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Friendships – faithful and fragile he relationship between a hotel owner/developer and the hotel company is like a marriage. It calls for understanding, adjustments, compromises and most importantly to have the trust and faith to stand by each other through good and bad times. There have been a number of instances when the industry has witnessed fallouts and failure of such relationships, but on the other hand there have many excellent examples when both sides have worked as professionals and partnered over many years with the relationship growing from strength to strength. My conversations with Arun Saraf and Atul Chordia had a common message - that the relationship is based on mutual understanding wherein the owner’s perspective and the company's brand value and position needs to be defined with utmost clarity.

T “It is extremely crucial for owners to understand the business and intricacies of the hospitality industry, and on the other hand the brands, especially the international names, need to understand the market sentiments and requirements, which could differ from country to country”

The relationship calls for great investments, be it in terms of money, time or energy. Hence one needs to work with partners who are like minded in practise rather than on paper. It calls for a flexible approach that is of reworking but definitely not diluting the brand standards of the company to meet ground realities of the market. It is extremely crucial for owners to understand the business and intricacies of the hospitality industry, and on the other hand the brands, especially the international names, need to understand the market sentiments and requirements, which could differ from country to country. The good news is that a lot of them have studied the market well and are prepared to meet the real-time demands, but there are a sizeable number that go overboard offering services which supersede the brand ethos and land up with serious issue of cost recovery and return on investment. Another interesting finding in our cover story this issue is that owners feel it is time the management companies also invested some amount in the country to get things going faster and smoother. The conversation and content at HICSA 2013 also aims at highlighting issues related to brand position and the owner-management relationship, etc. The month of March also witnessed two interesting re-branding initiatives undertaken by two hotel groups, namely Marriott and the home grown brand The Park. The month of April or May, may witness the formal announcement of the hospitality and tourism industry’s answer to NASSCOM. FAITH (Federation of Association in Indian Tourism and Hospitality) that will comprise of 10 associations of tourism and hospitality will be headed by Nakul Anand and is aimed to represent the fraternity with a common voice. Once again, finally it all boils down to faith. Reema Lokesh Editor

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April 1-15, 2013

Contents April 1-15, 2013

Vol 8 No.12 APRIL 1-15, 2013

Chairman of the Board Viveck Goenka Editor Reema Lokesh* Assistant Editor Steena Joy Associate Editor Sudipta Dev CONTENT TEAM Mumbai Sayoni Bhaduri, Kahini Chakraborty Kolkata



HP to give out land parcels for development ................08 HRAWI proposes formation of HPC for single window clearance ........................................08

Joy Roy Choudhury Editorial Associates Marcellus Baptista, H A Mishra, Harpal Singh Sokhi, P S Sundar, M S Ram Advisory Board

Toshali Resorts set to reopen two properties near Buddhist heritage sites in Odisha..................................09 Interview with Manav Thadani, chairman South Asia, HVS' ..........................................10 Pune Marriott is now JW Marriott ................................10

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

Fairmont Raffles Makkah looks at Indian Hajj Umrah business ......................................................................11 Magic Holidays to expand global footprint ....................12

A barometer for travel trends ....................................30

Hoteliers honoured with National Tourism Awards........13

Focus on communication ........................................32

Interview with Steve Tate, chairman, Check Safety First UK...................................................14

Art at the party! ........................................................33

MARKETING Deputy General Manager

Sicilian degustation ..................................................34

The Park Hotels unveils its new look............................15 EDGE SPA & WELLNESS

Sachin Shenoy Marketing Team Dattaram Kandalkar, Rajan Nair Marketing Coordination Darshana Chauhan Asst.Manager - Scheduling & Coordination Arvind Mane CIRCULATION Mohan Varadakar PRODUCTION General Manager B R Tipnis

A milestone in wellness...............................................18

Production Manager

A brand new positioning.............................................19

Solar power on a dish ............................................38

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

Express Hospitality Reg.No.MH/MR/SOUTH-44/2013-15 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

The Indian Express Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner, electronic or otherwise, in whole or in part, without prior written permission is prohibited.

April 1-15, 2013

Connecting through art...............................................20

Interview with Michael Romei, general secretary of International Board, UICH Les Clefs d'Or....................40


Editor’s Note................................................................................................................................................................6 Product Tracker ..........................................................................................................................................................16 New Kids on The Block ..............................................................................................................................................17 Movements ................................................................................................................................................................41 Weekend ....................................................................................................................................................................57






HP to give out land parcels for development SAYONI BHADURI - Mumbai

he state of Himachal Pradesh is looking out for private investors to develop tourism projects. Subhasish Panda, director, department of tourism and civil aviation, Himachal Pradesh and MD H i m a c h a l P r a d e s h To u r i s m Development Corporation (HPTDC) said, “We have small land banks which we are open to give out to private companies for tourism related projects like golf courses and amusement parks.” There are seven of these land banks which are open for the taking. As to whether HPTDC will be looking at giving out their properties for management to private operators, Panda was clear that they will not. Apart from the land parcels there are also plans to


develop three new airports in the state – Ranital, Nadong and Kandaghat. “Currently surveys are being conducted as well as dialogues between the state and government of India and Airports Authority of India is also on. Post the survey a technical appraisal will take place. The funding for the project will be accrued either from the union government or we will look at international funding,” said Panda. The existing three airports are also to undergo expansion. A study is being conducted by IIT Rourkee to see how Beas river can be contained and channelised to extend the existing runway at Bhuntar while land acquisition for Gaggal airport is in process. Discussing the uncontrolled growth in tourism and hotels in Shimla and its ill effects on the area, Panda said that despite all that

tourists still want to visit Shimla, but they are also now preferring to stay in the suburbs. “We have recognised the need to decongest Shimla, accordingly current ruling states that only reconstructions and renovations can take place in the core Shimla area, and no new constructions can take place,” he added. Himachal Pradesh is a natural attrac-

tion for people he continued, government's intervention is only to develop capacity and maintain sustainable tourism. “We are working on a perspective and anticipative planning. A tunnel is being built by the ministry of defense on the way to Lahaul Spiti. This will reduce travel time by 1.5 hours also making it a year round destination,” he said.

HRAWI proposes formation of HPC for single window clearance KAHINI CHAKRABORTY- Mumbai

otel and Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI) has laid down a proposal requesting the formation of a high power committee (HPC), headed by chief minister of Maharashtra and co-chaired by minister of tourism of the state, to be presented as a one point contact – a single window – to facilitate approvals for hospitality projects in future. It has also asked the chief secretary of Maharashtra to be the CEO of the committee. The committee will also have members from various government departments including home, finance, urban development, culture, environment and forests, etc, besides HRAWI. “The committee will also have two ex-officio members with expertise in the hospitality industry with a fixed




term,” Dinesh Advani, president, HRAWI told Express Hospitality. The Centre has already formed Hospitality Development Promotion Board (HDPB) under the chairmanship of secretary of tourism, Government of India, with additional director general (tourism) as convenor. The Maharashtra HPC can function under HDPB. The union ministry of tourism will recommend a similar set up in all states and union territories. “Our recommendation is that a meeting should be held once in a year to bring into effect the resolutions passed by this committee, during that year,” added Advani. Besides this, during the year of 2013-2014, HRAWI will continue to follow up with the government on various issues such as the difference in property tax

Dinesh Advani (Mumbai centric issue) levied on star and non-star hotels, the reduction of luxury taxes in Maharashtra and the change in archaic laws which are hampering the

growth of the hospitality industry which in-turn reduces the revenue earned by the government. “We also plan to showcase how the officials can maximise on the tourism potential of Mumbai by having specific tourism zones in the city,” informed Advani. HRAWI has also sent a letter highlighting their grievances to the municipal commissioner of Mumbai about the property tax issue. “This letter provides in great detail the issues facing the industry as a result. It is a blow to the organised sector of the hotel industry and if these rates are implemented then it would mean the death knell of the hotel industry which is already reeling under heavy doses of taxation, higher electricity rates, low tourist arrivals due to recession and other factors,” he mentioned. April 1-15, 2013


Toshali Resorts set to reopen two properties near Buddhist heritage sites in Odisha STEENA JOY - Mumbai

urgaon-based hospitality and destination management company, Toshali Resorts International, is all set to launch two of its properties, Toshali Ratnagiri and Toshali Pushpagiri, in the Buddhist circuit of Odisha after major restorations. Both the properties are situated near the Buddhist heritage sites of Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri respectively. Last year Toshali Resorts International was awarded the management contract of four properties of Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) for 30 years in the Buddhist circuit of Odisha as per the lease development agreement (LDA) under the PPP model. The three Toshali Ratnagiri, Toshali Pushpagiri and Toshali Udayagiri are ready, while the last one Toshali Lalitgiri will be ready soon.


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Situated in front of the museum of Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) and the Ratnagiri Buddhist heritage site, Toshali Ratnagiri has been upgraded as star property with 20 rooms including one suite. The resort has a conference hall for 70 pax, a library cum interpretation

centre, a multi-cuisine restaurant, swimming pool, gymnasium and coffee shop.Toshali Pushpagiri situated at Pathrajpur near the Lalitgiri Buddhist heritage site has 24 rooms. The property has two conference halls with capacity of 70 pax and 40 pax respectively along with multi-

cuisine restaurant and bar. Recently, the technical session of the International Buddhist Conference on Odisha was held at Toshali Pushpagiri. Apart from that Toshali Udayagiri Convention Centre, situated at the Buddhist heritage site of Udayagiri has a capacity for 350 pax along with six rooms for accommodation. With this launch Toshali Resorts has entered as a leading player to promote heritage, educational and religious tourism in the ancient Buddhist heritage sites of Odisha. Along with Odisha government, Toshali Group is creating awareness among villagers about the conservation of archaeological heritage of Buddhist era and training them to extend hospitality to tourists coming to visit 2000

years old Buddhist monuments in the villages of Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, Udayagiri, Pathrajpur and Langudi in Odisha. This initiative is an extensive of the corporate philosophy of Toshali Resorts in promoting eco, rural, heritage and sustainable tourism in off-beat destinations across India.The present marketing focus is to promote study tours and academic as well as religious conferences in these properties in the Buddhist circuit of Odisha. The sales and marketing team are targeting schools, colleges, Buddhist organisations and universities in India as well as abroad. Special discount has been offered for academicians and researcher of archeology, religion and history for stay in these properties for this year.




'HICSA this year has a primary focus on owners' Manav Thadani, chairman, South Asia, HVS reveals the highlights of the 9th Hotel Investment Conference - South Asia (HICSA) being held in Mumbai on April 3-4, 2013. By Reema Lokesh What is the key focus of HICSA this year ? HICSA this year has a primary focus on owners. This is highlighted by the exclusive roundtable being held as a pre-event to the conference on Day 1, which shall discuss challenges faced by this important stakeholder in the industry. In addition, there is a oneof-its kind owner’s survey being conducted by HVS that seeks their thoughts on current sentiments and future outlook. The results of the same shall be presented at the conference along with the release of a publication. We also have a session on Day 1 titled ‘Are Owners Making Money?’, which sure shall be interesting. As a special mention and taking a cue from the 100 plus women attendees at HICSA last year, Day 1 of the conference will witness a special session (titled ‘Women in Hospitality’), with a brilliant panel of extraordinary women. They

My 20-minutes this year shall broadly comprise me discussing sustainability and its impact on the bottom line, results of the pioneering owner’s survey, and as the topic suggests, me speaking uncensored on where we as an industry go wrong – this includes brands, owners, all consultants and of course the government. Nothing beyond this can be revealed at this stage. Manav Thadani are great leaders and visionaries in their own right who have broken the so-called 'glass ceiling' to ascend to the upper ranks in the industry. Without a doubt, this shall be amongst the most awaited panel discussions at the conference this year. What will be highlights of Manav Thadani Uncensored ?

What is your opinion on understanding of brand standards in Indian hospitality industry? Some brand standards often end up being cumbersome for an owner, without serving any practical purpose. While I as a hotelier myself understand the importance of standardisation, there has to be flexibility in order to understand the individual challenges of each asset before imposing brand standards on it. I

completely agree when it comes to brand standards pertaining to service and to large extent the look and feel of a product, however, it is not always about a checklist, which needs a tick against 90 per cent of the criteria or more. Brand standards, specifically elated to the product, should not be etched in stone. In India especially, there are some inherent challenges of what can be done and cannot be done – more so when it comes to rebranding of existing hotels. I have seen the brand checklist for PIP of numerous operators and I must say a lot of these do not add any real value to the property nor does the brand guarantee that an investment in a particular brand standard (running into crore) is commensurate to an equal or higher increase in revenues. This cannot

be justified. What do you think is the importance of banking in hospitality ? One of the most important challenges being faced by the industry is availability of finance in the form of debt and equity. Banks therefore have a crucial role to play in providing adequate capital to the hotel industry to ensure the new supply pipeline continues. As the owners survey may show this is one of the most critical issues being faced by the owner. Any other significant factor you would like to highlight? We think the 'Hotels of the year Awards' this year have been very controversial. Many of the known brands failed to even qualify for the short list and this has created quite a storm. We think its the un-biased approach of the six member jury that has led to this conclusion.

Pune Marriott is now JW Marriott The first Marriott hotel in APAC to undergo a conversion EH STAFF- Pune

une city recently got itself a JW Marriott brand as its existing brand namely the Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre was converted and rebranded as the JW Marriott Hotel, Pune. The property is the first in the city and the third in the country after JW Mumbai and JW Chandigarh. It is also the first Marriott property in the Asia Pacific region to undergo a conversion. The conversion is a major move for the group, both in terms of branding and brand positioning as well as on the strategic front. Speaking on the occasion, Rajeev Menon, area vice president, South Asia for Marriott International said, “We are happy to announce the conversion of Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre to a JW Marriott




property. The property always reflected luxury with world-class amenities and elegance that are significant to a JW Marriott brand.

Through the 2.5 years of its functioning the hotel has managed to effortlessly seam its way past the Marriott Hotels Resorts &

Suites brand guidelines, thus proving to be a befitting choice for a JW conversion. This change will see Marriott International come

together to ensure that we surpass the hotels hospitality touchpoints making it more luxury driven, promising and splendid.” Jatin Khanna, general manager of JW Marriott Pune, stated, “JW Marriott Pune celebrates constant innovation and will continue to offer to the city of Pune a life of elegance. The hotel is a wedding, lifestyle and F&B destination. The spa and restaurants will see gradual changes to their overall hospitality and dining experience.” The launch evening was attended by the property owners and developers of the namely Atul Chordia, chairman and MD of Panchsil Group and his wife Varsha Chordia. The event was also attended by Rohan Sikri, partner, Xander Investment Management, who have also invested with the owning company on this project. April 1-15, 2013


Fairmont Raffles Makkah looks at Indian Hajj Umrah business SAYONI BHADURI - Mumbai

n an aim to cater to more Hajj and Umrah business from India Fairmont Raffles Makkah is looking to make its presence felt in India. “In 2012, we saw as many as 1000 room nights which came from India alone. This allows us to believe that there is a huge market in India that needs to be tapped,” said Khaled Yamak, group director of communication and business development, Fairmont Raffles Hotel Makkah. He then adds that they have seen positive indications from the Indian market when it comes to business into Saudi Arabia. India also has the third largest Islamic population in the world and with the improving econo-


my of the country the disposable income has also increased the number of people travelling. “Since visas to the Saudi Arabia are available only through recognised tour operators and the percentage of visas allotted to each nation is also limited, it is important for us to reach out to this community and

create awareness about our hotels,” added Yamak. As to luxury hotel in a holy city he said that the aim has always been to offer luxury with humility. “When we first opened in the city, hotels were offering fairly mediocre services

and were not pushing themselves. We offered our guests a choice with a variety of facilities. We were the first to open a spa in M a k k a h . While everybody asked why a spa, we asked back why not? We also have the first business centre

in the city as well as special rooms for elderly travellers, we have trained nurses managing it,” he added. Located in Clock Tower complex are three Fairmont Raffles hotels – Swissotel Makkah, Raffles Makkah Palace and Makkah Clock Royal Tower – which caters to 40 per cent of the business in Makkah.

