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I N D I A’ S F O R E M O S T H O S P I TA L I T Y P U B L I C AT I O N September 1-15, 2012 `. 40


VOL 7 | NO. 22 | PAGES 92

I N D I A’ S F O R E M O S T H O S P I TA L I T Y P U B L I C AT I O N September 1-15, 2012 ` 40


VOL 7 | NO. 22 | PAGES 92

Contents September 1-15 , 2012

Vol 7 No.22 September1-15, 2012

Chairman of the Board Viveck Goenka Editor Reema Lokesh* Assistant Editor Steena Joy Associate Editor Sudipta Dev CONTENT TEAM Mumbai Sayoni Bhaduri, Kahini Chakraborty New Delhi Heena Mahajan Kolkata Joy Roy Choudhury Editorial Associates Marcellus Baptista, H A Mishra, Harpal Singh Sokhi, P S Sundar, M S Ram Advisory Board Anil Madhok, Rajeev Chopra, Santosh Shidhaye, Homi Aibara, Param Kannampilly, K V Simon, Jiggs Kalra, Jose Dominic, Raju Shahani, N S Bhuie, Nirmal Khandelwal, Muralidharan Menon, Narendra Verma, Prakash Mankar, M Narayanan MARKETING Deputy General Manager Sachin Shenoy Chief Manager Pankaj Shende Marketing Team Dattaram Kandalkar, Rajan Nair Marketing Coordination Darshana Chauhan Asst.Manager - Scheduling & Coordination Arvind Mane



FHRAI Goa Convention attracts global associations..........................................................9 Radius Hospitality Concepts upgrades back-end systems..........................................................11 Louvre Hotels introduces its luxury brand with Royal Tulip Navi Mumbai............................12 Hyatt Regency, Chennai unveils Asia's largest art installations inspired by bees........................13 'Thorough understanding of operations is essential to cost control measures'.................................14 Citrus Check Inns offers flexible vacation ownership.....................................................................15

Pune: Road to perdition? ............................................35 Serving a challenging market ....................................38 ‘Maharashtra should have various regional tourism boards’ ............................................39

Mohan Varadakar PRODUCTION

Tier II cities: Future of the spa industry? ..............22

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September 1-15, 2012

‘Gurgaon has become a good transit city and will facilitate business’ ................................40 EDGE


Traditional turns digital ..........44 Mobility solutions for hospitality industry............45

Express Hospitality Reg.No.MH/MR/SOUTH-44/2010-12 RNI Regn. No.MAHENG/2005/21391. Published by Vaidehi Thakar on behalf of the Proprietor The Indian Express Limited from Express Towers, 2nd floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 and Printed by her at the Indian Express Press, at Plot No.EL-208,TTC Industrial Area, Mahape, Navi Mumbai 400 710 (Editorial & Administrative :The Indian Express Ltd, 1st floor, Express Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai-400021). Editor Reema Lokesh* (* Responsible for selection of matter under PRB Act) Copyright @ 2011

‘I would like to explore the feasibility of establishing a chapter of AAHOA in India’ ................32 HR crisis in hotel industry: Depleting numbers of incumbents ............................................33



General Manager B R Tipnis Production Manager Bhadresh Valia Layout Ratilal Ladani, Kiran Parker Asst. Art Director Surajit Patro Chief Designer Pravin Temble Senior Graphic Designer Rushikesh Konka Photo Editor Sandeep Patil

Hospitality education: The changing paradigms ..........26 Need for change ........................................................30


Candlewood Suites debut with new interior design scheme ......................... ... ......... ............24

PolyU students win first prize in Seoul Youth MICE Challenge 2012 ........................................46


Editor’s Note ..................................................................................................................................................................8 New Kids......................................................................................................................................................................16 Products ......................................................................................................................................................................18 Movements ..................................................................................................................................................................47 Weekend ......................................................................................................................................................................88




A new learning f there is one element that runs across the spirit of the entire hospitality industry it is undoubtedly the intangible and irreplaceable human talent. No form of technology, structure and system can replace the human force and more so in the service industry, which primarily rests on the motto, 'for the people, by the people'. The hospitality industry has also awakened to the pressing need to nurture quality men and women towards being capable hospitality professionals who will eventually lead the industry toward growth. Talent crunch has unfortunately always been an issue in the industry, which is not known to attract the brightest professionals. There has also never been much awareness about role models whose success would inspire young people to enter the sector.


“A curriculum revamp is the definite need of the hour wherein the industry leaders, professionals and staff need to work along with academicians to put into action the right syllabus”

However, the realisation has dawned that there is a long way to go to bring in the desired excellence in the industry. Firstly, the work needs to begin at the grassroots level from the orientation programme wherein the aspirant needs to understand the essence and requirement of the service industry. They should be pursing a career in the industry as a result of choice rather than a compromise. Secondly, it is the responsibility of educational institutions to talk, teach and train real time hospitality skills which is the need of the hour rather than repeating text book knowledge. A curriculum revamp is the definite need of the hour wherein the industry leaders, professionals and staff need to work along with academicians to put into action the right syllabus. Thirdly, the industry also needs to invest in its people. Better working conditions, competitive compensation packages may attract quality talent to the business. Our cover story this issue focuses on the changing dynamics in hospitality education. A lot of changes are needed at the policy level to bring about the real difference. The government’s ‘Hunar Se Rozgar Yojna’ initiative for capacity building at the bottom of the pyramid is a welcome effort. The FHRAI Convention in Goa this month also focuses on hospitality industry as an employment generator.

Reema Lokesh Editor



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September 1-15, 2012




FHRAI Goa Convention attracts global associations To focus on hospitality industry as an employment generator EH STAFF – Mumbai

he 47th Convention of Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) that is being organised in Goa (September 6-8, 2012) will focus on employment generation in the hospitality industry. “We represent the hotel and restaurant industry as apex body and this is the third largest such body in the world. We want to establish our foothold not as an elitist industry but as an employment generator,”


said Kamlesh Barot, president, FHRAI. More than 700 delegates will be attending the FHRAI Goa Convention, which is the highest number so far. A big draw this year is participation of several international associations who will be attending the event for the very first time. International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) the biggest association of the world with 2,00,000 hotels and 60,00,000 restaurants as its members, will be in Goa with 17 of its global association presidents. The Dr Ghassan Aidi, president, IH&RA is the keynote speaker at this convention on 'Employment Generation'. IH&RA had last visited India way back in1984. FHRAI estimates that the government shall increase the industry’s contribution to GDP at 7.8 per cent by 2022. Moreover, the September 1-15, 2012

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M|A|R|K|E|T apart, four regional presidents, senior officials of the ministry of tourism, government of India/state governments and the convention chairman will answer questions in an Open House. The FHRAI awards will also be conferred on the last day of the convention.

International participation

From left to right: Dinesh Advani, Jt honorary secretary, FHRAI; Kamlesh Barot, president, FHRAI; Malvinder Narang, secretary general, HRAWI and Sunit Kothari, co-chairman, FHRAI Goa Convention enhanced GDP will be creating approximately 37 million direct and indirect new jobs. The ministry of Tourism's vision for 2016 states that 11.37 million foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) will take place, along with 1496 million domestic tourist visits (DTVs), which the FHRAI will support. There is an additional requirement of 23.4 lakh rooms in 2016 (over 2010) and Foreign Exchange Earnings of `134,665 crore in 2016. Pointing out that by 2022 every one person out of ten on this planet will be



working for the travel and tourism sector, Barot said, “If we are able to employ people who are not graduates we can create employment for the masses. To be an employment generator industry we need the government to not interfere or implement double tax – we are burdened with double taxation. Almost 24 per cent is paid as direct taxes – these are anti-tourist policies,” said Barot. Besides double taxation, the other issues that afflict the industry are - moral policing due to archaic laws, high interest rates, inflation, lack of

provisions for hospitality under infrastructure policies, sanitation, airport and tourist services, licensing, lack of trained manpower, exporter status, visa issues and the laws pertaining to the land acquisition for projects. S u n i t Kothari, cochairman, FHRAI Goa Convention added, “The 12th Five Year Plan lays a lot of emphasis on employment generation under the Hunar Se Rozgar Yojna. Even an eight standard pass can get enrolled in a government catering college and get employment.” He reminded that the industry has high level of multitasking and the programme will increase the scope of employability in the hospitality sector. The key business sessions at the convention are: Employee Retention & Manpower Planning: Need of the hour; Use of Social Media in Hotel Marketing; In the Hot Seat : Emerging CEOs; Sustainable Development Practices in Hotels & Restaurants; In the Hot Seat: Emerging Young Turks; New Trends in Hotel and Restaurant Designs; and Investment Opportunities in the various states of India. This

The convention this year will witness an unprecedented high-level participation from leading global associations such as IH&RA, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) and Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals (HFTP). In fact, the members of the governing body of IH&RA hall will attend this year’s convention. IH&RA is officially recognised by the United Nations which includes hotel and restaurant associations from about 100 countries and international hotel and restaurant chains representing over 50 leading brands. This achievement, FHRAI attributes, to the concerted efforts of the ministry of Tourism and the industry towards positioning India as major player in the global hospitality and tourism sector. “This convention will prove to be a great opportunity for all associations to mingle, discuss strategies and exchange ideas to partner with each other in learning new concepts. We are crossing unprecedented numbers on our member delegate count too. Due to significant participation from the global bodies, we expect to see Indian tourism in the international market attaining newer heights,” said Barot. Besides IH&RA, Joe McInerney, president of American Hotel & Lodging Association and Frank Wolfe, president, Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP), along with the incoming president RP Rama, Alkesh Patel, president of Asian American Hotel Owners Association, will also participate in the Goa convention. Other participating associations include WTTC-II and FAITH. September 1-15, 2012


Radius Hospitality Concepts upgrades back-end systems To tie up with an upscale international hotel brand SAYONI BHADURI - Mumbai

ospitality loyalty programme specialist Radius Hospitality Concepts (RHC) is looking at developing their backend systems. Elaborating on the same Nilanjan Bhattacharya, MD, Radius Hospitality Concepts said, “In the last three months, we have invested in backend software and digital set up. We wish to develop this as an alternative to telesales. We are also developing microsites for each our clients with a payment gateway.” Till date telesales is an integral part of it and often not the most successful. Radius Hospitality currently has Royal Orchid Hotels, Kamat Hotels India, Cambay Resorts, Park Plaza managed b y


is often left out with the standalones. The potential of tapping the non-rooms spenders is that there is an

opportunity to create room business. One has to look loyalty members as spenders and not as discount mongers.

The programme has to be designed in a way that while it doesn’t burn the hotel coffers it gives true value-adds to the con-

sumer. “In an ideal situation, these programmes do not add to hotel costs,” said Bhattacharya.

the Sabari, Fidalgo Goa. “We are also in talks with an international upper upscale hotel brand,” he said. Hotels are the primary clients, however with different location, size of the hotel, etc, member base differs. The focus on the mid-market brands has been deliberate, “We want to bridge the gap that exists now in the segment. No one realises, the midmarket sees the maximum spending as well,” he said. RHC started in 2008, managing loyalty programme with a specialisation in promoting F&B offerings in the local market. There is a huge potential as both consumers and hotels are able to find the price advantage and recognition. The conventional sales and marketing is typically designed to cater to the room business and F&B September 1-15, 2012




Louvre Hotels introduces its luxury brand with Royal Tulip Navi Mumbai SUDIPTA DEV - Navi Mumbai

ouvre Hotels Group has launched its first luxury hotel in India with the Royal Tulip Navi Mumbai. Located in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai the 97 rooms property is owned by Concrete Builders. Louvre Hotels Group has more than 1300 hotels ranging from one to five stars, in 40 countries. The Royal Tulip brand offers luxurious facilities with gourmet dining experience. “Royal Tulip is a new brand offering for India from us. This is the first luxury hotel in Navi Mumbai. We saw a niche market here and are positioning the hotel in the top end of the market,” stated Vimal Singh, managing direc-


tor, South Asia, Louvre Hotels Group. The hotel is targeting business clientele in Navi Mumbai vicinity. The property has an interesting architectural structure as it is built like twin towers interconnected on the fourth floor. The room sizes vary from 30 to 100 sq metres and have classical designs. The F&B options are – Kahwa (24 hours coffee shop), Mukammal (Awadhi cuisine speciality restaurant) and The Connoisseur Lounge. The hotel provides its guests BMW 5 series cars. There is a personal butler service and amenities include Omnisens and Bvlgari products. A pet friendly hotel, Royal Tulip Navi Mumbai provides wel-

come kits for pets, pet sitting/walking services and there is also a pet menu.

Singh informed that Louvre Hotels Group will be opening three more properties

in India (Goa, Chandigarh and Mussoorie) this year and 50 hotels by 2015.

