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Sudhir Sinha, CEO Best Western India, shares the plans of the brand to expand its footprint in the country with a focus on tier-II & tier-III cities. COMMENT 24


Thane & Navi Mumbai are the parellel economies for the commercial capital of India.

We focus on bathroom trends as guests prefer a spa-like experience at hotels.


We explore the various ways of creating the ambience through light and sound as design tools.

Stefan Radstrom on how sharing his personal experiences with the team helps them bond.


HR & Procurement become the focus for brands to build stronger teams.

CASE STUDIES 52 Sun n Sand’s newlook Presidential Suite that is in keeping with its modern outlook.

July 2013 | Hotelier India




F&B managers talk about the strategies that help them stay ahead of the game.


The latest arrivals and must-have products.

10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW 84 ITC Maratha, Mumbai.


range of products

insar Infosoft Pvt. Ltd.


July 2013 | Volume 5 | Issue 7 ITP Publishing India Pvt Ltd 898 Turner Road, Notan Plaza, 3rd floor, Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400050 T +91 22 6154 6001 Deputy managing director S Saikumar Publishing director Bibhor Srivastava Group editor Shafquat Ali T +91 22 6154 6038 Editorial

Best-laid plans

Editor Babita Krishnan T +91 22 6154 6042 Advertising INDIA

It is with ingenious strategies that Sinha was able to take Best Western India from just one property to 44, all in a matter of just five years

In India, we always look for a referral – formal or informal – for almost everything in life. I remember holidays being planned followed by quick calls to family and friends to get references for places to stay, eat and see. Well, one brand adopted it as a business model successfully and became ‘the world’s biggest hotel family’ – Best Western. Sudhir Sinha, CEO Best Western India, explains how the system works abroad and was tweaked to suit the Indian business mindset in our cover story. It is with ingenious strategies like these that Sinha was able to take Best Western India from just one property to 44, all in a matter of just five years. Oddly enough, the journey was as smooth as it could get. Reason: Sinha was very clear in his mind about the task ahead. For starters, he knew his target – the Rs4,000 to Rs4,500 guest category. And this helped him strategise precisely. That was important as he didn’t have the luxury of an upscale international banner to smoothen the road for him. So he drew strength from the Best Western’s member partners. And in doing so he didn’t just provide guests the best comfort that money can buy but also ensured ROI for partners. Finally, it’s all thanks to Sinha’s best-laid plans.

Business head Gurmeet Sachdev T +91 9987 208866 Regional manager - South Sanjay Bhan T +91 9845 722377 MIDDLE EAST Publishing director Diarmuid O’Malley T +971 4 444 3000 Commercial director Sarah Worth T +971 4 444 3000 Studio Head of design Milind Patil Production Deputy production manager Ramesh Kumar Circulation Distribution manager James D’Souza T +91 22 6154 6032 Cover image: Abner Francis Location courtesy: Best Western Premier La Marvella, Bengaluru

Disclaimer The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication, which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review. Printed and Published by Sai Kumar Shanmugam, Flat no. 903, Building 47, NRI Colony, Phase – 2, Part -1, Sector 54, 56, 58, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400706, on behalf of ITP Publishing India Private Limited, printed at Repro India Limited, Marathe Udyog Bhavan, 2nd Floor, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400 025,

Babita Krishnan Editor

India and published at ITP Publishing India, Notan Plaza, 3rd floor, 898,Turner Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400050 Editor: Babita Krishnan

To subscribe please visit WRITE TO THE EDITOR Please address your letters to: The Editor, Hotelier India, 898 Notan Plaza, 3rd floor, Turner Road Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400050 or email Please provide your full name and address, stating clearly if you do not wish us to print them. Alternatively, log on to and air your views. The opinions expressed in this section are of particular individuals and are in no way a reflection of the publisher’s views.

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Published by and © 2013 ITP Publishing India Pvt Ltd RNI no.MAHENG/2009/34648 MIB no. 10/47/2008

03-07-2013 10:01:28


ADVISORY BOARD Our distinguished advisory board has been assembled to help guide Hotelier India to become even more representative of its community. Members have been invited from the highest levels of the industry to ensure that the magazine continues on its path of success.

Homi Aibara Partner, Mahajan and Aibara Management Consultancy Division

Kamlesh Barot Ex-President, FHRAI

Uttam Davé President and CEO, Interglobe Hotels

Naveen Jain President Duet India Hotels

KB Kachru Executive vice-president – South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Rajiv Kaul President, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Akshay Kulkarni Regional director – Hospitality, South & Southeast Asia, Cushman & Wakefi eld

Anil Madhok Managing director, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts

Rajeev Menon Area vice-president India, Malaysia, Maldives and Australia, Marriott International

Dilip Puri MD, India and regional VP, South Asia, Starwood Asia Pacifi c Hotels and Resorts

Sanjay Puri Principal architect, Sanjay Puri Associates

Sanjay Sethi Managing director and CEO, Berggruen Hotels

Vijay Thacker Director, Horwath India

Manav Thadani Chairman HVS South Asia

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Market Data...p 24


Celebrating the old with the new A Victorian resort meets modern demands atFortune The Savoy RESTORATION Fortune Park Hotels Ltd expands its bouquet of hotels with its 40th property, Fortune The Savoy, Mussoorie. Established in 1902, the 50-room Victorian resort has been restored to reflect the glory of its century-old past, aided by thoughtfully conceived services and state of the art-technology. Speaking on the occasion, Suresh Kumar, CEO, Fortune Park Hotels Ltd, said, “Fortune The Savoy is a milestone achievement for us as we continue to expand our brand portfolio in the highend leisure segment. The hotel is a judicious blend of old-world charm and new-age conveniences and an expression of the Fortune brand promise of unparalleled experience and exceptional value.” The guest rooms and suites at

the property have been crafted with muted shades and unique design, combining elements of comfort and convenience. The 50 well-appointed rooms include 26 Savoy Chambers, 12 Fortune

Exclusive Rooms and 12 Fortune Suites. All the rooms have the quaint, rustic warmth of traditional English design and are equipped with the latest technology and finest modern amenities. The hotel also offers state-of-theart meeting and convention facilities that can accommodate up to 60 guests, with an open-to-sky venue that can host a gathering of approximately 200 guests. ‘The Savoy Experience’ includes an array of dining options. The Grand Dining Room, a3-mealperiod restaurant, Nostradamus , The Writer’s Bar that serves the finest premium spirits, in a relaxed atmosphere, and the Fortune Deli featuring light snacks and sumptuous confectionery. Other offerings at the hotel include a Wellness Centre with spa and a well-equipped gymnasium.

Quick facts

: Indian hospitality industry is all set to increase in online revenue by 40 % say experts at the recent conference held by IDeas & TravelClick at The Hyatt Regency, Mumbai.The other points of discussion included mobile distribution, social media, pricing strategies and GDS marketing.

4HERIGHTMIX Anasuiya Nautiyal, the mixologist from Taj Lands End, won “The Most Stylish Bartender” at Corralejo Challenge 2013 held in Delhi. At this national-level competition with over 200 participants, the judges for the regional rounds held in Mumbai were Bhishan Mansukhani, Kareena Aggarwal and Kishore Thapar. The fi nal held at The Claridges Hotel in Delhi was judged by H.E Jaime Naulart, Oliver Martin and Yandup Lama. Nautiyal, one of the regional fi nalists, went to Delhi and won the title.

July 2013 | Hotelier India

Stephen Albert...p 30

,UXURIOUSLAUNCH ITC Maurya hosts Launch of Cattier Champagne in India

Bienvenu Philippe, Rahul Kashyap and Jean Jacques Cattier

LAUNCH ITC Maurya hosted the launch of the luxurious Cattier Champagne as it entered the Indian market on its 250th anniversary. The exclusive evening, followed by an exquisite Champagne paired dinner was attended by crèmede-la-crème of the Capital including designers David Abraham, Harpreet & Rimple Narula, Kevin Nigli; corporate head honchos Jonathan Brown, Tim Savory, Satoshi Iwaki and more. Present in more than 80 countries, Cattier has 15 different varietals and vintages which have won many International awards across the globe. Anil Chadha, GM ITC Maurya said on the occasion, “ITC Maurya has always brought unique luxury experiences to the Capital. It was a pleasure having the Cattier Champagne launch with us, celebrating the best in luxury.” On the launch in India, President of Cattier Champagne said, “We are extremely happy to enter India on the 250th anniversary, which is a very special occasion for us. India is been looked upon as a market with great potential and people understand luxury now.”


5/3/2013 11:14:38 AM



Another step forward

The first silver museum

Serviced apartment-style hotel in Mumbai

Udaipur gets the world’s first silver museum

Opening Sarovar Hotels announces the opening of a 71-room serviced apartment-style hotel, Residency Sarovar Portico in Mumbai. This is the group’s fifth hotel and is close to the the city. Located in North Mumbai, in close proximity to the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mind Space, Film City, etc., the hotel is also close to the Mumbai Airport. Anil Madhok, MD, Sarovar Hotels Pvt Ltd said,

What They Said. Hoteliers are passionate about the industry in which they work. Every month, Hotelier India presents the sound bites that could spark discussion among experts.

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“Residency Sarovar Portico is a serviced apartment style hotel and will cater to both leisure and business travellers, especially those visiting North Mumbai for business. This is our fifth hotel in Mumbai offering quality accommodation at attractive price points. With this hotel we now have over 60 hotels operational and aim to open a total of 100 hotels by 2020 across the globe.” Each well-designed guest room and suite at the hotel is modern in appeal and offers contemporary amenities. The hotel provides meeting and banquet facilities for up to 250 guests and a Tea Lounge which exclusively caters to in-house guests and offers Indian and Continental cuisines. Sarovar Portico brand was conceptualised with a view to provide today’s wellinformed traveller with all modern facilities and comforts at value-for-money pricing. The hotels under this brand bring fresh design, concept and ideas that are vibrant and colourful, providing guests a refreshing stay experience.

A silver hudah on display.

opening Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar unveiled the world’s first silver museum showcasing family heirlooms dating back to 743 AD to coincide with MMCF’s annual award ceremony. Shriji remarked upon the personal value of some of the exquisite exhibit pieces. The nostalgic exhibit is displayed at the renowned Amar Mahal, which is located at the entrance of Zenana Mahal and said to be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra. It includes pieces ranging from beautiful objects used in rituals such as Ram Rewaris (portable shrine for religious deity), magnificent traditional royal trans-

port like the haudah used for mounting elephants in religious, state and military processions. The works on display illustrate result of the longstanding historical relationships between the House of Mewar and both the Rajput courts and Mughal establishment, as well as showcasing indigenous artisan techniques. The current modernisation and renovation of the Zenana Mahal at the City Palace Museum is being undertaken with financial assistance from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi under the scheme ‘Setting Up, Promotion & Strengthening of Regional & Local Museums’.

Quick facts

: Accor launches a new Android version of its Hotel Directory that allows users to carry detailed information on more than 570 Accor hotels, their event and leisure facilities, full screen images, brand and loyalty information and much more at the touch of a button.

Building hotels is now not just about a room with a view, but more importantly, how does the room look from the view. Now we have found the emergence of a conscious customer.”

“Indian projects today deserve a pat on the back for their design and architecture. These components are certainly better in India. But the evolution needs to occur in MEP.”

Jose Dominic, MD CGH Earth

Shyam Damodaran, head – corporate strategy & execution, Mfar Holdings Pvt Ltd

Corrigendum The feature “New on the Block” in the May issue wrongly mentioned Banyan Tree signing its first hotel, an all-villa Angsana property in Kerala. The Kerala property is a Banyan Tree Property and not Angsana. The error is regretted.

03-07-2013 09:25:23



Dubai gets its first Oberoi The Oberoi Group announces the opening of its first hotel in Dubai Opening The Oberoi Group announces the opening of The Oberoi, Dubai, which will be the Group’s first property in the UAE. Located at The Oberoi Centre, this is a contemporary luxury hotel that embodies height, light and space. The hotel overlooks the iconic Burj Khalifa and each of the 252 rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows which afford views of the city’s skyline. Being centrally located, it is a few minutes’ drive from downtown Dubai and the Dubai Mall. “The opening of the hotel is significant for us. A number of Oberoi Hotels have been consistently recognised as amongst the best in the world. I am confident that The Oberoi, Dubai will continue this tradition,” said

PRS Oberoi, executive chairman of the Group. Karim Bizid, GM of The Oberoi, Dubai, added, “With the opening of The Oberoi, Dubai, we offer discerning business and leisure travellers an oasis of tranquility with service which is warm, caring and personalised. We are confident that The Oberoi, Dubai will add tangible value to the hospitality sector in the United Arab Emirates.” In keeping with the Group’s tradition, the hotel brings an ethos of service without compromise to the UAE with key team members who have been trained at The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development. The Oberoi, Dubai will have seamless in-room check in, 24-hour butler and Les Clefs d’Or concierge services.

Children’s day out in Goa GTDC and Indiatourism sponsor the bus tour Outing Goa Tourism Development Corporation in association with Indiatourism, Government of India, sponsored a three-day bus tour and a river cruise in Goa at a concessional rate for around 100 school children in the age group of 9-12 years along with their teachers from Anand Niketan school in Sevagram, Wardha that is located in the

What They Said. Hoteliers are passionate about the industry in which they work. Every month, Hotelier India presents the sound bites that could spark discussion among experts.

July 2013 | Hotelier India

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“Accor’s service philosophy is rooted in our French origins. As our hotel brands grow their presence in India, we are keen to familiarise our industry partners with our roots and the growing network across the world.” Jean-Michel Casse, Senior Vice President, Operations, Accor India

“It is a fact that innovative architecture and interior design could go a long way in reducing energy costs.” Mandar Zaware, senior design manager, Marriott International

interiors of Maharashtra. Anant Prem Group organised this for orphaned children and those who come from poor background as they would not have a chance to witness the beauty of Goa. The children were taken for a cruise on the Mandovi river on GTDC’s Shantadurga boat. The aim of this tour was to provide these children with an opportunity to see a different parts of the country.

Quick facts

: Delhi Duty Free at T3, IGI Airport, New Delhi, invited international trainer Yungdup Lama to impart specialised training to more than 200 Delhi Duty Free employees to provide world-class and impeccable services to travellers in India.

