jaipur in Rajasthan, a five-star luxury hotel with imposing architecture and décor simulating a palace, inspired by the Mughal dynasty and royal Rajputs of yesteryears. Fairmont, being a socially responsible group, focuses on using products which are environmentally sustainable and do not harm the local community. This sense of branding trickles down even to its selection

Manish Kumar Jha

of toiletries. “We at Fairmont Jaipur use products of Le Labo, a boutique perfume company based in New York, which focuses on directly sourced natural ingredients and use of recycled bottles to pack the products,” said Dharam Singh, Director of Operations at Fairmont Jaipur.

Emerging Trends in Hotel Toiletries Of course, Fairmont Jaipur is not the lone hospitality player operating in India which puts emphasis on using environmentally sustainable products. It has become a trend for most major hotel brands around the world. “Though it is not a new trend in the ind ustr y, b ut it has cer tain ly gaine d momentum over the past few years,” Singh averred. “Travellers of all age groups are these days concerned about the origin of the products that they use,” he added. Another major trend that has emerged in India is the use of organic and Ayurvedic p ro d u c ts , w hic h has its inf l u e n ce in the selection of toiletries in hospitality properties. “Hospitality properties across categories — from luxury and upper-scale to mid-scale and budget --have started opting for organic and medicated options in toiletries; based on the guest need and suggestions,” said Jha. He said that India-based suppliers of toiletries were now getting global attention and several toiletries’ manufacturers in the country were now exporting their products to foreign destinations. “They have started collaborating with


Focus

Dharam Singh renowned hotel brands and potential suppliers of toiletries in the hospitality market,” asserted Jha, adding that due to an increase in demand for Ayurvedic products, the Indian hospitality industry has seen a decline in import of toiletries from foreign markets. “Further, a number of hotel chains operating in India have switched to Indian manufacturers in order to fulfill the requirements of clients,” Jha added. “We at Grand Mecure Mysuru use toiletries which are solely Ayurvedic, and ensure that our guests are provided with the best products,” said Avinash Dev, Executive Housekeeper of Grand Mercure Mysuru.

Factors Influencing Purchase From branding to hygiene and costs, there are several factors which can influence the choice of toiletries for a hospitality property. Singh explained that before purchasing toiletries, the main factors that should be kept in mind are brand,

Avinash Dev

accessibility and feasibility, known as BAF. “The first factor which is always considered is the brand that a hotel would want to reflect when the toiletry product is used. This also means that the product should be at par with the hotel brand standard in terms of the manufacturing process and the type of ingredients being used,” Singh said. The accessibility factor refers to the ease of getting the product when one needs it. This can be considered the most impor tant factor as any establishment would want to get the ordered products without any delay or damages. The feasibility factor is based on the market competition and availability of different types of toiletry products in the market. It also influences the hospitality properties in the purchase of toiletries. W h i l e H o u s e ke e p i n g M a n a g e r s generally tend to give costs the priority, those in the luxury hospitality segment cannot afford to do so. For them, availability of luxury products becomes the biggest concern, which can influence their decision of whether to procure the products locally or to import them. This rule is very much applied for toiletries too. “While we also focus on supply chain mechanism of the producer, the given hospitality property’s brand standing in the market and feedback from guests are key deciding factors influencing the final purchase of toiletries,” summed up Jha. Dev said that hygiene is also an ex t r e m e l y i m p o r t a nt f a c to r t h at influences the selection of toiletries.

Supply Concerns Jha said that a major concern for the Housekeeping Managers is that toiletries’ suppliers often fail to fulfill the demands of hotels. “Earlier, many of the international hotel chains were using foreign toiletry brands. These products were imported and the transit time for the supplies ranged from six to 12 weeks, resulting in scarce supplies. Now that many of the brands are co-producing their product/s in India, the lead time for supplies has reduced. However, there are certain challenges due to increased demands for toiletries across the Indian hospitality industry,” Jha explained. n

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F&B

Hotel Business Review

Gauging the Evolving Market

By Sharmila Chand

B

owl meals and comfort food took centre stage among the food trends in the Indian food service industry, during 2017. 2018 is also expected to unfold lot of interesting concepts for discerning diners, across the Indian food service industry. Lots of Chefs are of the opinion that grandmothers’ recipes will continue to rock during 2018, and the focus will be a lot more on healthy culinary fare. Also, cooking will be more of an art with Chefs making utmost efforts towards impeccable presentations. How about having micro greens and edible flowers blossom in their dishes? How about having unheard ingredients creating flavour infusions in simple, non fussy preparations? Yes, they are expected to emerge as trends of 2018, in the Indian food service industry.

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Here some well-known Chefs share their take on ‘Food Trends for 2018’, in the context of the Indian food & beverage industry in general and in the context of the Indian food service industry in particular

Some Happening Trends According to Nikhil Rastogi, Executive Chef, Eros Hotel New Delhi, Nehru Place,”There is the trend to primarily focus on one dish rather than on a whole gamut of dishes. This has always been there in Delhi or in fact in India where an eatery just concentrates on perfecting one dish rather than presenting varied selections. Dishes like bir yanis, momos, pizzas, dosas have a recall value from outlets which are famous for them, where they maintain quality consistency.” “Hopefully, regional Indian food would

gain its glory back in 2018. People are now more inclined towards the diversity of Indian ingredients. Customers are exploring new dishes from south India, Goa, North-East and even lesser known ethnic Indian food. Ice-cream parlours, food trucks and cloud kitchens are also trending in the Indian food service industry,” asserted Padmanabhan Anand, Corporate Executive Chef, Group MRG Hospitality, Bengaluru. “It is high time we need to make our young crowd fall in love with Indian cuisines again. We need to understand their palates and design accordingly,” Padmanabhan pointed out.   “There has been a huge demand and growing interest towards ​h ealthy food, in the Indian food & beverage industry. For the same reason, awareness on sustainable & organic food and their production has increased over the years. People are trying to eat healthy, going for farm-to-table lunches, growing their own garden herbs, buying as much organic food as they can afford and consciously avoiding junk food as much as possible. Hence, the biggest food trend of 2018 in India will continue to be about eating healthy,” observed Chef Sreenivasan G, Executive Chef, Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport.  “Definitely, there has been a remarkable switch to the vegetarian food or more so towards the vegan food. The change in the global opinion about the food has a lot to do with it. Organic produce has come in and the introduction of soya and its products have given a lot of different options to the Chefs and the guests,” he added further. “Dessert section has expanded quite a bit. These tiny adorable mini feasts have become the main attraction in the recent times & sky is the limit when it comes to innovation in desserts. The live dessert counters have risen in popularity in the recent times,” observed Sreenivasan while talking about the happening food trends in India. “However when it comes to hardcore sweet products, still nothing beats the local Indian desserts such as jalebi, malpua, seasonal halwas and rasmalai. But on the other hand, chocolate fondues, crepe bar, gelato bar (Teppanyaki style) and flambés are also catching the eye of the roving customers. The popularity of these desserts would evolve more this year,” he explained. “Old world recipes will make their way back into kitchens. Blame it to the rise of lifestyle diseases or our love for everything traditional, but healthy seeds like char