HYPOXI aims to promote itself in Indian hospitality sector REEMA LOKESH - Mumbai

YPOXI-method, an international programme scientifically designed for targeted fat and cellulite reduction systems in the fitness and health space has set foot in India and is keen to tie-up with interested hospitality industry partners to target their respective clientele. The product and programme which recently started its first studio in Juhu, Mumbai was founded in 1998 by the sport scientist Dr Norbert Egger. This concept is related to targeted body shaping and has its presence in over 40 countries across five continents with over




2,000 studios and 4,00,000 annual clients. Polad Group is the exclusive distributors of HYPOXI Studios in India, which is also in other businesses such as logistics, warehousing, BPO services and marketing and distribution for the last 35 years. Speaking about the group’s initiative with regard to H Y P O X I , Ashok Vithlani who spearheads the Polad Groups said, “We have successfully diversified into the fast growing Indian wellness industry and the

vision of Polad group is to establish 20 HYPOXI Studios in the first year of its operations. We also have active negotiations in the final stages with probable franchisees for HYPOXI Studios in Chandigarh, Pune, Bengaluru and Navi Mumbai.” He further added, “The group is keen to m a k e inroads in the hospitality sector and tie-up with like minded players who are ready to invest in the health and fitness industry and offer their clientele’s unique products to experience and benefit from.” Hotel chains with the service apartment product in their portfolio will be one of their primary target markets. “Blindly attempting to follow a common ideal of beauty cannot be the aim of the HYPOXI method,” stresses Pramod Naik, CEO, HYPOXI India. “Right at the beginning, it is important to assess your own figure realistically with the help of the HYPOXI coaches and to define personal targets. This is the basis for the creation of an individual training

plan. The company aims at turning the brand into one of the world’s leading brands in the body shaping industry of the 21st century. With this aim in mind, HYPOXI India is now banking heavily on franchises to increase its market share in the highly competitive health and wellness industry, with the hospitality industry as part of the plan, Gabriella Baumann, master

trainer Austria, HYPOXI, added, “HYPOXI works by burning off the stubborn fat deposits that cause cellulite. It also improves metabolism and it is extremely safe and effective way towards achieving targeted fat loss and body shaping. The machines used for the programme are scientifically designed to help benefit the user without any negative effect. September 1-15, 2012


Hyatt Regency, Chennai unveils Asia's largest art installations inspired by bees Inaugurates Pollinator-1 REEMA LOKESH - Chennai

rt and hospitality witnessed a unique fusion, at the recently held Pollinator-1 festival which was unveiled at the Hyatt Regency, Chennai. A festival that was inspired by the bee family was aimed at highlighting and creating awareness of their vitality to the eco system and their conversation and preservation, which was expressed through art, design and real time viewing and orientation of the lifeline and existence of bees to human-life. The three day festival was put together by art expert Namita Saraf and internationally acclaimed curator, Rajeev Sethi. N a m i t a Saraf and Rajeev Sethi b r o u g h t together exciting and fresh artistic talent to create fifty five groundbreaking multimedia installations and artworks at Hyatt Regency Chennai inspired by bees. Proudly expressing her views on the art work was Namita Saraf, owner of Hyatt Regency Chennai and the primary force behind the festival, wherein she said, “We are proud to unveil the 55 exclusive art installations at Hyatt Regency Chennai all conceptualised on the theme of `Interdependence like a bee to a flower'. These


September 1-15, 2012

magnificent art works spread across the hotel area are not just decorative pieces for the aesthetic palette, but art that creates a strategic dissonance, compelling the guest to directly confront the environment threats that are at hand. The idea was to design the hotel as a complex, giant lens that allows the public to discover multiple perspectives on environment harmony and threats as seen through the eyes of various artists. The festival aims at bringing the public domain issues and efforts that are critical to the survival of a threatened species, the survival of the fragile eco-system and our environment.” Supporting her idea was Rajeev S e t h i , renowned designer and artist. “This festival is intended as an ode to the bee. For a hotel to commission more than 50 art pieces centered on bees is remarkable and we will install more art in the future. The resilience of these bees in building such large hives in the middle of concrete jungles inspired us to use them as a theme for Hyatt Regency Chennai,” added Sethi. The idea to float a pathbreaking concept was the fallout from the place itself. According to both Namita Saraf and

Sethi, the pre construction site of the Hyatt Regency, Chennai played home to large beehives, hence the idea to ignite a festival of this nature. Speaking on the occasion, Arun Saraf, owner of Hyatt Regency Chennai said, “Bees play a vital part in our eco system and their survival is very important for our environment. Understanding the deep relevance of the issue in today's world, we engaged with Sethi to bring together various artists and their perspectives on the concept. The work of each artist has contributed in enhancing the overall creativity, eccentricity of the art installations emphasising the need of honey bees in our eco system. This is our creative contribution to the society as a whole and as we know nothing of this scale and this thematic relevance has

The festival was inspired by the bees family and aimed at highlighting and creating awareness of their vitality to the eco system

been achieved in the hospitality sector so far.” The event saw the presence of famous stalwarts from the field of art, environment, music, theatre and the corporate world. Oscarwinning, music composer, A R Rahman, graced the occasion along with his wife. The festival kickstarted a series of outreach programmes to save our bees. It included participative workshops and presentations by some of the world's most renowned entomologist. It also featured demonstrations by keepers of traditional knowledge systems, creative music and dance performances by eminent contemporary artists and an evocative positioning of a unique artwork programme created by famous and promising visual artists and crafts people, at Hyatt Regency Chennai. The dignitaries present on the occasion were M S Swaminathan, MSSRF, Chennai; Gopal Gandhi, former governor, West Bengal and T M Krishna, writer, lyricist and Carnatic music vocalist. Some of the key artists whose artwork were installed at the hotel included Vibha Galhotra, Girish Ganeshan, Andrew Logan, Jean Francois Lessage, Shamala Nandesh, Sunil Kumar Sree, Saravanan Parasurman, Anjum Singh, Rani Rekha, Adil Writer, Antra Sinha, Sharbani Das Gupta, Ganesh Selvaraj, Shambhavi Singh.




‘Thorough understanding of operations is essential to cost control measures’ Controlling costs is an integral way to a more profitable business. No one knows this better than HA Mishra, CMD, Foodesign Hospitality Solutions. He shares insider secrets. By Sayoni Bhaduri How important is it for a hospitality firm to understand the dynamics of costing and proper back-end planning? For any young and established hospitality firm, the obvious first step is to establish goals for the enterprise. The goal common to all private enterprises is financial success, although this is by no means the only one – any outlet irrespective of its size must also keep its costs in check. To sustain the pressure rendered by high inflation rate, competition, labour costs, etc, hospitality firms have to give equal importance to cost control endeavours. Planning and budgeting are the two pillars of cost controlling process and involves decisions concerning day-to-day management of an operation or, on the other hand, involves plans for as far ahead as five years. How does FHS help a company in controlling costs? Typically, we audit the complete cycle of F&B operations that covers more areas and functions in comparison to what an in-house food cost controller normally handles. We have the technology, expertise and experience of cost control, which can be monitored on a daily basis from our office. FHS has improved profits of our clients by over 50 per cent. We are completely independent and non-biased. Most of

HA Mishra all, we have the right experience and core competence in this field. We have helped the top notch names of the hospitality industry to expand their businesses and increase their profits within a guaranteed time frame. Our clients include standalone restaurants and even those in five-star hotels, inflight caterers, food courts, franchises, international and domestic chains, etc. We have helped them to sustain their growth even in times of economic slowdown. Our clients have opened new outlets and

expanded their operations merely by following our systems and advice. We guide our clients step-wise in a scientific manner and believe that money saved is money earned. We firmly believe that today the hospitality industry needs someone who understands the nuances of cost control and helps create a difference. It’s high time that the industry understands the need to control their costs rather than turning a blind eye towards the high losses they incur through pilferage, software issues, high staff attrition rate, etc. Hospitality professionals will have to start assimilating new methods, technologies and skills into their business. FHS is a guaranteed profit generating F&B operations cost controller with innumerable client testimonials that speak volumes of their competency. How can one gain the necessary experiences in the field? A thorough understanding of the industry operations from grass root levels to the top management levels is essential to access the intricacies and impact of the cost control measures. Hands on industry exposure and proper

training are required besides proper understanding of the profession. According to you, are the skills to understand costing being taught in hospitality management institutes in India? The hospitality industry should realise the importance of cost control as one of the imperative operations to sustain pressure and make profits. The hotel management institutes need to extend the syllabus to more than just theoretical subjects to generating opportunities to create more interest towards learning and taking it as a serious career option. The institutes need to include the subject as a major and motivate more internship and involvement. This will not only generate curiosity and awareness towards the operation but will attract more professionalism which is the need of the hour. Better processes, systems, aptitude is what is required and the institutes are the perfect building ground. We at FHS believe that there’s lot that is untapped. More professional skills and understanding needs to be imparted to the students through knowledge sessions and guest lectures. There’s a need to change the way how students and faculty perceive F&B cost controlling. The curriculum needs a revision in terms of how updated and relevant it is to the current scenario.

Quality Airport Hotel looks at catering to more clients EH STAFF - Mumbai

uality Airport Hotel, situated at Nayathode close to Cochin International Airport is looking forward to spread its red carpet to more people. The airport which is expanding into a new era of air travel business and other areas like golf course, is one of the inspiring factors behind the hotel’s business prospects. The promoter of the hotel, Koshy Vinod, an NRI, based in Dubai, also has his entre-




preneurship in oil field supplies and services, and travel and tourism sector. The hotel has proven its skill in gratifying the culinary demands its clientele who belong to different nationalities. The Bar is a favourite place for business travellers, executives and celebrities. The hotel also has an air conditioned auditorium where post marriage receptions and large conferences are conducted, smaller halls where board meetings, family get together etc are held.

September 1-15, 2012


Zack Marketing (India) plans to expand its footprints EH STAFF - Mumbai

stablished in 1999, Zack Marketing (India), manufacturer and supplier of hospitality products in India, plans to open new branches at Dubai, Hyderabad and Jaipur. Originally formed as a sole proprietorship company in Delhi, the company has more than one hundred staff working for it.


Headquartered in New Delhi, the company has branches in Bengaluru, Kochi and Goa. The products are manufactured and packed in their works in Delhi and also sourced from all over the world. It specialises in the field of guest room amenities and F&B disposables. The company obtained the ISO 9001:2008 Certification in the year 2009, for their products and has

also been awarded the Quality Brand India award for the year 2012-14. This year, one of the directors of the company, Zack Varghese, has been awarded the Rashriya Udyog Ratna Award for his outstanding achievement and intellectual excellence for national growth. In the month of July 2012, the company organised its First All India Marketing Conference in New Delhi.

Citrus Check Inns offers flexible vacation ownership SUDIPTA DEV - Mumbai

new entrant in the business of vacation ownership, Citrus Check Inns, owned by the Mirah Group, is focused on creating its brand differentiation. "All timeshare companies are located at holiday destinations, while we have properties at leisure, pilgrimage and business destinations like Pune and Bengaluru," said Somnath Pal, CEO, Citrus Check Inns. Besides its seven Citrus hotels, the company has 40 affiliates ranging from three-five star properties in India. Internationally, Citrus Check Inns has tied up with Dial An Exchange (DAE) that has 2600 properties worldwide. “Our proposition is that our members can enjoy timeshare from one day to one month – they can accumulate it and also advance the same. It is also transferable and giftable, room night or the entire plan,” stated Pal. The company has developed a new product category


Somnath Pal called 'Flexi Stay'. This apart, the members do not have to pay any annual maintenance or subscription fee and there is very short blackout period. “We do not have any kind of seasons. We have three products – Orange,

Lemon and Fragrance. EMIs are available for all these products,” said Pal, pointing out that one of the major problems in timeshare is laxation, and to address this issue, the company gives vouchers to the members that can be redeemed at its group restaurants. The target group of Citrus Check Inns is the age group of 25 to 40 years with an annual income of `7 lakh to `40 lakh. “Those who come below this income margin are not ready to buy long-term timeshare product and above this, they will go for another product,” averred Pal. Understanding the manpower requirements of the sector, the company has tied up with an institution to train students who will be absorbed in Citrus Check Inns after they pass out in 2014. “Before that they will get nine months of paid internship. We are also creating a curriculum on timeshare and will impart that during the academic session,” mentioned Pal.

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Mumbai based restaurateur to expand pan-India SAYONI BHADURI - Mumbai

umbai based restaurateur Hitesh Keswani, partner, Silver Beach Cafe and Nom Nom is taking his Mumbai ventures to other cities. Keswani elaborated, “We plan to take our Asian restaurant Nom Nom to Delhi. While we will be opening another outlet of Silver Beach Cafe in Mumbai.” Apart from these two brands, Keswani is also developing an Indian cuisine restaurant concept. He informed that he was greatly impressed by the quality of north Indian food in Delhi and wanted to emulate the same in Mumbai. All the restaurants will be company owned, added Keswani. “We aim to have around 20 restaurants across different brands by 2015,” he said of his future plans. Of his venture outside of Mumbai, he informed that he


September 1-15, 2012

would be looking at Delhi and Hyderabad as key cities for expansion. “Hyderabad is still a fresh market and not that many players have entered the competition,” he added. Apart from these, Pune is also a city where he is contemplating setting up outlets. For his brands, Keswani said, “I have a professional team with strict measures for quality control.” He added that each of his restaurant brand is designed to cater to a special niche. “The Chinese cuisine market in the suburbs of Mumbai was saturated, at the same time there was a lack of a value-for-money Southeast Asian cuisine restaurant, that is where Nom Nom came in. Similarly, Silver Beach Cafe always aimed at niche clientele where a good product and good service was available at a good price. Location was not the main focus,” he said.

does not impart greasiness to the cooking vessel. Health - Higher MUFA content closer to Groundnut oil. Shelf Life - Being lower in PUFA gives a better oxidative stability and improves the product shelf life. KAMANI AMANI OIL INDUSTRIES PVT. PVT. LTD. LTD. Chandivali Estate, Saki V Vihar ihar Road, Mumbai - 400 072. Tel. el. 39970167 l Fax : 28478805 Email : Website ebsite :




New kids on the block DoubleTree by Hilton Goa-Arpora-Bagra


Hilton Worldwide has opened the newly-renovated, upscale, full-service DoubleTree by Hilton Goa-Arpora-Baga. The 104-room hotel, owned by Riviera De Goa Resorts and Hotels and managed by Hilton Worldwide, features spacious and comfortable guestrooms, most with a private balcony or patio and an expansive lagoon or pool view. In addition to Flame, dining options at the hotel include Caffeine, an all-day café that serve a range of patisserie items, light snacks and freshly brewed tea and coffee. CoBar is the poolside bar and restaurant which presents a selection of light snacks and beverages.

Pride Hotel, Kolkata Pride Group of Hotels has launched the 153 rooms five-star deluxe property ‘Pride Hotel Kolkata. The company has invested `100 crore to set up the Kolkata Hotel, which is the group’s first property in Eastern India. The hotel offers a combination of deluxe, superior, premium room and suites. The hotel is equipped with four conference halls and two board rooms to take care of all conferencing and banqueting needs.

Hotel Marigold by GreenPark, Hyderabad

Re:gen:ta One, Hyderabad

GreenPark Hotels & Resorts has launched Marigold - the first five-star luxury hotel in their portfolio. Marigold, which has been made with an investment of `100 crore marks the foray of the group into the luxury segment. Centrally located in Greenlands, Begumpet, the hotel is at a close proximity to all the important destinations of the city. The 181 rooms are designed integrating functionality and spaciousness with style. The five categories of rooms are premium rooms, luxury rooms, studio rooms, royal suite and presidential suite. Designed to accommodate large as well as small groups, Marigold has five banquet halls namely Peacock (750), Cyan (100), Azure (70) Amber (70) and Teal

Royal Orchid Hotels forayed into Hyderabad with Re:gen:ta One. The brand Re:gen:ta One is an upscale arm of the Royal Orchid Hotel group. The hotel has 158 well-equipped large rooms and has a banquet hall which is 400 sq m. in size with ceiling height of 6 m, apt for corporate launches, events and weddings.

INTERNATIONAL &Beyond Ngala Tented Camp, South Africa &Beyond has reopened &Beyond Ngala Tented Camp situated in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Rebuilt and freshly refurbished, the camp has six safari tents. Each tented suite features outdoor showers, deep baths and private wooden decks overlooking the seasonal Timbavati riverbed.



Constructed with a light footprint, each tent sits on a raised platform and was designed to incorporate existing trees, minimising environmental impact and reflecting &Beyond’s ethos of sustainable luxury. The floors and roofs of the tented suites are made of double-lined canvas with insulation in the middle, thereby reducing the electricity required to heat and cool the tent. All lights are LED and air conditioners are energy efficient.