03-07-2013 09:26:33



Acquiring management rights Carnation Hotels acquire Golden Tulip in Jaipur to launch Lemon Tree Premier Acquisition Carnation Hotels, the hotel management joint venture partner of Lemon Tree Hotels has taken over management duties at the erstwhile Golden Tulip Hotel in Jaipur. The 108-room landmark property, owned by Radhamohan Builders Pvt Ltd (Royal Ensign Group), has entered into a 10-year renewable agreement with Carnation Hotels for management of the property. The agreement was signed by Rattan Keswani, co-promoter and managing director, Carnation Hotels and Surja Ram Meel, director, Radhamohan Builders Pvt Ltd. “Jaipur is an important part of the Golden Triangle. With its current strength of seven hotels (over 800 rooms) in the NCR, Lemon Tree

is well poised to add Jaipur to its portfolio and benefit from the synergy between the two cities. We are excited about including this destination in our portfolio and growing the revenues in the future,” said Keswani. The hotel is now called Lemon Tree Premier, the upscale hotel brand of the Lemon Tree chain. Speaking on the occasion, Patu Keswani, CMD Lemon Tree Hotels, said, “We are delighted to add Lemon Tree Premier, Jaipur to the growing portfolio. This property enhances the portfolio mix and allows the Lemon Tree group to consolidate its presence in this business hub as well as reach out to the growing domestic leisure market. The Golden Triangle continues to be an attractive itinerary and draws

in a large number of domestic and international tourists.” Meel added, “Apart from the advantage of bringing world class management to the table, this partnership will help our hotel gain global exposure and access to consumers by being part

of this fast growing group. We are excited about Lemon Tree’s distribution strength across India and its access to both domestic and international markets. We are confident we shall be one of the best hotels in Jaipur in the near future.”

Award-winning rejuvenation services Rejuve - the spa at The Lalit Jaipur awarded as Best New Spa (Hotel)

Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa wins ‘Best Resort Spa’

Expansion plans

The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group’s signature brand ‘Rejuve The Spa’ won two awards and five nominations across categories at the 6th Asia Spa Awards. RejuveThe Spa at The Lalit Jaipur was awarded as the Best New Spa (Hotel) and The Lalit Mumbai as the Most Luxurious Spa Treat-

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ment. Other nominations that came to Rejuve were- The Lalit Ashok Bangalore for The Best Hotel Spa, The Lalit Resort and Spa Bekal for the Best Destination Spa, Best Ayurvedic Spa & Wellness Center and Best Medi Spa; and The Lalit Mumbai for Spa Manager of the Year

Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa was awarded runner-up in the Best Luxury Resort (India) category at the recently concluded Travel and Leisure India’s Best Awards 2012, while Sereno Spa was voted ‘Best Resort Spa’ at the asiaSpa India Awards 2012 held recently. Emerging a winner over some of the most premium resorts and spas in the country, these awards reinstate Park Hyatt Goa’s position as a leading resort destination.

Tux Hospitality, the hotel management and operations company of Shipra Group, signes another property – Hive, at Panipat. This will be managed by HRS Hotel, Panipat and features 45 well-appointed rooms in three categories. The rooms offer stat-of-the-art amenities and the 24-hours guest room services include in-room dinning and laundry. It also offers specialised F&B outlets.

03-07-2013 09:26:58



News at a glance Finding a place in North America Regal Airport Hotel has received the Carbon “Less” 28 per cent Certificate of the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence (HKAEE). The scheme aims to recognise organisations that achieved a verified absolute reduction of overall carbon emissions. “It is our commitment to implement green programmes inside and outside of our work place, and to engage our guests, associates and their families throughout the green programmes, for example, implementing green ideas in our restaurants and banquet service, monitoring energy and water consumption and recycling, etc. We will continue to show love to our planet by reducing the carbon footprint in our daily operations,” said the spokesperson for the property.

 The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong introduced a 100 per cent chemical-free spa and skincare range – Sodashi, exclusively in Hong Kong. The Oriental Spa at the property was recently awarded Asia & Australasia’s ‘Hotel Spa of the Year’ at The World Spa & Wellness Awards. Greg Liddell, GM of the property said, “We are thrilled to partner with Sodashi to bring the world’s finest chemical-free spa range to Hong Kong. The products are effective and pleasurable to use, and will no doubt delight and satisfy our guests.” Megan Larsen, Sodashi Founder explained, “Globally there is a growing demand for effective chemical-free skincare that delivers real anti-ageing results. At Sodashi we blend therapeutic-grade natural ingredients to formulate high performance skin care. If we can’t make it naturally, naturally we don’t make it. We are delighted to be working with the award-winning Landmark Mandarin Oriental and are excited about creating an all-natural experience for the hotel’s discerning guests,” she added.

Langham Place launches in North America with its first hotel in New York launch Langham Place, Fifth Avenue is now a part of the New York City luxury hotel landscape with Langham Hospitality, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Eagle Group together with its fellow subsidiary, taking over the management of The Setai Fifth Avenue. This transition will introduce the Langham Place brand, a five-star luxury hotel experience that blends modern British allure with the elegant service with which Langham has become synonymous, in one of the world’s most important leisure and business travel destinations. “We are excited that the launch of the Langham Place brand in North America is in New York City, the crossroads of the world’s business, culture and fashion industries,” said Brett Butcher, CEO of Langham Hospitality Group. “Langham Place, Fifth Avenue is a milestone in

our global expansion in the world’s most important destinations and it will be a welcome addition to the group’s North American portfolio, which includes The Langham hotels in Pasadena (Los Angeles) and Boston, as well as Chicago and Toronto, which are both joining the Group in July 2013.”

Back on track & looking forward Rotana moves ahead with its development plans for the luxurious five-star Saadiyat Rotana Resort

Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport Board has agreed to lower landing fees for its airlines by $9 million through the remainder of the fiscal year, making the airport even more cost competitive for airlines. From June through the end of September, the landing fee will be reduced by 69 cents to $2.36 per 1,000 pounds of maximum gross landing weight of an aircraft. This cost benefit for the airlines comes as the Airport is experiencing a surplus of revenue totaling $13.5 million more than projected for fiscal year 2013. Much of the revenue surplus is attributed to concessions and rental car service, both performing over budget as the airport continues to experience an uptick in passenger traffic. “DFW Airport is knocking it out of the park this year and achieving all of its goals,” said chief financial officer Chris Poinsatte.

 Cathay Pacific Airways has announced the latest promotion to enhance its award-winning inflight wine selection – introduction of six world-class wines from Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France to the First Class wine list. Following the success of 1855 Bordeaux Classification wine promotion, the airline has continued to search for premium Bordeaux wines to delight the discerning palates of its premium passengers. Passengers in First Class now have the chance to appreciate half-a-dozen carefully selected top-quality wines from Saint-Émilion in addition to the regular First Class wine selection. July 2013 | Hotelier India

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development Rotana announces moving forward with its development plans of the Saadiyat Rotana Resort, a luxurious five-star hotel set to open in 2015 on Saadiyat Beach, a nine-kilometer stretch of pristine white sand on Saadiyat island. Commenting on this announcement, Nasser Al Nowais, chairman of Rotana said, “We are delighted to announce that the opening date of Saadiyat Rotana Resort will be

in 2015 – the same year when the highly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi museum is set to open on the island.” Adding to this, Aman Aditya Sachdev, senior vice president-India for Rotana said, “The Indian market has consistently been one of the key source markets for Rotana’s Middle East and Africa portfolio and I have no doubt that the opening of Saadiyat Rotana Resort will further enhance our range of luxury offerings for discerning Indian travellers.”

03-07-2013 09:29:06



The Leela Palace New Delhi appointed Kunal Chauhan as the resident manager. Chauhan has earlier been associated with The Leela Group spearheading the F&B affairs at The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon and led the project development for The Leela Palace Jaipur. Kunal is trained from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, London and has in-depth knowledge of fine aspects of F&B.

Jha has joined IHG at their Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport as the new GM. Till recently, he was the GM with Radisson Blu Hotel Greater Noida . He brings over two decades of experience in operations, development and business development having worked with Zuri Hotels & Resorts, Unitech’s Hospitality arm for development of Marriott hotels, Radisson and Select hotels.

N. Prompaksa Thai Chef Sridhar Sigatapu Executive Chef

Satish Fernandes Ex.Asst Manager - F&B With more than two decades of experience in a unique combination of craftsmanship and unbridled creativity, Houze is a master patissier who marks his Indian debut as executive pastry chef at Shangri-La’s - Eros Hotel, New Delhi. Prior to this, he has worked in renowned patisseries all over the world including Sheraton Fota Island-Ireland, Makadi Palace, Grand Makadi-Egypt and The Lalu hotel-Nantou Taiwan.

Her tryst with cooking started with her stint at the Royal Thai Consulate in India. Driven by the belief that Thai cuisine should be rightly showcased outside Thailand, she set out on her culinary adventure. A mistress of spices with more than 12 years of culinary experience, Prompaksa is the Thai Chef of Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi’s Pan Asian restaurant, 19 Oriental Avenue.

As executive chef at Courtyard by Marriott, Chennai, Chef Sigatapu will oversee all operations related to multi-cuisine restaurants in the property. Prior to this, he was with DoubleTree by Hilton in London Heathrow for two years and the Ramada at London Heathrow for two years. He brings with him diverse experience of having worked with some renowned Indian and international hotels.

Rajat Tuli Director F&B

Kunal Chauhan Resident Manager

Chadha brings over a decade of experience to ITC Maratha as F&B manager. Before moving here, he was a key member of the pre-opening team of ITC Grand Chola, where he was responsible for setting up the F&B operations as well as the country’s largest convention space at the hotel.A gold medalist from catering school, Chadha is an alumnus of the ITC hotel management institute.

Satish Fernandes brings over 16 years of experience in F&B to Sun-N-Sand.As the Executive Assistant Manager - F&B, Fernandes wants to ensure friendly, prompt, and efficient service to all guests and keep upgrading the offerings in the restaurants by introducing new cuisines and food festivals. Prior to this, he served as the asst director F&B at Cuisinart Resort and Spa, in the West Indies .

Cedric Houze Executive Pastry Chef

Prashant Chadha F&B Manager

With over 19 years’ experience, Chef Bobde brings his varied and extensive expertise to Hyatt Regency Mumbai.A diploma holder in hotel management IHMCTN,Ahmedabad, he was associated with brands like Kempinski, Jumeirah, Intercontinental and Radisson. He joined the Hyatt family in 2008 as executive sous chef. Chef Kedar’s culinary instinct and fervor will certainly be his most valued assets in his latest role.

Suraj Kumar Jha General Manager

Chef Kedar Bobde Executive Chef

Movers & shakers

DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon - New Delhi NCR promoted executive chef Tuli as Director F&B to oversee the complete F&B at the hotel and facilities including the three restaurants. Chef Tuli has a 15-year experience across International hotel chains in locations like Delhi, Chennai and Goa. Apart from a diploma from IHMCT, Chennai, he holds a B Com. degree from Delhi University.

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03-07-2013 09:28:31




Who Moved My Cheese – the Paradox in the Hospitality Landscape? By Anupama Jaiswal, Associate Director HVS Executive Search


n today’s buoyant hospitality landscape where every hotel company is scrambling for better brand presence and recognition, retention of employees and demand for high quality professionals continue to emerge as areas of greater focus. Over the years, Indian Hospitality spectrum has undergone a gradual and significant change, transforming the ways of conducting business. By the nature of this industry, human capital continues to play a critical role, both at the level of guest satisfaction, where employee behavior influences guest experience, as well as at the management level, where staff morale determines a brand’s ability to innovate and maintain competitive edge. Achieving the right degree of independence and collaboration from the business to attract and retain talent has been a tough balancing act, especially for the HR fraternity in this growing hospitality market.


rom a historical perspective, the hospitality industry was inflicted with slow growth, poor compensation and lack of worklife balance, as a result of which the sector was traditionally labeled as the last choice of career in the service industry. As the market evolved and new international hotel brands started capturing the Indian market, compensation levels came under the spotlight and acted as sole differentiator in attracting the limited pool of trained manpower. At this juncture, one can safely state that the Indian hospitality sector has taken cognizance of compensation being a sole factor in talent acquisition, perhaps for some positions, if not all. Based on research, salary level of a general manager who is considered a key resource to determine a hotel’s overall profitability and achievement of bottom lines, has seen a growth of more than 40 per cent in the last five years. Similarly, compensation ranges for most of the positions at the HOD level has witnessed an optimistic gain. Whilst the scenario on compensation is true for the elite club of department heads and above, one cannot claim the same assurance for the rank and file level. Rank and file staff or foot soldiers form the core of

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any hotel set up and are critical to the existence and excellence of any service delivery. Paradoxically, the current scenario does not support adequate pay when compared to the effort and hours put in by this core group and compensation continues to remain sour.


hilst, the Indian hospitality landscape has seen emergence of several international brands willing to hire the best talent in the country, however focus on offering attractive compensation continues to remain biased towards the department head positions and above. Based on research conducted by HVS Executive Search, considering the four key operational divisions in a hotel set up, median salary for rank and file continues to remain constant over the last five years, though it appears to be lower for 2013 owing to a larger sample set.

requires serious deliberation by the industry stakeholders.


he existing attrition at the rank and file level in the Indian hospitality landscape is soaring at 30-35 per cent as against a much lower one at the management level (10-15 per cent). This should act as a strong indicator for the industry stakeholders to take cognizance of the need of the hour. Despite the fact that nearly all hotel companies are focusing on creating and implementing a total rewards philosophy as a key employee engagement tool, such high level of attrition needs a focused approach. For an industry which is observing an annual payroll cost of 20.3 per cent, measures to reduce operating costs is every owner’s ultimate goal. However should it be at the cost of retaining or hiring a well paid team of managers who can deliver

Rank and File Median Salary for the year 2008 and 2013: All India 2008 Total No. of responses submitted 130 Commis rs1,12,712 Front Desk Assistant rs1,38,774 Room Attendant rs93,757 Waiter rs1,10,928

2013 196 rs97,204 rs83,916 rs83,310 rs85,200

Source: HVS Executive Search

The table gives a snapshot view of the median salary across all hotels in India for the year 2008 and 2013. It may be noted that emergence of newer hotel brands in the country across various hotel market positioning has undoubtedly given more and better career opportunities. However, the salaries’ being offered by the brands at the grassroot level has not been a preferred topic of discussion. One may rationalize this plateau by mentioning the dearth of quality manpower especially at the level of young recruits graduating from hospitality schools. However contrary to belief, lack of an attractive compensation package may be a deterrent amongst young Indians to take up hospitality management as a career. Is the industry doing enough to scale up compensation across all levels or is the employee at the grass root level feeling short changed? This is a question which

this objective, or by creating efficient and cost productive ways of conducting business, is something which needs further dwelling. A long term solution of achieving this goal will require the owner and operator to work closely, wherein they look at innovative ways of building efficient hotels. The operators, especially international companies, need to thereafter utilise their global expertise in training staff in multi-skilling and tasking and offer packages which are comparable to other service sector segments. This will further encourage young talent to choose hospitality management as a preferred career option, adding to the presently depleted pool of quality manpower. It is time owners and operators recognise this need of the hour and undertake impactful measures which will give the much required facelift to the hospitality industry at large. HI

03-07-2013 09:29:47

Photograph courtesy ibis Navi Mumbai



Navi Mumbai has a fair share of branded properties.