Vermilion to hold global cook-off contest in Mumbai, Delhi EH STAFF - Mumbai

ntrepreneur-restaurateur Rohini Dey, founder of Vermilion restaurant in New York and Chicago, has announced a competition for chefs in India. Dey is on a quest to find talent from India to lead her restaurant kitchens in New York and Chicago and to promote on a global level. Being held in Mumbai and Delhi, at the two chef-search cook-offs, all contestants will have to prepare one IndianLatin dish and present them to a judging panel comprising of Dey; Chef Vikas Khanna, Chef Nikhil Chib, Shabana Azmi, Sharmila Tagore, etc. “Through these cook-offs, I look forward to unearthing culinary talent in India – both aspiring and veteran – and providing this talent a global platform to innovate on. As well as reach newer culinary planes with our contemporary Indian Latin melding. Indian cuisine is still very much on the fringe. The world is increasingly open to bolder flavours and experimentation, the timing couldn’t be better, and these are steps in the right direction,” opined Dey.


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Magic Holidays to expand global footprint To launch properties in South East Asia, Middle East & North America SUDIPTA DEV - Mumbai

he Panoramic Group that has 16 properties across India and nine worldwide is planning for major expansion in India and overseas - the strategy for the next two years is to acquire one property a month in India and one property every quarter internationally. The group's vacation ownership brand, Magic Holidays, owns all the properties under its portfolio. “In the next five years, the Panoramic Group wants to establish a global footprint through Magic Holidays with its portfolio of properties both in India and abroad. The group is planning to buy brownfield properties and launch greenfield projects in new locations. Our expansion plans focus on two things now – increasing our customer base and propagating our franchise model which will help spread our network,” said Hitesh Kshatriya, COO, Panoramic Group. As far as the destinations


Hitesh Kshatriya are concerned the focus is on south India. In the north the company is mainly looking at Uttarakhand and Rajasthan. In the international arena, the group is planning to launch properties in South East Asia, Middle East & North America. “Magic Holidays owns resorts in the US — North Carolina, Ohio and New York; Thailand – Phuket, Pattaya and

Bangkok; and one in Auckland, New Zealand. We are looking at several other destinations and our focus is on those places where Indians frequently holiday. These international properties will be a combination of hotels, motels and cottages that will be converted into resorts,” said Kshatriya. This apart Magic Holidays has an affiliation with RCI, which allows its members to stay at 4000 RCI-affiliated resorts in the world. Kshatriya believes that one of the biggest strengths of his company is the ability to understand its customers. “We provide properties in some of the best locations in India and offer timely bookings. Even though we are new players in the timeshare market, our pro-active attitude has helped us expand our customer base and also made other players in the industry

sit up and take notice of us,” he stated, adding that with deterrents like inflation, the cost of holidays for Indians has been increasing. “This is the reason why the demand for affordable holiday options is increasing and we are here to fulfill that gap. We offer resort facilities and activity options catering to multiple age groups, also appealing greatly to large Indian vacationing families. Our resorts offer options including spacious accom-

modation with studio apartments and kitchen facility that provides certain independence, which is attractive to holiday seekers who prefer family holidays and often travel with extended families.” The company also sees a lot of potential in the tier II and tier III cities in India and is focused on tapping the market big time. “To do this, we have developed our franchising process that will help the company to reach out to a larger customer base beyond metros and major towns,” stated Kshatriya.

Bollywood and weddings two new focus areas at Starwood Expo SUDIPTA DEV - Mumbai

tarwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific recently organised a five-city road show, Starwood India Expo 2013. Besides Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru the seventh edition of Starwood Expo included two more additions this year - Chennai and Kolkata. “We had a great turnout in Chennai and that has encouraged us to go there next year also. Kolkata has shown us some good results without doing much activity. With a lot of interest coming from Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau for Kolkata because of direct flights we thought of doing a B2B event there. The other cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru have always been successful,” said Dhananjay S Saliankar, regional director – Starwood Sales Organisation, South Asia. Forty-six hotels participated in the expo this year from 18 countries. “With European market reaching




a saturation, India is a big market for them. There is short lead time to always get more business,” said Saliankar. Canada is a new entrant this year while North America came for the second time. “They really saw some great results, we grew the market over 100 per cent in the last two years with B2B partners. We signed up tours with Kuoni, Vacation Exotica and other large players. We are also working with smaller agencies,” stated Saliankar. The invited delegates included travel agents, tour operators, corporates and conference organisers. The two new segments targeted this year were - wedding planners and production houses. “Thailand has always been popular for Indian weddings. We are keen to focus on markets like Mauritius, Dubai, Hong Kong. We've got the largest inventory of 3800 rooms in Sheraton Macau. We also want to develop the Bollywood segment and

Dhananjay S Saliankar have invited the production houses,” said Saliankar. Talking about a few highlights he pointed out that luxury brand W in Barcelona has taken close to over 20 Indian groups, mostly MICE segment. “This has given us an advantage in the B2B market though we do not have

a W here, to create a strong awareness and popularity of the brand,” said Saliankar. Similarly, St Regis Bangkok has hosted a number of Indian weddings. Saliankar also spoke about the StarNet booking engine for Starwood hotels through which travel and retail agents, including those in secondary cities can book on the best available rates and get 15 per cent off the bar. Jenny Seraphine, complex sales manager, Attachee Commerciale, Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove, Seychelles said that her property had a lot of exposure in India, “The Indian market is growing year by year, as an increasing number of Indians are visiting Seychelles. We get many leisure groups, though the MICE segment is also growing. There is good flight connectivity via Doha and Dubai. I hope to get more clients following the expo this year.” Tejal Mehta Seebhujun, sales

manager-India, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Mauritius said, “We have three properties and have always been very focused on India.” The global personalisation programmes ensures that there are Indian guest relations executives to interact with the guests, Indian cuisine and cultural programmes. The housekeeping, waiters and kitchen staff are all trained for the Indian market. Krabi is an emerging destination for Indians and the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort has hosted Indian MICE groups, leisure travellers and an Indian wedding. “We have an Indian restaurant and two Indian chefs. We are expecting more guests from India with Thai Airways starting direct flight connectivity from Mumbai to Phuket from April 2013,” mentioned Sanjana Bhattachan, director sales and marketing, Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort. Krabi is two and a half hours by road from Phuket. April 1-15, 2013


Hoteliers honoured with National Tourism Awards EH STAFF- New Delhi

resident Pranab Mukherjee recently presented the National Tourism Awards for the year 2011-12 in New Delhi. The ministry of tourism, Government of India annually presents the National Tourism Awards to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. These awards are being given since the early 1990s and are presented to state governments/union territories, classified hotels, heritage hotels, approved travel agents, tour operators and tourist transport operators, individuals and other private organisations in recognition of their performance in their respective fields and also to encourage healthy competition with an aim to promote tourism.


April 1-15, 2013

The hotel categories included: Best Hotel (Five Star Deluxe)-The Oberoi, New Delhi; Best Hotel (Five Star)-Vivanta By TajAmbassador, New Delhi; Best Hotel (Four Star) -Vivanta by Taj, Kumarakom, Kerala; Best Heritage hotel (Basic) Samode Haveli, Gangapole, Jaipur, Rajasthan; Best Heritage Hotel (Grand) Savoy Hotel, Ooty; Best Eco Friendly Hotel - ITC Maurya, New Delhi; Hotel providing Best Facilities for the Differently Abled Guests - ITC Maurya, New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion K Chiranjeevi, union tourism minister said that the tourism industry has immense potential to increase tourism

arrivals. He said, “For this, we need to constantly monitor trends and re-invent our products for the marketplace”. Referring to the safety of tourists, the minister said a code of conduct for Safe and Honourable Tourism has been adopted by the ministry and stakeholders. He said the code has been incorporated in the guidelines governing the approval of various categories of travel trade and related service providers as well as for the classification of various categories of accommodation including hotels. “The objective of the code is to follow internationally accepted best practices of safe tourism applicable to both tourists and local resi-

dents giving special emphasis to safety of women and children,” he added. Andhra Pradesh has bagged the best state award for comprehensive development of tourism in the rest of India category of National Tourism Award 2011-12. The Best Heritage city award has gone to Warangal (AP). Amritsar Heritage Walk and Delhi Heritage Walk have been declared joint winner of the best Heritage Walk Award. Every year the categories of awards are reviewed with new categories being added to recognise excellence in diverse fields, in accordance with the requirements of changing times. New categories of awards for 'Medical Tourism Facilities' and for 'Tour Operators Promoting Niche segments' were introduced in 2011.




'The new stringent Food and Safety Standards Act to be implemented from 2014 is a call to action for the hotel industry in India' In an exclusive interview, Steve Tate,chairman, Check Safety First UK, tells why hotels in India need to maintain hygiene standards on their premises now more than ever. By Steena Joy How important is the role of hygiene in the hospitality industry? Hygiene is one of the most mandatory aspects to ensure quality in the hospitality industry. In the absence of a good hygiene system, some of the following possibilities may arise:● Bad publicity and the loss of reputation ● Legal action taken by the customer(s) ● Closure of the premises by the Health Authorities ● Loss of jobs for staff members Steve Tate

Is hygiene consultancy popular in international hotel companies? What is the scene in India? Hygiene consultancy is extremely popular in international hotel companies as many countries have strict health and safety laws that make it mandatory for hotels to abide by the rules, and maintain good hygiene levels. The tourism industry in India is booming, with people from home and abroad exploring more of the country than ever before. There is vast growth in international hotels operating in India and as a result of this standards are going to be driven up. Demanding temperatures mean food spoilage and contamination are still major challenges for many hotels in India. The new stringent Food and Safety Standards Act to be implemented from 2014 is a call to action for the hotel industry in India to ensure they are doing everything they can to remain compliant. We have had a very positive response from the international and Indian branded hotels and boutique properties that are looking at maintaining high standards of hygiene and safety at their premises. Tell us about your E-Cristal food safety risk management programme? How does it work? The E-Cristal risk management system is an interactive tool that allows hotel managers and group head office to monitor risk compliance in real time. Available in



ten different languages, there is a group function which means that the system works especially well for hotel groups who want to ensure that the same standards are operating in all hotels. The system works on a traffic lights basis- red, amber and green. Group managers can simply enter the system daily and can identify where the standards may be at risk by a simple click, with feedback available 24 hours a day. Groups using the system include the Hilton, IHG, Eurostars, Hyatt, Radisson Hotels and Resorts, Sheraton, the Corinthia and many more. Due diligence records are essential for defending yourself against claims and the E-Cristal system does this perfectly. The system covers all areas of environmental risk and guest safety within the hotel environment. Each risk is managed in a modular format and includes: FoodCheck, RoomCheck, AquaCheck, PoolCheck, FireCheck, SafetyCheck, EcoCheck, Crisis Check, QualityCheck and TourCheck. How will E-Cristal benefit Indian hotels? Check Safety First is the only company offering consultancy for all aspects of health and safety in the hospitality industry in India. While there are many certification and auditing companies, none of them offer the consultancy services as thoroughly or as independently as Check Safety First. Moreover none of them have a software application like the E-Cristal which helps to monitor the risks on a real time basis. We bring them our experience of having worked in health and safety for the last 20 years, in 41 countries and having dealt with more than 1800 hotels. The benefits of a good risk management system include internal efficiency, external marketing, Business Intelligence, more return bookings, energy savings,

more tour operators, reduction in waste, staff retention, benchmarking, reduced insurance risk, more sales and better rates. Our main purpose is not merely providing the certification, but training the staff is a key area that we emphasis on. In 2012, our company successfully trained 29,853 food handlers. Hotel Clarks Shiraz Agra will be the first to be certified by Check Safety First. Your comments on the hotel and what parameters it had to meet to receive the certification? Hotel Clarks Shiraz Agra is the first hotel in India to achieve exemplary health and safety standards by qualifying for the Check Safety First website. Showing their commitment to health and safety, the staff reached this high standard within the short space of three months. Using Check Safety First’s risk management system E-Cristal, the Clarks Shiraz Agra had to have consistently high scores to qualify for the site, which were 65 per cent or more for three consecutive monthly audits. By passing the E-Cristal standards of hygiene, Hotel Clarks Shiraz has shown its commitment to keeping up with the latest legislation, improving their food and water hygiene standards to Check Safety First’s exceptional level. The certification was awarded to them in March 2013. Which are the other hotels in India which are in the process of being certified? We expect two or three other properties to get the certification in the coming few months. These include a resort property in Ranthambore and Bharatpur. Which cruises companies have opted for the certification? More than 41 international cruises are currently certified by Check Safety First, including the Oberoi Zahra luxury Nile cruiser.

Are the parameters different for cruise line vis a vis hotels? Each property whether a hotel or a cruise is subjected to over 250 control points, by a professional auditor on site, which must be answered positively. The core area for inspecting on how the food is being handled remains the same for both cruises and hotels. The audit list for inspecting cruises is more specific and customised to their requirement. What are your comments on the hygiene and food safety challenges in the restaurant sector in the country? There are anywhere between 50-60 lakh eateries in the country. Food safety has been a perennial challenge in India with frequent cases of food adulteration and food poisoning. Many players in the business find it difficult to comply with the new norms. We provide specialised solutions to restaurants and focus on training of the staff, as the level of awareness in majority of the restaurants to maintain hygiene is low. While our system is perfect for stand-alone restaurants that do not have resources for having an inhouse hygiene manager, it is also perfect for restaurant chains looking at providing consistent hygiene standards at all their outlets. How do you plan to spread awareness about your product in the India market? Our strategy is to approach the clients in the hospitality industry with a sample audit and show them what we have to offer in terms of improvements on these grounds, and the support we offer them on a daily basis. To spread awareness about our services in the industry, our team is participating at the HISCA conference in Mumbai. We are also organising a presentation in Delhi in April, and the event is going to be attended by industry experts, hotel and restaurant owners, GMs, executive chefs and heads of sales of the major hotel chains in India. April 1-15, 2013


The Park Hotels unveils its new look

EH STAFF - Mumbai

he Park Hotels has introduced a new brand experience with a new visual identity. The new logo is in homage to The Park being the place to be and to be seen and focuses on ‘The’. It is also a tip of the hat to The Park’s position as the original 'The Park Hotel' in India. Furthermore, the identity’s black and white rendition helps brings the colours and richness of The Park’s environment to the fore, and helps differentiate it from its competitors. The branding will be rolled out on April 1, 2013. Priya Paul, chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels said, “The Park Hotels is where unusual experiences are possible. We are known for creativity and innovation that is ingrained in our collective DNA. As we continue to grow, we realised the need to communicate boldly the strength of our brand. The fresh design language strongly reflects contemporary India and our ethos. It is strikingly bold and captures our personality perfectly.”


The fresh visual identity system is made up of unique contemporary patterns, created from motifs that symbolise quintessential India. The new identity has been brought to life through a range of applications, including digital, collaterals, signages and a creation of a highly impactful brand video. The brand revitalisation exercise has taken more than two years and has spends of about `12 crore. This process not only entails the creation of the new look and feel across all the hotels, but also integrates the execution of unique experiences that are rooted in the brand promise of 'Anything But Ordinary'. “Generations of global travellers share a strong connection with our brand identity. Our name and core mark are both recognisable and powerful. The Park redefines new luxury. The redefinition comes through design, entertainment and creation of unique service experiences. This evolution reflects the modern style that defines our brand today,” said Vijay Dewan, managing director, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels.