September 1-15, 2012


Sun-n-Sand Hotels looks at tier II cities in India for expansion KAHINI CHAKRABORTY Mumbai

un-n-Sand Hotels is looking at expanding in tier II cities in India like Raipur, Indore, Bhopal in Madhya


Gulshan Arora Pradesh, and Kolhapur and Solapur in Maharashtra. With corporates being the major clientele as compared to leisure travellers, the company believes that since smaller markets lack good four-star and five-star hotel options, it is the right time to invest in these cities. Speaking exclusively to Express Hospitality Gulshan Arora, senior vice president, Sun-n-Sand Hotels said, “The company will look at devel-

ing mid-scale hotels in smaller cities. We built our Nagpur property which is a 139 room hotel two and half years back with a total investment of `90 crore and spent `75 lakh per room.


September 1-15, 2012

ness Arora said, “Till May this year the hotel was doing good in terms of MICE segment but from June-July there has been a major drop in bookings. This scenario has been in general across

most properties which have been seeing a 25-30 per cent drop due to unsuitable market conditions.” Presently, the company has properties in Mumbai, Shirdi, Pune and Nagpur.

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oping 80-100 rooms property and would take up one property a year. It is looking at developing hotels with an investment of less than `one crore per room.” He added “The investment even in smaller cities is almost the same as in the major markets, but one can afford to have lower average room rate and room price and that is one of the major decisions behind hospitality companies develop-

From the beginning we have witnessed operational profits as we were not in debt and invest our own resources for expansion.” Discussing market conditions and growth in busi-

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Bird Edge

Natural variation from Pergo Pergo has introduced a new, patented design feature Natural Variation, a production process that gives each plank a chalked and rustic look and creating endless pattern variations like wood. The product is offered in Classic Plank format with four bevelled edges and featuring Pergo’s new Embossed-In-Register (EIR) surface texture. Decors vary from light Blonde Oak to dark coffee, with grey and taupe in between. All Natural Variation products featuring the company’s TitanX surface, makes it suitable for high-wear domestic environments as well as moderate-wear public

Bird-Edge is a specially designed Polycarbonate base (With UV Filters) with stainless steel spikes. It is glued with a powerful adhesive to the concrete/metal/wood/ stone/glass and any other surface. These spikes prevent birds to sit on the surface installed.

Donut Fryer from AKASA AKASA has launched Donut Fryer. It is a table top fryer with a shallow stainless steel container for frying donuts. It operates on elec-

of the cycle; a cost-effective solution for washing utensils, racks and trays. This improves the wash result while cutting detergent consumption by up to 30 per cent. The VAPOSTOP exhaust heat recovery system in the door opening effectively prevents steam from billowing out of the machine while reducing energy costs by up to 40 per cent.

Agave syrup from Organic Haus Agave syrup is made from the extract of the wild agave plant. This agave sap is the main source of Organic Agave Nectar that goes on to produce Organic Agave Syrup. The product has been priced at `550. Agave syrup is low on glycemic index, low on calorific content and high in fructose levels. Agave nectar may be used for part or all of the sugars or liquid

areas. Other patented technologies found with these floors include PerfectFold for easy installation and Compact SoundBloc for built-in sound reduction. The planks are available in 1288x195x9mm and are priced at `220/sq ft.

Black Dog 21

tricity having a load of 2.4KW. It has double walled insulated stainless steel body with removable container for easy cleaning. The temperature is controlled by an imported German make capillary thermostat with auto cut off feature. It has a very heavy duty SS wire mesh for dispensing fried donuts.

Warewashing units from HOBART Warewashing units from HOBART has introduced the UX utensil washer series. The innovative fine filter system GENIUS-X² cleans the wash water during the wash cycle, removing soil particles and pumping them out at the start



sweeteners in many culinary applications. One can also use it for baking, in beverages or other sweet dishes.

Black Dog 21 Year old, is the latest vintage variant from Black Dog’s luxury portfolio. Only 3540 bottles of this vintage scotch are available across the world. It has been priced between `14000-17000 per unit, the Black Dog 21 Year Old will be available in NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Punjab, Chandigarh, Goa and select outlets of Bengaluru. September 1-15, 2012


Leap Chair with QR codes

breathability and gives density to improve the mattress’ rigidity and deformability. The entire mattress is anti-allergenic and 100 per cent natural. The mattress has at a height of 15cm/6 inch.

Sofa Collection from The Great Eastern Home The Great Eastern Home has introduced the limited edition of sofa set which comprise of

Victorian styled two seaters sofa to Rococo styled three seaters, and are

hand crafted with top quality wood and a high gloss polish.

The Leap Chair from Steelcase is designed beyond utility, keeping in mind the ergonomic need of the hour. To make the maximum use of the Leap Chair and its functions, the chair comes equipped with QR codes to enable users to find information on how to properly adjust and make the optimum use of the Leap Chair for healthy seating. The QR codes is placed on the arm the chair, once the user scans the QR codes with a

m o b i l e device; they are taken to a mobile-friendly site that plays an interactive video showing how to adjust the chair and how to make the best possible use of the Leap Chair.

Duoform XS Firm Mattress from Magniflex Magniflex has introduced its latest product Duoform XS Firm Mattress. The core of mattress consists of an inner layer of Memoform Magnifoam and Eliosoft. While Memoform aids in the comfort, contouring and cushioning of the natural curvature of the back that relaxes the body and improves blood circulation, Eliosft has good September 1-15, 2012



Cleaning & Hygiene Solutions Cross-contamination A Ganesh talks about the problem of cross-contamination and what measures need to be taken to avoid it

A Ganesh

hat is crosscontamination? At its simplest, it is the transfer of bacteria or contaminants from a product containing these to one that does not. When we talk of cross-contamination in food, we generally mean the transfer of bacteria from raw foods, and the utensils and surfaces used in handling them, to prepared and cooked foods. This is particularly dangerous for the consumer because these prepared and cooked foods are ready to eat. They will not undergo any further washing or cooking, and so they will pass on food-poisoning




organisms such as salmonella, listeria, and the lethal E. coli O157 to those unfortunate enough to eat them.

specialists believe that 20 per cent of all food-poisoning outbreaks are caused by cross-contamination. Usually, bacteria come

Cross-contamination is a worldwide problem. Even in countries with highly developed food industries, cross-contamination occurs. In the UK, for example,

into a kitchen via raw foods such as meat, poultry, vegetables and even fruit. Food handlers can also bring bacteria to work on their hands and clothing. Illness

among food handlers can play a part, too. An outbreak of Novovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea, affecting half of the guests at a wedding reception was traced to crosscontamination of potatoes from a contaminated sink, into which the food handler had previously vomited. Bacteria can be persistent. They can live and multiply in very small cracks and crevices, and in the surface cuts of chopping boards. A particularly dangerous example of crosscontamination from poorly cleaned equipment was seen in the UK in 2005. A butcher, John Tudor from Bridgend in September 1-15, 2012

M|A|R|K|E|T dripping onto cooked or ready-to-eat foods. ● Have separate cutting boards, knives and other equipment for preparing raw and cooked foods and make sure that these are stored separately. Always clean equipment thoroughly, using detergents and sanitisers, after preparing foods, particularly raw food. ● Clean all food preparation surfaces thoroughly, before and after using them for food

preparation. Clear up any spillages and food debris immediately, and clean afterwards. ● Never defrost raw meat or poultry in a sink. If the poultry is carrying salmonella, the sink will soon become contaminated. If poultry has to be washed, disinfect the sink immediately afterwards. ● Wash hands regularly and thoroughly, especially after handling raw foods, and always after visiting the

washroom. Dry thoroughly using a hot-air dryer or throwaway paper towels. ● Keep clothing clean and change soiled aprons and coats immediately. ● Do not allow food handlers to work when they are ill but make sure that they have reasonable pay for time off sick. Otherwise, they may be tempted to conceal illness from an employer. (The writer is director - marketing Diversey India Pvt Ltd)

Wales, used to sell vacuumpacked cooked meats to local caterers – schools in particular – as well as vacuum-packed raw meat. Unfortunately, despite warnings from food inspectors, he used the same vacuum-packing machine for both raw and cooked meat. Because he was careless and complacent, he spread E.coli O157 from raw meat into his vacuum-packed cooked meats. As a result, a little boy of five died, and more than 100 people were confirmed as having the exact strain of E. coli as that taken from Mr Tudor’s cooked meats. When Mr Tudor was sent for trial in September 2007, the court heard that the vacuum-packing machine had congealed debris and dirt on it and that his staff had been seen wiping blood off trays as they were packing cooked meats. Mr Tudor paid a high price for his complacency. He was jailed for a year, after he admitted to placing unsafe food on the market and failing to protect food against the risk of contamination. Not all crosscontamination involves bacteria. Recently, the UK’s Food Standards Agency had to recall quiches, savoury tarts and ready meals made for food retailers Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s because of fears that they had become contaminated with peanuts during an incident at the factory. This could have been serious for people with an allergy to peanuts. How can caterers and food businesses guard against cross-contamination? A clear set of rules is essential: ● Have separate refrigerators for raw and cooked foods. If this is not possible, make sure that all foods are covered and that raw foods are stored BELOW cooked foods. This prevents juices from raw foods September 1-15, 2012




Tier II cities: Future of the spa industry? With rapid growth of the spa industry, it has been become one of the key sectors for investors in Tier II markets. Here is a microscopic view of its astonishing growth story. By Dr Manish Patwardhan he spa industry in India has observed a strong growth in the last six to seven years. In the initial years, the growth was limited to the metros or Tier I cities, but gradually, over the past few years the industry has successfully penetrated the Tier II cities across India. Be it Baroda, Indore, Jaipur or Faridabad all of these socalled small cities have witnessed the emergence of this concept. The sudden surge of the spa industry in these cities has created intense competition.


The paradigm shift Dr Manish Patwardhan



Over the last few years, it has been observed that the influx of technology and migration has led to people in smaller towns and cities of India ape the urban audience. People, who once believed in saving money, are now spending it, thanks to their exposure to the modern world. Hence spending on spas has become a status symbol off late. This change in mindset has encouraged many spa developers to put in their resources in this sector especially in the Tier II cities, as the industry is in its nascent stages and is showing a strong growth potential. Other factors that encourage the transition from the bigger cities to relatively smaller ones are the sky rocketing real estate prices in the metros, which has created a dent in the profitability of the spa business in these areas. It has also been observed that many businesses have shut shop due to losses incurred because of high rentals resulting in heavy operational expenses. As opposed to that the real estate prices in Tier II

Spa at Quilon Beach Hotel & Convention Center in Kollam cities is relatively lower, moreover many spa developers have huge land banks in these areas which further reduces their investment cost. The diverse and unexplored characteristics of the smaller cities are other important driving factors for spa developers. Cities like Jaipur and Lucknow are state capitals hence investors benefit from their infrastructural

setup and public services. Cities like Jamshedpur and Faridabad have been successful industrial centres of India for ages, and are now giving precedence to newer sectors that have emerged. Cities like Indore have been threatening to make it big for many years now, whereas Thane and Thiruvallur have boomed, thanks to their proximity to the metros.

Whatever be their current status, these beta cities, with higher per capita income and sustained double digit growth, are among the largest urban markets and can any time break into the elite club just like Surat and Coimbatore.

Business avenues The spa industry is growing at an astonishing rate of 40 September 1-15, 2012

S|P|A | S|P|E|C|I|A|L per cent per annum. It is one of those few industries that was not affected by recession and has shown the highest return on investments which is approximately 35 to 40 per cent. These figures have encouraged a lot of investors to invest in the industry, keeping in mind the issues of the metros; they are looking at exploring various options and investing in Tier II cities being the most feasible. Lower real estate costs, lower cost of living, easy access to spas, growing market, lower advertising and marketing costs is making the whole business more profitable in Tier II cities. It has been observed that there are atleast 20-25 Tier II cities which are a perfect market for the spa and wellness industry. Nagpur, Nashik, Kolhapur, Solapur, Indore, Bhopal, Kanpur, Ranchi, Vizag, Thrissur, Guwahati, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Jamshedpur, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Lucknow are just a few cities which are seeing considerable demand for spa and wellness services. Each of these cities has atleast one to a minimum of five spa projects expected to launch in the next six to eight months. This is apart from the hotel spas which will open up, as all hotels are necessarily having spa as a component of their offerings.

Spa at Radisson Alibaug

Spas – An important cog in the wheel for hotels With the growing demand, many prominent hotels especially in the tier II cities, are trying to promote spas as their niche or USP. While they do this, it is also important for them to give adequate importance to their spa as a product and as a service from the word go. If they try to cut corners or do not have professionals taking care of this area, the 'spa' experience can easily be below par, which can adversely affect their brand image. Hotel spas are intended to provide ‘Unique Experience’ to the consumer with therapies that primarily relax and rejuvenate. Hence ‘relaxation’, ‘rejunevation’ and ‘pampering’ become key factors to promote spas in hotels. With time and with the help of experts, hotels are now moving from just scratching the surface of these words to a deeper understanding and implementation of these words in reality. Wellness is becoming a bigger player in the spa menus, which is really a welcome sign. September 1-15, 2012

Spa at Radisson Blu Goa

The need gap analysis As we look at the feasibility of spa industries flourishing in the Tier II cities, there are a few gaps that need to be addressed urgently. Trained spa professionals are in extreme shortage; this is a bigger problem in Tier II cities as most of these professionals are not willing to work in these cities. Lesser avenues for socialising and lower salaries as compared to cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Chennai and Bengaluru being the key deterrents. Unlike metros, the level of awareness among the spa goers in these cities is low, which increases the chances of guests and general population misconstruing the whole spa and wellness industry.

Guests in these cities generally expect spa services at a lower cost which is posing to be a problem. Another issue is that most of the investors are particularly new to the sector and refrain from hiring an expert spa consultant, which can lead to disastrous results. Lack of importance to proper training and experience can also make the spa die down eventually. Moreover, many of the investors who do not use quality products and equipments in the spa to cut costs can also pave way for the business to decline. These are some areas of concern, that need to be catered to urgently to sustain the growth of the industry.