Parallel economies

Satellite cities have emerged as major outlets for economic development for metro cities across India — Thane & Navi Mumbai play the role for Mumbai BY CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD


umbai has been at the forefront of the Indian development and has over the past two decades witnessed tremendous economic growth. The city has been the nerve cell of the economic growth of the country with most major financial and corporate businesses being headquartered in the city. As the epicenter of India’s growth, Mumbai has always attracted new

July 2013 | Hotelier India

settlers arriving from different parts of the country. The growing economy and increased population resulted in the city growing into its suburbs to assist itself in managing growing housing and infrastructural demand which further led to a signifi cant increase in area covered in the Mumbai region. Today, Mumbai includes the City of Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Thane, Navi Mumbai and other small urban areas, otherwise known as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The total area

it covers is 1,176 sq. kms. This entire region holds a population of 20.7 million at a density of 16,662 per sq. km. Thane and Navi Mumbai are Mumbai’s satellite cities and being en-route to cities of Nasik and Pune respectively, has further infused growth in their respective economies. These cities have assisted Mumbai’s burgeoning demand for growth.


hane is the most populous district in India and indus-

tries, across various sectors, form the mainstay of its local economy with Thane City as its centre. The city spreads across an area of 128.23 sq. km and as per 2011 census, has a population of 2.4 million. It has, over the last decade, witnessed rapid urbanisation leading to residential and commercial development. A high percentage of the skilled work force residing in Thane is employed in the Greater Mumbai region. Though spill-over development from Mumbai has played a piv-




Budget Upscale

350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0

Thane Inventory Overview

Budget Upscale

Midscale Growth in Inventory %

40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

Imventory Growth %

30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5%

Number of Rooms

Navi Mumbai Inventory overview

800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0

Imventory Growth %

Number of Rooms

Photograph courtesy ibis Navi Mumbai

Pune Expressway has further boosted the local economy giving it an edge over Thane. Numerous IT parks dot Navi Mumbai’s commerce landscape and the announcement of an international airport in Panvel has made the region an attractive investment option.

Midscale Growth in Inventory %

Thane Inventory Break Up

Navi Mumbai Inventory Break Up 12%

17% 29%

Budget Midscale Upscale

Budget Midscale Upscale

24% 64%

2010 -11

2011 -12



2012 -13

Hotels Performance in Navi Mumbai 63% 63% 63% 63% 62% 62% 62% 62% 62%


otal role in the local economy, the city is a major hub for mid and small scale industries. In contrast to Thane, the township of Navi Mumbai was specifi cally created to help ease the burden of Mumbai’s growth. It’s development was initiated in 1972 and is the largest planned

July 2013 | Hotelier India

5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 2010 -11

2011 -12



2012 -13

58% 57% 57% 56% 56% 55% 55% 54% 54% 53%

AOR (in %)

Hotels Performance in Thane


4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0

AOR (in %)




city in the world. The city, as per 2011 census, has a population of 1.1 million and covers an area of 193.94 sq. km. Similar to Thane, Navi Mumbai has witnessed incredible growth in economic activity. However, its close proximity to Pune and development across the Mumbai-


he hospitality market in Navi Mumbai has grown tremendously over the last two years with numerous hotel openings in the city. Comparatively, Thane’s hotel market is still at a nascent stage with only one branded hotel. Navi Mumbai has a total of 1,612 rooms with 1,326 rooms belonging to the organised segment, while Thane only has 466 rooms with one hotel from the organised segment. This disparity is a result of pace of progress and economic development between the two cities. Navi Mumbai has a clear edge when compared to Thane in terms of hospitality. The slight drop in ARR for Navi Mumbai is a result of increase in supply over the last two years with an addition of 387 rooms in 2012–2013. Thane, though with its limited supply of rooms, achieved an ARR of INR 3,986 for 2012–13. The corporate demand in Thane is still low compared to Navi Mumbai, but a steady rise in occupancy has been registered over the last two years. Navi Mumbai registered an ARR of INR 4,250 as of 2013, a decrease by two per cent over 2012. Occupancy rates remained stable at 57 per cent in 2012 as well as 2013. While ARR had decreased by four per cent in 2012 over 2011, there was a three per cent increase in AOR during the same period. The decrease in ARR is mainly due to added keys in the micro-market with over 24 per cent in 2012 over 2011. However, 2013 witnessed opening of Country Inn & Suites with about 94 keys, that makes seven per cent of the total inventory available in the micro-market.


ommercial business activity is the mainstay of busi-

ness for hotels in Navi Mumbai. The city also has a cricket stadium which has become a major attraction. The highly anticipated Exhibition Centre in Vashi, Navi Mumbai (a project undertaken by CIDCO), is expected to open by the end of 2013. The new international airport in Panvel is further expected to strengthen Navi Mumbai’s position as an alternative location to areas under Greater Mumbai. Tourism development in Thane is mostly undertaken by private investors keen on building resorts along the various lakes in Thane district. Currently, there are no major tourism initiatives in the area. Navi Mumbai remains a strong growth centre for businesses and corporate houses. The city has a robust pipeline of commercial and residential development for the growing demand in the region and thus remains a prime market for hospitality brands. Over the last three years various branded hotels have opened in Navi Mumbai and new hotels are expected to be added to the existing supply. Ibis, Royal Tulip and Country Inn & Suites are some of the branded hotels which have opened recently. The upcoming supply is expected to increase the current room tally by 1,250 (by 2016), comprising hotels from the organised and unorganised segment. Brands such as Hyatt Regency, Marriott and IHG are expected to enter the Navi Mumbai market in the coming years. In contrast, the hospitality market in Thane city is still at early stages of development with only 340 rooms expected to be added to the existing supply by 2015. Residential projects have achieved strong success in the Thane market, however commercial and IT development is still limited resulting in a limited activity in hotel development. Leisure Inn, a brand of the Staywell Group is expected to launch its 122 room property by end 2013, While Formule1, an Accor brand, is expected to open its doors by 2015. HI



Leading by example Loving to be with people, Stefan Radstrom of Grand Hyatt Goa believes that being a GM means going beyond the scope of his job

Grand Hyatt Goa has won accolades for its landscaping and scenic environs.

It would seem that way to this construction engineering drop-out hen you have been in who became a hotelier by default. a property for three What started out as a summer years, especially if job became a career choice; but you came on board it wasn’t as simple. “I got a suma year and a half mer job offer in a big hotel in Swebefore its opening, to see it grow den — to work as a garbage man. from strength to strength is very I had two choices: either just do satisfying. Stefan Radstrom, GM the job or be different, and I chose of Grand Hyatt Goa is testimo- to be different. I was the best garny to this fact. “When I arrived, bage man they ever had!” Radthere was just concrete, dirt and strom laughs. This is a story that dust. It sounds very fancy to be has become a part of the training the GM of a five-star deluxe ho- sessions for every new employee at tel, but my fi rst offi ce was a wood Grand Hyatt Goa. Radstrom, who plank and a garden chair, almost has a two-hour session with every like a box!” he reminisces, adding new employee, shares this story that there is still a lot to do as it is and goes through the brand’s misan ongoing process. sion statements with all of them as



July 2013 | Hotelier India

he believes that it is not just for the GMs and directors, but for all to know and follow so that it becomes a part of their culture. “I want to motivate people and let them know that our industry allows people to

Stefan Radstrom

climb the ladder. Though it is not easy and you need go that extra mile and be very passionate — this is also where our industry has changed,” he rues. What makes each experience special for this hotelier is the immediate response — like someone saying ‘thank you very much, that was absolutely wonderful.’ “Earlier I would be heartbroken at any complaint and would be demotivated. But realised that sometimes you have to be like a doctor and that is what I tell my team as well,” Radstrom admits. He does not feel that his work is his job, it is a lifestyle and believes that being a hotelier is like being a cricketer or an actor, “Your work is your passion”.



One of the most rewarding aspects of being a GM is the opportunity to train and groom people. Learning from lessons in his career path, Radstrom feels that one needs to recognise potential in the team, “Because if you don’t lookafter passionate and good people, they will fi nd somebody else who will,” he says, especially since it takes a lot of effort to get good people on board. Recalling the preopening and team building days of the Grand Hyatt Goa, Radstrom remembers going through 2,000 CVs every week to create the present team of 700 employees. Having travelled all over the world, Radstrom admits that his stint in India has been the most interesting. “To be honest, India was not on my list of places to go. But when the opportunity came, I took it and haven’t regretted it one bit,” he admits. Who would if they are sitting in Goa at a property with

The ballroom at the property is a popular MICE venues in the city.

beautiful gardens and magical sunsets! On a tough day, though, he does go by himself to the beach to gather his thoughts and lets the waves wash the day away. One of the perks of being a hotelier is to host some of the most celebrated names, but the fl ip side is that you can’t afford to have any-

thing go wrong during their stay, “Celebrities have everything in the world except privacy. When we have celebrity guests I treat them as normal people and that is what most of them want. There are exceptions though,” he stops just short of spilling a few beans. Admitting that opening a new

July 2013 | Hotelier India


ne occupational hazard, he concedes, is the unconscious comparison even when on holiday. “We are on the job all the time —constantly observing and learning.” Wishing for a better balance in life, Radstrom feels that many a times hoteliers get lost in the passion for their work and work overtakes all else in life. “We hoteliers are a special breed — we can always make things work. Even if we are faced with a wall, we will fi nd a way to get around it, under it, or over it,” he laughs. His stint in India has brought hotel is akin to childbirth, he feels that one needs to be prepared for home the truth that this country unexpected problems and be ready is made up of many smaller Indias with alternate plans. “I always tell and has so much to offer — food, my team that you should worry languages, culture and heritabout things that are in your con- age. So has he developed a taste for Indian cuisine? He admits trol,” he says. Believing in leading by exam- that since the pre-opening days, ple, Radstrom is the fi rst to throw when he ate Indian cuisine, he has in his jacket and work alongside grown to like not just the coconutthe team. He has a very simple based dishes from the south, but philosophy — “if I can do it, eve- also the onion and tomato-based ryone can do it. Nobody is too up ones from the north. “When I go in the hierarchy. We need to keep to a new destination, I don’t want it simple,” he says. He explains to be pre-occupied by what others this by citing an example: after tell me but create my own impresfour-and-a-half years of construc- sions. I like to revisit it after a few tion, one needs to do a proper years — it is fun to remember clean-up of the entire property, that experience. And that’s very which in the case of Grand Hyatt rewarding,” Radstrom feels. HI

“This property is a labour of love.The guy who made the main entrance door sat for three weeks with a tool between his toe to carve the door out.”

The well-designed lobby is one of the most discussed features of Grand Hyatt Goa.

Goa is 28 acres of land. So the property was divided into different areas and distributed amongst all. The entire pre-opening team of 500 was out picking up things in the middle of the monsoon, all over the property including the beach, and the clean-up took all of three hours. Radstrom’s biggest fear is to work in a hotel where he cannot be proud of the property, as he believes that the GM is the face and only if you take pride in the property will it come through in your work. But how does he cope with a 24x7 work pressure? “On my day-off, I run away,” he laughs, “Because our job is very intense. You have people all day in your face, which I love, but if you don’t unwind, sooner or later it will get to you.” His last holiday was to Maldives as he loves to travel and “not to a busy place’.

Consumer connect initiative


Better safe than... Food safety tips to follow during monsoon ensure that food materials and in-

ceed 7 deg C.

food debris. Garbage bins may be

gredients are purchased only from


lined with polythene and lidded

reputed, known and approved sup-

to-eat food in the temperature

when not in use to discourage fl ies

pliers. Ensure checking of all con-

zone for over four hours.

and prevent cross contamination. En-

signments as per specifi cations. Be


selective about certain seafood like

is used to prepare food, ensure

prawns, crabs and shellďŹ sh that are

that the food is heated to at least

known to harbour infectious germs.

70 deg C.

Water safety: Water is consumed

A Ganesh Director of marketing at Diversey India Pvt. Ltd.

sure that all drains are protected with drain traps for cockroaches. Hand washing: Use soap and water with a rubbing action for 20 sec-


onds to clean hands. The rubbing

as a food ingredient. It is also used

kitchen work surface but prefer-

action should include the palms, the

for washing food and food contact

ably in the microwave or refrigera-

dorsal side of the palm, and the area

surfaces. Contamination of water is

tor and always in a dish.

between the fi ngers and around the

high in rains due to leaking pipes and


contamination at source, which, if not

teria an ideal environment to thrive –

used) or in the absence of the same,

leading to food-borne illness. Hence,

water should be disinfected (a re-

in this season, it is important for

sidual chlorine level of 0.2 ppm at a

people working in the food industry

minimum and 0.5 ppm at a maximum

to ensure that a high level of hygiene

should be available in drinking water

is maintained.

at point of use).

he cooling showers bring

adequately disinfected and treated,

with them an increased sus-

can harbour infectious microbes.

ceptibility to several dis-

All water consumed as a drink must

eases that are peculiar to

be thoroughly fi ltered and treated

the monsoon. The hot and

to render it bacteria safe at house-

humid climate gives viruses and bac-

hold level (water puriďŹ ers may be

Food-borne illnesses are caused

Disinfecting food contact surfaces:

largely by bacteria or by poisonous

Use separate chopping boards and

toxins, produced by them. These

utensils including cutting and trim-

bacteria can quickly spread and

ming implements for vegetarian and

fi nd their way into food via the food

non-vegetarian food. These should

chain, i.e. from soil and water; raw

be disinfected between uses, espe-

produce; kitchen surfaces; hands of

cially for non-vegetarian food and

Cleaning: Keep all food handling

ďŹ ngers, the nails (could also be done

food handlers; food handling equip-

before being used to handle ready-

and storage areas clean and remove

with a nail brush), thumbs and the

ment; food service utensils and the

to-eat food. Disinfecting can be

unwanted materials. Ensure that hid-

exposed part of the hand up to the

food served, among others. The top

carried out in boiling water for two

den and inaccessible areas are kept

wrist or beyond as applicable. The

three reasons for food poisoning

minutes or in a solution of 200 ppm

to a minimum and maintained clean

nails need to be short and rounded

include poor time-temperature con-

chlorine for 20 minutes after washing.

to guard against pests which can

in any case. Wash hands after using

trols, cross contamination and poor

Do not forget to disinfect knives and

spread diseases. Apply targeted use

the rest room, after break, before

personal hygiene. This is something

cleaning cloths.

of an anti-microbial cleaning prod-

start of an activity, after touching

Time–temperature controls: The

ucts for work surfaces, which come

body parts or garbage handling or

temperature danger zone (TDZ) for

in direct contact with food like chop-

any activity that could contaminate

Kitchens are hotspots for such

disease causing bacterial build-up is

ping boards and work tables; dish

your hands. Remember, hands are

opportunistic microbes. Here are a

from 5–60 deg C. Hence, the golden

sponge, dish cloth and cleaning cloth;

an active carrier of microbes from the

few tips on preventing food-borne

rule: Keep hot food hot and cold

fridge shelves, handles and gaskets;

environment into your kitchen. Hand

illnesses in commercial food prepa-

food cold. For frozen food, the hold-

and electrical kitchen appliances that

disinfection after thorough washing

ration areas especially during mon-

ing temperature should not exceed

come into direct contact with food.

is best carried out with alcoholic rub-

soons. The chef or the receiver in a

-12 deg C or temperatures that per-

Food service and preparation utensils

in hand sanitizers.

kitchen should take the following

mit thawing.

should be cleaned within two hours.



Waste handling: Do not leave gar-

that any food handler cannot afford to overlook.