F&B

Sreenivasan G

Nikhil Rastogi

magaz, chironji, oats, quinoa will be used in cakes, cookies, muffins and crackers extensively this year. So local ingredients will play a major role in our daily diet during 2018,” affirmed Sreenivasan. “More consumers in India are opting for a plant-based diet. Vertical indoor farming is bringing more farms closer to where people live, reducing expense and environmental impact in the process,” he conveyed. ­While discussing the food trends which would pervade through the Indian food & beverage industry in the near future, Lokesh Jarodia, Executive Sous Chef, Novotel Imagica Khopoli, said, “The most influential trend that we have come across lately in the Indian food & beverage industry is incorporating a healthy aspect in food. Super food like ragi, quinoa, chia seeds, etc. are now greatly in demand. There is also a surge towards going back

to the roots and deriving diverse recipes from varied cultural heritages.” “Keeping the present environmental conditions in mind, a lot of hotels and restaurants including us at Novotel Imagica Khopoli are making a sincere effort to maintain a menu, while incorporating mainly local produce,” he pointed out further. Lokesh believed the popularity of authentic Indian food and comfort food would continue. “According to me, plant-based food or protein will be trending big this year, across the Indian food & beverage industry. Lots of people are becoming vegan, to improvise the eating habits and to be more fit. Indian and South-east Asian countries’ street food are being fused to make Indian food more palatable for Americans. Unique flavours based on fermented food, like Umami, is in trend now,” aired Prasad Metrani, Executive Chef, Fairmont Jaipur. “Restaurants emphasising on the local produce in their menu will be in trend during 2018. Local documented recipes of the old days are going to be more in demand as people are interested to learn more and more about the lost recipes and special home recipes. Farmer’s market and organic vegetable stores are the trend as more and more people are turning health conscious,” averred Prasad. “Healthier ingredients like avocados, fresh organic vegetables, grains like quinoa, jowar, bajra, red millets are gaining more importance in the Indian food industry. This helps to develop farm to fork menus. Comfort food is also in high demand,” added Prasad.

Suresh Thampy

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F&B

Hotel Business Review

­­­­­“ Freak shakes, and glitter coffees have suffered decline in popularity whereas there is rise in demand for Japanese food, Peruvian cuisine, and meals in a bowl,” Lokesh observed. “Single-bowl dishes, leaves and whole plants, super food, frequent quick bites are in. Elaborate dining; fusion of dishes are out,” expressed Sidharth. “Fresh and organic produce will be the trend this year. Super food like berries, avocados, quinoa, millets, etc. will gain more market acceptance. At the same time, use of processed food would be minimised and artificial seasonings and colours, heavy garnishing, molecular gastronomy will be on their way out,” Suresh inferred.

Prasad Metrani “A c c o r d i n g to m e , e xc i t i n g healthy food  with hyper-local ingredients and twists, not specific to cuisines, should be the mood this year, in the Indian food ser vice industr y,” projected Sidhar th Sharma, Consulting Chef at Saints N Sinners, Gurugram, Delhi-NCR. “The primary food trend in the Indian food service industry during 2018 would clearly be smaller portions and healthy eating. This would mean more variety in offerings, having food with high fibre and nutrition. The emphasis would be more over quality than quantity,” pointed out Suresh Thampy, Executive Chef, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport.

Emerging and Way Out “Molecular gastronomy, in my view, will be on its way out as it has been distorted in the name of fusion and has not found many takers in a market where ‘value for money’ is high on priority,” affirmed Nikhil. “This year might see a lot of unheard ingredients making a splash in the market and providing a new food for thought,” he predicted. “Innovation with our Indian food should be the in trend for 2018, and molecular gastronomy, Indian fusion food would lose currency,” maintained Padmanabhan. “Regional food, street food inspired dishes, uncommon green herbs & spices, healthy & indulgent food, and drinks with exotic ingredients are among the emerging trends, whereas fried food, preser ved food, too sweet desserts, packed juices have suffered setbacks in popularity in the Indian food & beverage market,” articulated Sreenivasan.

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Special Focus Areas Nikhil said that if he was told to name one thing that he would focus on specially in 2018, then it had to be flavours. “Fancy buffet ware, jazzy glassware, and funky ambience can only get you a guest for the first time, but it is the flavours which can turn her/him into a regular patron,” opined the Chef. “Maximum extraction of natural flavours from the ingredients will be my key focus this year through a lot of stress on correct methods of cooking and extensive training down the line,” he expressed. “For example, with our recent hugely successful food promotion by the name of ‘Taseer-e- Hararat’, we tried to maximise the flavours of the commonly used ingredients in unusual preparations,” pointed out the seasoned culinary expert. “Usage of garlic in a dessert and pista as a base for gravy are some of the examples wherein we actually accentuated the behavioural tendency of an ingredient and then used it to create new flavours rather

Sidharth Sharma

Lokesh Jarodia than using them in an ordinary common dish,” Nikhil explained. Padmanabhan said that in 2018 he would focus more on Indian cuisines. Sreenivasan said that presentation of food would have his special focus during 2018. “The food trends are always evolving. Great food is one thing, but presentation of the same is the key. How food is served to guests is extremely important and we at Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport are using very creative dishes and utensils. For instance, porcelain spoons, mini cast iron skillets, shot glasses, miniature cups and even forks help with unique food  appearances,” he pointed out. “This year, I am mainly focusing on innovative solutions to make environmentally sustainable food; reducing wastage and incorporating healthier alternatives in food,” Lokesh asserted. “During 2018, we have decided to focus specially on introducing a more diverse menu at our outlets that caters to all preferences. We have also decided to use more of seasonal and local produce for our international cuisines, thus presenting the known global dishes with a desi twist. To examine food waste with a creative eye, tracking wastage, composting waste food and use it as fodder for  our hotel garden, sourcing local and finest quality produce are some of our focal areas during 2018,” elaborated Prasad. “One of my key focus areas during 2018 would be to revive age-old recipes, which have been lost in due course of time. We would like the old recipes to get back to mainstream menus and be offered to our guests,” Suresh informed. n


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Design

Hotel Business Review

The Crucial Role of Design Curators By Himank Gowami

L

et us take the case of a high-end restaurant in a luxury hotel in central London, where I visited last year. Impeccably designed, the restaurant offers exquisite dining experience and delicious food. One is bound to be awestruck by its stunning chandeliers, luxurious upholstery, well-crafted timber wall paneling, and golden backlit liquor display.

Two Scenarios However, in this near perfect restaurant, infused with great design, service and food there is something that is amiss; the kitchen door. Every time the restaurant’s kitchen door opens, it exposes the untidy world of stainless steel counters, harsh lighting, unpleasant food odour and brisk staff movement, thereby exposing the guests sitting close by to the kitchen door with visual and auditory disturbance, which could

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have been avoided with some pragmatic foresight. Unfortunately, the designer of the restaurant in our example got so much engaged in creating bespoke interiors that a double door vestibule to the kitchen got overlooked. And that seemed to be the only flaw in an otherwise great restaurant. Let us also take the example of another hotel, where a beautiful bar design was blemished because of a forgotten access to change the light fixtures in the backlit glass portal. A couple of years later the inevitable happened, a part of the light fixtures became non-functional, making the ‘U-shaped’ portal look like a lopsided ‘L’. The guests seemed to enjoy everything in the bar except for the skewed backlit glass portal. Now, let us travel back in time when both these designs were still on the

drawing board and introduce another player in the game to collaborate with the designer, a Design Curator. These types of small but significant flaws in hotel and restaurant design can be easily addressed by the Design Curator. In our example, the Design Curator emphasises on the need to incorporate a double door vestibule between the restaurant and the kitchen. Agreeing to this important suggestion, the designer introduces a double set of doors; creating a physical and visual barrier between the two vastly different spaces. With this introduction, in the revised scenario of our example, the guests now enjoy the exquisite interiors, exceptional service and delectable food, without being distracted by the kitchen mess. The Design Curator can also nudge the design team to be mindful of the accessibility of the light fixtures behind the glass portal. With the


Design replacement of the non-functional lights, the guests can savour their drink in the backdrop of the beautiful liquor display surrounded by the flawless backlit glass portal. In both cases, it is the guests who benefit because of the Design Curator’s timely intervention in an endeavour to attain design perfection.