Regulations Like other industries it is important that necessary regulations are put forth for the spa and wellness industry as well. It is necessary that all the stakeholders in this industry come together and work on crucial areas like spa licensing, spa standards, spa education standards, spa professionals registration process. This will certainly make this industry much more organised, professional, ethical and reduce the insecurity faced by the stakeholders today. The writer is director of Spa Consultants and president of the Indian Spa and Wellness Association (ISWA)




Candlewood Suites debut with new interior design scheme IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), announced the opening of the first Candlewood Suites hotel to include the brand’s new interior design package, created with graduate students at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), one of the top interior design schools

hen the time came to make updates to our suites and public spaces, it made sense that we partner with SCAD, who delivered exceptional results




when we worked with students on a similar project for our Staybridge Suites brand,” said Robert Radomski, vice president, global brand management, extended stay brands, IHG. “We are pleased with the

results; the modernised designs with fresh colors, residential touches and functional spaces will make life on the road easier and more comfortable for our guests,” he added. The overall design con-

cept for Candlewood Suites hotels is called 'Haven', which captures the essence of the Candlewood Suites brand and conjures thoughts of rest, refuge and sanctuary. Within the concept are two distinct, yet complementary, September 1-15, 2012

D|E|S|I|G|N design schemes that are light, clean and refreshing. The 'Nest' scheme, with earthy green hues, is featured at the North Little Rock hotel, and ‘Harbor’ features warm blue colours. The new designs also feature sustainability, flexibility and storage; the latter two are especially important to extended stay travellers, who live in hotels for weeks or months at a time. This project follows the highly successful redesign of the Staybridge Suites standardised room décor by SCAD students in 2009. Unique to Candlewood Suites, guests can also enjoy the convenience of the Candlewood Cupboard, where a variety of beverages, breakfast items, snacks, frozen entrees and sundries can be purchased on the honor system at any time and where guests can enjoy complimentary Maxwell House coffee around the clock. The North Little Rock hotel will donate all proceeds from the Candlewood Cupboard to the brand’s charity of choice, Give Kids the World. The Candlewood Suites North Little Rock features the brand’s new Lending Locker concept, currently in pilot mode. Guests can borrow commonly needed items that they can’t typically travel with, like extra lighting, small kitchen appliances and desk fans. Like the Candlewood Cupboard, the Lending Locker is run on the honor system. Candlewood Suites guestrooms feature studio or one-bedroom suite floor plans with a full kitchen, comfortable recliner, large workspace with desk chair and overhead lighting. “We’re excited to be the first Candlewood Suites to open in with the new designs” said Kal Makan, general manager. “Candlewood Suites hotels are carefully designed to meet the particular needs of extended-stay travellers and these new designs bring that to the next level. Our guests will find that the design of our spacious suites and the hotel’s amenities will allow them to live comfortably and keep a daily routine similar to that of home,” he added. The new property is located near Springhill Baptist Hospital, Pulaski Technical College, L’Oreal Maybelline Company and Remington Arms and is just minutes from the downtown Little Rock and Little Rock National Airport.

September 1-15, 2012






Hospitality education: The changing paradigms Hospitality education in India is going through a phase of evolution driven by the needs of a dynamic industry. While a lot still needs to be done to bring about changes that can go a long way in strengthening the human resource requirements of the industry, the many positive initiatives are making a difference. By Sudipta Dev

o s p i t a l i t y education in India has always been a subject of much debate, mostly the not so positive kind. The dynamic needs of the times has albeit brought about a change all stakeholders today believe that for the I n d i a n hospitality industry to achieve its true potential just market growth is not enough, the industry needs high potential human




resources for achieving its targeted success. Developing employable talent for the industry has always been a challenge, but there are a few hotel schools that have sought to put innovative practices in place to ensure the same. It has not been an easy task of course, the constraints have been many, but in seeking to do things differently they have set high benchmarks among

the mushrooming colleges that have curriculum with scant requirements for the industry. The industry has also been proactive in its support to many hotel schools to ensure that the young graduates get enough industry exposure even before they leave the portals of their institution. The hospitality education system in India is getting more and more competitive and also evolving at a fast pace. “There are several positive changes both in the industry and in the academia. Industry engagement with the colleges has increased

manifold and there is willingness to accept students into their operations for training and induction with flexible duration,� says Prof. Parvadhavardhini Gopalakrishnan, principal, Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA), Manipal University. She points out that many hotel chains in India are spending a great deal of time and money in monitoring the graduate trainees through a dedicated team of managers. This apart, the quality assurance role of regulatory bodies, namely the All India September 1-15, 2012


Parvadhavardhini Gopalakrishnan

Satish Jayaram

Bhuvan G M

Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Board of Accreditation (NBA) has added value to the hospitality management education system in India. “They have enforced not only processes for curriculum reforms but also in areas of curriculum design, 360 degree feedback mechanisms, academic flexibility, choice based credit systems and many more ongoing initiatives,” she adds. Satish Jayaram, principal, IHMAurangabad agrees that positive developments are already in motion as observed from the efforts of the All India Board for Hospitality and Tourism Management under the AICTE of MHRD. “Extensive benchmarking exercises with international models, duly customised to our ground realities, in association with industry partners, infrastructure developers and knowledge management experts will provide the much required breakthrough. There is a very professional approach to this initiative being executed by major chains who are a part of the Board. Each of these major players are committed to skill development initiatives, corporate social responsibility, competence development models as well as future visioning and innovation exercises. At IHM-A all these are already in motion, in fact I see school going youngsters highly clued on about hospitality with the tremendous media exposure from culinary programmes,” states Jayaram, not forgetting to add that in the country most prominent factor advantage is the naturally infused hospitality which is part of every Indian’s DNA. “We are by nature warm and hospitable people and will fit into hospitality careers without much ado. We are vested with the responsibility to take hospitality education to the masses and classes alike through customised models to enhance this positivity,” he asserts.

As a leading institution for hospitality education at IHMAurangabad course modules and curriculum are internationally benchmarked. “Our academic structure and schedules are customised to industry requirement, we have a world-class infrastructure and a highly interactive technologically engaging knowledge environment,” says Jayaram. The institute's social change initiatives such as interfaces with NGOs like Pratham, Industrial Training Institutes in PPP mode as well as multi stage courses like a certificate, diploma, degree, honours and masters provide a wide range of solutions custom suited to diverse segments. “We recently implemented a 48 week internship in the final year of our undergraduate course which allows industry to actually see an individual performing within operations before making a job offer rather than making the hiring decision in a 15 minute interview. This also allows the prospect to adapt learning through the working environment, culture and interpersonal factors creating a winwin solution for academia, industry, students and their families,” says Jayaram. The institution has a wide variety of customised short courses targeting a broad range of segments to co-create interactive experiential learning in settings such as classrooms, work-based learning, research projects and industry based consultancy activities. “This is quite unlike the role learning approach followed in traditional classrooms. We also have a wide variety of creatively designed assessment strategies rather than boring examinations and tests,” points out Jayaram. According to Bhuvan GM, principal, Apeejay Institute of Hospitality (AIH) a positive change that is taking place in Mumbai is that the University of Mumbai has implemented a new credit based curriculum incorporating the current

needs of the industry. “At AIH, we believe the most effective way of imparting knowledge is to induce a coherent partnership between its two chief facets - learning and application. This is why we have ensured that the institute shares its premises with The Park in Navi Mumbai. Its proximity to the hotel becomes its biggest advantage, as it gives students the opportunity to get hands-on experience during their course of study, in terms of training facilities of the hotel for front office, housekeeping, F&B service and production, and back of house support functions,” states Bhuvan. The institution takes great pride in its faculty, cutting-edge resources, and the drive to stay up-to-date with the latest in the world of hospitality. “We are focused on developing talent in a dynamic learning environment, based on our expertise in hospitality, to enable you to lead our industry into the future,” says Bhuvan with great optimism. Manipal University has introduced technologically interfaced learning software. Eknowledge, e-jury, e-discussion boards, open book exams are being explored. “The entire transformation of the infrastructure has been enabled in order to simulate the hospitality environment. Standard operating procedures and outcome based learning that simulates and equals the speed at which the student is expected to work in the industry environment have been designed within the curriculum,” states Gopalakrishnan. This apart, real-life experiments with open access to the consumer are encouraged through staged events and promotional activities. Simulation videos, animation and all form of multimedia learning are also encouraged. Proactive feedback and analysis is administered through the Quality Management systems. The International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) and IAM Institute of Hotel Management have consciously moved from a teacherled strategy to student - centric learning strategy. “We have lesson plans for each sessions - be in theory or practical classes and we

September 1-15, 2012




Suborno Bose

K V Simon

Chander Mansharamani

strictly adhere to it. The learning takes place in the attached training hotels and it’s like three year of education (minds on) plus three years of hands on experience of the operation of a real high quality hotel,” says Dr Suborno Bose, chairman and chief m e n t o r , Indismart G r o u p Wo r l d w i d e (owner of IIHM & IAM). T h e institutions incorporate a lot of multimedia and web based solutions to support delivery. “Also we use the real things in teaching delivery eg we have real time PMS in all our eight campuses and students learn from many net based games,” he mentions.

weekend/month long courses within these preliminary learning environments so that young talents in Std VIII, IX and X could be harnessed. We can also deliver easy to digest customised interactive modules in Std XI and XII outside the gamut of MCVC education alone,” adds Jayaram. He feels that students are genuinely e x c i t e d a b o u t h o s p i t a l i t y, what is needed is to reach out to them through role models like Amul Food Food Maha Challenge Hero - India ka Super Chef, where Saransh Goila who cooked with Madhuri Dixit had emerged as a role model for young chefs on national TV. “We have a responsibility to demonstrate the positive side of the exciting hospitality industry to these youngsters rather than simply allowing them to experience and focus on the drudgery and monotony of the hospitality industry. This has received more coverage than the passion of being in the hospitality journey. Catch them young is the mantra,” states Jayaram.

involving senior professionals from the industry in the teachinglearning process can add value to the students. The academia and industry should partner for the growth and development of the students. Both cannot work in isolation,” mentions Bhuvan. One of the biggest issues for hotel schools is to produce industry-ready talent. “This is one of our largest challenges which must be resolved by balancing the classroom to internship ration to 30: 70, a model that we currently follow,” states Jayaram. Each year IHM-A students spend 24 weeks in the classroom followed by 12 weeks in the industry. This is topped up by the final 48 weeks in the business which makes them highly employable while also creating sector strength by enhancing their entrepreneurial virtues. He feels that it is also necessary to develop entrepreneurs who could generate employment for the underprivileged. “A tripartite model where we have infrastructure hosts, supported by industry professionals and a high quality knowledge partner, bringing world class research, development and practice to the learner alongside industry practice is the order of the day. Industry is the fulcrum on which skill development, educational and ongoing training initiatives are balanced,” asserts Jayaram. Synergistic role in knowledge management through academia and industry interface will be crucial. “Joint financial and non-financial partnerships in developing the infrastructure of the institutes and then building

Preferred career choice Talent crunch has always been an issue in the industry, which is not known to attract the brightest talent. There has also never been much awareness about role models whose success would inspire young people to enter the sector. Bhuvan feels that the industry can be a preferred career choice only when it can market and brand the profession amongst the young people. KV Simon, regional vice president-S&W Asia, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute also believes that it is necessary to introduce programmes at high school level to whet the appetite of the youth and be a feeder for long term and specialised programmes as well as for workforce development at entry levels. “We need to embed our short term hospitality



Leveraging industry partnerships Industry-academia partnership is the way forward for hospitality education in the country to ensure that the institutions produce employable talent. The success stories have proven the fact well. “The hospitality faculty should undergo constant immersion in the industry to update and research on the latest trends and practices. Also

in contracts for training the manpower for the industry needs to be designed,” says Gopalakrishnan, adding that members of the industry may be invited to be members of the research committees. The partnerships with academia should attract visibility and brand extensions to both parties. Research funding and consultancy should be co-opted with academia and industry. To leverage industry partnerships it is necessary for hospitality schools to recruit an excellent faculty and not industry rejects. According to Bose institutions should have people who will just do a lot of hospitality activities in sync with the industry. It is also necessary to pay more than the industry pays. “Here we have a definite advantage since our industry does not pay much (as compared to other sectors) and it’s easy to get real good people by paying more than the industry. These people with their contacts will bring a lot of industry support and hence the students will gain a lot,” adds Bose.

Policy level changes A lot of changes are needed at the policy level to bring about the real difference – to replace archaic practices with a progressive initiatives. “Most important change that is required is to standardise the curriculum in private institutions with participation from the industry,” states Bhuvan. Jayaram lists the critical change areas - replacing obsolete mechanisms controlling module planning, delivery, assessment and renewal by including dynamic curriculum updates, action based learning systems, proactive and technologically enabled delivery systems, interactive platforms, cross referencing models, creative and practical assessment tools and result oriented learning. “A ruthless approach to making ineffective approaches obsolete without being mired in bureaucracy and shackling administrative procedures is a must. Self defeating systems need to be replaced with active interactive technologies which can take public administration of education to the next level. September 1-15, 2012

M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T The current tangles are largely on account of vested interests and parochial approaches which need to give way to universality and the greater common good of mankind so that we can develop a better force to energise the hospitality industry,” adds Jayaram. There is a need to liberalise hospitality education so that the industry and entrepreneurs would be attracted to invest in education. According to Simon, the other key factors are - launch accreditation of hospitality programmes at all levels so that the programmes will enjoy academic credibility in addition to industry acceptance; there should be multiple/plurality of autonomous accrediting agencies which have domain based expertise and are non-governmental; programme design should offer opportunity for c o n c e n t r a t i o n s , specialisations, etc, through electives, and optional choices with all courses and programmes enjoying credit worthiness. A l s o programmes to be built around a set of modular courses. Such a programme structure will enable multi entry exit points, mobility, etc. The government’s ‘Hunar Se Yojna’ initiative for capacity building at the bottom of the pyramid is a welcome effort. “We have to develop such a wide variety of sustainable initiatives in education in multiple models including threemonth courses which must

focus on rehabilitation and generate employment to enhance our capacity bench strength. This is our backbone and we must intensify such activities for sustainability and capacity building through a participative process rather than regulatory approach. If simplistic skills could be rapidly transferred the level of efficiency w o u l d multiply rapidly and t h e e f f e c t i ve n e s s of talented human resources being engaged on productive projects, allow for greater growth rather than stagnancy,” explains Jayaram. India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) is coming out with a Vision Document - to make India a preferred convention destination, and to ensure that they are making concerted

efforts to develop professionals for the industry. “The ministry might talk about numbers but unless we have professionals supporting the industry it is not possible. We are starting a Young Professionals Forum, which is a full day course for post graduate students of hotel management institutes exclusively for MICE. There will be five-six sessions, we have invited professionals from different segments event management, hotels and venues, etc, who will interact with these students,” says Chander Mansharamani, vice chairman of ICPB. E g if a student wants to specialise in event management in a hotel he will talk to the expert in the field, or if he wants to get into the line of a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) then he will be given the relevant information and counselling. “If in the next five-six years India's convention industry has to grow to that level then we need not just infrastructure but also the software,” stated

Manshiramani. He points out that earlier in hotels the concept was only of banquet manager who would take care of all the requirements of a client, but now event management is an integral part. “We feel being in this business, banqueting and events are two different things. The banquet manager has to be an event manager also. All the big chains have realised this,” he adds. ICPB has conducted training for teachers of hotel management institutions (IHMs), had sessions with students and teachers of IHM Pusa and have also gone to IGNOU for live interactive sessions with IHMs in India to tell them about event management. It is important to understand that hospitality involves a lot of creativity and innovation, it is imperative that the evolution of hospitality education should be driven by these two factors. (With inputs from Joy Roy Choudhury)


Need for change Hospitality education has been in a predicament for some time now. The search for trained quality professional with just the right attitude has become a challenge. Sudhir Andrews, dean Academics at Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa tries to unravel the problem and discusses how can one do things differently. By Sayoni Bhaduri t has been a continuous bone of contention that the hotel industry is known to complain that young graduates do not have the desired attitude and skills for the service sector. “It has been an age

I Sudhir Andrews



old chant by the industry,” says Sudhir Andrews, dean Academics at Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa. He also gives reasons as to why this is so. Industry has always been ahead of academia in adopting the latest practices.