Thus, a little effort on your part coupled with care and caution will

temperature monitoring device, one

bage out in the open; dispose it off

ensure that your customers get

Supplier safety assurance: While

needs to leave one inside to ensure

as quickly as possible and in a prop-

healthy and hygienic food to eat

food safety starts with the supplier,

that the temperature does not ex-

er manner. Get rid of decomposing

and return with a smile on their face.

maximum food safety:

July 2013 | Hotelier India



Purchasing unravelled As director procurement, Sofitel Mumbai, Nitin Nagrale has moved up the ranks to understand the business of buying the best for his property

Is the procurement function organised to deliver optimal value to the organisation by focusing on outcomes rather than cost? Does it challenge needs vs. wants? In today’s scenario we definitely follow the strategies which talk about outcomes and not just low costs. The yield management, futuristic value of products, longetivity and value engineering are some of the elements being used in modern day procurement. Primary objectives of procurement today should be a balance between mandatory needs to support standards keeping in mind guest satisfaction and functionality. Is all spending managed through category management and strategic sourcing processes, with a competitive sourcing process mandated?

July 2013 | Hotelier India

36-37_HI_Jul2013_People_Purchasing unravelled.indd 36

In hospitality industry, we do break the procurement of goods into several categories this allows us to procure goods from specialists and results in special pricing benefits. The competitive sourcing is the key element which keeps us alive. This is a mandate and all procurement policies ensure that the competitive sourcing becomes a base of procurement of any goods and services. Does the procurement function lead or get actively involved in demand management initiatives in your organisation? The procurement professionals do get involved in demand management initiatives of the organisation to greatly reduce costs from several cost heads. I personally believe in sitting with the user department

heads and evaluate the needs vs wants. Post detailed discussion, the final purchase requests are approved and the procurement process follows. Are procurement processes automated? Is there a fully integrated e-procurement solution for the hospitality industry? In Indian hospitality industry, we have moved to the automated procurement processes since last more than 15 years. There are several fully integrated e-procurement solutions like FSPro Materials Control, Scala, MMS, etc which can work on ERP. Is there a consistent benefits tracking framework for procurement function? Are benefits captured, realised and reported to relevant stakeholders?

We consistently track cost savings, new introductions, substitutes, and replacements to the products resulting in increased bottom line and increased efficiency and effectiveness. These benefits are captured regularly and reported to all relevant stakeholders. Does outsourcing the procurement function/process align well with the organisation’s business needs/ strategy? Companies that outsource their procurement function can tap into a pool of experts, which can guide them in matters pertaining to process and policy compliance. They can avail themselves of this collective expertise to improve their efficiency and overall performance. This leads to measurable cost-cutting and tangible savings. While cost reduction

03-07-2013 09:34:22


is the largest substantiated reason, there are other benefi ts as well, such as being able to utilise in-house resources for core processes. is reverse auction be possible in procurement of perishable products? A reverse auction is a type of auction in which the roles of buyer and seller are reversed. In a reverse auction, the sellers compete to obtain business from the buyer and prices will typically decrease as the sellers undercut each other. It will be a great idea to have reverse auction for perishable products! Otherwise also the vendors need several rounds of negotiations to arrive at apt price for the organization. I would surely like to use this method in coming contract period for some categories of the perishable products. How important is green procurement to you. What measures are you taking to implement green procurement? Green procurement is the selec-

ABOUT NITIN NAGRALE Nitin Shankar Nagrale graduated from Mumbai University with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. He has obtained a diploma in Materials Management from IIMM, Bangalore, and diploma in Hotel Management in Catering Technology and applied Nutrition from IHM, Mumbai. He has also completed Masters in Marketing Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai. Nagrale brings with him an experience of over 18 years of managing procurement and supply chain procedures for hotels like Taj Mahal Palace & Towers, Taj Lands End (The Regent Mumbai), Grand Hyatt Mumbai and The Westin Mumbai Garden City. He was also a part of the pre-opening team at the Grand Hyatt and The Westin Mumbai Garden City. At Starwood Hotels he has represented India, Bangladesh and Nepal

tion of products and services that minimise environmental impacts; it’s about using your power to promote productive use of resources and materials. We follow Planet 21, which is our worldwide sustainable development programme guiding

at the Purchasing Council. He has also worked with Jet Airways, RKHS and Dawnay Day India Land Private Limited. Nagrale has been awarded the fi rst “Business Manager of the year 2001-2002 and recognised as “Best Manager on Duty” at The Regent, Mumbai. He is also been awarded with “Certifi cate of Appreciation” for successfully opening of the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, The Westin Mumbai Garden City and Sofi tel Mumbai BKC. He is working with Sofi tel Mumbai BKC as the director of procurement and was recently sent to Indonesia as part of the task force to set up Sofi tel Bali Nusa Dua.

us through process and implementation across departments. How do you differentiate vendor credibility and reliability? What is more important? The vendor credibility is based on

his past performance in different organisations. His reliability could be judged from our own experience. I feel the reliability is more important than the credibility as his present performance may not match with his past performance. HI



The precious resource Hotel chains are pulling no punches to retain their trained, talented human resources as the war for talent wages on amidst burgeoning rooms supply. We explore what IHG and Marriott bring to the game BY RAYNAH COUTINHO


hen there’s a hotel launching just around the corner from yours, offering a 10 per cent markup on the salaries you pay, one will have to acknowledge that well-intended, even perfectly thought-out retention initiatives like Employee of the Month, team-building days, entertainment evenings and management engagement measures might not work to hold your people from moving on to what they see as greener pastures. Let’s allow some numbers to do the talking: According to Simon Manohar, director of human resources, South West Asia & Saudi Palaces, IHG, the chain aims to create 90,000 jobs across its global network by 2014, as it keeps up with the rise in global tourism demand. 20,000 of these will be across Asia (excluding China), Middle East and Africa, with over 32 per cent of these in India alone. “Counting expansion alone — and leaving turnover out — Marriott’s current footprint in APAC is 120 hotels, which we aim to double, meaning that we need about 35,000 new associates, of which 12,000 will be required in India,” says Regan Taikitsadaporn, chief


more people is what Marriott and IHG alone will need in India by 2016

July 2013 | Hotelier India

38-42_July13_HI_HR&Recruitment.indd 38

Douglas Martell

human resources officer of Asia Pacific Marriott International. How then, will hotels hold on to people and gain access to the best, as supply continues to increase? IHG appears to have an end-toend strategy in place — right from catching candidates fresh out of hotel school, to holding on to them with accelerated career development plans and staying accessible to those looking to switch jobs. “Recruitment is one of our biggest challenges in India. We’re bringing the experience in international hotel management the country needs as it becomes a prime tourist destination. But we need more local graduates with hotel and tourism management training for the jobs we’re creating. We’re keen to work with universities and colleges in India through our IHG Academy programme to get that pipeline of talented people underway,” says Manohar. Marriott keeps employees happy, engaged and motivated with the promise of overseas assign-

Regan Taikitsadaporn

Simon Manohar

Supervising people and right down to managing their careers is what is in demand out of India. Douglas martell, ihg ments. “We’ve explosed a lot of Indian talent and leaders to assignments in other countries, across finance, revenue management, sales & marketing and operations; we also have one director of HR from India,” says Taikitsadaporn.


aving a footprint obviously gives the brand an edge. “We’re already well-recognised and Indians want to work for us,” says Douglas Martell, vice-president operations, South West Asia, IHG. Besides that, being recognised as a great employer counts. “We’re getting the word out that we’re a great company to work for, using a strategy of third party recognition. Tactically, we do a lot of college recruiting to fill our pipeline —

we’re using social media for both employment branding as well as recruitment,” Taikitsadaporn says. IHG has tied in its social service activities with its own need for loyal employees, with the IHG Academy programme. For the uninitiated, IHG Academy is a partnership between a hotel from the IHG family of brands and a local community organisation or an educational institution, near to where the hotel operates. “What the IHG Academy programme hopes to do is to provide local people with skills development and work experience to improve their employment prospects in the world of hospitality. Since its inception, the IHG Academy Programme has grown rapidly and now operates in

03-07-2013 09:38:01



Employee SWOT by Taikitsadaporn Strengths: Business savvy and willing to work hard Weaknesses: Don’t always stick to processes, standards and procedures; often give into instinct Opportunities: Will try new things and take on challenges Threats: Cost of labour is getting higher in India, so the need for multi-taskers has intensified

Marriott is working towards a larger pool of lady general managers.

37 countries around the globe, with 84 partners established in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa,” says Manohar. Footprint matters indeed. Martell says that the brand is aggressively tying up with local institutions. “We have already got 12 tie-ups in place and are working on another five,” he says. These include the Banarsidas Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology in Delhi, T. John Institute of Hotel Management in Bangalore, Institutes of Hotel Management in Mumbai and Goa, Anjuman-I-Islam in Mumbai and the DY Patil College in Pune,” says Manohar.

to meet the huge demands in China’s rapidly growing hospitality industry and Atlanta Community Partnership in the US, helps disadvantaged women by providing employment opportunities in our hotels,” Manohar explains. In India, of course, the blanket goal is to supplement theoretical learning provided in schools with hands-on training in a hotel. But that’s not all. “At Rohini in Delhi, we have some of our staff lecture. We believe that this will drive pref-

erence for our hotels once the students complete their studies,” Martell says. According to him, Indian students, by large, show enthusiasm for both theoretical and practical knowledge. “And of course, hospitality is inborn,” he adds, joking about how he’s lost count of the number of incredibly elaborate dinners he’s had at business associates’ houses on his trips to India. This is all very well, but statistics that have emerged at almost an HR-focussed hotel industry forum


ithin a common framework each IHG Academy is tailored to meet the needs of local communities. “For instance, Newham College in the UK provides hospitality certification and work experience in four IHG hotels, as part of our London 2012 Olympics legacy and supporting the regeneration of East London. Pu’er University in China, our 150th IHG Academy, trains staff

July 2013 | Hotelier India

38-42_July13_HI_HR&Recruitment.indd 40

The IHG Academy programme, available online, offers subsidies on Cornell University courses.

tend to brand IHM-graduates as “not hireable” displaying a “need for re-training.” Martell says that IHG is on the ball when it comes to this challenge too. “We are also bringing in a dedicated uppermanagement level resource whose role will be to influence curriculum. The job description involves working with the government to support education and also streamline what aspiring hoteliers are taught in school,” he says. They have also put in measures to ensure that the programme is being constantly monitored for success. “In late 2012, we rolled out the IHG Academy online portal that enables us to track participant numbers and share best practice across all our hotels. This enables us to track how many participants are employed and help as many participants as possible gain employment following their training. Of course, regardless of whether they join us, IHG Academy graduates take with them invaluable experience and skills which open doors for them throughout the travel and hospitality industry,” says Manohar. Besides the need for training programmes to display relevance to hands-on hospitality, choosing relevant trainees and workforce are now becoming imperative. Greater movement within and from Asia and India coupled with the rising number of women who travel on business are starting to become considerations for the cultural mix of a workforce. “Now all of our GMs in the country are

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We increase the scope of their role when they shift to a lower category hotel. IT GIVES THEM CROSS EXPOSURE. Regan Taikitsadaporn, marriott international Indian,” says Taikitsadaporn. He adds that GMs at some hotels in Australia and China are also Indian. “We’re also trying to have as many lady GMs as possible. The idea of all of this is to preserve and build the company’s culture,” he explains.


nce hired, the problems are, of course, continued training, motivation and most of all, retention. Investments in dedicated resources is one move that is doing the rounds. IHG just made Indiaspecific investments in human resource management. “We have just hired two people — a training manager and a director of HR,” says Martell. In terms of training, the IHG Academy programme is also virtual where required. Upon employment at an IHG property, a staff member can take

The IHG Academy formula

Here’s how IHG works effectively towards two goals — community development and expanding its pool of talent — with one smart initiative:  Operate in partnership with local community organisations and education providers and deliver world-class hospitality training.  Include a placement, giving participants hands-on skills that emerge from the real experience working in a hotel.  Programmes should include performance feedback and a recruitment discussion, giving participants a real life practice in the job interview process, improving their chances of finding a job in the hotel sector and in many cases, securing a job in an IHG hotel.

July 2013 | Hotelier India

38-42_July13_HI_HR&Recruitment.indd 42

these courses online. “For about 80 per cent of the courses, IHG absorbs the cost and tracks the progress of our employees, except perhaps the Cornell University ones, which are nonetheless subsidised and within US$500. Courses are open to employees as soon as they get their official IHG email address. They are designed by taking suggestions from general managers in a given region, so that location-specific challenges or areas for improvement are addressed rather than taking a strictly global angle,” says Martell. It comes as no surprise that in India, the most popular demand from general mangers and executive committee members is managing people. “Supervising people and right down to managing their careers is what is in demand out of India,” he elaborates. There is also a move to make the IHG Academy classes available on smartphones. Taikitsadaporn, too, says that online training is being constantly buffered. “Our online training includes business and leadership programmes. We’re also putting our in-house programmes online. There is Culture Wizard, which allows them to learn about other ethnicities, so that whether colleague or guest, they’re able to deal with them hospitably. A recent roll out was My Career Zone which gives them an idea of the skills they have honed and where it is likely to take them. They can also post anonymous queries here,” he adds. Quick elevation is part of the on-the-job initiatives doing the rounds. “We’re about to roll out an online programme called GM Elevate, which will teach aspirants who want to fast-track to the general manager leval how to get there quickly,” says Taikitsadaporn. Similarly, Martell refers to i-grad where a five-step interview process

Hospitality HR heads today are hiring for attitude and would rather train for skills themselves.

takes B-school or hotel-school students through a 18-month training opportunity across departments, with the GM as mentor — by the end of it, they become supervisors. “The first batch of i-grad candidates will graduate in December,” he says. Marriott (with its large pipeline of Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield by Marriott properties) is already face-off with challenge that young aspirants want to work in luxury hotels. “We give our associates a lot of promotions to tackle this. We increase the scope of their role when they shift to a lower category of hotel and it gives them not only good exposure but a better-looking career chart because

they will be in a more senior role,” Taikitsadaporn says. What remains to be seen is: How much loyalty IHG’s programme will garner in the long run, how it will fare when there are others exactly like it doing the rounds (at the moment, an NGO called the International Tourism Partnership runs a similar programme, but among hotel chains, IHG appears to have pioneered it) and most importantly, will it fill holes that actually exist given that the country produces more managers and far fewer skilled workers than it needs? With Marriott, too, will its fast-track elevation programmes bring sufficiently-prepared leaders into the market? HI

03-07-2013 09:38:44



Best of both worlds With CEO Sudhir Sinha, Best Western India continues to combine its Western business philosophy with traditional Eastern values

Best Western Resort Country Club – Manesar.