Absolute Hotel Services partners with GTA EH STAFF - Mumbai

bsolute Hotel Services Group has announced a global partnership agreement with GTA. Through this partnership GTA will provide B2B distribution channel, an extension to the global travel trade for the benefit of travel partners to reserve rooms at all of hotels, resorts and serviced residences managed by Absolute Hotel Services. Hotels, resorts and serviced residences managed under Absolute Hotel Services brands include U Hotels & Resorts, Eastin Hotels & Residences and Eastin Easy which are located in Thailand, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and


April 1-15, 2013

Middle East which will have a total of 6,000 rooms operational by 2015. Currently there are 22 hotels operating and nine more openings by end of this year. “We are excited with this global partnership with GTA and proud to be the first hotel management company in south-east Asia for the cooperation thus creating a strong partnership within the travel industry,” said Atilla Erda, Senior VP sales and marketing, Absolute Hotel Services Group. GTA has been the power behind some of the biggest and best in travel for decades with more than 45,000 suppliers in 185 countries, providing supplier partners profit from dedicated extranets giving

them full and flexible control of inventory, rates, yield and reservations. Martin Jones, VP- sourcing Asia-Pacific, GTA said, “GTA makes it easy for hoteliers like Absolute Hotel Services to successfully market and sell their rooms to even more consumers worldwide. Our technology, privileged relationships and wealth of experience means travel businesses trust us to help them profit. As demand for fully independent travel (FIT) to and within the region increases, travel sellers around the world will surely welcome this new partnership and our ever-expanding portfolio of hotels throughout south-east Asia and beyond.”



CA Style from Living In Style

Barista tools from Premier Mondial

Living In Style, Mumbai has launched CA Style, an entire range of contemporary furniture. Spread

across 10,000 sq ft, the plush CA Style section at the store in Mumbai has on display contemporary furniture that is imported from various international brands like Camel Italy, Calia Italia, Kelvin Giormani etc.

Le Creuset breakfast collection

Le Creuset, a French cookware brand,has introduced its The Le Creuset Breakfast collection which includes stoneware spoons, tea pots, cup sets, stoneware coffee mugs, coffee pots, stoneware tea plates and more, in more than four colours.

Domestic Extra Collection from Pergo

Premier Mondial, official distributors of LF Spa in India has introduced the widest range of Barista tools, such as coffee tampers, brushes, milk pitchers, portafilters, shower screens, detergents and scale removers, coffee measuring spoons, knock box drawers. These are available in different types, colours, shape and sizes.

Electrolux green and clean hood type dishwasher Electrolux has launched new Electrolux green and clean hood type dishwasher. Yearly savings in water, energy, detergent and rinse aid that are guaranteed by the new Electrolux green and clean hood type dishwasher, without affecting its performances. Some of the features include: Water savings: only two litres/cycles of fresh water are needed for rinsing, regardless of water inlet conditions. Detergent and rinse aid savings: much smaller quantities are required when compared to other models on the

The Rockford Reserve Modi Illva has introduced The Rockford Reserve for the Indian audience. Made from oak aged Scottish malt whiskies blended with charcoal filtered Indian grain spirits, The Rockford Reserve is a rich, smooth and smoky whisky. The Rockford Reserve is available in 750ml, 375ml and 180 ml and is priced at `720 in Delhi for the 750ml.

Pureit Marvella UV from Hindustan Unilever Pureit, water purifier brand from Hindustan Unilever has launched Pureit Marvella UV- premium UV technology based water purifier. Featuring an ‘Advanced Alert System,’ the Pureit Marvella UV has been priced at `7,990.

market. Energy savings: the ESD - Energy Saving Device (highly efficient water pre-heating system, recovers the steam, creating a comfortable working environment) and the ZERO LIME Device (automatic de-lime cycle for completely lime-free components) ensure lower energy consumption and running costs (up to 33 per cent less).


Swedish based company Pergo has introduced Domestic Extra Collection. The Domestic Extra range is designed to handle domestic areas with moderate wear, which means that it is ideal to handle the wear and tear that happens in our homes. The product has been priced at `175 per sq ft. The planks for the collection are available in a wide range of formats which are 1200 X 200mm, 1200 X 140mm, 1200 X 300mm.



LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 is the second such cask to join the RARE CASK collection. LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 celebrates the classic LOUIS XIII blend of 1,200 eau-devies, 100 years in the making, featuring salient aromas that are unique – notes of plum and dates, mingling with flavours of gingerbread, prune stone and ginger, punctuated by a final touch of tobacco leaf. LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 - all decanters will be serial numbered from 001 to 738, and will be available from LOUIS XIII certified retailers, best palaces, hotels and restaurants.

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Variety of benefits include: Advanced Alert System - it warns consumers 15 days prior to the day when the purifying power of the device is over so that a new Germkill Kit can be ordered in advance High Intensity UV lamp – powered by a 11 Watt UV lamp Pureit Marvella UV removes one crore virus from one liter of water Large four litre storage Auto Shut-off Compact and Sleek Design – occupies less space and the aesthetic looks of the device enhance the look of your kitchen No AMC – Pay as per use only thereby leading to significant savings over the life of your purifier. April 1-15, 2013


New kids on the block Singkong, Mumbai Dish hospitality will be launching Singkong, a contemporary Asian dining establishment, in Bandra. The interiors of the restaurant is a fusion between modern illustrations with traditional cues. It will also have a special sushi counter which will serve favourites and specials such as Hamachi Uramaki and California Uramaki. The menu will help to clarify the myth that patrons have of pan Asian food over the years as being as Chinese food.

Keys Hotels, Pune Keys Hotels has announced the opening of its hotel at the industrial hub of Pune cityPimpri. The launch marks the opening of Keys Hotels’ sixth self owned property; the brand now operates 12 self owned and managed properties pan India. The hotel features a 24/7 fitness centre, a world cuisine restaurant with a la carte menu and buffet facility, a lively activity centre and sports bar. One of the unique features about Keys Hotels is the one point access to every guest with their key cards. This gives an enhanced sense of security.

The Pier, Mumbai Mumbai has opened its doors to a new European gourmet restaurant branded as ‘The Pier’. Owner Samir Chhabria has combined his understanding of the hospitality industry with the skilled expertise of the talented corporate chef Ratish Dabre to conceptualise

‘The Pier’. Interior designer Daraius Bamboat has put together this unique and aesthetical design envisioning an actual pier which he describes as the main inspiration behind the fresh blue and brown colour combination. The 3000 sq ft restaurant seats 70 guests which includes a private dining area. April 1-15, 2013




A milestone in wellness A momentous MoU between the Asia Medical Travel Council and the Thai Medical Tourism Association is set to drive the medical travel market in the region

he Asia Medical Travel Council (AMTRAC) recently welcomed the Thai Medical Tourism Association (TMTA) into its ranks as a pioneer founding member. TMTA will make up one of five of the AMTRAC regional bloc members, the first bloc of its kind in the world, which would in time consist of four other prominent Asian countries that have demonstrated great strides towards the advancement of the medical travel industry backed by internationally accredited medical institutions and highly qualified medical specialists. AMTRAC’s vision is to ultimately show the world that its member countries are able to offer safe and affordable medical treatment comparable to the best in the west and collectively raise the visibility of Asian medical travel destinations in an increasingly crowded medical travel market. Ultimately, this collaborative network can only spell good news for the patient as the medical travel bloc will collectively look to allay patient concerns by discussing and addressing important and pertinent issues such as patient safety, continuity of care, standardisation of medical records, to name a few. Founder of AMTRAC, Wilson Tan says, “This truly marks an exciting time for Asia in the medical travel space. TMTA will be a valuable member of AMTRAC as




the other AMTRAC members can learn how it has succeeded in achieving the right balance of medical skills and expertise blended with Thai hospitality to succeed in promoting Thailand as a premiere medical travel destination to the rest of the world. Our two organisations have a great deal in common in our values, work ethics and vision to see Asia grow as a medical travel hub. We are proud to be able to count TMTA amongst the pioneer founding members of AMTRAC.” The objectives of this Pan-Asian alliance are: ● To aid AMTRAC members to become recognised as top medical travel destinations. ● To help raise professional standard of medical specialists and healthcare providers. ● To provide a single platform for medical facilitators to

learn, update and network with other member service providers. ● To develop a higher degree of patient confidence and awareness in medical practitioners and facilities in the Asian region. ● To facilitate a forum for the exchange of views on topical issues facing the medical travel industry in Asia. ● To achieve global recognition as the number one medical travel event in Asia by organising annual AMTRAC Conference & Exhibitions (one-stop shop for medical travel in Asia). ● Lastly, to develop active corporate social responsibility and charity programmes that gives back to the community. This alliance merely marks the start of what many hope would be the driving force behind the betterment of the medical travel industry in

Asia. Internationally recognised as the front runners in the medical travel arena within the region, AMTRAC is working to include India, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore as the remaining four founding members. Shortly after, this will be followed by an official launch ceremony in the second half of 2013. AMTRAC will be the first ever formalised collaboration of medical travel associations of Asian countries that promote medical travel and tourism. It will ultimately comprise of India, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand that will make up the pioneer founding member contingent. The Thai Medical Tourism Association, formerly known as the Thailand Medical Tourism Cluster, was established to spearhead the promotion of medical tourism for Thailand. April 1-15, 2013


A brand new positioning Six Senses launches new website with a new visual identity ix Senses Hotels Resorts Spas today launched their brand new web site. It reflects the refreshed positioning for their brands with a new visual identity, which represents a more refined and modern Six Senses, while preserving its philosophy of being part of the local culture, yet in tune with the wider world. The Web site makes full use of the group’s vast library of extraordinary images, which often highlight the aesthetics and experiences, which are always unique, often unexpected and sometimes unusual. They also show the incredible natural beauty of the locations that Six Senses calls home. The Six Senses symbol, the highly recognised graphic of a six-sphere pyramid has been streamlined. It is now reproduced in purple, channelling the colour’s associa-


ners, and media, the website also includes a section on Six Senses Residences, careers and a look behind the brands at the group’s management style, mission and service philosophy. It also includes the Evason-branded properties, and the almost legendary sus-

tainability commitments espoused by Six Senses. Partnering Six Senses in the development of the website were Gyro – an Advertising Age Top 50 Global ideas shop and London-based media agency, John Henry. The new website, which

retains the original address – is a move to maintain and enhance the positioning of Six Senses into the future by New York based Pegasus Capital Advisors, who acquired Six Senses in June 2012. This launch is just the

first installment of the new site and there will be several progressions in the near future, which will better connect the Six Senses brand and people with potential guests, partners, experts and influencers across the social internet.

This launch is the first installment of the new site and there will be several progressions in the near future, which will better connect the Six Senses brand tion to dignity, wisdom, spirituality, vision, power and passion. Clearly defining the emotional hospitality for which Six Senses is synonymous, the site is packed with a wealth of information that includes the all-encompassing crafted experiences and the diverse experts that support them. From visiting spa practitioners and celebrity chefs, to star-gazers, marine biologists and even a resident paragliding professional. These fascinating individuals compliment the dedicated employees that contribute significantly to Six Senses’ uniqueness. Addressing the needs of the consumer, industry partApril 1-15, 2013




Connecting through art Mitali Bajaj, founder-CEO, Dr Art+Design believes that art creates the identity for a hotel and is a strong factor for a guest's connection with the property. With many prestigious projects in her portfolio she reveals how art can become the vibe of a hotel/restaurant. By Sudipta Dev

ith a much talked out first project that has the distinction of being India's first art hotel, Mitali Bajaj, founderCEO of Dr Art+Design is on the fast track of realising her vision to be the art and design arm for one-stop solutions in hospitality industry. Established in 2009, Dr Art+Design provides creative support services to developers, hoteliers, architects and interior designers. Although the last three years has seen Bajaj bag many prestigious corporate projects, it is the hospitality industry that inspires her the most because of the creative freedom of the projects. The




Mitali Bajaj former banker who worked with Goldman Sachs in

New York before she realised her calling, did a design course in Milan and Rome with Istituti Callegari Milano, when she got an opportunity to work on the first Indian art hotel project - Le Sutra. Talking about the first project that catapulted her new found company into the limelight Bajaj says, “The concept was given to us by the hotel, we had to interpret it. It took us two years interacting and developing the concept of an art hotel. There were just 16 rooms, the rent being ` 2000 a night. The challenge was to put the hotel on the world map through art and design. It was quite a journey.” Pointing out that art

has created the identity for hotels like the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Ritz Carlton in Singapore and Fontainebleau in Miami, she avers, “Art is about creating an experience for the hotel. So what I was trying to do is to challenge the customer to deepen their experience in the hotel and make it intellectually stimulating. That enables them to connect with the hotel and makes them return again and again.” She believes that art creates the identity for a hotel and integrates with the architecture, concept and design and essentially becomes the vibe of the property. “That's how Le Sutra came about. The April 1-15, 2013


focus was Indian art. There was a lot of brainstorming on the different concepts before we arrived at the final concept of the three Gunas – Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic. The question was how to show the evolution of the various levels of consciousness of a human being. We decided upon characters and characteristics, which the Gunas have in material also.” For example, in the logo outside the hotel there is a three petaled flower in different metals - copper (Tamasic), gold (Rajasic) and silver (Sattvic). In the decor and design Tamasic is very opulent (grey colours, Ravan is the character, the flooring is black, use of onyx in the bathroom, etc). “We wanted to target the intellectually rich people. It won an

April 1-15, 2013

award for most unique hotel. Anjolie Ela Menon came for the opening and she said that she has never seen anything like this before. This was my first project in the hospitality industry,” adds Bajaj. Le Sutra was followed by the world's first art bank for ING, and then Out of the Blue restaurant in Powai. “The first outlet in Bandra has always been very popular, people go there for the atmosphere, so the challenge in Powai was to create the same atmosphere and yet make it a little more chic. We've used grey tiles, wooden furniture, table tops are distressed blue, chic low seating, hats for lights, little area for events which can also double up as exhibition space, etc. The original

Out of the Blue has a courtyard that opens to the sky, here we didn't get a space in Powai, so to create a courtyard effect in an enclosed area we put garden furniture with distressed polish, umbrellas, monochromatic background, etc,” informs Bajaj. Following this was Out of the Blue restaurant in Pune and then the Indian Art Cafe in Hyderabad. The 2500 sq ft restaurant has now shut down but Bajaj reminisces about the highpoints of the project which included creation of a mascot out of coffee bean called Bean Garu who wears a south Indian lungi and tilak. “There is a whole storyline. When The Cafe Bean Garu in Powai introduced a north Indian cuisine we introduced a Punjabi girl friend, so the south Indian coffee bean was wearing a Punjabi outfit,” says Bajaj, pointing out that the furniture also reflects the fusion cuisine (e.g. Chettinad with Italian

flavours). This apart as the mascot is dyslexic the restaurant in some way reflected that through haphazard placement of wood. According to Bajaj the hospitality space is more creative than other projects because it is like creating a visual drama, an experience for the guests, which is limited in a corporate or residential environment. “More and more hotels are incorporating a lot of art. We have also worked with Michael Graves & Associates for ITC Hyderabad who used us as part of pitch to create the art work,” mentions Bajaj. The other upcoming hospitality projects include a hotel in Jodhpur with Kamal Malik. serviced apartments for Le Sutra Hospitality in Bandra. The design concept here will be different from the hotel as the focus is folk art are from a few states. In all the projects the concept and conceptualisation is done by Bajaj who

works with the designers and artists. “My involvement in the art is through the mind. None of the art work is outsourced. At the 5000 sq feet studio in Bandra all art work is created. The execution part is done by the team - the contractors, project managers, casters, sculptors, artists, interior designers, et al. It is a co-creative and interactive process. We want to create the vibe, the identity and intellectual soul for a hotel,” she says. For her the inspiration comes through interaction with different kinds of people, doing research, travelling, etc. Since opening, the going has been good for the company. The important non-hospitality projects include art for the entire township in Ahmedabad Godrej Garden City, art for Tata Housing township in Ahmedabad, creating the entire aesthetic experience for Pacifica, an international real estate firm, a sculpture for ACC office and project for Cricket Club of India. EXPRESS HOSPITALITY


Management COVER STORY

Married to the brand The relationship between a hotel company and developer is best described as delicate. In India this relationship is even more fragile, yet the business of management contracts are flourishing. A study of the dynamics of the relationship. By Kahini Chakraborty

ven though issues such as economic crisis, policy paralysis along with low investor sentiments have been dampening the general business scenario for quite sometime, the Indian economy has still managed to show resilience given its strong fundamentals like urbanisation, rising disposable income, and balance in savings and spending. Needless to say one of the results has been the availability of a number of developments which are ready for ownership and operation in the hospitality industry. Currently, as per industry experts, India is an unexplored hotel market with only around 0.17 million rooms, to service the large domestic population and inbound traffic. To get a market research perspective, as per Jones Lang Lasalle India, the Asia




Pacific hotel transaction volumes are projected to reach US$ 3.5 billion in 2013 on the back of strong investment sentiment to buy hotel assets in the region. As per the report, in the Indian market, investor appetite for acquisitions is the strongest in Mumbai and New Delhi. But despite strong investor sentiment, a low level of established product for sale will widen the pricing gap between buyers and sellers and slow the pace of transaction volumes. But in light of this, investors will still continue to consider new developments in order to achieve sufficient scale across the region. Taking advantage of this market and working towards getting their timing

right in establishing their presence and catering to the demand and supply economics, some of the established developers such have taken the lead to develop properties which are either owned and managed by themselves or as management contracts or franchise business models. And with numerous international hotel brands entering the market, the agenda is to take their brands to the required markets.