Academia is dependent on the accrediting bodies to change their curriculum. The process of upgrading curricula is a very slow and ponderous one which happens perhaps every 10 years. Academia is therefore

behind times. “With changes taking place frequently this is a challenge to curricula. There is a perennial conflict between quantity and quality. While the industry is experiencing and September 1-15, 2012


anticipating an alarming shortage of trained manpower, because of unprecedented expansion of hotels, forcing the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology to establish more hotel schools,” he says. In classrooms filled with 60 students, each cannot get individual attention which ensures quality of learning. “Hotels have adapted to this malaise by creating their own 'finishing schools' offering further training to bring students up to desired standards,” he adds.

Key issues While the government has invested in sending faculty of IHMs to prestigious schools around the world on study tours, the actual conversion of learning to the classroom is limited because of rigid curricula set by accrediting bodies that leaves little flexibility for experimentation. “Some IHM faculty have stopped learning because they do not see any motivation in terms of pay rises for that extra effort required to improve themselves. Others are embarrassed to upgrade themselves in the industry because they do not want to learn from their exstudents who hold positions in the industry. While some private institutions are downright businessoriented and cut corners to provide facilities and infrastructure. It is learnt that some operate in three bedroom apartments,” says Andrews. The term ‘hospitality’ was restricted to hotels and restaurants before. With the emergence of the service economy since the 1980s, many more businesses are coming under its purview like retail, BPOs, airlines, cruise lines, theme parks, sports academies, banks, hospitals, etc. It is no wonder that they are pulling out hospitality students for their needs with better salaries. This brain drain has severe impact on the hotel and restaurant trade. Today’s youth are on the fast track. They want to get rich fast by accelerated career graphs. They are willing to work hard to achieve this. Most like to ‘retire’ early to pursue their passions.

Way forward There are many thoughts on how to address this. “The September 1-15, 2012

government should delink from higher education to permit academia to bring in the latest curricula from the world and execute them. Hotel schools should have the flexibility to review their curricula to changing trends. The government should recognise foreign degrees, diplomas and certificates that add value to hospitality education,” advises Andrews. The industry should review their job descriptions to manage with few people with multiple tasks and paid more. We should look at developing knowledge workers. The new mantra today is ‘balanced lifestyle’. Students do see an unbalanced one with long hours and shift duties in the hotel industry. The hotels should look into this. The term ‘hotel management school’ itself is misleading as students' aspirations change in choosing a career. All want to be hotel managers while the industry finds them suitable for entry level positions and at the most supervisory positions (after training). IHMs should be retitled 'Institutes of Hotel Operations'. “We need to have stratified schools for entry level training, supervisory training and hospitality business schools to p r o v i d e management trainees. The aspirations are managed and goals are clear. To fill the rank and file where the numbers are we need to have modular programmes that students can build on to get better positions. By this students find their level of competence (or incompetence),” Andrews is vociferous. The government has promoted the Skills Development Programme which is welcome.

Doing things differently Andrews explains that at Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa the aim is to be a hospitality business school. “While other hotel schools are good at churning out hotel operations professionals it is not necessary that they make good business managers to lead hotels, each of which is like a medium sized company,” he says. The need of the hour is to have good business managers with hospitality understanding to lead the hotels and other service units in the future. While inducting students academic credentials are not

paramount, “We are not so hung up on academic credentials but in all round personalities,” he says. They must have good communication skills, presentation skills, vision, history of leadership at school, unique achievements, family backgrounds (preferably with entrepreneurial backgrounds) and etiquette and manners. Ecole has a good balance of hospitality and business management. He also prides in the teaching style which he describes as student-centric. At Lavasa there are budget hotel, four-star property, suite hotel, club, theme park, bakery, hospital, convention centre, restaurants, retail and entertainment giving them complete scope for training and internship. “We have two internships against one offered by all institutes. The first internship is at the grassroot level and the second at the supervisory level,” says Andrews. Most of Ecole's student's will be entrepreneurs by the age of 40 years, he believes. All classroom learning becomes relevant to their unique visions. “Students work on their unique projects in the final year conducting live feasibility studies along with research,” he adds. They also participate in the Young Leaders Summit at Lausanne, Switzerland and present research papers at the World Tourism Forum under the aegis of Lucerne. They study the hospitality models at Lavasa and other locations over a period of a year. Students create their own knowledge and faculty who are all trained in Switzerland and act as facilitators and not as teachers, professors or lecturers. “Our faculties are called Qualified Learning Facilitators to encompass our philosophy of teaching. We wish to be a model of education to the rest of the country,” he adds. Learning to be student-centric is a big departure from the established education practices therefore faculties are encouraged to do continuous learning. “Many of our faculty members are in different stages of their Phd degree. We encourage them to participate in world forums by contributing papers. They keep a close liaison with the industry to study the latest developments,” explains Andrews. A good quality education is when students find employment after their studies and when the industry is happy with the quality of students being employed.

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‘I would like to explore the feasibility of establishing a chapter of AAHOA in India’ Alkesh Patel, the new chairman of Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) talks about the association's decade long engagement in India, his top priorities and key initiatives for the immediate future. By Sudipta Dev As the chairman of AAHOA what will be your key focus areas for the next one year? The top priority of my chairmanship is to establish a new governance model for AAHOA – in other words, an organisational structure that enables the association to move ahead and to grow into the future using a rolling fiveyear strategic plan as the basis for our activities. Too often in the past, the priorities of AAHOA have changed depending on who is serving as chairman. Our association has reached a level of maturity and sophistication that requires more continuity and more consistency. Among the other programme areas receiving my attention are: ● Advocacy – increasing AAHOA’s political presence by raising US$ 1 million for a stronger, more active political action committee (PAC); by establishing a lobbying office in Washington, DC; and by working even more closely with other industry groups such as the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) on issues of mutual interest at the federal, state, and local levels ● A A H O A eMarket – continued implementation of this innovative internet-based cooperative purchasing initiative ● – further progress on this online travel portal designed to increase bookings at the more than 20,000 properties owned by AAHOA members ● Membership growth – staying on target to increase membership to 12,000 hoteliers within the next 12 months Of course, I am also addressing three ongoing challenges to our members – the business challenge of being treated fairly by their franchise brand; the financial challenge of getting lending support from their bank; and the family challenge of



like to explore the feasibility of establishing a chapter of AAHOA in India.

Alkesh Patel educating future generations so they can achieve success in their personal as well as their business lives. What are your plans for engagement in the Indian hospitality sector? Are you (AAHOA) or your members planning for any major investments in India? Many of our members have already launched projects in India and many others are actively investigating the opportunities, including my company.To encourage t h i s process, AAHOA has put together an a n n u a l delegation of members and industry suppliers who travel to India for meetings with leaders in government and in hospitality. These trips have been taking place since 2003 and more than 50 people participated in the 2012 trip. We have already started planning the next delegation trip, which is scheduled for January of 2013. In fact, given AAHOA’s strong ties to India – with our heritage as well as with our annual delegation trips to India since 2003 and our financial support over many years to hospitality schools in India – I very much would

Will you be attending the FHRAI convention in Goa this September? If yes, then any expectations from the convention? Yes – I usually travel to India two or three times a year and this conference is an important part of my calendar this year because many of the problems faced by hotel owners have similarities regardless of where we do business in the world. We build, we renovate, we compete, we operate – and most importantly, we try to make a profit. Conferences such as FHRAI teach us how much we have in common as hoteliers, so I look forward to exchanging ideas, to renewing friendships, and to making new business contacts. For the growth and wellbeing of the hospitality industry in India, it is important to have a powerful association like AAHOA is in the US. What, according to you, could be the learnings from AAHOA? Good business starts with great relationships, and AAHOA is a place that makes great relationships happen between people who work together in the same industry – vendors, franchisors, colleagues, and even competitors. We share problems, but more importantly we find solutions. We share ideas, but most importantly, we find friendships. When AAHOA started in 1989, we had about 100 members – today we have more than 11,000 members and we use this power to help make things easier, smoother for each other. I very much believe hoteliers in India can achieve a similar forum for discussion, a similar environment for learning, a similar group for influence. What is your vision for AAHOA? There are many ways to

answer that question but let me keep it simple – I believe that AAHOA’s job is to make the job of hotel owners easier. Sometimes that means we are a sword for them, sometimes we are shield. Here is what I mean - when AAHOA develops programmes to help our members handle every day problems of the marketplace – that’s when AAHOA is their shield. But perhaps an even more important role for AAHOA is to be an advocate – to aggressively pursue what is good for our industry as well as what is right for our members. That’s when AAHOA is a sword. Since our founding in 1989, AAHOA has grown into one of the most influential and most respected groups in the hospitality industry. That’s a role we intend to continue fulfilling – by always remaining the protective shield that our members need plus when necessary, by being the proactive sword our members deserve. Hospitality remains one of the best ways to earn a living – and AAHOA is developing the answers that allow our members to deal with day-to-day struggles as well as with longer term challenges. The American dream is sometimes described as working hard to achieve success for yourself, for your family, and for generations to come. That dream is really the dream of entrepreneurs everywhere around the world – and the dream is alive and still coming true at AAHOA, where our best days are still ahead, both as individual hoteliers and as an association. (Alkesh Patel was born in Nadiad, India and emigrated to the United States in 1986. He bought his first hotel in 1995 and today his family owns and operates eight hotels in the Pacific Northwest region of the US) September 1-15, 2012


HR crisis in hotel industry: Depleting numbers of incumbents RAJENDRA KELSHIKAR

accidentally came across the blog patronised by ex-hotel management students that prompted me to pen down a few thoughts. The students’ opinions are the outcome of their experience with Indian hotel management education and the career after that. I wish to list below a few of the questions and remarks that the students have raised.


Something seems to be fundamentally wrong. ● Why does the industry cry over attrition when they don’t behave in tune with what they speak? ● Why are genuine and

smart hotel graduates drawn to other industries though money is not the sole criteria? These ex-hotel management graduates are accomplished professionals

in other industries as of now. They had given up the hotel industry in frustration. They

are on the blog trying to generate an opinion on the issue that’s g e n u i n e l y bothering them.

Rajen Kelshikar ● Why no body in the industry speaks the language that hotel management colleges teach? ● Why is there a difference in what is promised at the hotel management college and what is actually delivered in the industry? ● Why can’t the term hotel management be changed to hotel operations? That way there would be no misunderstanding in the parents’ and students’ minds that they will immediately be absorbed as managers in the industry after graduation. ● Indian hotel management curriculum does not deal with management subjects as such ● The curriculum does not teach basics, putting a student at par with the guests in terms of social skills. ● When will the industry provide better work culture during internships and treat aspiring future hotel managers with respect? ● Why are craft course students and hotel management students treated at par by the industry? September 1-15, 2012




They have some simple questions which need answers. Educators and industry need to pay serious attention to what these aggrieved hotel management graduates are trying to convey. It is in the interest of the industry mainly as well as the educational institutions. Some of the hotel management colleges are administered by non-hotel management individuals, such as businessmen, exarmy officers, food



technologists or nutrition experts. Most faculty members are post graduates with first class but with little or no hotel operations experience. Some of them did not join the industry as it involved hard work or odd timings. But then what kind of training can be expected to be imparted by such faculty or individuals? Sometimes a question is more important than an answer. In a service industry skills are the heart and soul of the business. How can the faculty pass on high class skills, if they lack these skills themselves to start with? Why does one need to be a post graduate or graduate with a first class before he is allowed to teach? For a teacher or guru the only qualification that he needs is the relevant essential skills and not qualifications alone. Another observation is that hotel management has nothing to do with the word ‘technology’ as is the

nomenclature of most hotel management colleges. Most institutions adopt the phrase ‘catering technology’ as part of their institution name just because the first few ones in India started off with this nomenclature. Hence a true vocational qualification came under the sphere of technology for absolutely no remote rationale. With these kinds of weaknesses being present no Indian hotel management institution has b e c o m e internationally competent or known. They should have as they have been in existence for more than over 50 years now. The question is what’s not right, the curriculum, faculty, teaching methodology, internships or all of these and something more? The belief that, nothing of importance is taught at schools, is witnessed here. Steps we can take in order to understand and

improve the entire issue of hotel management education ● FHRAI/ HAI jointly need to conduct a pan India survey of views of present students, the past three years graduates, industry professionals and teaching faculties by an independent professional agency, on the curriculum, content, methodology of teaching, and continued professional development. ● Make it a point to take a look at foreign education models and teaching methodology for hospitality which is accepted world over. ● Once that is done the findings can be passed on to the educational institutes and industry and then debated. Probably a platform can be offered during hotel convention time. ● The industry and institutes can then make required amendments accordingly for the future benefit of the students and industry. The entire process of doing this is time consuming but it is certainly the need of the hour. The writer is director at Innvenue Hospitality Management

September 1-15, 2012




Pune: Road to perdition?




Express TravelWorld and Express Hospitality brought together hospitality and tourism leaders in the city of Pune for a Knowledge Exchange titled, ‘Positioning Pune: Waiting in the wings’. The aim was to brainstorm on what was going wrong with the tourism product in the city and what can be done to rectify it. By Sayoni Bhaduri iving in the shadow (literally) of the financial capital of Mumbai in Maharashtra, the city of Pune has its own claim to fame. Not only as the 'Oxford of the East' with its various institutes of higher education, as a hub for the automotive industry and ITes or even as the cultural centre of the state, Pune has many facets which makes it unique.