July 2013 | Hotelier India




est Western is a global success story that doesn’t follow any corporate mantra. It is one based on the basic human habit of seeking references which has lead the brand to becoming the ‘world’s largest hotel family’. What started as a referral system of motels and inns on the highways of the USA in 1947 has grown to become the world’s largest chain of hotels in 65 years, with more than 4,200 hotels across the world. “Even today we use the same system, only the way it is used

has changed,” reveals Sudhir Sinha, CEO Best Western India as he prepares for the next Best Western opening in Bhatinda. A placard is mandatory to be placed in the lobbies of every hotel asking the guests to contact the toll free number if travelling to any destination to connect with the nearest Best Western – new face of the referral system in India. “A referral has the advantage of someone’s experience attached to it and hence readily accepted,” Sinha says, explaining the secret of the brand’s success globally. In the US, the brand still follows the old system, where it is a con-

sortium of hotels and not even an incorporated company. “It is like the Rotary or Lions club. Everybody works for the welfare of the entire community. That’s how the brand grew over the years with money fl owing back into the system. In fact, with investments happening regularly into sales, promotion, marketing, etc. we do a hundred and ten thousand room nights every night – the largest in the world,” he reveals. The brand fi rst ventured into India in 1994, when the mandate was with someone else. After going through a lull, Best Western resurrected in 2008 and once Sinha joined in 2009 it grew from one to 44 hotels.

Hotelier India | July 2013



QUICK FACTS > 44 hotels in 33 cities > 2,772 rooms inventory (in operation and under development) > Chainwide avg. occupancy 65%+ > Chainwide ADRs INR4,863 > Has grown at CAGR of 20% against industry average of 9.5%

Admitting that the US model of extensive paperwork cannot work in India, he reveals that the new model is based on building relationships and the fl exibility it provides – it is driven by owners. “The best part of the agreement is that there is nothing hidden – we are very transparent. We have a vendor management system, where we manage the procurements right from mattress to the refrigerator, without any commissions. These small things matter a lot to the owners,” he says.


ut how does the brand decide upon a partner? An analysis of the property and a mapping ensures that it meets the Best Western standards, sans any specifi c brand identity requirements. “Our brand can be taken over by anybody and be quickly incorporated into their property. It is a very fl exible entry and exit. Though in the US, contracts need to be renewed annually, in India we have a 10-year contract but the exit is very soft. These things have helped us in acquiring and retaining some of the hotels. The cost of maintaining the Best Western brand is very minimal,” Sinha says explaining that the hallmark of the brand philosophy is ROI as they are very specifi c about the kind of investment that comes into the brand. “We do a backward calculation and only if the ROI is 18 per cent after 24 months, we let the owner go ahead with the investment.” Another plus Sinha points out is the owners being encouraged to continue with

July 2013 | Hotelier India

Sinha with David Kong, president & CEO of Best Western International.


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Best Western Maryland, Zeerakpur.

2011 Brand Awareness

their original name as a suffi x to the Best Western brand. Working with three brands — Best Western Inn (three-star equivalent), Best Western Plus (four-star equivalent) and Best Western Premier (five-star equivalent) — the feasibility study decides the brand partnership and Sinha admits that, in some cases, he has to convince owners to opt for the lesser star rating brand based on the market requirements. “Down-scaling is very less as people are more aware of the market now. We tell people not to overspend. We set a benchmark and let them work within the limit,” he says.


inha’s experience across various sectors of the industry has helped hone his skills as an hotelier. His understanding of the intricacies that ensure success of this mid-segment business model has created a strong brand recall, especially in the tier-II and III cities in India. Talking about global slowdown and its effect on the industry, he has an interesting point of view. “The Indian sce-

July 2013 | Hotelier India

nario is very different from that of the world. What happened in the West hasn’t had much effect on us because our economy is fundamentally very strong. There is a huge gap between demand and supply and our large population is actually fueling the demand,” he elaborates, “Mid market is a beautiful segment – this is the segment that travels the most, both business and leisure (it is the Rs4,000 to Rs4,500 range). There is a requirement and the economics works very well,” he says. Looking at the master plan of the cities, one realises that there are no sites planned for hotel development and these always have to be carved out. “It is very difficult to carve out two-three acres for a five star, but easy to get 2,000 sq. yards for a smaller hotel. That is where we place ourselves, so the whole economics is very supportive to our brand where the cost of construction is minimal,” he reveals adding that majority of proposals received by him are from people who own half to one acre plot, which they do not want to part with. “It works per-

100% 90%









77.4% 71.4%


70.6% 60.8%

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%

0% Holiday Inn

Best Comfort Days Inn Hampton Holiday Western Inn Inn Express

Super 8 La Quinta Quality Inn & Suites

Comfort Suites

Fairfield Inn

Source: Harris Brand Tracker 2011 Margin of Error = +/ - 2.5% at the 95% confidence interval

Best Western India – An Overview s Future Growth Plans: 2017-18









42 148


35 95 0

34 20


29 17


24 14 1911






79 64



65 53

38 100







Total Hotels



Cities Present



The soon-to-open Best Western Bhatinda.

The brand offers 3 types of hotels to travellers and developers

fectly for us. There is a bare minimum requirement for survival — 25-30 per cent occupancy. You don’t see hotels getting sold out, people losing their jobs during recession in the hospitality industry,” says Sinha, who fi rmly believes that recession has little effect on the mid segment because this is what people are looking for — “From the builder, brand and customer perspective, it is suitable,” he adds.


KEY GROWTH DRIVER > Cloud based Property Management System > RFID enabled guest interface for higher guest satisfaction > Hand held networked computing to monitor operations > Online Channel/Revenue Management > Search Engine Optimization > Social Media > Search Engine Optimized booking website, with two way back-end integration with the BWI CRS Lynx as well as the hotel’s PMS > Development of BW India’s own Central Reservation System (CRS) > Provide Corporate Houses, Travel Agents as well as Online Travel Agents/Portals (OTAs) with direct link to the BW India CRS

July 2013 | Hotelier India

ot a big fan of the star system, Sinha concedes that though it doesn’t add much value to the brand, it helps in categorising hotels. To explain this he talks about the soon-to-open property in Bhatinda. “It looks like a five-star, and we have categorised it as a Best Western Plus. We expect occupancy to be around 80 per cent in the price range of around Rs4,000 to Rs4,500. Though Bhatinda city is just right for the Best Western core brand, the projected demand decided in favour of a Plus,” he explains. Claiming to be the original midmarket brand, Sinha reveals how the brand has been targeting tier-II and tier-III cities for quite some time and is planning to enter 150 cities in the next leg of expansion. “We are building two in Kolhapur, where there is a huge demand – both religious and business. The perception of Best Western being a mid-segment brand is a great advantage as it gives a guest comfort of the right price point,” he reveals,

adding that they were also one of the fi rst international entrants to focus on religious tourism – Amritsar, Katra and Tirupati. Another area he would like to delve into is rural/ rustic and medical tourism, where the guests are able to completely cut themselves off from the world for a few days and come back rejuvenated. “Vedic Village near Kolkata is one such property of ours and we have recently launched one with AVN Arogya & Ayurvedic hospital for medical tourism,” he shares. Not many people know that Sinha was the first one to set up a travel portal in India called the Travel House in collaboration with Networks. He believes that IT has become a very important part of the reservation system, a market that was dominated by travel agents some years back. In keeping with times, he shows a mobile app that is specially developed for the brand. “We ask the customers to download it and in seconds you know which hotel is available. Whichever part of the world you are in, you can click to change your reservation, make new bookings, get directions, etc. Worldwide 35 per cent of bookings are coming through the web and this will get bigger going forward,” he says. With a clear focus on taking a large piece of the mid-market pie, the journey forward for this brand looks to be a well-charted route — with a Best Western referred to in every city. HI


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case studies


Sun n Sand’s new-look Presidential Suite Located where the sea meets the beach at Juhu, Sun n Sand Mumbai, was commissioned in the year 1962 and was the city’s first five-star beach hotel. The property recently completed 50 years, and renovated its Presidential Suite which is situated on the sixth floor. The Presidential Suite, overlooking the Arabian Sea, has three rooms with an attached terrace spread over 3,000 sq. ft and includes a hall, bedroom, mini pantry and the terrace. Flooring Brown Armani Marble in the Hall & Pantry; Wooden flooring in the Terrace and Bedroom; Black Markina, White Karara, Black & White Sicis in the Master Toilet; White riverwashed travatino in the Powder Room. No carpet has been used in the Presidential Suite.

Bathroom fittings Villeroy & Boch, Hans Grohe Jacuzzi Kasch Accessories Azco, Pinakin

The terrace has an uninterrupted view of the sea.

The sun-bathed dining area.

July 2013 | Hotelier India

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The jacuzzi invites the guests to the sea view.

03-07-2013 09:41:54



FINE LINES DESIGNERS Sunil Jasani & Sangeeta Mansharamani have worked on a varied gamut of projects in the past 19 years, many of them hospitality. Their style of work is varied - contemporary, traditional and fusion. Fine Lines Designers has grown to be a major fi rm with a staff of seasoned designers capable of tracking simultaneous projects of every size and complexity. Their extensive international travels and exposure to trends, lifestyles and cultures worldwide brings a universal perspective to their work and this is what strongly infl uences their designing.

The redone suite refl ects the hotel’s modern outlook.

The older look had traditional leanings, which was given a facelift to suit a modern and contemporary look to suit the tastes of the guests. The materials used now have a global appeal and the colours though subtle, come together to make a strong design statement – that of a property keeping pace with time.

July 2013 | Hotelier India


1/30/2013 3:33:40 PM



Bathroom furniture... p60


• News • Events • Awards • Movements • Launches Sound & Lighting... p66

Experience the contemporary design sense Isenberg’s Water Experience Centre in Mumbai reflects its design philosophy Launch Isenberg India has opened its first water experience showroom in Mumbai at the Laxmi Mills premises in Andheri East — a live viewing area for prospective buyers who wish to see how Isenberg systems work, to make an informed decision on what to purchase. The experience centre has been designed with a view to symbolically transfer the contemporary design sense that Isenberg uses to create its faucets and other bath fixtures. The décor has been carefully constructed to complement the asymmetric order of the inte-

Huzy Hundekari, ex.VP-South Asia, Isenberg .

rior with a stone texture harmoniously merging with pristine whites and cool greys. The Isenberg green gives that subtle pep to the centre.

The overall idea is to ensure the commitment, quality and stature that Isenberg believes in is communicated visually.The centre’s sophisticated feel will encourage visitors, who appreciate design and functionality, to spend time with various Isenberg products. Talking about the strategy, HuzyHundekari, vice president Southeast Asia, Isenberg, said, “The Isenberg Experience Centre is one of the most crucial steps we have taken in merging our brand with the collective consciousness and expressing the idea behind it — premium luxury that is planet friendly. This centre is about expe-

riencing the whole range of Isenberg products. We are not going to sell directly here because it is not a retail store but an experience store. The centre will give a serious boost to our 21 dealerships currently in Mumbai. This will be great teamwork and a real shot in the arm for Isenberg’s marketing efforts because our idea is not only to sell products but also to create a lifestyle statement.” Isenberg has been focussing on increasing its retail presence across the country, and has plans of establishing experience centres across all metro and major cities and smaller urban centres.

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inauguration DHL Supply Chain, the global market leader for contract logistics solutions, announced investment of Rs65 crore at the launch of its new multi-user warehouse in Luhari, Delhi. Spread across 320,000 sq. ft, this facility will meet the growing demand from the consumer, retail and automotive sectors. Last year DHL Supply Chain had announced an investment of INR 685 crore to strengthen logistics infrastrucre in India to set up multi-user sites in eight cities and augment its transport fleet. The facility will be expanded

July 2013 | Hotelier India

56_HI_Jul13_Supplier 56

Vikas Anand COO, inaugurating the warehouse.

in phases to 600,000 sq. ft. The supply chain has also set up state-of-the-art facility with latest equipment and technology to deliver integrated and sustainable solutions to create competitive advantage for the industry. This strategic location will also include a major transport hub.

The Pharox range of LED able. “This is a landmark lighting by NTL Lemnis, in our quest to provide a JV company of NTL reliable energy efficient Electronics of India and lighting alternatives to Lemnis Lighting Netherthe world, It will not only lands, has been appointed as help the usage of environthe preferred lighting supplier for ment friendly, energy efficient Yum Restaurant International.  lighting but also help in our endeavThe Pharox range has been found our to be the preferred choice of high and cleared of all the performance consumption lighting institutions,” and quality requirements including said Arun Gupta, Global CEO, Tempo 21 test that is the suite of NTL Lemnis.  twenty one thermal, electrical, While the parent company will mechanical, photometric and  be handling all the backhand optical tests for a finished support, the front end will be LED fixture or replacedone by NTL Lemnis Africa ment lamp and provides (Pty)Ltd, the African arm of the the most comprehensive parent company with headquarLED luminaire testing availters in Centurion Johannesburg.

03-07-2013 09:43:10



Something’s cooking An intrinsic part of the industry, ITW India has much on offer to enhance F&B operations Independent kitchens of standalone restaurants or commercial catering canteens tend to favour local equipment, which may not be efficient in terms of energy consumption, might not be very user friendly, and things like that, yet they are acquired due to the small initial investment requirement. As they grow and become aware of the latest trends and can afford to have imported equipment, they start changing the traditional approach by introducing equipment like dishwashing and comb ovens to begin with.



he Indian hospitality industry has emerged as one of the key drivers of service sector growth in India being closely linked to the tourism industry. The industry has recorded a healthy growth fuelled by robust inflow of foreign tourists as well as increased tourist movement within the country. Though Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) dipped in 2009-10 due to the global economic slowdown, the impact on the Indian industry was much lower. A major trend in recent times is the development of hotels in smaller cities. This has led to an increase in development and expansion within the country. Wherever there is a food preparation or F&B requirement, ITW India Limited has a service to offer. Avinash Singh, country manager ITW, talks about the industry and the role his company plays there in. HI Please take us through the various equipment options that you have and what is the USP? ITW Food Equipment Group caters to hospitality industry with warewash, food prep, bakery, refrigeration, bar and cooking equipment, exhaust ventilation and waste management solutions. All products are the outcome of constant innovation keeping in mind operators, investors and concern for our environment.

HI Do you have R&D department to work towards innovations? Besides having centralised R&D, each manufacturing unit has its own R&D department that works towards innovations.

HI Are there separate options from ITW for large hotels and standalone restaurant kitchens? ITW has a very flexible approach

July 2013 | Hotelier India

58_HI_Jul13_Supplier interview.indd 58

Efficiency and sustainability are two mainstays of the brand.

towards commercial kitchen equipment market. Large hotels have one main kitchen and satellite kitchens which are a combination of back-ofhouse and display kitchens. Standalone restaurant kitchen may not have the luxury of space and budget, even though most of them are now moving their kitchen front-ofhouse. We have differentiated our offering in three tiers — Premium line, Standard line and Economy line. For instance, in ware washing our brand Hobart has Premax series, Profi Series and Ecomax Series. For cooking we have the Maestro from Bonnet as the most premiere line followed by Advancia from Bonnet as the top tier standard line, further, our MBM cooking caters to higher economy customer. In Foster refrigeration, we have the G2 series as top-tier product line and F-Series as economy series. How do the mindsets differ for both categories? When it comes to large hotels, it all depends on who has the final say — operator, investor, planner or the managing chain. The decision may be a combination of all these roles. The focus is on efficient, latest, accessible, green range of equipHI

Avinash Singh

ment. Chains who own and operate, prefer the best — though we have faced situations of budget limitations wherein the investors and management operators team up to run a large hotel. In case of standalone kitchens, it may not be that complex, but decision makers are a team of investor/operator and consultant who make instant choice within the budget. In both cases, the concern is to choose brands that have local support complete with service and spares availability. HI Do you think standalone kitchens are still a little traditional in their approach towards equipment procurement?