Building blocks There are many aspects one can measure for development of hotel projects – hotel segmentation, development cost and average daily rate of occupancy (ADR) which are the basic criteria to several modules of cost development for projects

across the horizon. “In India, considering the current market conditions like inflation rate, land availability, production cost, etc, it is estimated, a pan India expansion drive in around 25 major cities, would account to an investment figure of `1200 crore for setting up of venture,” opines Neeraj Gulati, managing director, Assotech Realty. After the project viability report is drawn it is then that the investment needed and brand is decided upon. Most developers prefer choosing their management or franchise companies before the construction of the project. The biggest hurdle for a project to be operational is the time consumed during the construction phase. HVS report Hotels in India Trends and Opportunities 2012 states that countrywide active development of supply declined from 60 per cent in 2010/11 to 58 per cent in 2011/12, as projects were deferred on account of reduced liquidity and concerns about macroeconomic conditions. Hence it also becomes imperative to understand the bylaws of a city as various authorities need to be approached separately to prove the viability of the drawn plans. After taking into account the 58 per cent active development of future supply, about 54,000 rooms are expected to be developed over the next five years, taking the total supply to about 138,000 rooms by 2016/17. The figures are not enough to cater to the burgeoning demand that the country is seeing; a major factor in this is the cost. Manoj Goyal, director, Raheja Developers says, “If a developer is looking at building a business/ four/five-star hotel the investment for per room development will April 1-15, 2013

M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T calculated and precise in their market understanding and judgments, and hence they advise developers to invest reasonable amount in order to get good returns, which the developer is satisfied of.” This however is also changing, IHG has tied up with Duet Group for Holiday Inn, similarly Accor has tied up with InterGlobe hotels for the ibis brand.

Working relationship

range approximately between `one-three crore or even more. While for a budget category hotel it could range from `50-60 lakh. This is an average standard but the investment could fluctuate as per the market dynamics.” In case of Brigade Hospitality, Vineet Verma, CEO, Brigade Hospitality, mentions that the company had to rethink plans two to three times. He adds, “There are very few dedicated companies which focus on hotels; the majority are still standalone hoteliers or nonhospitality led developers. And since there are also no definite rules and regulations, these could be other important factors in the industry's growth. Not all hotel owners are aspirational and they do take up hospitality as a thought and planned future business venture.” Another chain of thought in the owner and management company relationship has been the lack of commitment when it comes to investments in the project. Partha Chatterjee, founding director and advisor to the board, Keys Hotels adds, “The general consensus among developers today is that they prefer the operators to be a part of the investment apart from April 1-15, 2013

handling the hotel operations. This is where the switch has come into play.” Supporting this thought Goyal adds, “I believe that management contracts are not the ideal situation for business. We prefer looking at hotel companies who also own the hotels and are willing to invest in new project development, say for example even a contribution of 10-30 per cent in the investment also matters, apart from managing and operating the brand.” The reason behind this is, he rues, “In a management contract, the operator only gives his expertise on the p r o j e c t keeping in mind the brand vision. And since the investment is solely handled by the developer the market risk has to be borne by the company alone. But if both parties are involved then the responsibility of sharing the market risks, profits, losses becomes easier.” With a different perspective, SP Jain, chairman, Pride Hotels states, “During the feasibility study itself the per room cost rate is given to the developer. But unfortunately there are certain international brands who ask the developers to invest huge money and are still not able to get returns. But compared to them, Indian brands are well

Before initiating any project, experts are of the opinion that the number one challenge and priority is to have a clear understanding of budgets: how they are prepared, how they are reviewed, how they are approved by the owner and how to address changes to the budget during a particular year. The second challenge is how to address brand standards and the importance of maintaining these standards throughout the term of the management agreement. “The owner paid for and owns the hotel and the management company looks after the business and maintenance of the asset. It is important to strike a working balance between owner’s rights and financial expectations and the expectations of the management company whose name is on the building, and the need to meet guest expectations throughout the term of marriage,” feels James A Kaplan, senior vice president- development, Asia Pacific/India, FRHI Holdings. There are times when all targets are set and discussed together or the operator sets targets and the owner assists as helping hand in business development through his contacts and leads. “We emphasise on a strong relationship built on trust, transparency and performance. Owners pay a lot of attention to their ROI, we ensure we meet the forecasted budgets and the desired level of GOP with the highest levels of guest satisfaction and repeat clientele. On challenges, each property has its own circumstances. Our main project-related challenges are government permissions, delays from contractors and sometimes funding,” adds Param Kannampilly, CMD, Concept Hospitality. Next in stage is the brand positioning which is the most important criterion that comes from studying macro and micro markets in



M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T primary and tertiary destination, “The management company along with the developers create facilities depending on the positioning that they would like to create in the market, demographics, lifestyle, spending capacity of the target audience and so on,” highlights Ajit Dharmadhikari, executive director, RIMC Sahil India Hospitality. Given that every market has its own dynamics and requirements based on which the strategy and facilities are decided upon, Nikhil Manchharam, VP acquisitions and development, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts opines, “Our brands are not necessarily differentiated from a price point but by their appeal to different lifestyles. This allows us to build the brand equity of each of our brands. The strategy changes from city to city as do the facilities offered.” It is a given fact that the primary factor of the relationship is that both the developer and hotel company need to be in sync with each others needs and expectations. But giving a word of caution, Shailesh Fulsunge, head - projects (hotels), JMJ Group adds that while it is imperative for both to have one vision, transparency and clear communication, owners interference should be minimum in terms of operations, owners should strictly follow the management contract terms. Agreeing to this Kaplan says, “There is often a problem of owners wanting the ‘best brand’ or the most luxurious brand but the market cannot support the needed investment and the owner may not fully appreciate the cost and standards the operator may

require. This problem becomes accentuated when operators are growing for the sake of growth only with little regard to meeting the return expectation of owners and not being disciplined when agreeing to put a luxury brand in a low rated market.”

Survival of the fittest The standard management contract works on the basic management fees and incentives. The management fees works on the gross operating revenues and the incentive fees works on the bottom line which is calculated on GOP (EBIDTA). The gestation period is longer when the property has higher debt and reduces if the debt component is low. The hotel has to work on higher occupancies with decent ARR’s, in this scenario there is a lot of pressure on sales team and usually room nights and banquets are sold to corporate in advance, the idea is not to keep the room night vacant as it is like a perishable item. Adding to that Dharmadhikari says, “In the management contract generally a hotel management company takes a certain percentage of gross turnover, and incentive fee on gross operating profit besides the reservation and marketing fee on the room revenue. The balance revenue goes to the developer’s account. In case of a lease agreement, the operator pays a fixed lease amount to the developer or at times lease also can be based on the revenue generation. The survival strategies during the gestation period include keeping a tab on operating costs without compromising on quality, effective and optimal use of

resources, rigorous sales and marketing effort to increase business.” Although the hotel operator still earns a base fee or license fee for use of the brand, the bulk of revenue sharing is now firmly based on profitability. “As far as financial support during the stabilisation years is concerned, unfortunately some owners do not understand that a hotel is both a business and a real estate asset. The operating costs continue regardless of the top line revenue, and without financial support, especially in a seasonal destination, lack of working capital funding can often lead to disputes and misaligned expectations between management companies and owners. The hotel investment and operational responsibility (financial burden) is very different from leasing an office building or selling apartments,” replies Kaplan. Since every brand has its brand standards, which is typically aligned in any situation, its is important that both parties follow brand standard to make clear objectives of converting opportunities to business. Brand standards assure a client of certain standards in terms of cleanliness, hygienic, ambiance and certainly the most important aspect of security. Nevertheless with activity from institutional funds increasing there will be a faster pace of development growth for the sector, across segments. “In case institutional investors decide to invest there would be lot more development happening in key markets though infrastructure and connectivity remains a bottleneck,” concludes Chender Baljee, CMD, Royal Orchid Hotels .

exorbitant hotel charges, our company aims at fostering the opportunity by establishing service apartments across India. We have planned to come up with service residences in the name of ‘Sandal Suites’ under our sister concern ‘Sandallands' in 14 major cities segregated under three segments, business, leisure and pilgrimage. Currently projects are under progress at Ahmedabad, Goa and Shirdi. Likely the projects lined up for future are in cities like Katra, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Indore, Chennai, Tirupati and Kochi.

PARAM KANNAMPILLY, CMD, Concept Hospitality

NEERAJ GULATI, MD, Assotech Realty In India, considering the current market conditions like inflation rate, land availability, production cost, etc, it is estimated, a pan India expansion drive in around 25 major cities, would account to an investment figure of Chender Baljee, chairman and managing director, Royal Orchid Hotels `1200 crore for setting up of venture. Since the lodging rates are substantially low compared to the



A dedicated team takes care of our feasibility reports and we look at two main aspects; market survey and competition and financial feasibility. We take a number of criteria into consideration; the foremost of which are the property’s location, local infrastructure, consistent demand for our property and competing supply of similar services. We emphasise on a strong relationship built on trust, transparency and performance. Owners pay a lot of attention to their

ROI, we ensure we meet the forecasted budgets and the desired level of GOP with the highest levels of guest satisfaction and repeat clientele. On challenges, each property has its own circumstances. Our main projectrelated challenges are government permissions, delays from contractors and sometimes funding. If an upgrade is required, we along with the two other key stakeholders – owner and designer - arrive at the most viable solution. We have had no problems so far. April 1-15, 2013

M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T The Fern and The Fern Residency brands are not cookie cutter products. We encourage designers to incorporate two important design elements; the local heritage and a reference to the owners. There are similarities at the brand level, such as a high level of service, quality of upkeep and the warmth of our welcome.



Senior VP- development, Asia Pacific/ India, FRHI Holdings

Director, Raheja Developers

Before the company starts preparing the investment feasibility report for a hotel development plan, the brand category hotel is finalised, and then important factors such as social economic development, connectivity ease to the airport, highways, business centres, investment return expected in bulk per room rent realisation are taken into consideration. For example, if a developer is looking at building a business/ four/five-star hotel the investment for per room development will range approximately between `one-three crore or even more. While for a budget category hotel it could range from `50-60 lakh. This is an average standard but the investment could fluctuate as per the market dynamics. The company forayed into the hospitality sector with the opening of the Tata Group Business hotel chain Ginger at IMT Manesar, Gurgaon, and has a few upcoming projects which include budget (again Ginger hotels), and four-star and five-star category hotels. These are still in the approval stages as we are still in talks with certain management companies. I believe management contracts are not the ideal situation for business. We prefer looking at hotel companies who also own the hotels and are willing to invest in new project development, say for example even a contribution of 10-30 per cent in the investment also matters, apart from managing and operating the brand. The reason behind this is in terms of management contract, the operator only gives his expertise on the project keeping in mind the brand vision. And since the investment is solely handled by the developer the market risk has to be borne April 1-15, 2013

by the company alone. But if both parties are involved then the responsibility of sharing the market risks, profits, losses becomes easier. As it is a long term association it is important that relations are good for long term growth of the brand.

The company reviews the market, assesses the supply and demand for new and existing hotels, calculates air lift and travel trends (leisure and business) and builds a pro forma financial projection using STR data to assess current average rate and occupancy and then layers in its operating margins and estimated sales and marketing lift. Before initiating any project the number one challenge and priority is to have a clear understanding of budgets: how they are prepared, how they are reviewed, how they are approved by the owner and how to address changes to the budget during a particular year. The second challenge is how to address brand standards and the importance of maintaining these standards throughout the term of the management

agreement. The owner paid for and owns the hotel and the management company looks after the business and maintenance of the asset. It is important to strike a working balance between owner’s rights and financial expectations and the expectations of the management company whose name is on the building, and the need to meet guest expectations throughout the term of marriage. Common visions are a result of making sure the owner understands the brand and has visited a number of the operator’s hotels and the operator making sure the owner’s expectation are in line with what the market can sustain and what product the operator delivers. There is often a problem of owners wanting the ‘best brand’ or the most luxurious brand but the market cannot support the needed investment and the owner may not fully appreciate the cost and standards the operator may require. This problem becomes accentuated when operators are growing for the sake of growth




only with little regard to meeting the return expectation of owners and not being disciplined when agreeing to put a luxury brand in a low rated market. As far as financial support during the stabilisation years is concerned, unfortunately some owners do not understand that a hotel is both a business and a real estate asset. The operating costs continue regardless of the top line revenue, and without financial support, especially in a seasonal destination, lack of working capital funding can often lead to disputes and misaligned expectations between management companies and owners. The hotel investment and operational responsibility (financial burden) is very different from leasing an office building or selling apartments.

strictly follow the management contract terms as most of the time there is an issue with owners or the family members interfering in the operations and giving direct instructions to the managers or staff which is not acceptable with any brand hotel operating manual. During operations there are times when the owner points out about certain expenditures as operational, and the operator points out as capital, and the difference of opinion sets in. However, clear guidelines are specified in the agreements. Approval from owners on the operating expenses budget is also one of the criterion as it creates difference of opinion.

VINEET VERMA, CEO, Brigade Hospitality

SHAILESH FULSUNGE, Head - projects (hotels), JMJ Group It is important for the developer to select the operating brand and then look at construction of the hotel, since at various occasions it has been observed that a lot of developers and builders go ahead with appointing architects and planning as per their desire and end up incurring losses when they decide to sign a professional management company as every brand has their specifications which needs to be followed. In certain scenarios, there are times when all targets are set and discussed together or the operator sets targets

and the owner assists as helping hand in business development through his contacts and leads. Usually owners being the land owners have local contacts and there is a lot of in and around business generated through owners at local level and the operator get business through its distribution system and sales team. While it is imperative for both to have one vision, transparency and clear communication, the owners interference should be minimum in terms of operations, owners should



The company had to rethink plans two to three times. We at Brigade were the first to introduce serviced apartments in Bengaluru, we then did luxury hotels and now we are looking at mid scale hotels. All of these decisions were taken with the growth of business in perspective. The company also introduced The Grand Mercure and Sheraton brands in India for the first time, apart from having tieups with other world-class international hotel operators for its business hotels, luxury resorts and spas. There are very few dedicated companies which focus on hotels; the majority are still standalone hoteliers or non-hospitality led developers. And since there are also no definite rules and regulations, these could be other important factors in the industry's growth. Not all hotel owners are aspirational and they do take up hospitality as a thought and planned future business venture.