Express Exclusive But when it comes down to the business of tourism, has the city been able to leverage its real potential? In an effort to gauge the travel and tourism potential in Pune, Express TravelWorld and Express Hospitality organised a Knowledge Exchange on 'Positioning Pune: Waiting in the Wings' at The Westin, Koregaon Park who were the venue partners for the event. A panel of nine industry leaders brainstormed as to why Pune, despite having the potential has not been able to promote herself as a destination to be reckoned with. S p e a k e r s i n c l u d e d Shubhada Joshi, director of Girikand Travels; Ajit Luthra, VP, asset management and finance for The Westin Pune Koregaon Park , Sun-n-Sand Hotels and Shangri La Mumbai; SK Jain, VP and chairman, Civil Aviation Committee of Maharatta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA); Punit Sheth, EAM, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park; Rajendra Kelshikar, director, InnVenue Hospitality Management; Nikhil Thakurdas, CEO, Uniglobe Odyssey Travel; Yogesh Dossa, CMD, Galaxy Travels; Sudhir Patil, president, Maharashtra Tour Operators' Association and September 1-15, 2012

Noshir Irani, head of Pune chapter of TAAI. The session was moderated by Reema Lokesh, editor, Express Hospitality and Express TravelWorld,

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Troubled times Something is amiss with the development of travel and tourism in the city of Pune. Tackling the subject first Joshi said that most people who travel to Pune, do so not for tourism but for business. “While Maharashtrians are avid travellers themselves, they don’t welcome tourists to their own state. It is a mindset challenge which needs to be addressed first,� she added. At the same time there is definite potential in the city to capture the interest of the tourist. “But ‘we don’t care’ attitude has to change,� she affirmed. It is also true that no one has taken any initiative to look at Pune as something beyond a business city. The ability to convert a business stay into an additional night of leisure is sadly lacking. Thakurdas revealed that the luxury train Deccan Odyssey is also skipping Pune as a halt in its 2012 itinerary. As an hotelier Luthra added that at his hotel in Pune, 90-95 per cent of the guests are corporate with very limited leisure travellers. Kelshikar was vociferous that no initiative to promote Pune as a destination will be a 100 per cent success without the involvement of the state government. The challenge is that even while there have been initiatives taken up in the past, they never come through. “As I see it, the tenure of a bureaucrat or a government official is never long enough for them to see a project through. There is no questioning the ability of these officials but they are never given enough time,� he said. An important factor to promoting any destination is air


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connectivity. Jain who has been pushing for the Pune airport project as part of MCCIA said, “It is the corporate and private sectors which have been pushing for the growth of the city. The tragedy is that the state isn’t even promoting Pune as a commerce hub!” It took two years to decide on a location for the airport and a feasibility study was conducted. He adds that the lack of an airport is a huge drawback with corporates spending twice the amount of travel time to get to Pune. It has taken years of effort and communications to add three slots during the undeclared curfew at the Air Force airport at Pune. “Without an independent airport in Pune, we are losing out on as much as 3.5 million passengers in a year,” Jain he added. He further said that there is a ray of hope with AAI’s assurance and full support for not just commercial flights but also cargo in the future. Dossa who has been working hard to include Pune as part Silk Air’s route informed, “In principle, Silk Air has agreed to fly in and out of Pune, but the plans are currently stuck in the bilateral agreement talks between the two nations.” For hoteliers in Pune these are troubled times with oversupply of rooms being one of the b i g g e s t challenges. L u t h r a threw light on the haphazard way plans are made and executed in the public offices. MTDC’s Tourism Policy of 2006 had provided hoteliers with an incentive scheme. “But when we try and claim the exemption,” he said, “we are told that this policy has not been approved by the state government.” Kelshikar added that what makes it worse is that as entrepreneurs, we do not know who to approach to clarify or rectify the situation. While Pune has been established as a business destination and hotel business during the week does reasonably well, it is the weekend which has become a sore point, as Sheth pointed out. A highend hotel in the city has an ARR of Express Hospitality



Express Hospitality `3000 `4000 with an average occupancy of 40-45 per cent. The situation will become worse as 2,000 rooms are slated to be added by 2015. The hospitality scene in the future is only going to get gloomier, predicted Luthra, who is quite clear that Pune is not a place where he will plan any future hotel investments. Bringing all these facets together, Joshi made an observation, “Tourism is a complete finished product. While private sector with different efforts are bringing in people to the city there has to be adequate infrastructure development to cater to all of that. And this is not in the hands of the private players.” Kelshiker added that there is a need to get the product – Pune – right.

Nikhil Thakurdas

Noshir Irani

Shubhada Joshi

Sudhir Patil

Rajen Kelshikar

Ajit Luthra

Punit Sheth

Beyond the blame-game “Of the six economic divisions in Maharashtra, if one leaves aside Mumbai and Konkan region, as much as nine per cent of the country’s GDP comes from Pune and the rest of Maharashtra,” Dossa said with pride. While the blame on government lethargy is undertsandable, Patil pointed out that even the private sector players are not pushing themselves. “Hoteliers do not network. Local tourism service providers need to come together to c r e a t e awareness and p r o m o t e Pune,” he said. Mumbai is a captive market for Pune; with e c o n o m i c slowdown it is a great opportunity. While five-star hotels are continuously reaching out to newer audiences to create business, it is the two-, threeand four-star hotels who need to work closely with travel agents, tour operators and other distribution channels. Sheth gave an example as to how his hotel promotes small leisure trips in and around the city. “This is one of our efforts to create repeat business for the hotel,” he explains. Patil further added that despite the connectivity challenges, Pune has a great potential to be a MICE destination. Leading the pack with a plan for way forward was Thakurdas who said, “There

Yogesh Dossa

S K Jain

September 1-15, 2012


are so many small niche categories that can be tapped. The Derby season, music concerts, wine tourism, etc, are just examples that make the city vibrant. We can come up with an informal calendar that we can share with our

September 1-15, 2012

clients and g u e s t s enumerating events that create a buzz for Pune.â&#x20AC;? Irani added adventure tourism and

heritage as part of the c a l e n d a r. Pune chapter of TAAI too will take proactive steps to promote Pune as a destination,

he assured. Dossa added that different segments within the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s travel and tourism fraternity need to come together and have a greater interaction to understand and plan what more can be done for Pune.




Serving a challenging market Designed with careful consideration right from room size, adequate meeting rooms and well equipped banqueting facilities, after considering the market mix, Sanjay Singh, general manager, Radisson Hotel Pune, Kharadi talks about the Pune market and how a positive attitude is the key to success in today's competitive business environment. By Kahini Chakraborty rom quintessentially being known as a 'pensioners paradise' to a vibrant business city base for IT, automotive, BPO and KPO and engineering sectors, Pune in the recent past has witnessed the opening of several luxury hotel brands, and some in the coming months to become operational. Joining the bandwagon has been Radisson Hotel Pune, Kharadi which is strategically located, five km from Pune international airport and close to EON IT park, Magarpatta and Ranjangaon, which is the manufacturing belt of the city. The hotel features 141 guest rooms and suites for discerning business travellers. Ideal for meetings and events of up to 1,200 people, the hotel features 15,000 square feet of meeting facilities, perfect for business meetings, product launches, weddings and events of all kinds. Dining options include all-day dining at Carmine, tempting kababs at The Great Kabab Factory and snacks and wine at Citrine. During a brief meeting while talking about the evolution of Pune as a city in terms of hotel developments, weekend destination, conferences, Sanjay Singh, general manager, Radisson Hotel, Pune, Kharadi says, “Firstly Pune as a city has almost 95 per cent of corporate segment business for the hotel. Also being in Pune for quite sometime now,




I know that food is central to the city's culture and rich heritage. I strongly feel that the heritage option can be leveraged with the help of local development authorities to develop leisure tourism around Pune city. This will help the hotels more by inducing people to travel on weekends there by developing Pune as a weekend destination. While on the other hand due to large inventory of rooms and elaborate meeting venues Pune has already become most sought after destination for meetings, incentive programmes, wedding functions. It's still cost effective as compared to Mumbai and has a distinct year round weather advantage over other cities.” Having a vast experience after working in the hospitality industry for several well established hotel groups such as The Taj, Lotus Downtown Metro Apartments & Spa, Dubai and recently Radisson Hotel, Singh confesses that his journey has been challenging but full filling as well. “Nearing three decades in the industry now and having worked in major cities in India and London, Lusaka, Colombo and Dubai, its been an enriching learning experience and the learning still continues, now in a much bigger play field with more and more players in the market.” When asked about how the property manages to

Sanjay Singh maintain decent RevPar figures at a time when the travel and hospitality industry has been witnessing a slowdown, Singh says, “Our primary focus in Pune is on RPD and RevPar Index. Business development numbers from the local market have been promising so far and the hotel has an excellent sales support of Carlson regional sales offices in India and global sales support from USA, Europe and APAC region. This way we have managed to tap multiple revenue resources, cover our key accounts across the markets by building synergy in our business efforts.” He further goes on to say, “However Pune has become a challenging market due to excess room inventory. In 1999 during my tenure with Taj Blue Diamond as the

general manager, we had 500 plus room inventory for the entire city. Now the city has almost 3000 plus rooms in only the Eastern corridor and will grow by 1000 rooms in 2013 with the addition of new branded hotels. The slowdown in European markets has definitely affected corporate travel since May 2012 as automotive sector in European Union region is directly linked to Pune and we have seen a dip in travel pattern. We hope that the travel will get back to normal post July 2012 and all hotels will do well.” So what have been the factors that have worked for the property so far. “Looking at this market mix, the hotel was designed with careful consideration right from the room size, adequate meeting rooms and well equipped banqueting facilities. Radisson Hotel Pune's rooms are one of the largest in the market with 350 sq. ft. The hotel gives you an option to c h o o s e between Radisson Standard and Business Class Rooms and Suites with an additional access to Business Lounge for Business Meetings with high speed internet service added free of cost. Radissons globally are known as hotels that love to say "Yes I Can" and that's our unique service philosophy worldwide. We invest heavily in our training programmes at all levels to develop and retain a multitasked workforce to support our superior product. To sum up - developing a positive and winning attitude is the key to success in today's competitive business environment,” mentions Singh. The business philosophy of the company also revolves around three key stakeholders i.e. employees; guests and owners. All business units are at the midpoint of these three factors. “We strongly believe that by exceeding employee expectations at all levels can bring about guest delight which will help us exceeding our owners expectations on all

commercial fronts. This mantra has actually made us the 'most admired hotel company to work for and invest in' globally. Suppliers/vendor and community development is also our top most priority,” says Singh. Giving an overview of the changes and challenges that he has seen in the hospitality industry, he opines, “Hospitality industry especially in India has grown in leaps and bounds. Way back in early 80' we had two or three leading hotel companies to work for and choice was amongst The Taj, Oberoi, or the ITC. However since 1995 due to opening of markets and a strong support by the Government of India for development of tourism in domestic markets, many international hotel chains have expanded in the Indian market. Today you see multiple brands of any hotel chain in o n e homogeneous m a r k e t offering bare basics to up m a r k e t l u x u r y options to cover all market segments. This has developed more employment opportunities for the skilled work force, has definitely created a new employment avenues for the younger generation. This in my opinion has also brought better changes in the work culture in the hospitality industry. In fact, you will see lot of expat chefs, F&B heads working in India. This definitely is a sign of development and us being a potential market. However the major challenges that I feel that the hospitality industry has to tackle in the long run are shortage of skilled employees and retention of quality work force.” In the future Radisson Hotel Pune plans to upgrade to Radisson Blu which is a more premium brand under The Carlson Rezidor umbrella. “This will help us to further enhance our offerings from the product, services and brand perspective,” concludes Singh. September 1-15, 2012


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Maharashtra should have various regional tourism boardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Sudhir Patil, president, Maharashtra Tour Organisers' Association (MTOA), highlights the role and function of MTOA and addresses the immediate need to bring in some serious action related towards tourism promotion in Maharashtra and the role of MTDC in the same. By Reema Lokesh As president of MTOA what is your immediate agenda with respect to the association? The first important goal is to bring big and small tour operators present in Maharashtra under one umbrella. There are many associations but they do not tender their service to tour operators e f f e c t i v e l y. Maharashtra Tourism will be on top priority and all members are committed to promote Maharashtra at the state, national and international levels. We will try our best to be associated with MTDC

September 1-15, 2012

for proper marketing of Maharashtra Tourism in near future. The association is trying to develop good relationship with Indian Railways and IRCTC. Railway and aviation sectors are important to all t o u r operators. We will try to take va r i o u s issues to t h e s e authorities to solve problems and improve our association for better tourism. What according to you are the challenges that Maharashtra tourism is facing and are



M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T there any pointed solutions to the same? It is very important for MTDC to be associated with private partners such as tour operators, hoteliers to promote destinations jointly in various exhibitions, roadshows and seminars. Often there is no information available or signboards on highway to promote the nearby tourist destination. It is very important to have various signboards on national highways stating the nearest tourist attractions and various service providers such as hotels, tour operator and information with history of location. For such promotion we should form local tourism bodies who can be able to handle the growth in the business. To print regional tourism brochures along with presence of private hotels and local transport, guides, restaurants etc, information. All these information should be readily available at various centres.

Infrastructure facility such as clean toilets, shower facilities at beaches, garbage collection centre, wide road and parking facilities should be on top priority. To create employment for locals we must organise various workshops and at the same time promote them to tender various services to tourist including souvenir shops, restaurants, fast food corners, etc. Is the PPP model in tourism in Maharashtra a success or is there more that can be achieved? The PPP model in tourism will be successful if we implement it properly. At present all such PPP model are on papers only the selection of private partner is very crucial and all such project should be with special time bound. Who are members of MTOA and what is the criteria for membership? All tour operators located in Maharashtra and

conducting tour Indian and international can be member of association. What according to you should be the road map for Maharashtra tourism keeping in view its diverse tourism products? As Maharashtra is a vast state we strongly feel that it should have various regional tourism boards which can focus specific region and start promoting based on pros and cons of Places. We expect following regional tourism boards to start with: a) South Konkan including Sindhdurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad b) North Konkan -Thane district c) Nashik d) Pune e) Kholapur f) Aurangabad g) Nagpur. This will provide an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to start

tourism ventures in their region. They will be more focused on promoting their destination and will get more political support from MP's and MLA's. All such regions should be part of MTDC and it should be marketed by MTDC. It is also very important that MTDC should stop selling rooms with immediate effect or do this activity in other names. This staff should not be associated with destination promotion team. MTDC's core focus business should be promoting destination. It is high time now that all tour operators, tour agents and service providers to start selling Maharashtra with MTDC or without MTDC more proactively. There are lot of attractions in Maharashtra - beaches, temples, forts, craters and wildlife sanctuaries. We are optimistic and confident that we will do everything to promote Maharashtra in the near future.


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Gurgaon has become a good transit city and will facilitate businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Three-month old DoubleTree by Hilton in Gurgaon has positioned itself as an upscale five-star brand and foresees good occupancy due to the combined result of its favourable location and T3's ability to handle more capacity. Vinay Gupta, GM, DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon outlines why guests can expect what he calls 'unscripted' hospitality.