HI How have the hotel kitchens evolved over the years? The Indian hotel kitchen industry is constantly evolving. Most of the hotels now have more display kitchens than traditional back-of-house kitchens. Not only that, they have innovative designs, best of technology which is energy efficient, user friendly, hygienic, well lit, presentable, etc. The traditional cooking blocks installed against walls are now being designed as island cooking suites. Computerised control panels of kitchen equipment bring in precision, record data, highlight pattern of failures, calculate your operation costs, etc.

HI Efficiency and sustainability — how and where do your products rate on the two scales? I could give answers to fill pages on this. Our Hobart glass washers consume one litre of fresh water and no competition is close to this efficiency. Hobart mixers, when become redundant to the facility, are bought over, even after decades of use, to be used further. Our several flight-type dishwashers are operational in kitchens for more than a decade. ITW offers the most efficient and sustainable products in the industry. This is just not a claim but is evident from facts. HI

03-07-2013 09:43:50







„Amuse“ & „Sphere“

„Basic“ & „V12“ - Carbon



Axor Urquiola-bath filler and bath tub from Hansgrohe.

The bathroom indulgence Space, design, sensibility, functionality, convenience, energy and water consumption are core concerns of any hotel — insights on how new-age bathrooms create a balance BY Shweta Shridhar


athrooms reflect our lifestyle. For hotels and resorts, luxury bathrooms are the order of the day. Hoteliers are concentrating on designing bathrooms with indulgent tones for an immersive feel. Guests prefer a spa-like experience in the bathroom that pampers them. architect Sandeep Shikre says, “The current trend in hotels is to create an ambience that enables the guest to indulge more. Thanks to

July 2013 | Hotelier India

60-64_HI_Jul2013_Operations design.indd 60

a plethora of materials available, combined with the evolution of design, it is possible to create chic and trendy full-service bathrooms inclusive of vanity, bath tubs, shower area, water closet and other essentially luxury amenities.” On the other hand, designs are also governed by what the guest expects. It is been proven that a guest spends the longest time on a bed followed by the bathroom — hence designing a perfect bathroom is essential. Bathrooms are now merging with the room to

create a large-space feel and for a comprehensive experience.


n today’s health conscious environment a lot of stressrelieving requirements like steam, shower cubicle and whirlpool are a part of regular facility in the luxury segment. Architect Khozema Chitalwalla shares, “Bathroom design has moved ahead, using technology to create various hydrotherapies, moods by syncing light and music to create a perfect ambience for a very important part of every guest room.”

Technologies like mirror TV, channel music are also used to create the right setting. Due to the very high awareness of environmentfriendly bathrooms among guests, lot of time is invested in research and engineering to conserve water used in each of the bathroom functions, he informs. Any luxury bathroom design needs adequate space standards, ventilation strategy to enhance indoor air quality, segregation of wet and dry areas, ambience, aesthetically harmonious fixtures and finishes. Shikre adds, “Bathrooms

03-07-2013 09:44:50

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are no longer perceived as spaces only to bathe but are also treated as live-in spaces. The viral spread of internet has shrunk the globe into a village. Thus, going with international trends, some luxurious hotels provide a couch and a television for a relaxed experience.”


echnology has changed demographics of the industry and has had a tremendous impact in

July 2013 | Hotelier India

60-64_HI_Jul2013_Operations design.indd 62

designing contemporary luxurious bathrooms. With the onset of technology, it is now possible to appeal to all senses of a guest. which In hospitality bathrooms, use modern everything is gradually moving technology to to simplicity. Both design and provide interactivfunctionality are consumer ity, durability, easy centric, creating products for to maintain and are the end-user with the ease eco-friendly too.” of operation. “Hansgrohe is Delta offers one of the leaders in terms of an extensive technology in bath fittings. In line of prodour entire designer concept ucts which bathroom, we offer Hansincorporate grohe Proven technology like style and innoEcoSmart and AirPower, vation for faucets, along with its individual showers and accessotechnological development ries. Touch2O® and for each concept bathroom. Touch2O.xt technolFor instance: AxorStarck ogy enable turning a Organic offers lowest faucet on or off with water flow rate of just 3.5 Stylish faucets just a touch anywhere L/M. AxorBouroullec’s offered by Delta. on the handle or spout. washbasin and bathtub Or go completely handscan be drilled to place free. Multi-Flow Technology Basin Mixer or other prodis where with a simple touch ucts as per the choice. on the toggle, one can switch AxorUrquiola’s free-standbetween stream and spray to ing bath filler comes with a thermo- instantly increase the flow of water stat to control the temperature of for different tasks. DIAMOND™ water, which is usually not found in Valve which helps the faucet last up other bath fillers. AxorMassaud’s to five million uses. “Touch-Clean® basin mixer comes with a cascade provides a shower with soft, rubflow, thanks to the technology used ber nubbins that allow you to easand its shelf can also be used to ily wipe away calcium and lime keep other utilities,” shares Anitha build-up with the touch of a finger. Sharma, GM-marketing, Hans- H2Okinetic® technology sculpts grohe India. water into a unique wave pattern Ravi Nindwani, MD, Delta Fau- and gives you the feeling of more cet Company India Pvt Ltd shares, water without using more water,” “Latest innovations are the ones he continues

Another leading brand, Keuco, has a launched a new bathing/showering concept called meTime_spa that aims at delivering a great water experience within a bath space. Rahul Kher, country manager-Indian Subcontinent, Keuco says, “The concept works on a unique showering technology inside the water and a very high design concept of glass panels integrated with all controls and aluminium shelves on the wall. The consumer can actually play with water and have a rain shower, a waterfall and a unique spa hose to take the water experience to a new high. In one fixture, the glass panels come in two sizes for horizontal and vertical installations and with four unique colours of truffle, petrol, white and anthracite.” The brand has also launched Collection MOLL which is a range of showers and accessories, specifically targeted towards hotels. “These products will take functionality within the bath space to a new level, that too, at a very aggressive price point,” he adds. Innovative products that perform several functions simultaneously meet complex requirements of modern hotel bathroom users. With one product, the user can take a bath or shower and, at the same time, enjoy the beneficial effects of colours, scents and sounds. “The Nahho flotation tub from Duravit, designed by EOOS, combines the relaxed feeling of weightlessness with music and gentle, indirect

03-07-2013 09:45:10


5/2/2013 7:04:18 PM



Unique showering technology are a hallmark of Kueco’s bathroom offerings.

Spacious bathrooms from Duravit incorporate technology for enhanced guest experience.

July 2013 | Hotelier India

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lighting. After use, the OpenSpace shower partition serves as a panel that is simply folded back against the wall; in combination with the Nahho and shower, it provides the perfect wellness combination in a space of just 210 x 100 cm,” states Ashutosh Shah, MD, Duravit India Pvt Ltd. He adds, “Even the toilet today is more than just a standard one: the SensoWash® Starck C showertoilet seat designed by Philippe Starck features pioneering technology. A stainless steel spray arm with three shower types performs the function of a bidet. Water temperature, water volume and nozzle position can all be individually adjusted. Feeling clean and fresh, the next stage is the warm, drying air. Suitable for business hotels is the Onto range by MatteoThun. The new DuraStyle series, also designed by MatteoThun, serves an intelligent range of impressively coordinated products for every application and all architectural conditions. The key selling points are utility, hygiene, short cleaning times, quick and easy assembly and a price structure that is in line with hotel requirements.”


lot of designs are not just luxury driven but depend on the ease of operation for the guests. Guests prefer timeless designs to have a great experience as they soak in luxury. “The welltravelled, discerning guest needs contemporary, minimalistic bathrooms in terms of design, high on functionality and ergonomic in terms of usage and, most importantly, a hygienic hassle-free, low on maintenance bathrooms, which deliver every day in the same way. Bigger hotels are willing to make a great investment on products which can last long and also offer uniqueness within their bath space,” shares Kher. Sharma feels, “One cannot say what kind of bathrooms are in demand as bathroom designs vary from hotel to hotel, based on the category rating of three, four or five Star. Also, the basic purpose of the hotel is crucial. Business hotel bathrooms are different than leisure ones. They are more functional in nature and minimalist in style. Leisure hotels experiment a lot and are more elaborate.” Hospitality sector has always been the bellwether for the bathroom industry and Delta goes beyond excellent design to incorporate smart thinking that anticipates the industry’s needs and provides thoughtful innovations and inspirational designs that delight. Nindwani elucidates, “The kind of faucet used by a hotel majorly depends on the theme. The design ranges from traditional, transitional to modern. In recent times, there has been a steady increase in the demand for contemporary designs with sleek and clean lines.” “Every product needs harmony in its design for timeless appeal, which a user can enjoy over a long period of time. Great design has to evoke emotions and also be coupled with great functionality and ergonomics, so that the user has a great experience,” concludes Kher. Looking at the innovations, one can see that bathroom are not places to cleanse your physical self but are soulrooms meant as a complete rejuvenation package for your inner self. HI

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Lobby is the first-point-of-contact and creating the right mood is important as seen at the Westin Mumbai garden City.

A sensory experience Light and sound go a long way in enhancing the guest experience. We explore how By Mini Ribeiro


xplosion in the numbers is making it increasingly difficult for hotels to stand out, especially in the current financial climate. A good hotel conveys a feeling of well-being and is characterised by a special air of hospitality. The decor, colours, light and sound, all make a significant contribution towards achieving this effect. Technologically perfect but flexible solutions, when it comes to sound, acoustics and light, are expected as there are a variety of uses. It is equally important to strike an optimum balance between luminaires and lighting control in or-

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der to produce high-quality, energy-optimised lighting solutions at a property. Lighting is in keeping with the interior design concept of each area — its purpose, colours and intensity required. Devendra Modak, director of engineering at JW Marriott, Mumbai, reiterates, “The light systems in our hotel have been used innovatively to enhance aesthetics of the property.” Abhay Wadhwa, principal, AWA Lighting Systems, adds, “At Alila Diwa Goa, the aim was to create a fully immersive experience for guests in which illumination, from the overall plan to the material used for individual light fixtures, would emphasise the resort’s spirit of

serenity, luxury and romance.” Adil Kazi, maintenance manager, Westin Mumbai Garden City also confirms, “Brightness is adjusted innovatively accordingly to the occasion, time and location. The lights of each area in the hotel are different and are based on the requirements of that area.” If light plays a crucial role in setting the mood, focused sound brings the ultimate comfort and style. It is critical to keep guest needs in the forefront when designing the AV system. Yet, sound should also add to the general ambience of the hotel. Reception is, by far, one of the most important areas being the first point of contact for guests and they expect

warmth, professionalism and a feeling of security. Efficient lighting is needed here, both for the guest, as well as the hotel staff. Usually a backlit reception desk enables a smooth check-in for a guest. In addition, a recurring “luminous field” element is sometimes incorporated to create a good effect. Spotlights are used for focusing on decorative fixtures. On the other hand, lobby could be completely swathed in natural light during the day with dramatic skylights for the evening. Kazi emphasises the need for natural light, “Whether it is business or pleasure, we offer a suite of amenities that inspire. The elements of wood, stone and floor-to-ceiling

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Graphic speakers from Decibles India.

Abhay Wadhwa

Adil Kazi

Jamo from Decibles India

Devendra Modak

windows provide ample natural daylight, leading to countless opportunities for relaxation and renewal.” Wadhwa adds, “A frangipani tree stands in the centre of the entrance courtyard at Alila Diwa Goa — its graceful form emphasised by cool LED lights placed around the base. These uplights are submerged in the pool that surrounds the tree. As a result, the water becomes a source of light, at the same time reflecting back the illuminated forms around it.” Adding to the home-like experience for the guest, Harman, one of

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the leading brands, offers its ceiling and wall-mounted speakers which ensure aesthetic supremacy of a lobby. The rich background music can be experienced perfectly with JBL Control 65 series (pendant speakers) that have gathered recognition from hoteliers the world over. Along with this, Control 226, 328 and 26CT series ensure great sound quality considering the ceiling heights in lobbies. Convenience and comfort are primary focus in a hotel room. A multifunctional control unit which oper-

Ibis New Delhi gets a light wall art.

ates lights and blinds allows guests to individually adjust the lighting and create their own atmosphere as per their personal needs. To ensure that guests are at ease with sound systems, Harman offers in-room solutions including its docking stations which allow guests to play their personal iPods/iPads, even on Bluetooth technology. Apart from rooms, public areas like restaurants, gym, spa, poolside, discos and nightclubs within the hotel, define the comfort of guests — and they all

Rock speakers by Decibles India.

require customised music. Sunit Mathur, MD Decibles India Pvt Ltd, understands the needs of the hospitality industry. “As background music is required for elegant public areas and restaurants, sound system in the stately banquet halls needs to be configured for live performances and speeches. Rich and invigorating loud music complements the upbeat mood at the health club,” he explains. “The sound system design should consist of day trade ambient music speakers with a relatively low powered solution, both in terms of wattage and mains power requirement. For large capacity trading periods such as weekends and mid-week events, bigger speakers featuring

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69 operations

Lighting sets the mood at Crowne Plaza Kochi.

extremely tight pattern control would be engaged.” This combination can be created with brand synergy by Jamo and Klipsch speakers. Westin Mumbai uses DMX sound systems that is a programmed sound system which plays different music in different locations of the hotel. Many hotels opt for the BIAMP audio system through which different sound systems are used. Whatever is the mood, restaurants prefer mood lighting when they dim the overhead lights and place candles or small lamps on the table. This immersive experience can be felt in the Spice Studio restaurant at Alila Diwa, which is surrounded by stepped pools and is open on all sides. Layers of illumination begin at the dining area and siphon out onto surrounding horizons and peripheries. Candlelight accents complement the general illumination. Lighting also underlines the architecture and style of a restaurant and creates the desired ambience. Restaurant lighting plays a crucial role as food should be a feast for the eyes as well. Substantiating this, Modak says, “A good example of this would be the lighting in Bombay Baking Company. LEDs and Halogen spotlights are placed to enhance the menu of BBC. In the restaurants we have PAR

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lamps as well as hanging lamps to highlight the tables.” Bar lighting must be more sensitive. Glarefree spotlights over the bar counter and LED illuminated panels along back, can make it look very dynamic. Lighting control systems which make it possible to call up pre-set lighting scenes such as presentation, conference and banquet at the press of a button are definitely an advantage in banquet areas. “In ballrooms and conference rooms we have PAR lamps for better lumen,” informs Modak. Aesthetics apart, hoteliers need to keep in mind certain factors while buying intelligent lighting solutions. Abhishek Guha, national sales manager–Lighting, Harman Professional India, says, “Hotels must focus on products that are easy to maintain and manage. This aspect plays an important role, since cost of maintaining the lighting system can sometimes be

Creating an ambience through light at the Pullman Gurgaon.