PARTHA CHATTERJEE, Founding director and advisor to the board, Keys Hotels The general consciences among developers today is that they prefer the operators to be a part of the

investment apart from handling the hotel operations. This is where the switch has come into play. We did not enter into management directly. We were of the firm opinion that the company would first build our own hotels and then look at management and franchisee models for expansion. This model has worked for us and today we have companies looking at us for management and franchisee businesses. When a developer decides that he wants to build a particular brand, he already has a vision. We on our part also do the feasibility of the area- what potential does it hold and the demand and supply growth expected. Seeing the capacity of the market to pay the investment is decided upon. But with the uncertainty in the market conditions, nowadays annual budget reviews are preferred. The owner has to make sure that there is a constant flow of working capital for daily operations to run smoothly. Year-onyear the furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) fund is gathered for which portion of the earning is kept away for repairs and maintenance. These are few of the measures taken to build cordial relationship which the developer works towards along with the hotel company. In case of brownfield projects, a lot of companies do not prefer taking on the project as changing the look and feel as per the brands vision involves huge costs. Hence the ideal situation is to get the management company first and then develop the property as per the brand's vision.

ANIL MADHOK, MD, Sarovar Hotels We prefer that the developer company gets the feasibility report done by another professional company. We lend our assistance to help analyse and prepare the information needed by the company to submit it for the feasibility report. Apart from financial assistance, our strategies would revolve around advising the developer company on the real picture of the market viability, April 1-15, 2013

M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T assistance to provide the financial viability for the project. But mostly we prefer that they get the feasibility report done by a third party as that report would have an unbiased opinion. We have a technical services agreement wherein we sit with the developers and understand their expectations, vision, requirements, and then give it to the architects, and

design team involved in the project. And after the design material is ready we check it before giving clearance for the project. According to me our brandCrowne Plaza was built at the right time and locations, hence all we needed to do was to plan on how much more could the company generate

revenues. It is all about correct timing and market study. But if we talk about survival strategies, depending on where the hotel is o p e n e d matters. For example: if one had to build a hotel in Pune- Viman Nagar area two years back they would have to have survival strategies in place as there was an

location preference, what would suit the brand and the design and interior element. An approximate standard market investment for a budget hotel the investment could be `30 lakh per room; while mid market could range to `45 lakh per room and the higher category could have ` one-two crore per room. An investment for a Sarovar Premium property could be `60-70 lakh per room. It is important that the owner has accepted the hotel brand and has confidence in the management company. It is the responsibility of the management company to earn respect and trust in the market and have transparency in its operations for the developer to be confident of the relationship with the brand. We generally prefer greenfield project compared to brownfield, the reason being the huge costs to redevelop the hotel as per brand specifications. If such a situation arises, then we prepare a property improvement programme (PIP) which we make the developer sign during the contract. Since we have time bound PIP it is best to inform the developer what are the changes needed by the management company to launch its brand as per its specifications.

RAJIV SHARMA, VP development, South West Asia, IHG We know what we want and have our own strategies and vision and this we try to fit it after understanding the developers perspective, after which we look at marrying the visions and returns to that of the developers. It is only sometimes that the developer asks us for April 1-15, 2013



M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T oversupply of hotels. While in case of brownfield hotels, it depends. If the development is already completed and then we come on board as the management company, we will first check the fire life safety requirements in the development, and if that does not fit as per our specifications then we will make the changes and later look at fitting the brand. For example: the Crowne Plaza Bengaluru at the Electronics City is what was build as a hotel called as The Ottera, which we took over. But in case of brownfield hotels, a lot of times we have to reject the proposal. While IHG provides a familiarisation of its brands through its flagships hotels in India depending on the brands and if required, to other hotels in Asia Pacific before we commence discussion on a project for a brand hotel.

NIKHIL MANCHHARAM, VP acquisitions and development, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts We believe our brands are distinct and each of them has an identity of its own catering to different lifestyles. Our brands are not necessarily differentiated from a price point but by their appeal to different lifestyles. This allows us to build the brand equity of each of our brands. The strategy

the business to remain current to the market needs. The owner needs to be comfortable with the brand and understand it completely so that it can be brought to life in the way it is intended. In this regard, we normally send the owner to visit the various properties of the brand to ensure uniformity on the brand promise. It is important that the owner understands the brand and what it stands for before he signs up for it. His belief in the brand is important to the success of the relationship. Mutual trust and confidence in each other are also important. It has to be a win win situation with incentivised returns for the hotel company if performance is good. Immersion, education are key. The owner needs to be comfortable with the brand and understand it completely so that it can be brought to life in the way it is intended. In this regard, we normally send the owner to visit the various properties of the brand to ensure uniformity on the brand promise. It is important that the owner understands the brand and what it stands for before he signs up for it. His belief in the brand is important to the success of the relationship. Mutual trust and confidence in each other are also important and we provide further guidance in the development once the definitive agreements are executed. Our design and technical services team guide the owner and work with their teams to ensure the hotel is built as per the specifications of the brand and will ultimately introduce the brand. Our Westin Hotels in India and the Sheraton Bangalore at Brigade gateway are good examples of great 'on Brand' hotels.

be arrived at by periodic joint meetings to devise and update the strategy for marketing. But in case the developer does not have any experience in running hotels, the management companies should be given a free hand for marketing the hotel. There is a possibility of loss in the initial years as the hotel is expected to stablise itself over a period of time. As hotel is a capital intensive project, the return on investment will take some time and the developer has to be patient.

RAJESH PUNJABI, VP, development – India, Hilton Worldwide Companies need to align their objectives early which can be achieved at the initial stage by having clear obligations for the parties and expectations in the management agreement. Ultimately trust plays a very large factor in the ongoing relationship, Hilton ensures that all of its hotels, whether they are in greenfield or brownfield adhere to brand standards

SP JAIN, Chairman, Pride Hotels

changes from city to city as do the facilities offered. At Starwood, each brand has its own persona and its own identity. For example, in Coimbatore, there was an opportunity for large conferences, and so Le Meridien Coimbatore has a large banquet facility. This hotel today is generating its own demand. Having said that the hotel company's main priority is understanding each others needs. For example, balancing between budgets and capital requirements on what the owner is focused upon (ROI) and brand management companies require



Before we takeover any hotel we do our own feasibility study wherein we assess whether the property is buyable or not apart from the market study which includes studying of various aspects of project, location, technical, financial- whether mix of debt or equity would be needed for funding of project, returns from the investment over the future. During the feasibility study itself the per room cost rate is given to the developer. But unfortunately there are certain international brands who ask the developers to invest huge money and are still not able to get returns. Hence there are few developers who are unhappy. But compared to them, Indian brands are well calculated and precise in their market understanding and judgments, and hence they advise developers to invest reasonable amount in order to get good returns, which the developer is satisfied of. Common vision of both parties can

relating to construction and design and therefore have similar expectations for both greenfield and brownfield hotels. Hotel feasibility studies help establish the best segment of hotel for the market which addresses viability in the initial gestation period. It is critical to plan and implement the April 1-15, 2013

M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T construction through skillful project management to ensure there are minimal delays during the construction phase which can impact the initial operating period. At Hilton Worldwide we are developing brands across all segments ie Luxury (Waldorf Astoria and Conrad), Upscale (Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton) and mid market (Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton). And if institutional investors are willing to invest in the market, there will be a faster pace of development growth for the sector, across segments.

CHENDER BALJEE, CMD, Royal Orchid Hotels

C o n n e c t i v i t y, infrastructure expected future growth of business are the prime elements for the company during any project. Apart from this the company would also look at the brand and strategies to optimise business over time. It has to be a win win situation, where the management company has to provide reasonable return on investment to the developer company while the developer company adds value to the management company’s vision and long term goals. Since every brand has its brand standards, which is typically aligned in any situation, its is important that both parties follow brand standard to make clear objectives of converting opportunities to business. The developer and hotel management company work together from design stage for balancing the brand specifications and development cost incurred by developer. As revenue sharing depends on the deal struck between two parties, the management

company tries to reduce period of gestation to the barest minimum or survive by infusion of funds by developer. Brand standards assure a client of certain standards in terms of cleanliness, hygienic, ambiance and security. Nevertheless with activity from institutional funds increasing there will be a faster pace of development growth for the sector, across segments. In case institutional investors decide to invest there would be lot more development happening in key markets and we will definitely see an increase in key markets though infrastructure and connectivity remains a bottleneck.

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April 1-15, 2013




A barometer for travel trends TripAdvisor's global study TripBarometer reveals interesting insights ‘word-of-mouth’ The TripBarometer reveals that 69 per cent of travellers globally use travel review websites when researching and planning their trips. Over half (62 per cent) of respondents in Asia look to travel review websites. The three sources of information reported as being most useful by global and Asian travellers are all online sources. ● Travel review websites 38% ● Web based travel agencies 19% ● Travel operator websites 16% ● Friends and family 10% ● Travel magazines & brochures 6% ● Social media 4% ● High street travel agencies 4% ● Other 3%

ripAdvisor has revealed the results of its TripBarometer, a biannual study, conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm StrategyOne (a division of Edelman Berland), that reports on top travel and hospitality industry trends, according to more than 35,000 travellers and accommodations around the world. The results of the TripBarometer highlight country level, regional and global trends within the travel sector and reveal insights into economic outlook, travel planning, booking methods and traveller expectations. Accommodations in Asia are able to look back at last year with satisfaction: 79 per cent of the over 1,600 accommodations in the region surveyed for the TripBarometer reported that 2012 was economically successful for them. In fact, 24 per cent of accommodation owners in the region went so far as to describe 2012 as 'very profitable'. Accommodation owners in Asia are amongst the most bullish in the world with 72 per cent of them stating that they are optimistic about their probability this year, which is slightly above the global average of 68 per cent. ● North America 82% ● South America 77% ● Asia 72% ● Africa 71% ● Middle East 71% ● Australasia 65% ● Europe 54% GLOBAL 68%


Looking at hiring trends within the global accommodation industry, 19 per cent of respondents are planning to add



new jobs in 2013. According to the TripBarometer, Asian accommodations are nearly three times (32 per cent) as likely to add news jobs in 2013 as European accommodations (12 per cent). Asian accommodations are amongst the most likely to increase their room rates in 2013, with 42 per cent of accommodation providers planning to increase rates this year. ● South America 48% ● North America 43% ● Asia 42% ● Africa 41% ● Middle East 39% ● Australasia 36% ● Europe 32% GLOBAL 40%

Opportunity for accommodations Travellers from Africa are showing the biggest increase in their planned travel spend for 2013, with 76 per cent of respondents saying they estimate that their travel budget will increase this year. Travellers from the Middle East (75 per cent) and South America (58 per cent) also plan to spend notably more on travel in 2013. Globally, 50 per cent of travellers expect their travel spend to go up this year. ● Africa 76% ● Middle East 75% ● South America 58% ● Asia 49% ● Australasia 44% ● North America 44% ● Europe 44% GLOBAL 50%

Online channels acting as megaphone for traditional

With travellers going online for their travel research and planning, they are also showing preference for online as the primary booking channel. Globally, the majority of travellers are booking accommodation via webbased travel agencies (27 per cent), closely followed by accommodations’ own websites (23 per cent). Business owners report their own website as the channel that generates the most bookings (35 per cent) for them, followed by online travel agencies (18 per cent). The data paints a slightly less positive story for store front travel agencies, with nine per cent of travellers booking their last accommodation through an offline travel agent. Looking strictly at the results for Asian accommodations, 28 per cent report their own website as the channel that generates the majority of their bookings, followed by online travel agencies (24 per cent) and their own mobile app (13 per cent). The results of the TripBarometer reveal that travel review websites have the biggest influence on travellers’ decisions when choosing a hotel: 95 per cent of Asian travellers indicated that other people’s reviews and opinions on travel review websites have influenced their decision to book accommodations for their last trip. Not surprisingly, a majority (97 per cent) of accommodations in the region perceived online reviews to be of crucial importance for generating bookings.

Asian properties in control of their online reputation According to the TripBarometer, 31 per cent of Asian travellers claim to have written a review about the accommodation they stayed at after a trip. It is not surprising that a majority (91 per cent) of Asian accommodations indicated that they are taking active control of their online reputation by monitoring traveller reviews online. Asian accommodations consider April 1-15, 2013

M|A|N|A|G|E|M|E|N|T both guest rants and raves equally valuable feedback. Properties in the region are proactive in responding to both positive and negative online reviews with 71 per cent of them responding to positive reviews and 78 per cent responding to negative reviews, either online or in private. Good staff performance does not go unnoticed with over half (65 per cent) of Asian properties indicating that they have congratulated or rewarded staff as a result of positive online reviews. Guest feedback is taken seriously by Asian accommodations with 66 per cent indicating that they have addressed the content of a negative review with the staff involved and a further 57 per cent having invested in staff training on account of receiving a negative online review. “With travel review websites as the biggest influence on travellers’ decisions when choosing a hotel, it’s encouraging to see hotels in Asia taking immediate action to manage their online reputation by engaging with past guests and the wider traveller community through management responses to online reviews,” said Lewis Ng, commercial director APAC, TripAdvisor for Business. “One of the best ways to generate more traveller reviews is to simply ask hotel guests to share their travel experiences online.”

mobile device users. “With consumers turning to online channels at every step of the travel planning process, we’re experiencing an increase in direct bookings through our hotel website which not only enhances our bottom line but allows us to manage the customer relationship endto-end,” said Kevin Croley, senior vice president at Pan Pacific Hotels Group. “Also, as consumers are now spending more time on their

mobile phones than ever before, travellers are expressing a growing preference to conduct business transactions from their own mobile devices. Recognising this growing trend and the opportunity to capture market share amongst consumers booking accommodations via digital devices, Pan Pacific is investing more resources into mobile websites and other digital marketing initiatives.”

“The TripBarometer has revealed useful insights into what global travellers are planning and shone a light on the areas where accommodation providers can do more to meet guests’ expectations,” said Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business. “With travellers choosing digital channels for their travel planning and research, traditional word of mouth has been amplified and online

booking has become the norm across the globe. The next logical step is mobile, especially considering that travellers in some emerging markets are bypassing desktops and getting online for the first time using mobile devices. Furthermore, as business optimism and travel budgets increase across Asia, it seems likely that hospitality businesses in the region will benefit from this positive sentiment.”