The Role of the Design Curator Eve n t h e b es t d es i g n s i n t h e wo r l d need to be proof-checked for brand standards, workability, user behaviour & guest expectations, and hotel and restaurant designs are no exception to that rule. Therefore, the prudence of the Design Curator in designs of a hotel or a restaurant is as much needed as the creative extravagance of the designer. An outstanding hotel design is many a time the result of a successful collaboration of a creative designer and a prudent Design Curator. The dictionary meaning of a curator is ‘a manager or overseer’. Therefore, a Design Curator is ‘someone who manages and oversees design’. However, the role of a contemporary Design Curator in hospitality business is much more challenging and complex than what the definition seems to suggest. A contemporary Design Curator in the hospitality business is entrusted not just to manage and drive the design, but also to keep a keen eye on the competition in a continually evolving industry. A Design Curator is also often tasked with an extremely important job of engaging with the business development team to explore potential growth opportunities in line with the hotel operator’s vision for the brands. Don’t be under the misconception that the Design curator is missing in projects which are average in ergonomics and practicality. However, it does seem that the Design curator, in such projects, just ensures that the hotel complies with facilities brief, broad brand standards and guidelines instead of focusing on the details. The persistent and fastidious Design Curator goes a long way in ensuring a better and sustainable hospitality property. Succinctly, whilst a good hotel design depends upon a creative Designer; an exemplary hotel design also needs the Design Curator. A competent Design Curator of a hospitality property should have the answers to questions like ‘What is a good design

for a specific location, brand and budget? ; ‘What will it take to improve a good design to attain perfection?’ ‘What are the guests’ expectations from this hotel and how to fulfill them through meticulous planning and guidance?’ Ideally, a Design Curator of a hospitality project should get into the skin of a design and think from the perspective of a guest; should focus on area, cost and operational efficiency to ensure a sustainable product and long-term value creation for the investors. Yes, she/he should be very demanding of meticulousness and userfriendliness in design. A Design Curator should have the skills and ability to get a quality product from the designers, consultants, artists and engineers. She/he should act like the custodian of architecture and interiors of a property and should know exactly what its users want. An ideal Design Curator is a perfectionist who never gives up on demanding a superior product from all stakeholders, and also a motivator who takes everyone along, on the path of value creation for the brand, investors and guests.

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The author is an architect by profession and is presently associated with Emaar Hospitality Group, Dubai, which is one of the fastest growing hospitality groups in the world. Previously he was with Öberoi Hotels & Resorts. Reach out to him on his e-mail - himank.goswami@yahoo.com “I see a curator as a catalyst, generator and motivator - a sparring partner, accompanying the artist while they build a show, and a bridge builder, creating a bridge to the public.” Hans-Ulrich Obrist

Delhi Off.: 81, DSIDC Sheds, Scheme-I, Phase-II, New Okhla Indl. Complex, New Delhi-110020, Phone: 26387377, 26386392, 26386507 Fax: 011-26386063 Mobile: 98102 59863 E-mail: navinpolycon@rediffmail.com www.navinpolycon.com Agra: M/s. Camex India, Ph.:0562-2620720 / 6541904 Mobile: 9837077627 Contact: Mr. Sachin Jain Bangalore: M/s. Celestial Health Care, Mob.: 09343047197 Fax: 080-5504757 Contact: Mr. John Brito Calcutta: Ph.: 033-24554959, 24551558 Contact: Mr. Vipul Jodhpur: M/s. Chemtech Corporation, Mobile: 09829188885 Contact: Dr. A. Hussain

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SERVING THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 2 DECADES


Technology

Hotel Business Review

Advanced Air Filtration Solution for ITC Hotels By Swarnendu Biswas

A

ir pollution in India is a serious health and hygiene issue, and especially in Delhi the extent of air pollution is much more than alarming, which if not addressed immediately on a war-footing, can lead to precarious situations. And indoor air pollution is potentially much more harmful than outdoor air pollution. Carpet, furniture, curtain, rug, shoes can all have stored polluted particles within the confines of a room, in absence of proper ventilation. These polluted particles can easily add on to the already polluted dust entering into the room. And hotel rooms are likely to have those above-mentioned objects within them, as an essential part of their ambience and decor. In this regard, the need for comprehensive and impeccable clean air solutions across hospitality properties in India cannot be overstated. In fact, a hotel with poor or average indoor air quality can do guests harm rather than adding to their delight and comfort. This in turn can eventually lead to the decrease in guest footfalls at the said hotel, over the course of years. Despite having luxurious rooms, great food, comprehensive MICE and banqueting infrastructure, spa stocked with an impressive array of wellness solutions, etc., a luxury hotel in this digital age of high awareness and active social media is likely to lose guest satisfaction in India if its indoor air quality is poor or even mediocre. And how should we maintain good or rather perfect indoor air quality in hotels and other hospitality properties? In this age, it requires the right combination of housekeeping alertness and technological sophistication. In this regard, the news of the Stockholmbased Camfil, a globally renowned name in air filters and clean air solutions, entering into a partnership with the ITC Group of Hotels in the recent past, can act as a heartening news for India’s hospitality business. Camfil announced that it had entered into an exclusive partnership with ITC Hotels, a leading five-star hotel chain in India, to improve the indoor air quality standard inside the hotels under the ambit of the hotel chain. As part of the collaboration, Camfil India, the Indian subsidiary of Camfil AB, is bringing its state-of-the-art technology and

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PKSV Sagar high-end filtration systems to ensure that the guest at the ITC Hotels breathe impeccably clean air, which should be meeting the World Health Organization (WHO)’s prescribed standards. Here it deserves a mention that WHO standards are fifty percent better as compared to the Indian standards (60 micrograms per m3 for PM 2.5). This above-mentioned exercise, according to PKSV Sagar, the Managing Director of Camfil Air Filtration India Pvt. Ltd., would lead to setting of new benchmarks in indoor air quality (IAQ) at hotels in India. Sagar is responsible for leading the entire design, product management, manufacturing and marketing for Camfil Air Filtration India Pvt. Ltd. The project was kick-started from ITC Maurya, on the World Earth Day, in April 2016. ITC Maurya has become the first hotel in India to be equipped with Camfil filtration technology. At present the Camfil’s mission of supplying impeccably clean air to ITC Hotels as prescribed by the WHO standards is being completed at ITC Maurya only. Here it deserves a mention that Camfil has more than half a century of experience in developing and manufacturing sustainable clean air solutions that protect people, processes and the environment against harmful air-borne particles, gases and emissions. According to a press release, Camfil has 26 production units and six R&D centres across Europe, the Americas and Asia. Camfil specialises in air filtration solutions that the company researches, designs, manufactures and markets on a

global basis. Camfil Air Filtration India Pvt. Ltd., a 100 percent subsidiary of Camfil AB, Sweden, is headquartered in Gurgaon. According to Sagar, about 25 percent of the revenues of Camfil in India is generated from its Comfort Segment, which includes the company’s business from hotels too among others. “As part of this contract, ITC Maurya has already installed our industrial air cleaners with an inbuilt HEPA H13 filter, which together facilitates permeation of impeccably clean air to every nook and cranny of the hotel,” explained Sagar. He also informed that Camfil Air Filtration India Pvt. Ltd. had also placed “best quality filters” before the ITC Maurya’s air handling unit, which in turn also facilitate permeation of impeccably clean air within ITC Maurya; meeting the WHO standards. The stand-alone air cleaners are equipped with two stage filtration, PM2.5 filtration (ISO 16890 certified) to remove all particles >2.5 microns and HEPA H13 filter (EN 1822 certified/ individually tested) to remove 99.95 percent ultra-fine particles, which are more dangerous to health. This exhaustive filtration process can even remove PM1 particles which could be potentially very much dangerous to human health, bacteria and pollens, before their entering into the conditioned space. Sagar informed that soon as part of the contract with the hotel chain, this exercise of supplying clean air at par with WHO’s prescribed standards to ITC Hotels would be implemented across other hotels of the ITC Group. “We are pleased to announce our partnership with ITC Hotels; a world class hotel group that has consistently led the way when it comes to sustainability and innovation. With our patented, ISO16890 certified special air filters, we aim to help ITC further add to the guests’ delight as they will experience fresh, crisp & clean air in the ITC properties as prescribed by the WHO standards,” stated Sagar. Sagar is confident that with the growing health and hygiene consciousness in the Indian society, the need for clean air solutions for the Indian hospitality business is only expected to significantly increase in the years to come.