far higher than cost of the original product line.” With global warming and increased environment awareness, energy efficient lighting is now imperative in the hospitality industry. Thus, there has been a shift from incandescent to fluorescents. LED lighting solutions, advanced lighting control systems offer enormous potential energy savings combined with improved

Klipsch Speakers from Decibles India.

operating convenience. “The latest trends for lighting are more focussed towards providing energy efficient solutions. LED’s have been front-runners as technology being adopted for energy efficiency,” quips Guha. Underwater colour changing lights available with Martin have very high intensity. Also, all Martin LED products are with colour calibration, hence offer uniform colour across each piece. “We are arguably the only company in the world to offer colour calibration across all the LED products,” Guha reiterates. Hotels are environment conscious and are doing more than their bit. Alila Diwa Goa, the 153room resort has adhered to ‘Green Globe’ environmental guidelines focused on reducing light pollution. Light levels were kept at a minimum, thereby sculpting a romantic and exclusive feel. Hospitality sector has always understood the importance of sound and lighting. The implementation of good lighting and perfect sound, is a winning combination for a hotel, thus enhancing not only the value of the interiors, but also attracting attention and maximising visibility. HI

Hotelier India | July 2013

03-07-2013 09:47:52






Coffee that The sheer number of cafes and variations on menus is an indicator that coffee is brewing hot and how. The story within, however, is a different cuppa

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ample this: in a recently released report, Coffee Board of India has estimated that coffee consumption in India has grown 6 per cent annually since 2000, up from average growth rate of just 2 per cent in the decade before. It is not only the fastest growing segment, with an overall consumption around 1 to 1.1 lakh tonne, but is expected to double in the next five years. Value wise, the report puts organised cafe market at around Rs1,100 crore, thanks to various cafes and five star hotels, where growth is pegged at 20 per cent a year. Another study conducted by Euromonitor International says: while India only represents 1.4 per cent of global demand, the subcontinent’s coffee market is forecast to grow almost 9 per cent to $486.6 million this year. That would follow growth of almost 80 per cent over the past five years. According International Coffee Organization, India’s annual coffee consumption of about 85 grams per capita is tiny compared with the 4.1 kilograms consumed in the USA. But with a population of 1.2 billion people, it is the expanding middle class that will soon be the market for most multinationals. These reports point to the obvious: the rising popularity of coffee in India. What’s led to this, besides its youth-centric image, is also the influx of new cafe chains and manufacturers that have made gourmet coffees, read-to-brew coffee capsules and designer gourmet coffees popular. But is that the reason hotels have begun paying extra attention to this once obtrusive drink of a few?

03-07-2013 09:49:15


BREW MASTERS that cafes and coffee shops have become acceptable and safe outlets for young Indians to share a drink and socialise. In fact, there has been an increase in demand for coffee makers as well, though the preference is still between Drip-make to French Press. Chef Arzooman Irani

What innovations are happening in the coffee machine market to enhance the coffee experience in a hotel? From the invention of the fi rst espresso machine in France in 1822, till today we have come a long way. While we still use the basic models of espresso machines and drip brew coffee makers, coffee technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. Standard espresso machines brew a customised beverage of your choice using a one-touch brewing system; can also customise and save several personalised beverages per machine, depending upon the model. HI

Circa 2012, Cafection launches the world’s fi rst internet connected touchscreen coffee maker Innovation Series. The USP was the level of engagement during a brewing session. It was touted as “a coffee maker, a communications centre, a remote management system, and a sustainability catalyst, all in one”, not only by Frank Baron, President Cafection Inc., but also those who used it. What else has changed in the world of coffee makers from going multi-functional and customisable? Sanjeev Wadhwa, country manager, Fisher & Paykel India, reveals what’s new in the world of brewers. HI How has the coffee scene changed in the last fi ve years in hospitality? India has been a nation of tea drinkers for centuries, but in recent years its dominance has been challenged by the rise of home-grown western style coffee bars and the Indian middle clas’s love affair with the cappuccino and café latte. This is partly thanks to our limited bar culture

Rahul Korgaokar

HI How green are your coffee machines? Fisher & Paykel aims to meet the highest industry standards with our appliances achieving top ranking results with Energy Star and WELS water ratings. Over the past 30 years, the energy and water usage has decreased across all our appliances. Our component to circuit board assembly process has eliminated the use of CFC’s in cleaning (and avoided the use of HCFC’s). In addition, we are trialing VOC-free fluxes for this circuit board assembly. The products that we design and manufacture will always be cornerstones within our sustainability approach.

Rishi Pandey

“It’s the glamour associated with coffee,” says Satish Fernandes, executive assistant manager, F&B, Sun n Sand. “In the last few years, thanks to the big brand proliferation coffee has become a fashion beverage for a fast-paced lifestyle.” Agrees Rahul Kargaokar, director, F&B, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, who believes that coffee is still not an obsession per se, but a drink that is used to portray a certain image — of being cool yet sophisticated and utterly modern. Though, he points out, “Coffee drinking in India is still in its nascent stage,

where people are experimenting with taste and are limited mostly to the cappuccino range.” Both have closely monitored rise of the coffee culture and feel that there is still a long way to go for India to become a “coffee obsessed” nation and “hotels to be threatened by the sudden mushrooming of international chains”. Vineet Wadhera, director, F&B, ShangriLa’s - Eros Hotel, New Delhi, feels that the rise of coffee has been due to the emotional connect created by brands. “Coffee is a very sensuous, marketable product. People

like the imagery of coffee; they’re familiar with the aroma and visual aspect of deep, rich coffee beans. With such a recognisable aroma, coffee is an emotional product that evokes certain feelings with such strong consumer affection; coffee has become an ingrained part of our daily life.” For Khursheed Anwar, owner, Pondicherry-based boutique hotel, Touskilfo, however, the rise of coffee culture is in a way the new-found “addiction to caffeine and a sign of going glocal.” In fact, Anwar’s artisanal coffee shop and signature

dish Mazagrand Iced Coffee is a tribute to the rising coffee culture. “Call it the boon of a modern lifestyle, but coffee has become an imperative part of people to relax, network and even socialise,” says the coffee afi cionado, who also believes that coffee shop in a hotel is more than just another F&B outlet, but a commercially viable gateway to the hotel’s other facility. Chef Arzooman Irani, executive chef, Vivanta By Taj – Whitefi eld, Bengaluru, seconds the opinion, albeit in parts. “Guests who frequent a hotel’s coffee shop are

Hotelier India | July 2013



Vineet Wadhera

Elaborate coffee rituals and menus are now a part of the F&B outlets in hotels.

Rahul Korgaokar

Rishi Pandey

Sudeep Sharma

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aware of what’s going in the other outlets, and are often the faces you would see venturing into other restaurants for dinner or a quick lunch. In fact, in many ways a coffee shop is like a window into the hotels offering,” says the chef who believes that constant innovation ensures guest turnover. Perhaps this explains why beverage menus in hotels offer more coffee options than tea, though, insists Chef Irani, “tea is still a preferred drink for most.” While there is no denying that coffee is the highest selling nonalcoholic beverage with 20 per cent of the total sales being attributed to this brew, experts from the industry don’t see it as the “new wine” yet. The assessment is a little bewildering considering the efforts hotels put in to not only procure the best coffee beans, but also methods devised to brew their own signature coffees. Marriot, Jaipur, for instance, has its own team of coffee specialists who roast, grind, brew and even create flavours for guests reveals F&B manager Sudeep Sharma. Likewise, Touskilfo serves its own unique blend of coffee instead of using the ready-to-brew capsules supplied by Lavazza and others. Explains Rishi Pandey, manager-restaurants at Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport: “Yes coffee sells a lot,

purely because it’s a fashion statement amongst the young working class, but that isn’t the reason for us going great lengths to procure the best material and machines to serve the perfect coffee. Coffee drinking in hotels is more of an indulgence — they know the exact taste, aroma and flavour of what they want. Our duty is to match the expectations.” A point seconded by Fernandes and Kargaokar, who believes that the route with coffee is just to get it right. “Serving a coffee with the best beans is more important than creating drama along with it, since it is the sip that makes all the difference,” says Kargaokar, who feels that with the current buzz, brewing the coffee bean right is effective marketing. But for others, experiments to better their offering continue to be top priority with coffee emerging as the second most preferred beverage among guests. At Vivanta By Taj (Whitefield), coffee now is part of the bar menu. “We have introduced concept called, “Ask the bartender” in Tease, the bar. He has been very successful selling the warm Irish liqueur cocktail, the coconut frappe with Malibu and the espresso martini. In addition to this, breakfast buffet also has dark decoction shot which is very

strong, very sweet filter coffee decoction topped with ice,” says Chef Irani, who is in the process of introducing the joys of ‘filter coffee’ to the expats. For Shangri-La’s-Eros Hotel, coffee is now an indulgence much like the Chinese tea, replete with latte art and expert baristas to having semi-automatic machines that can be re-tuned to add new flavours on a daily basis. “We have a coffee pairing menu in place that can be offered to guests instead of the artisanal and biscotti that has been in practice for some time. And given that guests are willing to experiment, we have introduced an array of sweeteners (with honey, palm sugar and more) to help them experience coffee differently,” says Wadhera. Is this in response to the entry of Starbucks and others in India, and their expansion? The answer is an assertive not. Incidentally, says Kargaokar, “For the F&B outlet in any hotel, coffee, though a good attraction for guests, isn’t a revenue model and hence sale doesn’t affect much.” However, admits the seasoned professional, “What Starbucks has affected is exposure to better coffee beans and techniques that can take coffee making and drinking to a new level.” HI

03-07-2013 09:49:24

75 GM Diary

Krishna unni General Manager Alila Bangalore Hotel & Residence

Creating synergies Leading both FOH and BOH teams to work together, this GM believes in seamless team work BY BABITA KRISHNAN What has been the most important learning for you? It was in hotel management school — a professor told us that in school I will tell you how you should be doing it, but when you work, they will show you how it’s done. Schools are a great base of knowledge, but you need experience to become a complete hotelier. That takes time and you have to be patient with this industry. One of the most important learning is that you can’t miss a step — start right at the bottom and work your way to the top. This will give you a strong understanding of both FOH and BOH. Both of these functions have completely opposite roles to play. It is a bit tricky to achieve synergy between them, but not impossible. When the team sees the benefits of doing it in a way where everyone wins – guests, FOH and BOH, they follow it willingly. Share an interesting guest experience with us. One of the most interesting experiences was at my previous hotel when we had five former African presidents staying at the property for an AIDS conference. All elderly gentlemen, held in high regard, driving the charity, so I was a bit intimidated about how to greet them, but when I saw the camaraderie between them, joking together, I realised that they are also just simple people like us, who have done great things. It was a humbling experience to realise that they don’t take it too seriously, are so relaxed about their achievements. And that is such a good attitude. How is it, being a hotelier? It has its pluses and downside. But one thing that you can’t deny is that it is always interesting. There is always something to do, somewhere to go within the property. but the worst thing is that it takes a toll on your family life – when the world has holidays, it’s the busiest time for us and we can never get an off then. It needs a balancing act and you work your offs around this. Where would you go for a holiday? I would probably go to Africa – Masai Mara, spend probably 10 days with the Masai tribe because they have held on to their culture in this modern world, it is a very relaxing experience. I was brought up in Africa so it is like home. One advice that you would give to young hoteliers/your team. Don’t get discouraged. Everyone wants quick results and gets discouraged very quickly. When you are sincerely working on something and it doesn’t work out, don’t worry about it; be pleased with what you’ve learnt through the process. If we focus on the process and work on it sincerely, the result will take care of itself. HI

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Hotelier India | July 2013

03-07-2013 09:50:13



RETAIN, ENGAGE, LOCALISE Has global meltdown affected the food business? F&B heads reveal their survival strategies

By MADHULIKA DASH HI What has given F&B industry the edge to survive economic slowdown? Vijayan Gangadharan: Sourcing superior products. Any hotel has to master two aspect of authentic hospitality — superior products (local or international exotica); and the right quality of manpower. These two have the power of changing the face of any restaurant as they form the base of good food and outstanding service. Thankfully, India’s geography helps you build well on both.

Praveen Chander: Keeping tabs on the changing pulse. Guests are striving for healthy living. They want to be educated and feel connected to what they eat and consume. It is very significant for an F&B outlet to not only understand global trends, but also establish local connect — right from the ambience, service, quality, authenticity and menu to presentation and taste. In addition, the ability to predict an emerging trend and upgrade the dining experience. Sumeet Suri: Superlative guest experience. Dining at restaurants is not about the menu or service, it’s the constant tweaking to make it more memorable. ITC has, in the recent years, introduced several initiatives to enhance a guest’s experience by adding personalised elements. Like ‘grill with the chef’ initiative allows long term guest to prepare their favourite dish. Of course, what gives us the edge is the Indian ethos of treating guests like gods. Tarun Seth: Consistency through connection. Nothing works better than consistency — be it in terms of innovation, menu or services. It

is also important to back it up with great marketing strategy aimed at patrons, especially youth, which makes for more than 60 per cent of any F&B outlet earning. In fact, engaging youth has played a big factor in sustenance, given that a major share of the population in India is young with spending power! Ramesh Kumar Gupta: Strong value proposition. I believe that consistently solid basics (CSB) and resonating points of differentiation (RPD) comprise the winning formula for any restaurant. What’s needed, however, is a regular evaluation of each segment for constant addition of newer value system that eventually turns into better experience and repeat guests. Jaymond Devassy: Bring global to local. The whole new system of tweaking international cuisine to allow the use of local produce has been the key to survival of restaurants. This has helped cut costs and also upped the food quotient by enabling us to serve superior quality food that taste fresh, is easy to procure and work with. In fact, this ‘go local’ phenomenon has been one of the reasons that the F&B world has been able to clock growth in spite of the general slowdown worldwide. Ashish Bakshi: Delegating risk, cutting cost. Rising food costs and taxes have always been a part of the F&B world, and would remain irrespective of the economic situation. The only way to survive is the ability to marginalise risk by spreading cost and thus easing pressure of rising prices on the guests. At Zuri Whitefield, we do it through Meal Transfer Plan where a realistic 30 per cent is kept for restaurants while the rest is brought in through room service, banquets and other functions.

Vijayan Gangadharan Director of F&B, Grand Hyatt, Mumbai

With more than a decade of Food & Beverage experience under his belt, Vijayan Gangadharan – VG to most who know him well – is not new to the ever-changing and challenging role of Food &Beverage head in a five-star property. Starting his journey with the Taj Group of Hotels and then moving to brands like Hyatt Regency and others, Gangadharan, in his current capacity, has been instrumental in reviving some of the earlier signature dishes of the property —like the thin crust pizza. A compulsive perfectionist, Gangadharan’s day often starts with tasting products from each of the restaurants, and often ends with a get-together with the staff for a perk-up session. Talking more of his obsession for superior quality products, he reveals, “A well-planned and prudent cost management system which does not hamper or affect the guest experience, is the key to survival for any F&B outlet. And this can only be achieved when you serve food that is superior and helps you engage your guests well.” He has been instrumental in reviving some of the earlier signature dishes of the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, like the Thin Crust Pizza.