Accommodations not meeting travellers’ mobile expectations According to the TripBarometer, 79 per cent of Asian travellers think it is beneficial that properties allow them to book accommodation via a mobile device. Similarly, when asked, three quarters of accommodations in Asia (74 per cent) think it is important to allow guests to book their property on a mobile device. However, despite the perceived importance of mobile booking capabilities and consumer demand for this, just three in ten (29 per cent) Asian properties currently engage with guests via mobile devices. Of those that do engage with travellers via mobile, 67 per cent allow guests to book rooms on mobile devices, 39 per cent have a mobile friendly website and 25 per cent have special offers for April 1-15, 2013




Focus on communication Tapping the discerning and difficult traveller today is no longer about just the services that a hotel offers but more about creating a connect with them. Monish Ghatalia, MD, Focus Circle Brands feels the right communication/brand campaign is the way to do it. By Sayoni Bhaduri

hat is the difference between one five-star hotel and another? They both have splendid kitchens and restaurants, both provide beds to sleep, both promise to be unobtrusive. They also have same price points and distance from business hubs. Monish Ghatalia, MD, Focus Circle Brands says what could make a difference is better communication. Consumers today have no brand affinity. Very often a consumer would not distinguish between two five-star brands. “He is not bothered by the message in the advertisement. He is always looking for value-for-money,” he adds. “We have worked with a lot of hotel brands. We have seen the way hotels promote themselves in the last three-four years. Most hotel advertising today is similar to any other product or service. It has moved from brand specific to consumer or guest specific. The branding revolves around what consumer wants,” he




adds. Established in 1997, Focus is an integrated brand communications agency. Focus began their association with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts during the launch of Grand Hyatt Mumbai in 2003. After that success, Focus has been associated with Hyatt for the last nine years working with its various brands such as Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Park Hyatt across cities like Delhi, Goa, Kolkata, and Chennai in India, as well as, in Maldives and Abu Dhabi outside of India. Very recently they bagged the creative duties for Hyatt Regency Gurgaon. The account includes the launch of the property in terms of marketing, communication strategy and design for the various revenue streams of the hotel. The expertise of Focus in this sector has been validated by its association with clients like The Oberoi, Crowne Plaza, Shangri La, Intercontinental, Sahara Star, Beacon Hotels, Pride Hotels, Radisson Blue and a number of other renowned F&B brands.

Of the Grand Hyatt Mumbai project, Ghatalia reminisces, “When the hotel started, it was faced with so many challenges and today it has become a success story. When it opened it was just like any other hotel, but after a point they wanted an image upgradation which would directly affect the profile of their guests.” Accordingly, he and his team created a brand campaign which effectively changed the persona of the hotel. But today he says the same format may not work for individual hotels. “An hotel is like a chemist; the one closest to you is important to you,” he says, so it does not matter what brand the hotel is as long as it is in the vicinity of a guest's area of work. At the same time a brand identity challenge is faced by hotels in a cluster. Ghatalia says, “Hotels in clusters are often all luxury hotels offering almost similar services. Hotels, especially such cluster hotels, do not need an advertising campaign but a communication campaign.” He goes on to explain that an international chain should look at projecting the strong international reason to come to the consumer and since there are so many options available today, focus on one single feature that makes the brand popular in the local market. “A communication campaign should meet the consumer at various touch points,” he adds. Individual hotels need to look at reaching out to the consumer but if there are more that seven hotels from one company it makes more sense to revert to the brand centric campaigns believes Ghatalia, creating a reason for the guest to connect with the hotel brand globally. Hotels have to stop being tactical but at the same time look at the brand image. “The message that the guest should always get is – what is the reason to be there and what will I get there,” he says. The aim should be to create an affinity for a brand especially since services offered are similar. This gets connected to return on investment. Communications have to take priority over advertising. “All hotels have a mould when it comes to advertising and it needs to be broken,” Ghatalia affirms. Simple things like collaterals offer a great medium to communicate brand perspective. There should be tailormade strategies for different aspects. These are often managed by the marketing and communications team and hotels need to hire people with brand experience and conduct regular brand audits. April 1-15, 2013


Art at the party! The Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre kicked off the Pullman Artnights, 'signature events' that will become the guiding thread of every opening and renovation in the brand's flagship hotels and resorts hether they come for business, leisure or both, our goal is to offer our customers a stimulating, cosmopolitan experience with a mass of dash. In 2013, starting in Paris, London and Brussels, Pullman will be building up a collection of contemporary art good enough to go in a museum and exploring an essential aspect of our era: the reemergence of cultural identities in a modern world marked by cosmopolitanism and multi-ethnicity.” It was at the official opening of the Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre in February 2013 that Xavier Louyot, Pullman global marketing director, kicked off the Pullman Artnights, 'signature events' that will become the guiding thread of every opening and renovation in the brand's flagship hotels and resorts. Having just unveiled its high ambitions for its luxuryhigh end segment at the ITB Berlin, the brand is continuing to expand in the main tourist hubs of the planet and intends to shine the spotlight on a new approach to top-end hospitality where performance and pleasure are absolutely not incompatible. Two adjectives that go very well with the brand-new Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre, cheek by jowl with one of the city's largest malls and enjoying a fantastic view of the Emirate's capital.


three restaurants combining international and regional cuisine. For their greater wellbeing, guests can also take advantage of the SOMA Spa and the Fitness center, of course, has all the latest equipment. The hotel has given over

one full floor - 909 sq m – to organisation of all kinds of professional events, a space that boasts nine meeting rooms. A select new address and a curtain raiser for a whole series of forthcoming openings, as Christophe Landais, COO, Accor Middle

East, explains, "We are determined to reinforce our position in the upscale segment in the region and we want the Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre to become the benchmark for all business and leisure travellers. We currently

operate four Pullman hotels in the Middle East and two new addresses will very soon be added to the list: the Pullman Dubai Jumeirah Lake Tower which is due to open this year and the Pullman Doha scheduled for 2015.”

A benchmark hotel The hotel proposes the best of the brand's signature services: Welcome greeting, Pullman beds, free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel, Connectivity Lounge, CoMeeting concept for organizing professional events, Nespresso services, Vinoteca wine list by Pullman, Pullman Fit & Spa Lounge, etc, and has 317 rooms offering a high level of comfort and all the high-tech equipment you need for work and relaxation. The Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre therefore meets the expectations of an international business and leisure clientele by offering them a lifestyle where business and relaxation merge seamlessly. An example its bar and April 1-15, 2013




Sicilian degustation The Italian island of Sicily is keen to work with India to promote its products and services. The regional splendours were recently revealed when Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry together with Sicilian region took a delegation from India to see more opportunities for mutual business. By Sayoni Bhaduri

alling Sicily an island is a misnomer, but that is exactly what it is – the largest island in the Mediterranean. Full of pride about their rich cultural and historical lineage they are now looking at the new world to broaden financial and trade relations. With this intention Progetto India began two years ago with funding from the European Union. As part of this project, specialised industries from the two countries are looking for trade relations. While Sicilians have been to India looking for greener pastures, it was




for the first time that an Indian delegation of 48 members went to Sicily to see what was on offer. Arranged by the Indo-Italian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IICCI) the delegation covered four sectors – food and wine, marble and stone, film and mechatronics.

Project India Maurizio Tomalino, project chief of Projetto India gives the details, “We started more than a year ago with the purpose of developing business cooperation between Sicily and India. We

have taken part in exhibitions last August in Bengaluru and a delegation from Sicily spent a week in India last October. The 48 member delegation who are here in Sicily, we hope to offer them opportunities to develop business relations. This is just the start of the cooperation.” Italy currently is positioned at 12th place as investors in India and fifth in technical collaboration, informs Sergio Sgambato, secretary, IICCI as he presents an overview of the Indian economy and Indo-Italian trade relations. “There are 300 Italian companies with

April 1-15, 2013


their presence in India. This is just the official number, we expect as many 500 Italian companies working in India.” The situations are expected to improve with the Indo-European Union free trade treaty coming into force, believes Sgambato. “It is still under negotiation and should be finalised in couple of years should have a huge impact in our business relations with India. The bottleneck right now are with reference to segments like automobiles, wines, banking and education,” he adds. He also explains how there are strong cultural similarities between the two nations, which is a great stepping stone, but it is the dissimilarities that needs to be respected and understood. Of the 48, 14 members were from the food and wine sector who were to meet 28 companies from Sicily specialising in food and food products. Tomalino says, “It is important to create opportunities to grow. Progetto India is a good chance for Sicilian companies to approach a bigger market. At the moment Sicilian companies focus on niche markets like the F&B sector products are not made for masses.” Thanks to the cultural confluence that Sicily has witnessed over centuries, the region has some unique local food produce – Durum wheat, the red orange of Catania,

April 1-15, 2013

lemons and artichokes of Syracuse, the cherry tomatoes, the table grapes of Mazzarrone and Canicattì and the pistachios of Bronte. There is also the obvious wines and olive oils.

Organic trail An interesting facet is that the majority of these companies despite being in the SME category, have a strong focus on being organic. There are some who are also moving into the biodynamic space. Like the winery Abbazia Santa Anastasia. Paolo Riccobono from the winery informs that when they started with organic wines in 2003. “With the use of chemicals a lot of the natural essence of the land is lost, after a point of time it will taste the same as any other wine in the region. With organic production we use indigenous yeast from the grapes themselves. This allows real quality and taste to come through the wines,” he says. Marchesi de Gregorio, another Sicilian winery, has been producing organic wines since 2000. Massimo De Gregorio, the general manager of the winery, currently produces Nero D'Avola, Inzolio, Cattaratto, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah; at the same time he is also vinifying Grillo, Viognier and Nerello Mascalese for future vintages. Wheat and wheat pasta producer Filippo I Drago of Molini Del Ponte says




that he uses complete organic processes from milling of the wheat to the making of the pasta. He has two mills – stone mill and a cylindrical mill. The wheat he uses are unlike those found in India, the wheat used at Molini Del Ponte is a taller variety and a much sweeter wheat called Tumminia. According to Progetto India records Sicily has seen an increase of 12 per cent in organic farming and production in 2009-2010. The total area

under organic farming practices covers 2,25,693 hectares with a growth trend of 9.3 per cent in 2009-2010. Similar interest is expressed from other food and food processing companies too. Campo D'Oro produces the Villa Reale range of gourmet food products like pates, preserves, pesto, etc. The mechanised plant churns out 20,000 bottles of hand made products in an hour and 40,000 bottles of machine products in an hour. The raw materials are sourced from their own farms, assures Paolo Licata, MD of the Campo D'Oro, delivering impeccable quality. Azienda Agricola Salemi Pina is a slightly bigger set up which has both conventional range as well as the organic range. The 12-year-old business is keen to promote organic products in India, Pierpaolo Santo the second generation in the business says that they see a great potential similar to their other export markets like Germany and Japan. The difference in price points between conventional and organic products do not seem to be much. Riccobono goes as far to say, “The increase in price is simply for commercial purposes, it has not effect on cost of production.” While organic products is key focus area, artisanal products were the other. Latte Puccio is producer and supplier of Mozarella cheese and is also available in India. Giuseppe Valguarnera, GM of the company informs that they have introduced a better packaging for the Mozarella cheese to shipped longer distances. “It is also easier for chefs to use as it is a dry and not in water,” he adds. Cured meats from Italy have

already garnered popularity in India, but it is the smoked and cured fishes which are yet to make their presence felt. Linda Barcellona, MD, Maestri DelGusto threw open doors to her facilities explaining processes of salting, hot and cold smoking even the packaging and labelling – which can be customised according to the need of each conutry. Barcellona says that they primarily work with salmon, swordfish, tuna amongst others. The Indian buyers on their part were happy with the selection on offer, many looking for quality Sicilian wines to bring back and others looking for food products which have the durability and value in the Indian market. The opportunities are a plenty, the success is yet to be seen.

Perfect timing Jehangir Lawyer of Fortune Gourmet Specialities speaks on why India is the market to be in: “In the last four-five year India has undergone a food renaissance. This is not just in the key metro cities but in the interiors of the country as well. Pizzas, pasta, olive oil has become part of daily diet for an Indian” says Lawyer. Its is no longer unusual to find a middle class Indian family eating a pizza at least once a week just going to prove that the cuisine is no longer alien to India. After regional food and Chinese, Italian cuisine is the most popular cuisine in India. This has manifested itself in all forms, starting from five-star hotels with dedicated Italian restaurants or with menus which are more favourable to Italian. The Indian middle class is fastest growing and largest segment in the Indian economy. Almost every family has a children studying abroad; they come back with new eating habits and very often even this is influenced by Italian. “However it is a completely different thing that according to a survey conducted by an olive oil company almost 16-18 per cent EVOs are used in massages,” he quips. Lawyer goes on to explain how to become a foodie has become a social status in India. It is also evident in the myriad television channel the country has.There are 14 dedicated food channels which air in five languages in India. In 24 hours, there are two channels which are showing food based programmes. “It also not unusual to fine delicatessens in big cities like Mumbai and Delhi,” he says. Making an example of Chef Dario Dezio, an Italian based in India, who has a pure vegetarian restaurant in India serving Tuscan style food Lawyer explains that Indians are looking for Italian food experiences which are more region specific like Sicilian, Piedmont, etc. “Parmigianno Reggiano's consortium says that India is their third largest market in Asia. They get a good demand for their Reserve range as well,” he adds. Consumers in India are looking for quality. They are moving away from just penne and mozzarella, they are looking for different and regional food. It is a fast evolving market and it is a good time to be in India despite the bureaucracy and other bottlenecks.



April 1-15, 2013

Event Tracker Hospitality Trade Shows in 2013-14 Date



April 20-22, 2013

World Wine Meetings America


April 25-27, 2013

Seoul International Wines & Spirits Expo

May 6-9, 2013

Arabian Travel Market


May 7-10, 2013


Hong Kong

May 14 – 17, 2013

Seoul Food & Hotel

Seoul (Korea South)

May 16 - 19, 2013


Izmir, Turkey

May 20 -22, 2013

London International Wine Fair


May 27-28, 2013



Great Japan Beer Festival


June 3-6, 2013

International Luxury Travel Market Asia


June 4 - 6, 2013

Top Wine China


June 5 - 7, 2013

Indo Diary


June 7 - 9, 2013

Winexpo Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia

June 6 - 15, 2013

Sweet Eurasia


June 14-16, 2013

Hospitality Business Fair


June 16-20, 2013



July 11 – 13, 2013

FI Philippines


June 12 - 14, 2013

Food Hospitality World


June 12 - 15, 2013

Propak Asia


June 12 -16, 2013

BBC Good Food Show Birmingham


June 25 – 28, 2013

Fispal Cafe

São Paulo (Brazil)

August 15 – 17, 2013

Hong Kong International Tea Fair

Hong Kong

June 1 - 2, 2013

September 6-8, 2013


Seoul, South Korea


September 8 – 10, 2013

Speciality Chocolate Fair


September 11-13, 2013

Food Ingredients Asia


September 16-20, 2013



September 17-20, 2013

Food & Hotel Malaysia 2013

Kuala Lumpur

September 20-23, 2012

Caribbean Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange


September 23-24, 2013

South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference

Bogota (Columbia)

September 23-25, 2013

Annapoorna World of Food India


Sept 29 - Oct 1, 2013

The Hotel Show


October 18 - 22, 2013

HOST 2013


November 23 - 27, 2013

IGEHO 2013


January 14-15, 2014



April 1-15, 2013






Solar power on a dish Concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology has a lot of potential across all industries, including the hospitality sector. Clique Solar has developed a solar concentrating dish that can take care of all heating, cooking and laundry requirements in a hotel occupying minimum space and ensuring quick ROI. By Sudipta Dev sage of solar thermal power in the hospitality sector is still at a very nascent stage in India, but with increasing awareness of the long-term benefits (both environmental and cost aspects), it will not be far when a large segment of hotels across all categories will see the advantages of installing solar energy solutions for their many needs. Clique Solar offers turnkey solar thermal solutions for various processes that require heat energy in the hospitality sector. “The requirement could be in the form of steam for laundry or cooking, or hot water for washing, cleaning, bathing, etc. The thermal energy can also be used for comfort cooling or air conditioning applications,” says Ashok Paranjape, managing director, Clique Developments. The technology developed by Clique Solar is called ARUN. It is a paraboloid shaped solar concentrating dish and is rated to deliver various thermic media like steam, hot water, thermic oil and even hot air up to 300°C (using thermic fluid) or 10 bar (using steam). Heating, cooking and laundry form a key part of operations in any hotel and ARUN can take care of all these solar energy needs. “This is also the industry that is most affected by rise in fuel prices, pressure to adopt green technologies and other practical constraints that affect their energy needs directly. Thus this becomes a huge market for us. To cater to the diverse segments within the hospitality sector, we have developed a few different versions of the ARUN dish,” states Paranjape. Clique Solar has successfully installed and operated two ARUN solar concentrator dishes to cater to the thermal energy needs of ITC Maurya, New Delhi. “This installation has been opera-




Department of Energy Science and Engineering (DESE), IIT Bombay. One of these dishes is installed on top of the existing banquet hall, while the other is installed on the ground in the backyard of the hotel with a footprint area of less than 3m x 3m.