Technology

Hotel Business Review

When Voice is the Switch

T

he use of technology is changing various facets of working across the new-age Indian hospitality industry. One such endeavour is the initiative by Park Inn by Radisson New Delhi IP Extension. The hotel has recently introduced voice assistantenabled smart hotel rooms. This futuristic technology can help the hospitality property to stand out from the competition. Six of the property’s spacious Studio Rooms have been fitted with Amazon’s AI-powered Echo Dot devices. This allows guests to control light settings, music played in the room, and even the television with simple voice commands. Additionally, guests at the hotel can now request for services such as room cleaning, wakeup calls, laundry, in-room  dining, and room check-out by merely speaking to the smart device. Alternately, guests at the Studio Rooms of the hotel can manage basic room functions & service requests with just a tap of their personal mobile phones; without downloading any apps. According to a press release, Park Inn by Radisson New Delhi IP Extension is the first property in the world to provide this app-free solution, with Web RTC technology. Saurav Dutta, General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson New Delhi IP Extension said, “Internet of Things (IoT) & voice-enabled technologies are without a doubt the future and we are excited to pioneer these comprehensive & intuitive smart hotel room features in India. With the voice-activated in-room solutions we expect a 50 percent improvement in housekeeping efficiencies; ensuring speedier completion of service requests. Eventually, our intent is to diversify and grow the connected room features, as part of our ongoing efforts, to offer bespoke experiences which evolve with the needs of our patrons.” The Studio Rooms of the hotel integrated with this new technology have been configured by Kamakshi Clouds, a Bangalorebased software firm. “Almost every industry in the world is on the cusp of an

artificial intelligence (AI) revolution, with a promise of improved efficiencies. Therefore, it is time for hotel businesses to embrace this change with great dexterity; as the sector contributes extensively to India’s GDP. Web RTC, used to power the smart rooms at Park Inn by Radisson New Delhi IP Extension, is a highly disruptive technology that allows guests to turn on/off lights & the TV with just one tap,” averred M A Kannan, Director, Kamakshi Clouds. Once checked-in, guests at this hotel can also use their mobile devices to play videos and listen to music, such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube; beamed onto the TV set. For a limited period, complimentary in-room subscriptions to Amazon Prime Video are also on offer. The guests’ mobile can also be used as a remote control for the television and set-top box. What is more, their phones can double as a keyboard and mouse, turning the TV screen into a computer interface. Here it deserves a mention that these smart Studio Rooms of the hotel had been under intensive beta testing for the last seven months, prior to their preliminary rollout on January 2018. The hotel plans to expand the AI services to other rooms, after careful review of guest preferences in the days to come.

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Operations

Hotel Business Review

Refrigeration in Food Service I

n food service industry refrigeration is one of the most important commercial equipments. Choosing the right refrigeration products is essential for establishments to ensure not only to have quality storage options but preserve food too. It is essential that the equipment models one select are energy efficient, long-lasting, and a perfect fit for the establishment where it has to be used. There is an extensive range of restaurant refrigeration equipment including, chest freezers, blast chillers, food prep tables, drop-in units, chest refrigerators, reach in refrigeration, walk-in coolers and freezers, reach-in wine refrigeration, worktop and under counter refrigeration, and more. Refrigerators have drastically positive impact on the food service departments of the hotel industry, restaurants, pubs and other catering establishments. Practically, food service departments these days cannot do without a refrigerator. It is used to store food and also preserve food. The industry can now save a lot of money from the food that would have been disposed of to the garbage, thanks to refigeration solutions.

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Nutritionists also recommend that eating healthy foods improves our lives and enable us to live longer. A refrigerator offers the ease and convenience of getting food by helping in lengthening perishable foods’ lifespan and still retaining their nutritious contents, which is otherwise impossible. It also help in preserving beverages; making beverages cool every time the customers require good service. We all know that a cool desert is soothing. Low temperatures also inhibit bacterial growth hence preventing food decay. The new makes of refrigerators not only preserve food, but they are also cost -effective, and consume less power. Let us take a look at some of the refigeration solutions in the market. Refrigerator Refrigerator is one of the most commonly used appliances for storing food and beverages. The working principle of a refrigerator is based on refrigeration and evaporation, wherein heat is drawn out from the objects and transferred to the surrounding atmosphere. A refrigerator

cannot cool below -10 degree Fahrenheit. Low refrigerator temperature may slow down the growth of microorganisms, but it may not be effective enough to kill pathogenic or spoilage causing microorganisms. For optimum preservation, maintain the temperature between 34 degree and 40 degree Fahrenheit. Freezer Freezer is another commonly used domestic and industrial kitchen appliance that works on the same principle as a refrigerator. However, in freezers, an evaporating or a cooling gas is used to evaporate heat from the object. In addition, a freezer-only unit can store food at temperatures as low as -34 degree Fahrenheit, whereas the minimum temperature that can be achieved in a refrigerator can’t go lower than -10 degree Fahrenheit. Most food remain in good quality, if the freezer temperature is set between -10 degree and -20 degree Fahrenheit. Chiller A chiller is used to cool food quickly at low temperatures, which prevents


Hotel Business Review

bacterial growth. As bacteria multiply at temperature between +8°C (46°F) and +68°C (154°F), chiller prevents bacterial growth by reducing the temperature of cooked food from +70°C (158°F) to +3°C (37°F) or below, thereby making the food safe for consumption. Chillers are usually used for commercial purposes, especially in food catering and fast food set ups.

The Science To understand the fundamentals of refrigeration, few basic definitions should be considered. They are: A). Heat is a form of energy transferred by virtue of a difference in temperature. Heat exists everywhere to a greater or lesser degree. As a form of energy it can be neither created nor destroyed, although other forms of energy may be converted into heat, and vice versa. It is important to remember that heat energy travels in only one direction; from a warmer to a cooler object, substance, or area. B). Cold is a relative term referring to the lack of heat in an object, substance, or area. Another definition describes it as the absence of heat, no process yet has been devised of achieving ‘absolute zero,’ the state in which all heat has been removed from any object, substance, or area. Theoretically this zero point would be 459.69 degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit thermometer scale, or 273.16 degrees below zero on the Celsius thermometer scale. C ) .   Ref r i g e ra n t s a re c h e m i c a l co m p o u n d s w h i c h a re a l te r n ate l y compressed and condensed into a liquid and then permitted to expand into a vapour or gas as they are pumped

through the mechanical refrigeration system to cycle. The refrigeration cycle is based on the long known physical principle that a liquid expanding into a gas extracts heat from the surrounding substance or area. You can test this principle by simply wetting your finger and holding it up. It immediately begins to feel cooler than the others, particularly if exposed to some air movement. That is because the liquid in which you dipped it is evaporating, and as it does, it extracts heat from the skin of the finger and air around it. Refrigerants evaporate or ‘boil’ at much lower temperatures than water, which permits them to extract heat at a more rapid rate than the water on your finger. D). Refrigeration system fundamental components: The job of the refrigeration cycle is to remove unwanted heat from one place and discharge it into another. To accomplish this, the refrigerant is pumped through a closed refrigeration system. If the system was not closed, it would be using up the refrigerant by dissipating it into the surrounding media; because it is closed, the same refrigerant is used over and over again, as it passes through the cycle, removing some heat and discharging it. The closed cycle serves other purposes as well; it keeps the refrigerant from becoming contaminated and controls its flow, for it is a liquid in some parts of the cycle and a gas or vapour in other phases of the cycle.