Vinay Gupta



What makes the DoubleTree brand different? DoubleTree is a warm, friendly, upscale, fresh and quirky brand. It was adopted into the Hilton brand about 12-15 years ago and there are over 300 DoubleTree properties worldwide. This property has 184 rooms. Our warmth of hospitality begins from the time the guest walks into the hotel with our tradition of handing out chocolate chip cookies. It is a unique concept and we give out over 30,000 cookies to guests every day globally. We have special cookie warmers which ensure that the cookies are served warm. In addition to this, the CARE culture is an important part of our philosophy. It comprises of an action plan to improve customer care, employee welfare, product enhancement and comfort and CSR. Many hotels have employee, guest or community programmes,

but we're three.

involved in all

What are your F&B offerings? At present we've got t h r e e re s t a u ra n t s running; The Food Store, Asia Alive and Spiritual. We will be setting up

our fourth restaurant with a Moroccan theme named Casablanca headed by a Moroccon chef. As far as I am aware it will be one of the first dedicated Moroccan restaurants in Delhi NCR and we are hoping it will open before

the peak season starts in September and October. How is your location here in Gurgaon paying dividends? Gurgaon has become a good transit city for passengers and Terminal 3 has the ability to handle more aircraft. It has good infrastructure and if you compare the NCR region to Dubai or Singapore, we have one tenth of the hotels that September 1-15, 2012


they do, so there is a lot of scope to grow. There isn't a large inventory of rooms in Gurgaon, but the market environment is still competitive and we have positive expectations. Also, our location on Golf Course Road is an added advantage. What are your ARRs? It's too early to say anything about ARRs, but I can tell you that they are in line with competition and September, October and November look healthy. Who is your target clientele? Corporate, MICE and groups comprise 90 per cent of our clientele and the hotel has been designed keeping the needs of corporates in mind. The rest comprises of leisure. We have quite an extensive space for MICE events, over 9000 sq ft. Currently we have an ongoing event of about 70 delegates. So, it's going well in terms of market share and we expect to fully stabilise in the next six

months. In addition, Hilton Wo r l d w i d e has an extensive reach with its loyalty programme. Our first outreach is therefore to these Blue, Gold and Diamond members.

They spend in excess of 60 nights a year at Hilton's properties worldwide and 50 per cent of our business comes from our members. So our biggest source of business is our repeat clientele. We also have international guests, I'd say about 50 per cent. How are the next few months going to pan out?

We need to stay connected with the market and be diligent and we hope the economic situation in Europe improves. Most hotels have a fixed format of hospitality, whereas here we follow an unscripted style. We don't want guests to have a prescribed answer to their problem, we want to deliver innovative results.

PURA Discover the New Ease in Coffee Making. Providing the functionality, the Flexibility and the Ease of cleaning. The low maintenance requirements, along with touch panel technology, all within an appealing design which allows personalized illumination.


September 1-15, 2012



Event Tracker Hospitality Trade Shows in 2012-13 Date



September 2012

HD Boutique


September 2 – 4, 2012

Speciality Chocolate Fair


September 14-16, 2012

Miami International Wine Fair


September 16-21, 2012

iba Baking, Bakers & Confectioners


September 17, 2012

Moscow International Coffee Forum

Moscow (Russia)

September 20–22, 2012

International Hospitality Fair

New Delhi

September 23-26, 2012

Inter Mopro Dairy Products


September 25-26, 2012

Africa Hotel Investment Forum


September 26–28, 2012

Annapoorna – World of Food India


October 17-19, 2012

ITB Asia


October 18–21, 2012

Gourmets & Vins – Paris

Paris (France)

October 25–28, 2012

Wine, Food & Good Living

Helsinki (Finland)

Oct 31 – Nov 1, 2012

International Forum of Winemakers and Oenologists

Odessa (Ukraine)

Oct 31 – Nov 4, 2012

Expo Drink & Wine

Bucharest (Romania)

November 1- 3, 2012

Oishii Japan

Las Vegas, NV (USA)

November 1 – 4, 2012

AAGE - Expo d'Autunno

Biella (Italy)

November 5-8, 2012

World Travel Market


November 6-8, 2012

Drink Technology India


November 7–11, 2012

Ottawa Wine & Food Show

Ottawa (Canada)

November 8–10, 2012

Wine Card


November 8–10, 2012

La Grande Dégustation de Montréal


November 9-11, 2012

The Good Food & Wine Show


November 14-16, 2012

Interwine China

Guangzhou (China)

November 22–25, 2012

Gourmets & Vins – Bruxelles

Brussels (Belgium)

November 23–26, 2012

Taipei International Tea & Coffee Expo


November 27–29, 2012



November 2012

Tea Expo Guangzhou

Guangzhou (China)

November 2012

Lisbon (Portugal)

December 3 – 5, 2012

Food & Hotel Oman

Muscat (Oman)

December 4 – 6, 2012

DDTE - Dubai Drink Technology Expo


January 2013

Food Hospitality World


January 2013

Viticulture & Viniculture


January 15–17, 2013 June 6-15, 2013





Angers (France)

Sweet Eurasia

Istanbul (Turkey)

September 1-15, 2012


World Gourmet Festival 2012 returns to Four Seasons Since its inception, the festival has grown in prominence to feature an extraordinary lineup of some of the best chefs, winemakers and food experts from across the globe, all under one roof for a week-long celebration of outstanding food and superb wines he Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is an official sponsor of the 13th annual World Gourmet Festival, organised by the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, set to take place at the hotel from September 3 to 9, 2012. Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok has announced the full line-up at this year’s World Gourmet Festival. Eight chefs will be making the journey from around the globe to Bangkok for this year’s festival, and will be joined by Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee, Eleveur de Fromage Jean-François Antony, and mixologist and ambassador for Dilmah Tea, Robert Schinkel. This year’s line-up sees chefs from different corners of the globe who will be showcasing their signature styles of cuisine for two nights each at the hotel. Taking part in the festival this year are:


● Shiqin Chen, La Rei, Il

● Igor Macchia, La

Boscareto, Piedmont, Italy ● Diego Irrera, 1884 Restaurante, Mendoza, Argentina ● Galvin Lim, Les Amis, Singapore

Credenza, Piedmont, Italy ● Michael Mina, MICHAEL MINA, San Francisco, USA ● Víctor Quintillà Imbernón, Lluerna, Barcelona, Spain

Meet Eleveur de Fromage Jean-François Antony The son of Bernard Antony, whose cheeses are served at such places such as Paris’s Alain Ducasse New York’s Daniel, and Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong’s Caprice, Jean-François was born into the lush countryside of southern Alsace, France. And following his father’s work with cheese came naturally to him. In the early 1980’s, after meeting the legendary Pierre Androuer (the Pope of Cheese), his father decided to open the Sundgauer Käss-Käller (Sundgauer Cheese Cellar) on the ground floor of his house. Since then, his father Bernard and now Jean-Francois himself still select and age all their own cheeses, working exclusively with raw-milk varieties. Despite their popularity, they still sell cheeses at local markets and are very proud of their small village, believing that it’s important to supply the cheeses locally as it is to sell them to Michelin-starred restaurants. “The best thing about my job is to see the pleasure that my cheese gives my customers,” says Jean-François, who is both an affienur (ager) and éléveur (selector) of cheese. An interview with Jean: What are you most excited about with regards to participating in this year’s World Gourmet Festival? It’s the very first time that I will have the chance to bring Antony cheeses to Thailand.

er lies in working with and respecting the craftsmen who are often more artist than simple producer. It is for this very reason that in the majority of the regions of France, we have been at pains choosing to work with people who have a genuine passion for and pride in what they produce. They confer upon us their ’babies’ and, for our part, we ’nurture’ them with love and infinite care. When they are ’fullygrown’ in every respect, we consider them to be ‘perfectly matured’. It is in this state of perfection in which they are then set before those hungry for a true epicurean experience: exceptional, authentic products to delight the taste buds and the other senses too.

What is the one kind of cheese that visitors to the festival shouldn’t miss? Comté Vintage 2009

Are there any cheeses or anything special you’ll be bringing with you from home? All of my cheeses – they all mature in my own cellar

Describe your philosophy. Totally committed to taste since 1979! The secret of our méti-

What do you never travel without? My own cheeses!

September 1-15, 2012

● Masa Shimakawa, ONYX,

Los Angeles, USA ● Frédéric Vardon, LE 39V,

Paris, France. In addition to the World Gourmet Festival dinners, guests this year will have the opportunity to enjoy the World Gourmet Festival lunches, a Wine Master Class with Jeannie Cho Lee, a Cérémonie des Fromages with Jean-François Antony, and a tea mixology event and Afternoon Tea with Robert Schinkel and Dilmah Tea. This year, both Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai and Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui will also be getting in on the World Gourmet action, each hosting a onenight-only dinner with one of the participating chefs. In Chiang Mai, Chef Masa Shimakawa will be cooking on September 6, while Michael Mina will be bringing his signature modern American cuisine to the island of Koh Samui on September 10. Once again this year, the World Gourmet Festival is proud to support HRH Princess Soamsawali’s Save A Child’s Life from AIDS Project under the auspices of the Thai Red Cross Society. A portion of every ticket price, as well as proceeds from an auction, will be donated to this charity.

Courtesy: Four Seasons Bangkok






Traditional turns digital Ric’s Grill, one of Canada’s most famous restaurant brands, has chosen to adopt the iRiS F&B Suite application across all its restaurants, replacing its traditional paper menus and turning them digital ic’s Grill steak, seafood and chop restaurants, famed for using fresh ingredients, are taking a fresh approach to their menu presentation by turning them digital and presenting them on iPads for their diners. The first restaurant chain to adopt iRiS F&B suite in Canada, the restaurants will display their wine lists, food menus and bar menus via iPad. These will replace the paper menus, bring the food and drink items to life, displayed brilliantly on this digital platform for diners to choose from. The application enables Ric’s grill restaurants to present their wine cellar on a modern, clear, enticing and informative platform. This allows the restaurant’s clientele to view as much or as little information as they require. The design, look and feel is bespoke for Ric’s Grill, adhering to its brand standards. Diners view stunning images, and are offered three separate categories depending upon their requirements: Sommelier, Menu and Bar. The Sommelier app allows diners to read relevant tasting notes and choose by grape variety, colour, regional preference and even by bottle or glass. Of course, if still undecided, diners might be tempted by the 'Sommelier Recommendations' where the restaurant can display their preferred selections and suggestions. All this information and more is available at the diners’ fingertips, quite literally. The Menu option displays food items visually, allowing suggestions such as chef specials and locally grown items, displaying dishes in an appealing and tempting way through images, and creating an altogether different experience. Set menus and dishes can be changed in an instant and even special menus for groups can be tailored to provide a personalised service.




The Bar app enables the full range of beverages to be displayed and can include information such as how it is prepared and ingredients. It can also display video of the cocktail preparation. Removing the printing costs, it is easy to manage and maintain, with updates made in an instant. Never again will the Sommelier or

waiter have to advise a particular label or dish sold out. Set menus can be 'unset' and changed quickly and easily, and food and drinks are presented in a format that excites customers. This innovative move to a digital F&B menu fits with Ric's Grill's environmental policy, allows the restaurants to be pro-active, engage in a

way not previously possible, increase sales, reduce costs, and provide a memorable experience for diners. The iRiS F&B Suite is rapidly being adopted by restaurants across the globe and is already in use across Europe, London, this technology has been recently adopted by the luxury Baglioni Hotel and the new Bulgari Hotel. September 1-15, 2012


Mobility solutions for hospitality industry Trends show that 20 per cent of hotel queries come through mobile devices and this number is slated to grow further. By Binu Mathew uests are getting technology savvy, be it through their smart phones, tablets or netbooks, and hospitality properties across market segments and size have no choice but to join in. The biggest advantage of mobile devices is that they offer speed of communication and hotel properties need to effectively leverage this tool to understand customer expectation, communicate rapidly and resolve issues. In fact, those monitoring the growth of mobile solutions say that the hospitality industry now needs to look at mobility solutions as the new way forward to interact with guests, and thus need to upgrade their software and train staff to use this solution. One of the places in a hotel where mobility solutions are becoming common is as a menu application. With consistent development, interfacing with a hotels property management system (PMS) and inbuilt intelligence, an e-menu application can be empowered to gather data and facilitate quality decision making. For example the tablet can be loaded with lots of information other than just a menu. It can have information about offers by the restaurant or hotel, display information about other restaurants owned by the chain, display third party ads and all these are free advertising opportunities that let you grab eyeballs.


IDS NEXT launches Mobility Solutions In line with industry trends, IDS NEXT recently launched Envy mobility solutions - their new iOS and Android ready mobility offerings for the hospitality industry. With this, the company becomes the first Hotel ERP provider to integrate mobility solutions into its suite of products. The first offering under the Envy brand is Envy Dine – a tablet application for restaurants. Developed after extensive research and tapping into their 25

years of deep domain expertise, one of the major advantages of Envy Dine is that it reduces pressure on restaurant staff. No longer do waiters have to make suggestions to diners about food, or what wine goes with what food, how many calories each dish has etc. Diners can see images of the food they are ordering and these visuals have the potential to up sell and cross sell. For the restaurant industry that is currently very crowded and looking for competitive differentiators, mobility solutions offer a fantastic option to enhance guest experience. A visually rich application, Envy Dine has the potential to keep diners engaged for hours. Besides a menu card, the tablet can be packed with other interesting applications as well, like food related games and information. An application like Foursquare on the tablet in your restaurant, lets guests inform others in their network about where they are located and even make comments. This offers excellent adver-

Advantages of mobile solutions ●

Mobile technology is a great way for your hotels to save staff time

Guests usually enjoy helping themselves and ordering food and drinks at leisure

Mobile apps can be engaging and personal and allows hotels to promote their services

tising potential for your restaurant. If you think mobility solutions are just another way for hotels to invest in electronic gizmos to attract guests and keep them occupied, think again. In fact one of the reasons IDS NEXT developed a mobility solution is because each application is carefully developed to increase the revenue of the hotel. The application can also be connected to the hotels CRM. This allows hotels to get feedback from guests, constantly improve their facilities and also stay in touch with guests after they have left the restaurant.

Enhancing efficiency and guest expectation with mobility solutions According to Gartner, 80 per cent of organisations will support a workforce using tablets by 2013. The hospitality industry will be part of this trend. Hotels can use mobility solutions not just for customer facing activity, but also to enhance staff efficiency. A compact, portable device, staff on the move can use a mobility solution to stay connected, receive messages and alerts, and monitor the functioning of a hotel. So if you are wondering if mobility solutions are for your hotel property, the answer is yes, there is much scope to grow your hotel’s revenue and open up new revenue streams too through mobility solutions.