Operational process

Ashok Paranjape

Dr Shireesh Kedare

tional for over two years now and it saves ITC an equivalent of almost 30,000 to 35,000 litres of PNG per annum, and a reduction in CO2 emissions by almost 120 to 130 tons per annum. Steam generated by the

ARUN dishes is fed into the existing boiler header and is further given to the laundry, for cooking and for bathing,” says Dr Shireesh Kedare, director at Clique Developments and an adjunct professor,

Explaining the operational process, Dr Kedare mentions that the basic aim of the control system is to deliver steam to the existing boiler header. He explains that the ARUN dish automatically tracks the sun from morning to evening on two axes (N-S and E-W). The solar radiation falling on the reflecting collector surface is concentrated at a single point at which the receiver is placed. The receiver coil at the focus of the dish transfers the heat of the sun to the heat transfer April 1-15, 2013


medium (water). The steam generation system comprises of ARUN 160 dish system, steam separator, pumps, valves, etc. Once the system starts generating steam, the pressure in the line starts increasing. Once this pressure matches the pressure in the existing boiler header (eight bar), a valve will open and steam will be delivered to the common header. “This process will continue whenever the sun is available. When the sun is not available, the existing boiler will turn on. This switchover between the solar and existing boiler is automatic,” adds Dr Kedare. Taking into consideration the fact that the energy requirements of every hotel will be different, can the solution be customised for individual hotels? Dr Kedare answers that while in general, the applications where thermal energy is required will not vary much across companies (it will remain laundry, cooking, cooling and bathing), however the volume of steam or hot water needed will change in every property. “Also, aspects like location, space availability, back-up heating system, etc, will vary for each project. Thus, this is not a case of product selling, every project is unique and a suitable solution needs to be worked out given the local constraints,” he adds, pointing out that while the ARUN solar technology will be the same for any project, the sizing of the system and the integration details will change.

Many benefits There are multiple benefits of April 1-15, 2013

installing a solar energy solution in a hotel: Space: Hotels across the country do not have the luxury of space. The small footprint area of ARUN dish (3m x 3m per dish) enables it to be mounted at locations which have space limitations. Economics: In most cases, the payback period on this investment is between two to four years. This is extremely attractive considering the long life of more than 25 years of the system. The government provides subsidy and provisions for accelerated depreciation in the balance sheet. Life:With the minimal maintenance, the system will last upto 25 years. This means after the payback period has been achieved it is free fuel for the rest of the system life. Non-solar hours operations: ARUN dish can be augmented with a heat energy storage facility for operation in non-solar hours. The only solar thermal technology to provide so. The biggest impediment in the adoption of solar thermal technologies in the hospitality industry is due to lack of awareness and confidence in the technology. “This can only be resolved by providing the industry with a technology that can be trusted and the one that delivers. A big step towards building advocacy is in the form of the performance guarantee that we provide for ARUN,” states Paranjape. The company is also investing in spreading awareness about CST technologies and how they are helpful in addressing the energy needs of

all industries. “We are reaching across to media to help us take the message of clean and efficient technology to the organisations operating in this domain; we are in talks with the industry associations to combine synergies; speaking at forums where we can address this industry segment at large. We are also in the process of building our business associates network who can help us get the last mile connectivity. We are working consistently towards educating every stakeholder involved in the process of communicating, delivering and adopting the solar energy systems,” asserts Paranjape. Through ARUN the company plans to plug the gap that has been created due to the missing innovation quotient in the domain. “Unfortunately that has done immense damage to the perception that people/stake holders have of concentrated solar thermal today,” rues Paranjape. The bigger vision for Clique Solar is to cater to the thermal energy needs in the various industrial segments like dairy, automobile, textile, pharmaceutical, chemical, food processing, FMCG, etc. “This can only happen when a good understanding of the process heat requirements is developed and a suitable technology is built. We are putting our energies in our R&D to serve the industry by making adoption of such solar technologies technically and commercially viable,” mentions Paranjape, remembering to add that this will prove to be a huge step towards making India energy self-sufficient.



Hospitality SOFT SKILLS


'Innate passion cannot be taught' Michael Romei, chief concierge, The Waldorf Astoria/The Waldorf Towers, New York, USA and also the general secretary of International Board, UICH Les Clefs d'Or, was in India recently to conduct trainings for concierges with Concierge Association of India in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Kolkata, Agra and Goa. With 18 years of experience behind him, Romei explains the makings of a good concierge. By Sayoni Bhaduri How would you define the profession of a concierge? Concierge as a profession itself is an art. It is symbolic not just of the hotel but also of the city. We often have networks and contacts outside the city as well. We create a unique proposition. Most people who become concierges learn so much about the city that they are its best representatives. What is that one element that distinguishes a concierge? It is simple; a person has to have an innate passion and it cannot be taught. It is the one factor in the entire equation which has to preexist. The tools can be taught. What are the other essential attributes that are required to become a successful concierge?

Michael Romei

guests. These are important factors which make a good concierge. Furthermore, a concierge is not just driven by passion but he/she also genuinely wants to help guests. True passion is essential, the guest always has to come first. They should also have the curiosity to learn and then be able to develop something on their own. Curiosity allows one to engage in constant learning and improving one's skills. Discipline and consistency assures that service delivery remains impeccable time and again.

According to me there are five things that are important – service delivery, maximum social medium, cultivate relationships, adhere to standards, wow

How important is technology in a concierge's role? Do you see the tool as a threat? Technology is a tool for us to enhance our services. The benefits are tremendous, imagine Yellow Pages

versus Google. So much information is available in such less time, it just adds to efficiency. But technology will not replace us. In the luxury service arena it is about the human touch and it cannot be taken away. Despite the numerous phone calls and emails, the human connect when a concierge meets a guest cannot be replicated. There is a true sense of trust as well as a sense of protection and security. Guests know that concierges will guide them in the right direction. A guest is already thinking of his need, the concierge just provides and fulfills that. We take great pride in ourselves and the relationships that we have created. According to Les Clefs d’Or membership, concierges have been at the service of 126 million guests. What are the professional growth opportunities for a concierge? Loyalty is foremost. According to data collected by UICH Convention in 2010 at Toronto, 60 per cent of concierges have been working with the same organisation for over 10 years. It is a solid profession unto itself but at the same time it is not a stepping stone to becoming a general manager of a hotel. What is your opinion of Indian concierges? India has a very unique spirit and the biggest gift that they have here is the unity and friendship. It is their greatest strength.



April 1-15, 2013



Movements Roots Corporation Roots Corporation (RCL), subsidiary of The Taj Group recently announced the appointment of P K Mohankumar as managing director and CEO. In his new role, Mohankumar will lead the management team in consolidating current operations of Ginger Hotels pan India and spearheading fast track growth and development in the domestic market. Prior to taking on his current role, he served as COO, The Gateway Hotels & Resorts.

The Raintree St Marys, Chennai Rajesh Gopalakrishnan has been appointed as the general manager for The Raintree St Marys, Chennai. He started his career as a chef and worked with various hotel companies across Chennai, Mumbai, Maldives and UAE at different verticals and positions of the hotel business. His last assignment was with The Novotel Hyderabad Airport.

The Westin Mumbai Garden City

Arindam Mukherjee has been appointed as the director- food and beverage at The Raintree St Marys, Chennai. He has worked in various capacities over 14 years in the hospitality industry. In his current assignment he will be responsible for driving food and beverage operation at The Raintree St Marys. Having started his career with The Oberoi New Delhi in 1998, he was also associated with TGI Friday and Ista Hotels.

Rajesh Maheshwari has been appointed as director of finance at The Westin Mumbai Garden City. With over 17 years of experience, his prior assignment was with The Lalit - Mumbai as financial controller. His previous work experience includes regional financial accountantHyder Consulting Australia, financial controller – Stamford Grand North Ryde - Sydney, Sir Stamford at Circular Quay - Sydney, Australia as hotel controller.

Vivanta by TajConnemara, Chennai

Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Courtyard by Marriott Ahmedabad

Vivanta by TajConnemara, Chennai has appointed Samrat Datta as the general manager of the hotel. Prior to joining he had the opportunity to lead the teams at Jai Mahal Palace in Jaipur and at Taj Pamodzi Hotel, a business hotel in Lusaka, Zambia. Having spent almost 21 years in the hospitality industry, he has been associated with Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces for about 13 years now.

Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel has announced the appointment of Vijay Taksali who will head the division for finance to provide directed and strategic consultancy that will complement the company’s existing business. Taksali’s authorisation will include account management, budgeting, taxation and compliances, banking, software usages, IT knowledge and cost control for the company whilst developing strategies in alignment to the organisation’s goals and targets.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has announced the appointment of Rajesh Jhingon as executive vice president, operations for the group. In this role, Jhingon will oversee and drive operations and initiatives for The Leela group’s portfolio of eight hotels as well as four new hotels in the pipeline. In a career spanning over 20 years, his last stint was as general manager, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.

Prashanth Kumar has been appointed as general manager at Courtyard by Marriott Ahmedabad. Kumar started his career at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Denver, United States in the year 2000. His first assignment as general manager was in 2008 at ibis Gurgaon. His last assignment prior to joining Courtyard Marriott Ahmedabad was the pre opening general manager at ibis Delhi Airport.

Absolute Hotel Services India Absolute Hotel Services India has announced the appointment of Biju Palet as the new general manager of Eastin Residences Muscat Oman. Palet has over 14 years of experience in hospitality industry with strong background in front of the house to sales and marketing operations. He has worked with many established hotel chains in India including The Chancery Pavlion Bangalore, Le Royal Meridien Chennai, The Park Chennai and Taj Manjarun Mangalore.

April 1-15, 2013

Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre Sharad Datta has been appointed as the GM, Hyderabad Marriott Hotel &Convention Centre & Courtyard by Marriott. With almost two decades of hospitality experience, Datta has worked with reputed brands such as the Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Carlson Rezidor Hotels.Prior to this, he was GM, Radisson BLU Dwarka, New Delhi.

Appoinment An established group requires Executive House Keeper qualified with 3 – 4 years experience in at least 3 star hotel. Candidates from Pune and around will be suitable. Salary as per suitability. Apply with complete Biodata, testimonials and recent photograph, mentioning salary expected.

Kay Bouvet Engg. Ltd. Hotel Sapphire Complex, Jagadhri, Yamuna Nagar (Haryana) Email –, Phone No. 01732 – 228805



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■ Mumbai: Rajan Nair - 09821076065 ■ Delhi: Pranshu - 09810841431 ■ Delhi Associate : Manoj - 09818073441 ■ Chennai & Hyderabad : Shukla : 09849297724 ■ Bangalore: Sreejit : 08867574257 ■ Kolkata: P Basu - 09830130965 April 1-15, 2013



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Express Hospitality Business Avenues To Advertise in

Business Avenues Please Contact: ■

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ChocoMan Two Cute

Delhi Associate : Manoj - 09818073441

Chennai & Hyderabad : Shukla : 09849297724 ■

Bangalore: Sreejit : 08867574257



Delhi: Pranshu - 09810841431

Kolkata: P Basu - 09830130965

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Express Hospitality Business Avenues

April 1-15, 2013



LIST YOUR COMPANY FOR FREE Amusement, Leisure & Health Club Equipment A01 Advertising Balloon A02 Air Hockey A03 Amusement Park / FEC Equipment A04 Beauty Salon Equipment A05 Boats A06 Bowling Alleys A07 Chemicals for Swimming Pool A08 Coin Operated Toys / Electric Cars A09 Electronic & Battery Filtration Plants A10 Fountains A11 Garden Furniture A12 Garden Umbrella A13 Golf Equipments A14 Guest Amenities (Refer F20-Guest Amenities) A15 Guest Transportation A16 Health & Fitness Equipment A17 Inflatables A18 Juke Box A19 Playground Equipment A20 Pool Table Manufacturers A21 Redemption Machine A22 Ride Stimulator A23 Swimming Pool Equipment & Supplies A24 Walkway Tents & Marquees Bakery B01 Automatic Pillow Pack / Biscuit Packaging Machines B02 Bakery Enzymes B03 Bakery Equipments B04 Bakery Fats B05 Baking Pans B06 Biscuits B07 Blenders B08 Bread B09 Bread Slicer B10 Cake Decoration B11 Cakes B12 Confectionery B13 Dough Kneader B14 Dough Sheeters B15 Ingredients & Additives B16 Moulds B17 Ovens B18 Planetary Mixers B19 Ready - Made Cake Mixes B20 Sugar & Sweetener B21 Wheat Flour & Rice B22 Yeast B23 Zero Calorie Sweetener (Refer C46 - Zero Calorie Sweetener) Food & Beverage C01 Beverages-Alcoholic C02 Beverages-Non Alcoholic C03 Canned Foods C04 Cashew C05 Cocoa & Chocolate Products C06 Coconut & Coconut Milk Powder C07 Coffee C08 Custard Powder C09 Dry Fruits C10 Dry Tea C11 Edible Oil C12 Flavour C13 Food Paste C14 Fresh Fruits & Vegetables C15 Fresh Meat, Poultry & Sea Food

C16 Frozen Foods C17 Fruit Pulp Concentrate C18 Grocery Products C19 Health Products C20 Ice Cream C21 Instant Custard Powder C22 Jam & Jelly C23 Milk & Dairy Products C24 Mukhavas & Supari C25 Natural Foods C26 Noodles C27 Olive Oil C28 Pasta C29 Rice C30 Ready to Eat Food C31 Roasted / Salted Almonds C32 Salt C33 Sauces C34 Snacks C35 Soups C36 Speciality Foods C37 Spices C38 Sweets & Savour C39 Tea / Tea Bags C40 Vanaspati Oil C41 Vegetable Oil C42 Vermicelli C43 Wheat Flour & Rice (Refer B21-Wheat Flour & Rice) C44 Whipping Cream C45 Wines C46 Zero Calorie Sweetener F & B Service D01 Aluminium Foil D02 Aluiminium Foil Containers D03 Ash Trays D04 Badges & Signages D05 Bags & Caps D06 Banquet Frills D07 Bar Equipment & Accessories D08 Candle & Candle Stand D09 Casserole D10 Chafing Dishes D11 Chafing Fuel D12 Chafing Pan D13 Coasters D14 Coffee Machine D15 Crates D16 Chocolate Fountain Machine D17 Crockery D18 Cutlery D19 Dining Table Accessories D20 Dinner Set D21 Disinfectants (Refer F13-Disinfectants) D22 Disposable Plates & Containers D23 Foil Rolls & Cling Film D24 Fuel {Solid, Liquid & Gel} D25 Glassware D26 Holloware (Refer H27 - Holloware) D27 Hotelware D28 Insulated Boxes D29 Kitchen Accessories D30 Kitchenware D31 Knives D32 Marking & Coding Material D33 Matches & Lighter D34 Melamine Crockery D35 Menu Folders & Covers D36 Microwave Dishes D37 Microwave Ovens D38 Non Stick Cookware D39 Packaging Materials