What You Need If you own a restaurant, you know the

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Operations

importance of refrigeration. It keeps all your meat and produce fresh, resulting in better quality and happy customers. However, if you are looking to upgrade your system or just starting your venture into the restaurant business, you may not have the knowledge needed to purchase the perfect system for your establishment. Refrigeration is a fundamental component of any restaurant, but many times, owners don’t know what type is ideal for their set up. Essentially, there are three types of commercial refrigeration units to consider: reach-in, under-counter, or full-size walk-in. Each offers a bevy of benefits and helps streamline the food preparation process. Reach-in units are the typical units you may see in a residence; yet commercial ones offer more capacity and features,  which allow you to set the perfect temperature for your needs. Under-counter refrigerators also provide a quick way to access food you need while saving time. Often, these units are placed under food preparation counters and are a flawless way to keep the final touches for prep work, such as condiments or sauces, close at hand. Finally, a walk-in refrigerator offers ample room for food storage. With this type of unit, you can buy in bulk without spoilage, which often earns you discounts from food wholesalers. Once you have decided which refrigerators provide the most benefit to

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Hotel Business Review

your business, you should also consider what sizes you need. Units that are too large tend to waste money, while refrigerators that are too small may not accommodate your needs. There are many different sizes for you to choose from, but many restaurants opt for customised versions if they can’t find the perfect one to satisfy their requirements. For reach-in refrigerators, remember to find one that will fit through the door and where its condenser is located. If the refrigerator is massive, it may not work in your kitchen. In addition, the location of the condenser, either top-mount or bottommount, can play a role in convenience, cleaning, and accessibility.

Other Aspects While the refrigerators mentioned above are the cornerstone of a successful kitchen, don’t overlook other aspects of refrigeration. You may need a refrigerated display case for beverages or a bartender’s fridge underneath the bar. At first glance, these may seem like high initial expenditures, but they often pay for themselves thanks to the time they save.

Saving Energy Commercial refrigerators and freezers use lots of energy, operating round the clock to keep perishable products cool. Typical commercial refrigerators consume up to 17,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity while


Operations

Hotel Business Review

large commercial freezers consume up to 38,000 kilowatt-hours, resulting in high energy bills. To help businesses save energy and money, there are many ways to reduce energy use of commercial refrigerators and freezers. Here are just a few tips: Only turn on anti-sweat heaters when ambient conditions cause condensation on the display doors. Try installing adaptive controls for these devices so they turn on and off automatically when necessary. Check door gaskets and auto closers to make sure they are in good condition. Warm, humid air can enter refrigeration compartments if these are not working properly, resulting in energy waste and spoiled food.   Make sure the refrigeration system is clean and dust-free, especially the coils. This can help improve heat transfer within the system. Besides this make sure the refrigeration system has enough space around it to ensure good airflow over the heat exchange coils. This helps lower the amount of wasted

energy. Install motion sensors for case lighting systems. This will turn lights on and off only when needed. Install night curtains on open cases to help keep refrigerated air from escaping when standard business hours are over.

Care and Maintenance Maintaining your commercial refrigeration isn’t necessarily a difficult task, as long as yo u m a i nta i n a r i g o ro u s u p ke e p schedule. Each week, you should check the temperature and defrost settings to make sure you don’t lose food to spoilage. To keep your electric bill down, check to see that employees turn out the lights of the walk-in unit, as leaving the light on increases energy usage and causes the temperature to rise. Finally, you should clean all refrigerators to maintain a high level of food safety. Every month or two, there are extra steps you can take to ensure the integrity of your refrigeration. This includes cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils, much like you would do on an air-conditioning

unit. Once you have completed this, you can check the unit for leaks, as well as oil the fan. To ensure your unit works efficiently and lasts as long as possible, schedule one or two tune ups a year. During this process, take care of the inspection, cleaning, and maintenance of all your equipment. However, this low-cost tune up pales in comparison to the cost of replacing the refrigerator altogether. In refrigeration cycle the refrigerant undergo number of changes in its state to produce refrigerating effect. Such changes constitute the refrigeration process. For carrying out the process the system is provided with components and control devices for efficiency of the machine. These controls and components are to be checked and repaired as and when necessary. There are safety devices like high and low pressure cut outs, motor overload switch, relief valve, oil safety switch, etc. which are also to be taken care of. The valves and safety devices constitute the controls. n

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Spa

Hotel Business Review

The Haven for Holistic Wellness By Sharmila Chand

D

i s cove r a wo r l d of s o ot h i n g treatments and warm hospitality, luxury and pampering at the Radisson Blu Karjat Spa, housed within Ra d i ss o n B l u e Res o rt & S p a Ka r j at . Situated nearly halfway between Mumbai and Pune, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Karjat is the perfect destination for weekend getaways and family holidays. As I sauntered through the spa, which m a n i fe s ts Th a i & B a l i n e s e i n s p i re d architecture, I realised I found my idyllic urban retreat. At a first impression, I particularly liked the tastefully done interiors of the spa; spread through warm yellow mood lighting. The spa has been designed to further enhance the character of the luxury hospitality property, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Karjat. The grey rectangular stone slabs make for a beautiful backdrop, which comes across as a blend of a traditional yet contemporary design. The soothing brown undertones create a warm space to relax and unwind. I sat in the lobby sipping fresh juice, getting positive vibes from the reclining Buddha

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statue. The plunge pool in front of the statue heightens the serenity of the in-vironment. Soon Monica Nair, the Spa Manager at the hospitality property, greeted me and guided me about the treatments. We looked at a spectrum of refined therapies, which have evolved from the ancient Thai and western wellness techniques, and choose to go for Hot Stone Therapy to alleviate my stress levels.

Here the guests can indulge in a variety of therapies. Some of the Signature treatments offered at the spa include the Hot Stone Massage, Thai Massage, and Foot Reflexology. Furthermore, the specially crafted Aroma Thai Massage offered at the spa involves the use of indigenous organic herbs and natural aroma oils, which can facilitate one to relax, renew and recharge easily.

Signature Treatments at Radisson Blu Karjat Spa Hot Stone Massage This classic, timeless favourite is an excellent way to relieve built-up tensions and undo stress. Here heated balm stones glide over muscles to provide a deep level of penetration that helps relax and ease tense muscles and damaged soft tissues throughout the body. Thai Massage This massage helps reduce body aches & pains by targeting pressure points and inducing circulation of blood to new areas of your body by making you stretch and unstiffen your body. Foot Reflexology This is one of the signature spa therapies offered to most guests which involves an ancient method of pressure point massage, characterised by gently pressing spots on the soles of the feet that correspond to different parts of the body. It is highly effective in relieving stress, improving circulation and helping achieve balance.