Adopting mobility solutions do not need to have a large investment

September 1-15, 2012

The writer is COO at IDS NEXT






PolyU students win first prize in Seoul Youth MICE Challenge 2012 A team of four students from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) won the first prize at the Seoul MICE Youth Challenge of the Korea MICE Expo 2012 in Seoul, Korea, recently he Korea MICE Expo is recognised as the country’s largest MICE exposition, and was this year attended by more than 300 buyers and 200 organisations representing the MICE industry. SHTM students Vivian Hung, Vivian Lee, Kion Chan and Kiki Go teamed up to represent SHTM at the Seoul MICE Youth Challenge to mock bid for a major international convention scheduled to be held in 2017. Together, they presented a proposal demonstrating the competitive advantage Hong Kong had over other destinations, detailing the strategic action plans and comprehensive logistic arrangements. The SHTM students competed with representatives from Siam University, University of Nevada, Las


Vegas (Singapore Campus), Beijing International Studies University and Dongduk Women’s University. “It was a great honour,” says Vivian Hung, “and we were all very proud to represent the SHTM and Hong Kong in this international competition ... it was not only a great opportunity for us to learn more about the MICE industry and get to know the industry professionals, but also an invaluable chance for us to broaden our horizons by learning from students from our peer universities.” Indeed, the global student competition provided them with a unique platform to unleash their creativity and business sense, and also an opportunity to broaden their global perspective and professional networks. The students owed their

success to the experience they gained from organising the combined 11th Asia Pacific Forum for Graduate Students Research in Tourism (APF) and International Convention & Expo Summit 2012 (ICES) which was held at Hotel ICON, Hong Kong in May. Working under the leadership of SHTM faculty members, students from Hotel Management, Tourism Management and Convention and Event Management programmes came together and formed themselves into a series of teams to handle everything from programme, publicity and sponsorship to the actual running of the event. The two-in-one conference was a resounding success and the 25-member student organising committee

drew high praise from delegates from around the world. “The efforts of our students are worthy of praise in their own right,” says Professor Kaye Chon, SHTM dean and chair professor, “we are very proud of them and what they have achieved.” With 60 academic staff drawing from 18 countries, PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management offers programmes at levels ranging from Higher Diploma to Ph.D. Widely regarded as one of the very best in the world, it was awarded the 2003 International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators Institutional Achievement Award in recognition of its significant contribution to tourism education, and is currently a member of the UNWTO Knowledge Network.


International Cuisine and Food Production Management Author: Parvinder S Bali, programme manager – Culinary Services, The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD), New Delhi nternational Cuisine and Food Production Management is a comprehensive textbook specially designed for the final year degree/diploma students of hotel management. The book explores key concepts and illustrates them through numerous figures, photographs and tables. The book consists of 560 pages and has been priced at `445. Divided into four parts, the first part elaborates western cuisine (cold section) and covers larder, charcuterie and pâtés, appetisers and garnishes, sandwiches, use of herbs and wines in cooking. The




second part throws light on a variety of international cuisines such as Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, French, British, Scandinavian, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai, and also discusses western plated food and health food. The third part discusses advance confectionary and includes cakes and pastries, chocolates, desserts, sauces and coulis, cookies and biscuits. The final part discusses production management and research and new product development. The book will be useful to hotel management students in understand-

ing international food production and bakery. It will also serve as a handy tool for chefs with its coverage of topics and the various recipes.

The book ●

Elaborates on the culinary history, regions, specialities, famous dishes of various international cuisines such as Western, European, and Oriental ● Devotes a complete part to advanced confectionery including cakes, pastries, chocolates, desserts, cookies, and biscuits ● Includes key managerial issues such as production planning and

scheduling, production quality and quantity control; forecasting and budgeting, menu costing, yield management; and new product development ● Includes 16 colour plates.

In the CD ● Over 370 recipes together with formulas to calculate waste percentage and food cost of the dish ● Recipes divided into cold kitchen, international cuisines, and advanced pastry and confectionery ● PowerPoint presentations on stepby-step preparation of terrine and pâté. September 1-15, 2012



Movements The Leela Mumbai The Leela Mumbai has appointed Morton Johnston as general manager of the property. Prior to taking on this assignment, Morton was general manager of The Leela Palace Goa. Johnston comes with valuable experience at leading hotels in Asia and London, with The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London;The Lanesborough in London;The Chedi Muscat in Oman;The Ananti in North Korea and The Regent in Taipei.

Red Zen, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport

Centara Hotels & Resorts Sri Lanka

The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa

Chef Phongthorn Hinracha is the newly appointed executive sous chef at Red Zen, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport. In his current role, Hinracha will be involved in preparing menus and designing daily specials. He is responsible for the quality of the food, hygiene matters and overlooking the kitchen.

Alexandre Glauser has been appointed as cluster general manager of Centara Hotels & Resorts Sri Lanka. He will be responsible initially for two managed resorts, namely Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa Sri Lanka and Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa Sri Lanka. A third project is currently under development on the east coast. Glauser, whose career with Centara spans 11 years, was previously general manager of Centara Villas Phuket and Centara Kata Resort Phuket.

Sanzeev Bhatia has been promoted as the general manager at The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa. He is responsible for overall operations, profitability, growth and creation of unique guest experiences for the hotel along with the constant development of entire team.


The Westin Mumbai Garden City Abhilash Kumar has been appointed as executive housekeeper at The Westin Mumbai Garden City. His prior appointments include executive housekeeper at The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace and assistant housekeeping manager at Marriott Hyderabad. With over seven years of experience, he has completed his Bachelor in Hotel Management from Regency College of Hotel Management.

Blue Ocean Resort Mui Ne, Vietnam Life Resorts Vietnam has appointed Kristy Marland as general manager, and Marion Ender as assistant manager of the four-star Blue Ocean Resort in Mui Ne, Vietnam. In her most recent position as general manager at the Watermark Hotel Nagasaki, Marland piloted the reopening of the hotel. Blue Ocean’s other new arrival, Zurich-born Ender, graduated from the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland with a degree in International Hospitality Management.

September 1-15, 2012

Mohit Kanwal has been appointed as director of sales at The Westin Mumbai Garden City. With over eight years of experience, his prior assignment was with Trident BKC as sales manager. His previous work experience includes sales manager at The Oberoi Mumbai and Trident Nariman Point.

Rahul Dhavale has been appointed as executive sous chef at The Westin Mumbai Garden City. He has completed his IHM and PG Diploma in Kitchen Management from Oberoi Center for Learning and Development. He has over nine years of experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to this he has worked as executive chef at Kookie Jar Foods, Steakhouse Chef at Carnival Cruise Lines, Miami and Sous Chef at The Oberoi.

Rendezvous Hospitality Group

Langham Place Mongkok Langham Place, Mongkok, Hong Kong has appointed Maxine Howe as its new director of sales and marketing. She joins the hotel with over 20 years of hospitality, management, sales and marketing experience at hotels worldwide.

Maritim Hotels has appointed Kailash Chand Panwar, a specialist Indian chef at its airport hotel in Hannover. Panwar brings more than 30 years experience in Indian cookery to Maritim. Most recently he was head chef at the famous restaurant Sagir in the centre of Hannover.

Rendezvous Hospitality Group (RHG) has made seven management changes to its Australian team. Nicole Woolfe, who was formerly regional director of sales & marketing, has been appointed as vice president, sales and will oversee all sales aspects of revenue generation capability and performance. Zsuzsanna Albrecht, who was director distribution, is now vice president distribution & marketing, a role that complements her previous experience. Shirley Dodt is continuing in her role as director leisure sales.

James Blanchett has been appointed associate director national sales corporate & MICE. Wendy Hill is associate director brand marketing, given her management of the brand activity and transformation for RHG since joining mid last year. Tim Birley joins as associate director MICE. Pooja Peeters joins RHG as manager distribution, while Katie Finlay is moving into the coordinator marketing role, from her previous position as coordinator sales & marketing.



ExpressHospitality Business Avenues



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ExpressHospitality Business Avenues

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Prerana Metals, 111/C, Govt. Industrial Estate, Charkop, Kandivali (W), Mumbai - 400 067. Office: +91-22-2867 4915 / 17 | Fax: 91-22-2867 4945 | E-mail: | Website: September 1-15, 2012



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ExpressHospitality Business Avenues Contact Person : Navin Jain (Marketing Director) Contact No : +91 93273 31489 Email :

Manufacturing and supplying 50 lakh meters of Fabrics per Year; to HOSPITALITY SECTORS in ALL OVER INDIA. & ABROAD

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For more SALES ENQUIRY you may contact our sales coordinator at Maharastra : Contact Mr. Sunil Jaiswal ( +91 93750 04254) Email to North Region : Contact Mr. Kailash Jain (+91 84475 16137) Email to : Gujarat Region : Conatact Person - Mr. Keyur Patel (+91 261 3131053/2890593) Email to Madhya Pradesh : Contact Person - Mr. Praveen Jain (+91 93774 16192) Email to Rajasthan : Contact Person : Mr. Manish Jain (+91 93520 69745) Email to


We wish to appoint Area Sales Manager in ALL O VER INDIA for Hospitalities Product Marketing (Contact Person : Mr. Digesh Patel (HR Dept) Candidates may apply their CV'S at email : September 1-15, 2012



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September 1-15, 2012

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Dublin dazzle



Marcellus Baptista

he breathtaking beauty of Ireland, particularly Dublin, the modern and vibrant city rich in history and culture, was showcased at the first look of Yash Raj Films’ ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ movie starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. This Tourism Ireland party at Taj Lands End saw the presence of Ambassador of Ireland Feilim McLaughlin, film director Kabir Khan, his wife Mini Mathur and others like Shruti Seth, Ranvir Shorey and Cyrus Sahukar. And you learnt that the movie was shot at several locales in Dublin like Trinity College, Temple Bar, Ha penny Bridge, along the Liffey river, Millennium Bridge, Grafton Street, The Luis Tram, Stephens Green Shopping Centre, Hodges & Figgis Book Store, Dublin Castle, Wicklow Street, Porterhouse Bar, Olympia & Gaiety Theatres, Harcourt Street, Central Hotel, Shelbourne Hotel and Ormond Quay.

Mini Mathur, Shruti Seth and friends at the 'Ek Tha Tiger' party at Taj Lands End


Chic opener

Once again he Mangii magic continued with the launch of Prashant Chaudhri’s latest restaurant Lé Mangii in Juhu. Guests said three cheers for it was also a celebration of three birthdays – Prashant’s wife Minakshi, producerdirector Raj Kaushal and ace photographer Jitu Savlani. Guests included Ekta Kapoor, Mandira Bedi, Sonu Nigam, Radhika and Shaan Mukherjee, Sunita and Ashutosh Gowariker, Udita Goswami, Shaheen and Roshan Abbas and Urvashi Dholakia. Besides premium drinks at the bar, everyone relished the handcrafted wood-fired pizzas, platters of cilantro chicken with jalapeno dip, artichoke hearts and fish mousse on crispy melba toast, chicken satay with peanut butter sauce and much more. And there were also delightful desserts like baked New York cheesecake, tiramisu, warm fudgy walnut brownies and chocolate mousse.


Fashionable finale aking her pretty presence felt was Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor, brand ambassador of the Lakmé Absolute range. She was there on the catwalk at the Lakmé grand finale that ended yet another season of LFW at Grand Hyatt. Dressed in a black-andwhite snail-print hoodie tunic over a black bodysuit, she added glamour to the collection by Kallol Datta. And she took that walk once again, this time in a cutwork high-collar tasseled tunic and black tights as she showcased the line by Pankaj & Nidhi. Earlier, there was an audio-visual of the new Lakmé Absolute Monochrome range and the Monochrome Makeup Show by Lakmé expert Clint Fernandes. The super finale show ended with the audience rising up and being greeted in a burst of white confetti that showered down from the ceiling. And while there was no after-party, guests lived it up at the pre-show cocktail affair at China House.


Nina Manuel at the Lakme Fashion Week opening party at F bar he fashionable F Lounge.Diner.Bar was the happy venue for the opening party of Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2012. It was time for Chivas Regal, Absolut and Kingfisher Ultra complemented by hearty hors d’oeuvres at this party hosted by Purnima Lamba, headInnovations, Lakmé and Anjana Sharma, director-Fashion, IMG Reliance. Also present were F bar’s Rajan Madhu, Puneet Nath and Yuvraj Chawla. And guests included the likes of Siddhartha Mallaya, Sabina and Anil Chopra, Kiron and Ramesh Sippy, Aki Narula, Nina Manuel, A D Singh, Shenaz Treasuryvala, Karishma Tanna, Hanif Hillal, Falguni and Sushil Jhaveri, Wendell Rodricks, Kallol Dutta, Shivan and Narresh, Vaishali S, Drashta Sarvaiya, Rocky S and models Freddy Daruwala, Surelee Joseph, Nethra Raghuraman and Siddharth Rawal.


Mandira Bedi and Raj Kaushal at the launch of Le Mangii



Kallol Datta and Kareena Kapoor at the Lakme grand finale at Grand Hyatt September 1-15, 2012




Setting records

Groove to the music

The famous Grouse whiskey unveiled a 228 litre bottle of its blended whiskey in London and was awarded the Guinness World Record

Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon hotel team at the launch of their live band at Bar Zen

World Rum Day Living heritage

Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur with his daughter Princess Padmaja Kumari and son-in-law Dr Kush Singh Parmar alongside The Royal Udaipur Rolls-Royce GLK 21, winner of the Lucius Beebe Trophy at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California, USA.

Rukn Luthra, MD -Indian Sub-Continent & Gulf, RĂŠmy Cointreau India and his wife Nitash Luthra at the celebration of 'World Rum Day' organised Mount Gay Rum and nU.Delhi QBA in New Delhi

Adopting innovation

Hyatt Regency Chennai recently unveiled Asia's largest art installation Pollinator-1 inspired by bees, which was inaugurated by Oscar winning musician A R Rahman

September 1-15, 2012






Industry recognition

Contributing to society

Khandani Rajdhani in association with National Association for the Blind recently conducted a cooking tutorial for differently abled students in Mahalaxmi, Mumbai

Steve Hood, senior VP of research, STR, received the ICHRIE Industry Recognition award at the 2012 Annual ICHRIE Summer Conference in Hendersonville, USA

New venture

New beginning

Capt C P Krishnan Nair, chairman, The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts and Leela Nair lighting the lamp at the inauguration of The Leela Palace Chennai

Traditional cuisine

Professional approach

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation with Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce organised one day seminar on professionalism in hospitality industry with Vithal Kamat, CEO, Kamat Group of Hotels as speaker in Mumbai



Ravi Sharma, owner, Saffron Bay with Nicolo and Dino Morea at the launch of Saffron Bay in Mumbai

P K Mohankumar, COO, Gateway Hotels with Nick Hawkins, international mixologist at the launch of the iconic restaurant Karavalli at The Gateway Hotels - Residency Road, Bengaluru September 1-15, 2012


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Express Hospitality September 1-15, 2012  

Express Hospitality September 1-15, 2012

Express Hospitality September 1-15, 2012  

Express Hospitality September 1-15, 2012