D40 Paper Napkins / Tissues D41 Paper Products D42 Pepper Mills D43 Plastic Food Containers D44 Polythene Bags D45 Portion Packed Sachets & Blisters D46 Restaurant Linen (Refer G41 - Linen) D47 Sign Board (Refer E60 - Signages) D48 Silverware D49 Straws D50 Table Mats D51 Tableware {Ceramic} D52 Tableware {Porcelain} D53 Thermoware D54 Tinplate D55 Tongs D56 Toothpick D57 Trays D58 Trolley D59 Vending Machines Tea / Coffee (Refer H15 - Dispenser-Vending Machines) D60 Water Coolers (Refer H63 - Water Coolers) D61 Weighing Scale D62 Wine Chillers Engineering & Technology E01 AC Plant & Boiler Maintenance Chemicals E02 AC Repair & Maintenance Service E03 AC Spare Parts & Refrigerant Gases E04 Access Control System E05 Air Conditioning E06 Air Pollution Control Systems E07 Air Purification E08 Audio / Visual Equipment E09 Auto Water Level Controller E10 Automatic Sliding E11 Blowers E12 Boilers & Geysers E13 Building Management Systems (BMS) E14 Cable Accessories E15 Cables E16 Cash Registers E17 CD ROM E18 CRM Solutions E19 Chilling Plants E20 Computer-Hardware & Software E21 Conferencing Equipment E22 Cooling Systems E23 Cooling Towers E24 Data Centre / Infrastructure Management E25 Data Mining / Business Intelligence E26 Disc Jockey Equipment E27 Drain Cleaning Equipment E28 Dryers & Dehumidifiers E29 Earth Moving Equipment E30 Electrical Equipment & Supply E31 Electronic Ballast E32 Electronic Door Locks E33 Electronic Safes E34 Elevators & Escalators E35 Energy Conservation Systems E36 Energy Control Systems E37 Fire Fighting Equipment E38 Generator Sets E39 Hotel Management Software E40 Hotel Online Reservation Systems E41 In-room Entertainment Systems E42 Insulation Materials E43 Internet Service Provider E44 Key Tags E45 Kiosk E46 LCD / LED TV

E47 Locks E48 Luminaries E49 Mobile Applications E50 Office Automation Products E51 Online Marketing E52 Peripherals E53 Point Of Sale {POS} E54 Process Control Instruments E55 Property Management E56 Pumps & Spare E57 RFID Solutions E58 Safes E59 Security Equipment & Supplies E60 Signages E61 Solar Energy Equipment E62 Sound System E63 Steel E64 Survillence Equipments E65 Switch Gear E66 Telecommunications E67 Television / Interactive TV E68 Temperature Control System E69 Thermal & Acoustic Insulation E70 Touch Monitors E71 Trackball E72 Tube & Pipe Fitting E73 UPS System E74 Valves E75 Video Conferencing Equipments / Softwares E76 Web Services E77 Wi-fi E78 Workforce Management Housekeeping F01 Air Curtains F02 Air Fresheners F03 Bed Spring / Rollaway F04 Bird Control Systems F05 Blanket / Duvets F06 Brooms F07 Brushes F08 Brushes / Mops / Scrubbers F09 Cleaning Products & Equipments F10 Contract Housekeeping Companies F11 Curtains F12 Cushion & Cushion Covers F13 Disinfectants F14 Disposal Hand Gloves & Aprons F15 Down & Feather Products F16 Dryers-Hair & Hand F17 Floor Cleaning Machine F18 Fly Traps / Killers F19 Garbage Bags F20 Guest Amenities F21 Hangers F22 Housekeeping Services F23 Irons / Ironing Boards F24 Kitchen Towels Rolls F25 Ladders F26 Laundry Equipment F27 Laundry / Newspaper Bags F28 Linen Bath (Refer G41 - Linen) F29 Linen Bed (Refer G41 - Linen) F30 Madeup F31 Mattress (Refer G46 - Mattress & Cushion) F32 Mini Bars F33 Mirrors F34 Napkins F35 Napthalene Balls F36 Odour Control Systems F37 Pest Control

F38 Pest Repellent F39 Pillow F40 Polishes F41 Sensor Tap F42 Shoe / Slippers / Footwear F43 Shoe Shining Machine F44 Soap Dispenser F45 Soap, Detergent & Chemical F46 Stationery Items F47 Suitings & Shirtings F48 Tissue Papers F49 Toilet Tissue Rolls F50 Towels F51 Uniforms F52 Urinal & Toilet Flusher F53 Vaccum Cleaners F54 Waste Bin F55 Weighing Scales (Refer D61 - Weighing Scales) Interior G01 Aluminium Products G02 Artificial Lawns & Plants G03 Automatic Door Closer G04 Awnings, Canopies & Shades G05 Bathroom Equipment & Sanitaryware G06 Bathroom Sealants G07 Brassware G08 Building Material G09 Cane Furniture / Products G10 Carpets G11 Ceramic Tiles G12 Chairs G13 Chandeliers G14 Clocks G15 Curtain Drapes / Rails G16 Decorative Glass G17 Decorative Light Fittings G18 Doors & Windows G19 Drapery Rods & Curtains G20 Energy Saving Lamps G21 False Ceilings G22 Fans G23 Floor Covers G24 Floorings G25 Frameless Glass Showers G26 Frames G27 Furnishing & Fabrics G28 Furniture & Fixture G29 Fusion Glass G30 Gate Automation G31 Gates & Grills G32 Glass Block / Silicon Sealants G33 Glass for Door & Window G34 Glass Tile G35 Granite G36 Hardware G37 Laminates

G38 Lamps & Lamp Shades G39 Light & Light System G40 Lighting Control Solution G41 Linen G42 Locks G43 Marble Tables G44 Marbles G45 Matting System G46 Mattress & Cushion G47 Mirrors Cabinets G48 Paintings G49 Paints G50 Pavers & Tiles G51 Plating G52 Plywood G53 Rubber Wood / Solid Wood Furniture G54 Spiral Staircase G55 Stained Glass & Related Products G56 Switches G57 Tent & Roofing Fabrics G58 Venetian Blinds G59 Vertical & Roller Blinds G60 Wall Covering / Paper G61 Wall To Wall Carpets G62 Weather Sheets G63 Window Covering G64 Window Tracing Products G65 Wood Lacquers G66 Wooden Floorings G67 Wrought Iron Furniture Kitchen Equipment H01 Automatic Gas Operated Pizza Ovens H02 Bain Marie (Refer H10 - Commercial Kitchen Equipment) H03 Bar Equipment (Refer D07 - Bar Equipment) H04 Bottle Coolers H05 Bottled Water Dispenser (Refer H64 - Water Dispensers) H06 Can Openers H07 Catering Equipments H08 Centrifugal Blowers H09 Combi Ovens H10 Commercial Kitchen Equipment H11 Cutlery (Refer D18 - Cutlery) H12 Deep Freezer (Refer H51 - Refrigeration Equipment) H13 Dish Washer H14 Dishwarmer H15 Dispenser-Vending Machine H16 Display Counter / Refrigerated Display H17 Dumb Elevator H18 Electric Chimney H19 Electric / Gas Deep Fryers H20 Exhaust Fans & Ventilators H21 Fryers H22 Garbage Processing Machine

H23 Gastronorm Pans H24 Gelato H25 Griller H26 Grinder / Mixer H27 Holloware H28 Hot Plate (Refer H10 - Commercial Kitchen Equipment) H29 Ice Box H30 Ice Carving Sets H31 Ice Cream Bags H32 Ice Cream Dispenser H33 Ice Cream Freezer H34 Ice Cream Machine H35 Ice Cube Machine H36 Induction Cookers H37 Industrial Mixers H38 Kitchen Cleaning Solution H39 Kitchen Design & Planning H40 Kitchen Equipment Maintenance & Service Kitchen Exhaust System H41 Kitchen Utensils (Refer D30 - Kitchenware) H42 LPG H43 Mincer H44 Noodles & Pasta Machines H45 Ovens (Refer B17 - Ovens) H46 Popcorn Making Machine H47 Portable Cabins H48 Pressure Cooker (Refer H10-Commercial Kitchen Equipment) H49 Refrigerated Display Counters (Refer H51 - Refrigeration Equipment) H50 Refrigerated Transport Containers H51 Refrigeration Equipment H52 Sauce Pans (Refer H10 - Commercial Kitchen Equipment) H53 Shawerma H54 Slush Machine H55 Softy Machine H56 Stoves & Burners (Refer H10 - Commercial Kitchen Equipment) H57 Tandoor H58 Thick Shake Machine H59 Turnkey Project Consultancy (Refer J19 - Turnkey Project Consultancy) H60 Utility Vehicle (Refer H10 - Commercial Kitchen Equipment) H61 Vegetable Cutting Machine (Refer H10 - Commercial Kitchen Equipment) H62 Walk-In-Cold Rooms H63 Water Coolers H64 Water Dispensers Waste Management & Water Treatment Technology

I04 Food Waste Treatement System I05 Non-Chemical Water Treatment I06 Reverse Osmosis Plants I07 Sewage Treatment Plants I08 Solid Waste Management (Wet/Dry) / Garbage Disposal Systems I09 Water Chlorinator I10 Water Disinfectant I11 Water Filtration Plant I12 Water Purifiers I13 Water Related Technologies I14 Water Tanks I15 Water Treatment Chemicals I16 Water Treatment Plants Consultants J01 Acoustic Consultants J02 Architect J03 Bar Consultants J04 Civil Consultants J05 Environment Consultants J06 F& B Consultants J07 General Insurance for Hotels J08 Hotel Consultants J09 Interior Consultants J10 Kitchen Consultants J11 Landscape Consultants J12 Laundry Consultants J13 Leisure & Amusement Park Consultants J14 Project Consultants J15 Real Estate Consultants J16 Recruitment Consultants J17 Spa Consultants J18 Technical Consultants J19 Turnkey Project Consultancy Spa & Wellness K01 Aromatherapy Diffusers K02 Beauty Care Products K03 Chill Shower Equipment K04 Cosmetology Equipments K05 Essential Oils K06 Hair Styling Equipments K07 Hot Water Generators K08 Hydrotherapy Equipment K09 Indoor Air Quality Equipment K10 Jacuzzi Equipment K11 Massage Chairs K12 Massage Tables K13 Nail Stations K14 Nutrition Supplements K15 Sauna Equipment K16 Spa / Salon Toiletries K17 Steam Equipment

I01 Drain Cleanng Equipment I02 Drinking Water Plants I03 Effluent Treatment Plants

Listing facility also available online at Company Name: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact Person: ______________________________________ Designation: _____________________________________ Address: __________________________________________________________________________________________ City: __________________________ Pin code: ______________________________ State: __________________________ Tel.: _________________________________ Fax: ________________________ Mobile: ___________________________ Email: ______________________________________________ Website: _______________________________________ Product Codes: _____________________________________________________________________________________ *Please attach extra sheet if contact details do not fit in the area provided. Yes I am intersested in paid advertising in HPF 2013 ONLY TEN FREE LISTINGS PER COMPANY WILL BE PERMITTED ENTRIES SHOULD REACH BEFORE 30TH APRIL, 2013 Mail all forms to: Darshana Chauhan, Express Hospitality, Global Fairs & Media Pvt. Ltd., 2nd Floor, Express Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021. For any other queries, Contact - Darshana Chauhan on Tel.: +91 22 67440499 • E-mail:


That’s the spirit!




Marcellus Baptista

he scent of success was in the air at the 12th Teacher’s Achievement Awards at Taj Lands End. The cocktail hour with guests enjoying Teacher’s, Jim Beam and other spirits was followed by the award ceremony hosted by Boman Irani. Ramesh Sippy won the Lifetime Achievement Award at this night that also featured music by Merlin D’Souza and Vivienne Pocha, performances by Shiamak Davar’s troupe, Sunidhi Chauhan and Prasoon Joshi and a standup comedy act by Vikram Sathaye, Cyrus Sahukar and Ashwin Mushran. The talk was on the awards instituted in 2001that recognise the true potential of human endeavour in various fields like business, sports, entertainment, literature, fashion, lifestyle and communication.

Shiamak Davar and Boman Irani at the Teacher's Achievement Awards atTaj Lands End


Good food ride

Cheerful news he feel-good factor was present at the launch of a pub called The Daily. At the launch party, hosted by Dishant Pritamani and Amrit Manghnani, guests viewed the happy news clips culled from Indian and international publications that were framed and mounted on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Seen were Asin Thottumkal, Sarah Jane Dias, Ileana D’Cruz, Shahana Goswami, Atul and Alvira Agnihotri, Pia Trivedi, Dipannita Sharma and Mugdha Godse among many more. And the happy news continued in the restroom (known as the Mad, Mad World) that was covered with some bizarre news.

Fine focus ituated in the heart of the art district of Kala Ghoda it was nice to note that the European restaurant Cheval was the venue for the launch of the Focus photography festival. Hosted by Sunny Sara and Ritik Bhasin with Focus cofounders Matthieu Foss, Nicola Antaki and Elise Foster, the party saw guests enjoying the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres like zucchini fritters, chicken sliders and caramelised garlic tarts. Spotted at this spacious place were Sheetal Mallar, Krsna Mehta, Akanksha Nanda, Marie Lou Phillips, Payal Khandwala and Brinda Miller among many other art lovers.



Swapna Patker and Sanjay Dutt at the launch of Saffron 12 overs of good food were happy at the launch of Dr Swapna Patker’s Saffron 12, a multi-cuisine fine-dining family restaurant serving Chinese, Thai, Continental and Indian cuisine and also age-old authentic Pathare Prabhu food. Joining in the celebration were Sanjay Raut, Sanjay Dutt, Uddhav Thackeray, Bappi Lahiri, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Shalini Thackeray, Suresh Wadkar, Sonalika Pradhan, Dalip Tahil and Vithal Kamat. You learnt that Saffron 12 was so named since the idea is to have 12 lounges at several places, all with great ambience, good food and pocketfriendly prices.

L Pia Trivedi and Sarah Jane Dias at the launch of The Daily April 1-15, 2013

Sheetal Mallar at the Focus festival party at Cheval




Working together

Business associations

L-R: Prem Gandhi, managing director, KC Hotels; SP Jain, managing director, Pride Hotels and Arun Nayar, executive director, Pride Hotels at the management tie-up announcement for Pride KC Hotel & Spa

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group signs joint venture agreement with Indonesia’s Panorama Group to accelerate Carlson Rezidor’s portfolio growth in Indonesia

The 100th

Women and music

L-R: Ajit Pavithran, GM, Vivanta by Taj- Gurgaon, NCR; Veer Vijay Singh, COO, Vivanta by Taj; Abhijit Mukerji, executive director- IHCL; Raymond Bickson, MD and CEO, IHCL; Lalit Bhasin, chairman, HB Estate; Rajesh Jain of HB Estate; Deepa Misra Harris, senior VP- sales and marketing at the launch of its 100th hotel in India with Vivanta by Taj, in the Millennium City of Gurgaon

(L-R) Saeid and Lenka Heidari with Meiyang Chang at the Women's Day event at Rlife Live at Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel

Attracting talent

Continous innovation

BD Park, president and CEO, Samsung SouthWest Asia, showcasing Galaxy Note 510 & F8000 LED TV at the Samsung Forum 2013 with Shruti Seth in Hyderabad



Ajit Jose, Director of Rooms, Le Meridien Kochi; Sumithra Upadhyay, assistant director HR, Le Meridien Kochi and Gopinathan Pillai, director -security lighting the lamp for Starwood Asia Pacific Recruitment Day

April 1-15, 2013


Express Hospitality April 1-15, 2013  
Express Hospitality April 1-15, 2013  

Express Hospitality April 1-15, 2013