Spa

Hotel Business Review

Discourse on Spa Business By Sharmila Chand Monica Nair, Spa Manager at Radisson Blu Karjat Spa, is a creative and enthusiastic professional with five years of spa and skin care experience in the industry. Before her present tenure, she has been associated with various prestigious spa brands like Med Spa, Escenza Spa and Soham Spa. Her key areas of expertise include administration and set up management, spa team training, marketing promotions and people management. She holds certification in innovative skincare regimes and specialisation in skin mapping analysis. The excerpts of the interview with her follow:

What are the kind of changes you have witnessed in the Indian spa industry during the past five-six years? The Indian spa industry is constantly innovating given the fast-paced world and changing trends over the last few years.

Vampire Facial which is known to have antiageing properties and the Crystal Therapy, which helps treat the body holistically to tackle various ailments.

The industry as a whole is moving towards more natural & holistic approach, that is much beyond cosmetic skincare therapies. These days, stress happens to be one of the biggest causes of a lot of common diseases and spas have now come to the rescue by offering natural solutions & de-stress therapies. S p as a re u s i n g s i m p l e m ass a g es , acupuncture, exercises and meditation to help relieve stress.

The key challenges towards opening a spa would include choosing the right location because accessibility is always a major concern in the spa business. Another challenge is in finding the ways to compete against other spas in the vicinity which are not specialised & professional but offer cheaper services.

What are the current top trends in the Indian spa business? They include Korean Skin Therapy. This Korean skincare treatment has been one of the top skincare spa trends of the year, and has been one of the latest beauty regimes that women are swearing by. It can help one get clear, luminous, seemingly transparent and flawless skin. Tok Sen, a Thai vibrational therapy, is also in the vogue in spas. It involves the use of a hammer and peg to tap the body’s sen lines. This therapy is known to release energy & remove blockages. It also helps relax the body, and soften the muscles. The popularity of Tok Sen has been picking up over the last few months. Some of the other popular spa treatments these days are the Activated Charcoal Skin Care Therapy, which has been in use for a while. It includes masks, strips and scrubs. Some other popular spa trends include the

What are the key challenges towards opening a spa?

What factors have to be kept in mind while chalking out a spa menu at the spa managed by you? We have curated quite a few revitalising spa therapies like the Deep Tissue Massage & the Jet Lag Therapy, which are frequently asked for by most of our resident guests. Also Radisson Blue Resort & Spa Karjat is turning out to be one of the upcoming wedding destinations with an average of 1-2 weddings happening here almost every other month. Thus our spa menu comprises of essential bridal treatments and a number of skincare regimes; suitable for brides & grooms as well as for their extended families.

What do you enjoy the most about being a Spa Manager? G ett i n g to m e et n ew p e o p l e a n d customising treatments for them on the basis of their skin health is something I personally enjoy doing.

Could you tell us the USP of spa,

managed by you? What distinguishes it from others? Our spa is nestled in the lap of nature, and offers a breathtaking view of the Sahyadri range and the river Ulhas, which enhances the spa experience for our guests. We are also well-known for our aromabased therapies wherein we use natural essential oils & home grown fruit scrubs, instead of cosmetic alternatives.

Kindly talk a bit about the treatments offered at the spa Taking into account of the preferences of our guests, we offer a number of cosmetic skincare treatments, which focus mainly on aesthetic appeal. On the other hand, we also suggest therapeutic massages for those who are looking to alleviate their body aches & pains. We have customised packages for couples, especially for brides & grooms, ranging from fruit and floral scrubs, facials and body polishing.

What is your favourite treatment to receive and why it is so? My personal favourite is the Deep Tissue Massage as it eases out my stress and helps cure my minor aches & pains. In this massage, the therapist uses high pressure techniques that lead to relaxing of the muscles.

Any other point you wish to make? I would highly recommend one to have a massage once in a month as it has the potential to completely rejuvenate one’s mind & body, thereby making one feel refreshed and energetic.

Jan-Feb ’18

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Property

Hotel Business Review

Nestled in Nature By Sharmila Chand

I

t is not every day that you wake up to the whistling call of the Malabar whistling thrush. Or stay amidst cardamom plantations. How often do you get a chance to watch a Malabar Giant Squirrel jump from tree to tree from your balcony, while sipping your morning tea? For city-bred souls like us, these opportunities to get close with nature are very rare. But at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady such enchanting dates with nature are quite regular. For those not in the know, Thekkady is an important tourist destination of Kerala. Well, I was fortunate to experience those and a lot more during my recent visit to Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club at Thekkady.

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The property comes under the ambit of Niraamaya Retreats. “A Jupiter Capital venture, Niraamaya Retreats is in the business of boutique hospitality and wellness. Our retreats are an embodiment of wellness and luxury, integrating a seamless blend of regional heritage and culture. With properties across Kovalam and Thekkady, Niraamaya Retreats is expanding its footprints with a set of upcoming underdevelopment properties across Kumarakom and Goa,” informed Manu Rishi Guptha, CEO of Niraamaya Business Group. “Our focus has been to enhance guest experience at our boutique property in Thekkady while remaining true to the environment and Niraamaya values. We are confident that our guests will enjoy the


Property

Hotel Business Review

stunning ambience of Niraamaya Retreats Ca rd a m o m C l u b, Th e k ka d y f ro m t h e moment they arrive here,” he added further.

First Impression

“Although Kerala cuisine is something I had grown up with, finding the happiness, the satisfaction and fulfillment in continually serving guests my signature favourites makes it a fulfilling experience.” Chef Sinu John, Executive Chef, Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club at Thekkady

The drive from Alleppey to Thekkady was pretty long, roughly about five hours, but the landscape was so beautiful throughout with lush green forests and plantations that I didn’t mind the long hours on the road. They seem to sweep by in a jiffy, in the company of green nature. Tucked a few kilometers from Kumily, amidst cardamom, coffee, pepper, and jackfruit plantations, is a stunning retreat, truly a hidden gem in God’s Own Country called ‘Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady’. As the name suggests, the property is beautifully enveloped by cardamom plantation. Spread amidst eight acres of cardamom plantation, the retreat offers 13 elegantly furnished Garden and Mountainview cottages that look out onto the wilderness. Recently, the property has been further enhanced under the direction of IndoItalian architecture firm, Kumar La Noce.

Manu Rishi Guptha Complementing the existing plantationstyle cottages, the newly added rooms are built on stilts so that guests can enjoy the majestic mountain views even more. Each cottage has a spacious room, a balcony and attached bathroom. I really enjoyed the view from floor-to-ceiling windows, while relaxing in the warmth of my wooden floored room, which was spruced with all modern age comforts. The delicious homemade chocolates added to the holiday feel.

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Jan-Feb ’18

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Property

Hotel Business Review

Factsheet Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady V&V Estates, Spring Valley Kumily 685 509 Kerala, India Tea Factory Visit (Closed on Sundays) Timings: 9am – 4pm Spice Plantation Tours (1 hour tours) Timings: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wellness Solution The Niraamaya Spa, built on stilts and made from Bangkirai wood, which is sourced from sustainable plantations in Indonesia, is a wellness haven where functionality merges with elegance. The spa embodies simple and minimalistic design; pavilion style with a sense of openness, to highlight the stunning tropical

landscape. Spread across 1200 sq. ft., the spa features a lobby and fully-equipped Ayurveda and international therapy rooms with private outdoor sit-outs. The interiors follow a warm palette complementing the green backdrop.