July 2013 | Hotelier India

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03-07-2013 09:51:01


Sumeet Suri Parveen Chander Dy GM, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

As the roles of F&B head fuse with that of a GM, it isn’t completely surprising to see the seasoned Praveen Chander playing both with ease. A seasoned F&B professional, Chander played a big part in utilising specially created food festivals for increased guest engagement and hence achieving the purpose of any F&B outlet in a hotel — “increasing number of covers and average spend to maintain top line.” The Asparagus Food Festival is a perfect example of his ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. What started as an initiative to popularise white asparagus in Mumbai, it has turned into an annual event of sorts — one that stresses more on a particular food rather than a cuisine. Explaining the new thought of experience building, Chander says, “Upgrading the menu and hosting unique food festivals to deliver superior service to patrons is our way to ensure good guest turnover. There is a conscious focus on personalised service and recognition, as these two aspects increase repeat guest ratio. We were the first to bring Mediterranean, Sichuan, French and Japanese cuisines to India. Today, one needs to understand not only the emerging culinary trends globally, but also the art of presentation — that’s unique, simple yet not intimidating.” The Asparagus Food Festival is an example of his ‘out of the box’ thinking as what started as an initiative to popularise white asparagus in Mumbai, has turned into an annual event of sorts !

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Chef de cuisine, The Oberoi Group and executive chef, The Oberoi, New Delhi

After helping relaunch the famous Dum Pukht restaurant at ITC Grand Maratha, Suri moved on to head the technologically advanced ITC Chola in Chennai. His years of experience as the head of various F&B outlets and a sharp eye for picking new trends and tweaking them to suit both the Indian palate and that of international guests has been his ace behind ensuring superlative guest experience at every restaurant. His recent achievement has been the successHis sharp eye for new ful launch of Brunch at Ottimo and now Pan Asian within a year of ITC Chola’s trends and tweaking opening. Talking about the changing roles them to suit guest of F&B heads in the country, Suri says, palate is Suri’s ace “Today one is expected to look into the behind exceptional F&B marketing through various existing guest experience. channels of communication. One has to measure contributions of restaurants on a daily basis, and is expected to look into every aspect of the operations while devising ways to maximise revenues. But most importantly, one has to constantly think ahead and act fast, as what is an indulgence today can soon turn into a need tomorrow.”

Suri’s belief that as the F&B head, he must look into all aspects, including marketing through various existing channels of communication and every facet of operations, helps him devise ways to maximise revenues.

Hotelier India |July 2013

03-07-2013 09:52:39



Tarun Seth

Ramesh Kumar Gupta

Director F&B, The Claridges, New Delhi

F&B Manager, Meluha The Fern, Mumbai

A straight talker, Tarun Seth is known more for mincing a better pie than his words. For someone who likes to see the negative side first and work towards changing the perspective through meaningful action, Seth doesn’t endorse the idea that F&B is recession proof. Though he feels that business has been weak in the recent past, he is hopeful of things changing soon. “Market analysts and feasibility studies are confident about the increasing demand of rooms and dining facilities in future, the situation is rather As restaurants face challenging for now. While the hotels are low business during struggling with occupancy issues, restauweekdays, the key is rants are facing the prospects of declining to not lose focus in the business during weekdays. The key is to not existing circumstances lose focus in the existing circumstances and and good planning. good planning.” With the aim to enhance guest ratio, Seth connected with the youth, and used that feedback to change and introduce new styles and trends of dining. “The Dhaba,” says Seth, “was the offshoot of such an initiative. And now we are in the process of opening three standalone ‘Dhaba Kitchen By Claridges’ by the end of the year.” This would be the first of its kind endevour where a hotel is introducing F&B formats for two different segments of the market, and under one F&B director.

When Rodas, one of the early boutique hotels of the commercial capital, changed into the city’s first Ecotel — Melhua, The Fern — it wasn’t an easy gamble. The idea of ‘green’, popularised till then by the Orchid Group was still in its nascent stages and not entirely understood. This was the time when going green was a fad.” People knew what going green was, but didn’t understand the concept, not in its entirety at least,” recalls Ramesh Kumar Gupta, whose first big challenge was to bring stability to the restaurant. “Attrition,” he says, “was a big issue, which played hurdle in any concept we tried introducing in the market.” Gupta started, what is now called ‘Hiring for results’. “It was a conscious attempt to devise employer’s goals that extended beyond low-cost labour. This was done by introducing higher per-table bills through increased order accuracy. While initiating new people we ensured that they understood the “whys” as much as the “hows” of a certain function so one understands the implications of failing and thus practices it naturally.” One of Gupta’s success has been ecolabelling that has helped each outlet cut down their wastage cost by half. “Also, personal endevours like taking personalised feedback, assuring quality and having an emotional connect with the guest was equally encouraged. Restaurants need consistent articulation of their value proposition across all touch points of the marketing and sales,” he says

With the aim to enhance guest ratio, Seth connected with the youth, and used that feedback to change and introduce new styles and trends of dining. The Dhaba was an off shoot of one such initiative.

Gupta started the concept of ‘Hiring for results’. One of his successful endeavour has been ecolabelling that has helped each outlet cut down their wastage cost by half.

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03-07-2013 09:52:43

Our footprint in India Published on 3rd of every month. Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai-400001, Posting date: 5th & 6th of every month


Total number of pages 52

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When Ramesh Kymal, chairman, Gamesa India and PROJECTS IN OSCAR-WINNER RESUL POOKUTTY RIPS APART OLD SCHOOL IDEASTROUBLED OF SOUND DESIGN IWTMA, says wind energy WATERS will scale new heights, you SPOTLIGHT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW can take his word for it ANALYSIS Avatar producer Jon Landau on the future of film-making

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What makes cloud computing a compelling proposition?


An ITP Publishing India Publication

Multi-path routers redefine broadcast workflows

Innovations showcased at NAB Show 2013

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HE KNOWS WHICH WAY THE WINDBLOWS When Ramesh Kymal, chairman, Gamesa India and IWTMA, says wind energy will scale new heights, you can take his word for it











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As Panasonic aims for the top slot globally, the Indian market has become very important in its new scheme of things. India President Daizo Ito explains why






Making of the Mughal Road


Godrej unlocked From locks to building blocks, Godrej has come a long way. Pirojsha, MD of Godrej Properties, is determined to build on the group’s legacy and take the real estate business to towering heights

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Ashish Bakshi Director F&B, The Zuri Whitefield Bengaluru

Jaymon Devassy Director F&B, Sofitel, Mumbai

The one thing that Ashish Bakshi has understood in his career as an F&B professional, is the value of an ‘Engaged Customer’. “The more you can have them, the better your survival quotient,” says Bakshi, who believes that an engaged customer is the only answer to the constant competition a hotel’s F&B outlets are facing from standalone restaurants, bars, clubs or now even food courts in malls — both in terms of identity as well as pricing. “Cost, in fact,” he says, “is a paramount issue that every hotel’s F&B outlet across India is struggling to control. What makes it worse is that there is no ‘Cut, Copy and Paste’ formula that helps solve it. The only way to survive He understands the under these circumstances is to ensure that value of an ‘Engaged you continue giving great food at reasonable Customer’ who is the prices and keep subtly refreshing the prodanswer to constant uct, produce or programme to stay relevant competition faced by in the current times.” In fact, this hotelier F&B outlets. feels that one of the striking ways to stay relevant is to pay close attention to what makes a diner comeback to the outlet. “And then up the stake with a great dining experience, good quality food and a personalised service, often tailored to a guests’ profile, which is only possible with a creative communication tool such as social media,” he smiles.

When Jaymon Devassy took over the F&B segment of this French hotel in Mumbai, he had his war zones clearly marked out. High employee attrition, high product cost, new taxes and a general cynicism of the fate of a French hotel in an area dominated by hardcore Gujarati community, amongst others. The odds were fairly high, but as a part of the pre-opening team, Devassy had the advantage of strategising for high employee turnover along with a few other aspects of restaurant running that may lead to higher costs later on — the restaurant design for instance. “A welldesigned restaurant not only helps conserve resources, but also becomes a high point for people to regularly visit,” says Devassy, who set up all the restaurants in a manner that can be identified not only for the unique design but also the mood setting ambience.”A good design,” he adds, “also is instrumental in streamlining food services across all outlets and reduces kitchen to table time.” Devassy also introduced the concept of creating Productive Workplace culture for the F&B team where each member has the liberty of creating new concepts of improvement in the various outlets. His prime strategy of running a good F&B outlet includes identifying the USP of the restaurant along with the correct target market and then positioning it well through efficient and effective planning and marketing initiatives. “The goal is to make the restaurant a brand in itself which the market can relate to.”

The only way to survive under these circumstances is to ensure that you continue giving great food at reasonable prices and keep subtly refreshing the product, produce or programme to stay relevant.

Devassy introduced the concept of creating Productive Workplace culture for the F&B team where each member has the liberty of creating new concepts of improvement in the various outlets.

July 2013 | Hotelier India

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03-07-2013 09:53:13


Picks of the month Designer flooring by Square Foot Square Foot launched their latest range of designer flooring made out of solid and engineered hardwood that is easy to install over traditional wooden flooring. With features such as stain and scratch resistance, designer flooring provides natural warmth and is easy to maintain and clean. Designer floors are an environmentally friendly choice of flooring. Animal hair and dust do not stick to these floors and can be swept or vacuumed without much effort. Available in various types and shades, solidwood designer floors comes in three colours — Oak Cognac a wine like red colour, Oak Coffee a dark brown colour and Wheat Oak a golden colour. Engineered wood design floor is available in walnut colour. SQUARE FOOT Website:


SATATYA NVR400 by Matrix Comsec

Beer Nation by arttd’inox In summers, there is nothing like a chilled beer to thrash the heat, and stay cool. arttd’inox, the premier stainless steel brand, presents an exquisite stainless steel beer mug — Beer Nation. Designed as a souvenir, it can also be used as a beer drinking mug that is perfect to add a contemporary feel — the visual appeal of frothy beer in this stainless steel cylindrical mug is ideal to quench the craving for an icy cold beer. Priced at Rs1,590 per piece, it is available exclusively at arttd’inox stores. arttd’inox also offers a variety of bar range that includes Ribbed, Mushroom & Xylem barware with products like ice bucket and nut bowls.

81-82_HI_JUL13 _Pick of the Month.indd 81

Matrix Comsec, a leading manufacturer of enterprise security solutions, has introduced an IP-based surveillance solution - SATATYA NVR400. Matrix is intending to promote the product in domestic and international markets simultaneously, considering the growth that security market offers. With the launch of SATATYA NVR, the video surveillance portfolio of Matrix has become stronger. This technically advanced solution allows scalability from 4 to 16 video channels and recording flexibility from full HD to D1 for crystal clear images. It allows sequencing of cameras in different layout formats and facilitates simultaneous live view and playback on a single window to simplify monitoring needs. This NVR, along with recording and monitoring, identifies irregularities and sends prompt notifications with event details in the form of SMS and e-mail to prevent any major losses. To safeguard the data, it allows performing scheduled or manual backup on a network as well as on USB. The search is made efficient by Date, Time, Recording type, Event and Alarm based leading to hassle-free playback. It supports 3G connectivity for wireless remote management and monitoring. It also comes with Matrix DNS Server support which helps to save the cost of buying a static IP for remote viewing. It also comes with Centralized Management Software which fulfills the need of large enterprises to manage and monitor all the cameras connected to NVRs remotely and centrally.

Hotelier India | July 2013

03-07-2013 09:54:20



uSoffa Petit from OSIM

OSIM India Website:

uSoffa Petit is designed with OSIM’s signature massage comfort and versatile functionality, to complement the style and decor of any modern space with five lifestyle colours. OSIM uSoffa Petit comes with three lifestyle features — is a retractable leg massage unit, delivers simultaneous full-coverage kneading massage to calves, ankles and feet, Life-like massage with airbags that provide gentle yet firm movements that mimics true-to-life pushing sensation, relieving stiffness and soothing aches. Convenient One-Touch Massage Programmes (full, seat & back, leg), one needs to select from three automatic programmes with preset combination of massage functions for a relaxing and effective massage any time of the day — all with just the touch of a button. OSIM uSoffa Petit comes in five lifestyle colours: Cocoa, Cherry, Plum, Olive and Tangerine and is priced at Rs65,000 (octroi extra).

Vinum XL glasses

Riedel Website:

July 2013 | Hotelier India

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Positioned as the new generation of Riedel wine glasses, Vinum XL brings fresh excitement to the benchmark Vinum machine blown range. These glassed were developed for big, bold and concentrated wines. The collection includes superior and finely tuned wineglass shapes for major grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc — the World’s celebration beverage Champagne. Innovative 21st century glass-making technology, developed by expert technicians, ensures that the new Vinum XL Glasses are remarkably durable. These glasses are machine made with 24 per cent lead crystal.

Isenberg Website:

Smart Auto Faucets Combining sophisticated design with high-end technology, German brand, Isenberg launched its Smart Auto Faucet collection in India, offering convenience, conserving resources, reducing costs and promoting wellness with the latest user-friendly technology. The inbuilt sensorin-the-spout infra-red technology is placed in the mouth of the faucet, ensuring that water does not turn off in the middle of a hand wash. The in-built software Distance Gauging Mechanism is also water-saving as it ensures no water spillage. This means that when the water flows into the palms, this smart faucet stops the water flow automatically once the palms are full with water, avoiding any spill and resulting in water-savings of up to 50 per cent. Easy-to-install and operate with either AC or four AA batteries, this faucet is designed to create an exceptional experience. The minimalistic harmonious look will suit any bathroom environment and is priced starting Rs19,900 and is available at leading bathroom fitting showrooms across India.

03-07-2013 09:54:43



Hotel Trivia

10 things you didn’t know about… ITC Maratha

16 27 38 49 510

It celebrates architectural heritage of Mumbai and the West coast. The interiors blend Victorian ornamentation and Maharashtrian art highlighting ‘PALACE-




of the energy used is from renewable sources with more than 50% being generated from wind energy.

ITC Maratha’s main identity is the striking

Indo-sarsenic style domed roof that

The Royal Gardens can accommodate more than

2,500 PEOPLE

dominates the façade.

Maharashtra’s art is revisited on each fl oor in paintings that draw inspiration from Ajanta frescoes, traditional Mara-tha attire, Chitrakatha, Indian art, and


The hotel has dedicated rooms

restaurant in India to receive the

Miele Guide award prestigious

(15th Rank) in 2011.

–EVA – –

catering to the travel and luxury needs of single lady travellers.

ITC Maratha was awarded the

*LEED® PLATINUM RATING in Existing Building category in the year 2011.

(*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) July 2013 | Hotelier India

at a time for any social or corporate event.


takes advantage of its location in a port city and serves seafood, spe specialising in cuisines from Southern coastal regions.

Chef Wang Peng of Pan Asian specialises in the fast-diminishing art of

hand-pulled noodles.

Hotelier India July 2013  

Sudhir Sinha, CEO Best Western India, talks about the potential of mid-segment brands and how the best of West and East merge in his company...

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