“We have always tried to enhance the guest experience in our property in Thekkady, Plunge Amidst Nature while maintaining Niraamaya Set amidst verdant forest canopy, the new 15 metre infinity pool overlooks the valley values and remaining true to the and the sombre mountains beyond. The environment. It is my pleasure terraced decks from the all-day dining Café Samsara leading to the to see our guests soaking in the restaurant, pool offers the perfect perch for an early stunning location and relaxing morning yoga session or for guests to enjoy in the serenity of the region the expansive views of the forest. In the evening, the deck elegantly when they stay at Niraamaya transforms into an outdoor space that draws Retreats Cardamom Club, pre and post-dinner guests to savour the pure mountain air. Thekkady” Aftab Ansari, General Manager, Niraamaya Retreats

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Activities The Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club,

Thekkady offers a gamut of activities, pertaining to both wellness and adventure and also for nature lovers, to keep guests busy and entertained. One can go for treks, visit tea factories or spice plantations. One can also visit acres of verdant groves or learn about the magic behind Thekkady’s home brew. One of the highlights of my stay was enjoying a delightful Kathakali performance one evening in the local arts & cultural centre. The Kathakali performance lasted for one hour and depicted one of the scenes from the Ramayana. While at the retreat, I strongly recommend a boat ride on the Periyar lake. Even if there is no sighting, the view as you skim past is spectacular. I was fortunate to see mother and baby elephants bathing. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway in Kerala or a nature holiday in the middle of forests and wildlife, the Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady is the place to be. n


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Profile

Hotel Business Review

Excelling in Personalised Hospitality By Sharmila Chand

Vineeth Harikumar is the General Manager of Purity, Discovery & Serenity, units of Malabar escapes family of hospitality property chain, situated in Central Kerala. Malabar escapes is a chain of resorts, boutique hotels and villas in Kerala. Vineeth has more than 13 years of hospitality experience and has been groomed with the Malabar escapes family to take over the responsibility in his current role. He began his career in the hospitality industry with a few business class hotels and a coffee shop chain. But he soon started feeling the lack of job satisfaction in these tenures because of the cookie cutter style of working in these properties. There was no element of personalised care for the guests nor was there any empowerment given to the associates, which he didn’t like, as Vineeth’s dream has been always to excel in customer service in an innovative manner. According to him, he found his true calling with Malabar escapes, because of the company’s high standards, care for the community and the drive to create genuine hospitality. He found this was the perfect place for him to hone his skills, and to deliver his potential in a creative manner. Vineeth feels the ‘Malabar escapes experience’ had helped him a lot to acquire more skills in many aspects of the hospitality industry. Under his tenure, Purity has won many awards and recognitions. The excerpts of the interview with the passionate hospitality professional follow:   What is the USP of Malabar escapes? Art, décor, location, destination-oriented experiences, local cuisines and Kalari Ayurveda are the USP of our hospitality properties. All our properties are away from the usual tourist hubs.

Can you talk a bit about some of the properties within the hospitality chain? Purity, one of the three Relais & Chateaux proper ties in Kerala, sits opposite to Kumarakom, which is packed with back to back hotels and resorts. Purity has wonderful lake facing rooms as the land is widely open towards the lake. Because our keys are limited in Purity, guests find their stay here very peaceful and relaxing, as compared to the resorts across the lake, at Kumarakom. Discovery, our houseboat is one of a kind. Our Creative Director, Joerg Drechsel, who is behind all our art and architectural design, had put a lot of thought process in

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to creating Discovery. Almost all houseboats in Kerala have their body made with palm leaves, where as Discovery is made with a metal body in a traditional hull. This makes the interiors of Discovery super luxurious and comfortable. The upper deck offers a 360 degree view, whereas the other houseboats offer only a 180 degree view. We offer one of the longest cruise experiences by offering nearly 30 percent more cruising hours with air-conditioning and hot water services as compared to the other houseboats in the category. Serenity, a 120-year-old plantation house with five well appointed rooms is situated in a village called Kanam, near Kottayam. Here we offer the guests all kinds of wonderful experiences like Ayurveda treatments for long duration. Here guests can get personal engagement with our in-house elephant. They get to feed the elephant, give the elephant a bath. From Serenity one can also take a small walk around the plantation in the estate.

Please tell us about the green initiatives the hospitality chain has undertaken We have been doing a lot of projects on the green initiative, over the years. We use paper carry bags for various needs in our hospitality properties. We have replaced packaged drinking water with RO treated water served in glass bottles for the guests, and paper straws have replaced plastic straws. We also go and clear plastic and other waste from the lake regularly, as a team. On our houseboat Discovery, we use the govt. sewage dumping facility to clean our sewage. We strictly use the grease traps to avoid any kind of oil spillage into the lake. Moreover, each of our staff is well aware of the environmental consequences of polluting the surroundings and they take utmost care to make sure any such incidents are avoided.

What is the marketing strategy been adopted to promote the business?


Profile

Hotel Business Review

Our business is a seasonal one as most of our customers are from various parts of the globe. Our market mix changes depending on the time of the year and the holiday plans made in various regions. Now our main focus is to bring in the seasonal business from the domestic market by offering value holidays for focused clientele. Exploring new markets for increasing the sales is one of the primary agendas and strategies of ours for the coming 2018-19 fiscal.

What would you say is/are the differentiating factor/s of your F&B outlets? Our creative cooking is the differentiating factor! Our Director, Txuku Iriarte Solana and CEO, Saji Joseph have strong F&B background and they do a lot of studies before choosing ingredients or compiling a menu. Our Chefs are fortunate enough to work with many renowned Michelin Star Chefs who visit us every year from various other Relais & Chateaux properties across the globe.

Could you reflect on some of the future plans and new initiatives for the hospitality chain? Our main focus is to sustain the top position in TripAdvisor rating for the region, which we reached towards the end of 2016. This is possible only with constant engagement and new experiences and by reaching out to our guests and making sure that every committed member of our team works towards the common goal and vision of the group to make magical experiences. We are also opening a dedicated wine bar, with a mix of Indian and foreign wines to cater to the growing demand of the guests. Sourcing of organic products from the local community wherever possible and encouraging more houses in the village to work towards the same, to set up a sustainable supply chain between the community and our kitchen is another of our initiative.

with my team keeps me looking forward to life; both as a professional and as well as an individual.

What do you think makes for a good GM of a hospitality property/ chain? A good GM must be trustworthy to the owner/s and to all the stakeholders in the organisation. One must have great respect and care for the team. She/he should be a good leader and not just a good Manager.

What is your strength/s, professionally? My interpersonal relationship with my guests and with my colleagues in the industry, and as well as with my mentors, is my major strength. To remain calm and composed in challenging situations is also a strength, which has helped me professionally.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

What is your working mantra, your guiding philosophy at work?

Here every day is a new day and a new learning opportunity. Every interaction and engagement I have with my guests and

Regardless of the quantity or nature of the work, if you do it with passion, pride and integrity, success will follow you.

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P ro d uct Previ ew

Hotel Business Review

Smartphone is the Key

Kettle

Since 1945, MIWA Lock Company Ltd. has emerged as Japan’s foremost provider of high-performance locks and security systems. Today, its reputation for quality and reliability has made MIWA the choice of leading hotel chains around the world. MIWA has setthe global standard for programmable lock technology. MIWA from Japan has introduced Bluetooth enabled RFID electronic lock, which can use for hotel guestrooms.This operates by using smart phone as a key. Just launch a s p e c i a l a p p. (KEYMO (BLE) - Miwa mobile key system), tap the unlock b u tto n a n d then wave the phone over the lock(only a guest’s mobile can be used), and locked door of the guestroom would be opened. This state-of-the-art system facilitates guests as well as hotel staff to enter and exit guestrooms on premises. Vista Hospitality Solutions, is the authorised sales and service partner for Miwa Locks from Japan in India. Vista Hospitality Solutions info@vistahospitality.co.in

The new high-performance kett l e by B u g att i , a product of the creativity of Innocenzo Rifino and Lorenzo Ruggieri, offers elegance and sophistication for Jacqueline. A genuine mix of design and innovation, Jacqueline combines technology and style, doing so in a unique and amazing way through its materials and latest interaction and control technology. Its soft and fluent forms recall the female accessory considered an icon of style throughout every era: the handbag, inspired by the traditional ceramic teapot, revisited in a modern key. The result is surprising, reverberating traditional atmospheres, futuristic scenarios and the sophisticated moods of the fashion world. Perfect for connoisseurs and lovers of tea, Jacqueline leaves nothing to chance. It features a special display allowing every aspect of the infusion to be monitored, from the water level to the temperature, and when it’s turned on, its base lights up. With Jacqueline, the traditional tea ceremony becomes a chic and contemporary experience... warm up your style. The knob, decorating Jacqueline like a jewel, allows the temperature to be regulated as desired (from 40 to 100°C/from 104 ° F to 212° F), thus guaranteeing the perfect infusion of different and the best types of tea mixes. The knob can also be used to set the Keep Warm function, used to maintain the water at a pre-set temperature for up to one hour. The body is made of 18/10 stainless steel and the handle in PCT Tritan resembles a splash of water, available in either a clear or smokey version. Jacqueline is also Smart and can be programmed by remote with a Smartphone, using the app Bugatti B Chef (available for iOS and Android), via Bluetooth. Simple and intuitive, with Jacqueline anyone can enjoy the perfect infusion thanks to personalised settings, from programmed temperatures, to set times for each day of the week. The Keep Warm function can be adjusted as needed (up to three hours), similarly to the Baby Food Water function, which brings the water to a boil before reaching the pre-set temperature for the baby bottle. Ufficio Stampa Bugatti info@integracomunicazione.it

Ensuring Quality Furniture for Hospitality Ludhiana-based Chair Craft India Pvt. Ltd., owned by Gee Kay Industries, is one of India’s leading manufacturers, exporters and importers of high class furniture for hotels, events, and banqueting. Chair Craft provides top quality furniture for star-rated hotels, clubs, restaurants, banquet halls, farm houses and tent houses. Use of high quality raw materials, involvement of master craftsmen, sophisticated technology and impeccable production process have contributed to the company’s impressive product range, which include chamber maid trolley, linen trolley, folding movable banquet stage, roll away folding bed, bar table, and a gamut of chairs which include banquet chairs, cushion chairs and wedding chairs among others. Chair Craft India Pvt. Ltd info@kursiwala.com

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Advertiser’s Index Company

Page No.

akasa international

12

ambiente india

33

charnock equipments pvt. ltd.

01

fha 2018

61

food & hotel india 2018

37

gralit india biotech p. ltd.

41

heimtextil india

39

home comfort texo fab

08

home zone india

27

hotelex shanghai

35

hotremai 23 ifb industries ltd.

19

infinity hygiene care

10

interclean solutions pvt. ltd.

43

kesri transcontinental

BC

mehta furnishers

15

Metinox india

17

mkn india

57

navin polycon

47

om prabhu steels

14

pammi khanna associates

18

pushkal textiles

31

quartz homecare (I) pvt. ltd.

07

RANS TECHNOCRATS (iNDIA) PVT. LTD.

fic

remington steel arts

62

samrat furnishers

51

sial china 2018

29

s.k. international

53

s.n. global

09

sony india pvt. ltd. gf Supershine Laundry Systems Pvt. Ltd. bic thaifex 2018

45

trend N Design

13

Venus Industries

05

winterhalter india pvt. ltd.

11

Jan-Feb ’18

63


Intervi ew

Hotel Business Review

Leading from the Front By Sharmila Chand

Rajesh Malliya joined Hyatt Hotels as the General Manager of Hyatt Place Goa/Candolim in May 2017. He has a rich experience of over 24 years in the hospitality industry. He began his career with Taj Group and worked in different positions with the group for 11 years. He then joined Le Royal Meridien Hotel, Mumbai as Front Office Manager before moving to The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace as the Director of Rooms, as part of the pre-opening team. His first assignment as General Manager was at Four Points by Sheraton Bengaluru, Whitefield in 2013. Prior to joining Hyatt Hotels, Rajesh was the General Manager of the Hotel Royal Orchid, Bengaluru. The excerpts of the interview follow: What is the USP of the property? Hyatt Place Goa/Candolim is designed for seamless experiences that are suitable for both business and leisure travellers. Th e d es i g n of t h e h ote l i s f res h , invigorating and very apt for a market like Goa. In addition to our strategic location, we also provide unique features like our CozyCorner, which is present in all our room categories. It is a pull out sofa-bed that easily accommodates one extra person per room. Our 24/7 Gallery Market stocks packaged food and juices that can be picked up, and had on the go. Moreover, our personnel and the services offered by them, combined with our rooms are the key distinguishing factors. Our rooms in all categories are modern, contemporary, spacious and user-friendly; with all basic amenities for comfortable and seamless stays.

What are the hotel’s tech-friendly features? At Hyatt Place Goa/Candolim, we have adopted an SMS / Whatsapp platform for guests to reach out to us for any requirements during their stay. In addition to the above, we also have a remote printing facility; accessible from anywhere in the hotel. This facility is made available to all our guests.

Please tell us about the green initiatives the hotel has undertaken It includes a Go Green program for all our guest rooms where bed and bathroom linens are changed every alternate day or on guest’s

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or guests’ request. A heat pump is installed instead of a boiler. What is more, 90 percent of the lighting of ours is LED. We use VRV (variable refrigerant volume) air- conditioning system as against the conventional centralised chiller plant. Rain water harvesting system is in place in the hotel, which reduces water consumption. Public area lightings are controlled by motion sensors to reduce consumption. Furthermore, the basement parking area is installed with CO2 emission detectors to reduce CO2 emission from guest vehicles. We also effectively use an organic waste convertor on site to recycle waste.

What is the marketing strategy you have adopted to promote the property? For us, both FIT & MICE play important role for a steady flow of business all year round; owing to our strategic location, family friendly services, state-of-the-art conference facilities and hotel services. We focus on competitive pricing, a casual atmosphere and seamless, uncomplicated stays where business meets pleasure. We have a dedicated team of professionals who works closely with tour operators and clients to develop and execute tailor-made events. 

What would you say is the differentiating factor of your F&B outlet? We believe and practice Hyatt’s philosophy of food – ‘Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully

Served.’ With us the quality and taste of food is backed by stylish, comfortable and seamless services, which is a key differentiator in our restaurant. We have one restaurant in the hotel, which is named as the 24/7 Gallery Café. It is a multicuisine restaurant that serves meals anytime, day or night. We also offer ‘Make Your Own Menu’ options to our guests to cater to their personalised requirements.

Could you reflect on the future plans and new initiatives you wish to undertake in your property? We would like to work further on people development to create stability in the team and reduce attrition, as manpower is a challenge in Goa. This will in turn definitely enhance customer experience. We also want to create a niche for our food & beverage offerings in the Goa market.

What is the most crucial issue to tackle in the Indian hospitality industry these days? The most crucial areas in my opinion are manpower management and maintaining overall consistency, as the personas of guests tend to be different on every visit.

What is/are your strength/s, professionally? I am passionate about creating customer experiences which leave a positive and lasting impact. I strongly believe in leading from the front, which urges me to invest much of my efforts towards associates’ productivity, coaching and mentoring. 


Mar-Apr ’15

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Hotel Business Review (Jan-Feb 2018)  

Here we have covered the trend of multi-branding of hotel chains in some detail. This trend is induced by the need among hotel chains to cat...

Hotel Business Review (Jan-Feb 2018)  

Here we have covered the trend of multi-branding of hotel chains in some detail. This trend is induced by the need among hotel chains to cat...

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