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Managers, Strategists, Team Builders

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Food & Hospitality World spoke to General Managers of some of the leading hotel brands in India to get their vision for the year ahead

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Strategies for 2016

20160131eh64Our management strategy for 2016 will be designed to cater to our key stakeholders – employees and guests. The team at Taj Lands End, Mumbai is part of a distinct culture and we aim to strengthen this ethos. Our key priority is to empower our people to deliver on our legacy of impeccable service. We intend to activate employee engagement activities, to ensure a more motivated and high-performing workforce that takes efforts to address the inherent needs of our guests. Our commitment to service excellence stems from our ‘People Philosophy’ which displays our commitment to and belief in our talent. This carefully crafted people strategy motivates the associates to go beyond the periphery of hospitality and create experiences for our patrons that are unmatched and unique.

We endeavour to provide personalised, warm and anticipatory service where every guest request is anticipated and delivered with great panache. Conference coordinators and guest service managers are other ways in which personalised services are offered to the esteemed guests at the hotel. In addition, we will continue to focus on an effective cost structure as we build the top line revenue.

Reducing carbon footprint

In an endeavour to reinstate our hotel’s vision and efforts to boost sustainable tourism and integrate environment management in all business areas, we have taken conscious efforts to follow eco friendly practices and low-carbon policies. As a part of Energy Saving Initiative, Taj Lands End, Mumbai has implemented the demand flow solution for the chiller. Right from building management system for air handling air units to eco labeled chemical cleaning products in laundry and housekeeping, we strive to incorporate sustainable practices at each step of our service.

My smart management concept

The smart management concept entails a holistic analysis of various aspects of the hotel. Our team spends a lot of time investigating the various nuances that are critical to creating an overall brand experience. Each employee from varied departments adds to the knowledge bank which is the foundation of devising strategies for the smooth deliverance of services.

We give immense importance to evidence-based management, ensuring all the employees are seeking inputs through guest interactions which further helps us curate an exceptional experience for our patrons.

Parveen Chander Kumar, General Manager, Taj Lands End, Mumbai

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)


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Strategies for 2016

20160131eh66The Leela Mumbai will focus on retaining its leadership in the north Mumbai market. Even though it is a competitive market, The Leela Mumbai is well known as a home grown luxury brand and straddles the business travel market and the leisure travel market with ease. Our guests are global travellers and are discerning in their choices, which are varied today.

Technology has taken us closer to these consumers and we ensure that we keep abreast of the latest developments in our effort to reach out to our guests. We have a robust sales and marketing plan for the coming year and our presence will be at all consumer touch points. It is important to be at the right place at the right time. We will also continue focusing on innovating and maintaining the highest standards of service thereby enhancing our guest experiences.

Reducing carbon footprint

I believe every industry should strive to reduce the carbon footprint. Making simple but effective changes can make a huge difference. The Leela Mumbai has been following sustainable practices for the last several years.

Rain water harvesting, responsible management of wet and dry garbage, e-wastage and plastic for environmental friendly disposal, usage of energy saving devices, usage of ozone friendly gases in our air-conditioning systems are some of the many initiatives practiced by us to reduce the carbon footprint.

My smart management concept

I believe that every department head has the expertise to handle and deliver the targets of their respective departments. Goals are set at the start of the year to every department head with broad guidelines.

I like to give every individual the freedom to work and deliver. Regular updates and follow-ups are done to ensure that course correction can be done, should the need arise. We provide the resources to ensure that every department head/ leader reaches the finishing line.

Sameer Sud, General Manager, The Leela Mumbai

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)


Strategies for 2016

20160131eh67VITS Hotel, Nashik is a luxury business hotel and is situated in the central region of the city. A part of the illustrious VITS group of hotels, VITS Hotel, Nashik, is known for its quality service and warm hospitality.

Being the most popular hotel brand in Nashik, we plan to focus more on guest happiness while offering quality food and hospitality. We will focus on team building and organising various food festivals providing typical authentic food with a theme.

We would like to capitalise on any market opportunities to scale up our sales. The hotel offers the best rooms in the city that come with all modern amenities.

The hotel has an array of dining options for foodies. The restaurants at VITS Hotel, Nashik provides a multi-cuisine spread. VITS Hotel, Nashik has three banquet halls and a lawn for all meetings and events.

Reducing carbon footprint

We give a lot of importance to guest demands and suggestions and constantly keep making changes in our property as per market demand.

My smart management concept

Our smart management concept is focused on developing strategies to be the first choice of hotel among customers visiting Nashik.

Arvind Chauhan, General Manager, VITS Hotel, Nashik

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)


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Strategies for 2016

Some strategies for 2016 include the following:

  • Contend with various digital players in the competitive travel sphere, from meta-search engines to review sites to OTAs.
    n Mobile booking is not only fueling key shifts in consumer behaviour but it is also facilitating new business models and industry partnerships. I believe one out of four bookings will come from a mobile device in 2016.
  • Investing in your own website, with ongoing search engine optimisation (SEO) is paramount to a successful digital marketing approach.
  • Visual storytelling is a hot trend, with brands sharing photos across social networks as it gets good engagement with their community.
  • Experience driven strategies: This is a trend nonspecific to 2016 as I believe hotels have been embracing this recently. But it will certainly grow this year. Consumers want to stay with hotels that acknowledge their preferences, needs and wants.
  • Holistic approach to revenue management: The rapid change in consumer behaviour will require hotels to adopt an integrated approach to revenue management by strongly involving the sales and marketing team in the decision making process. Convergence of these roles will be crucial to managing distribution channels in 2016.

Reducing carbon footprint

20160131eh69Direct emissions and Scope 2 GHG emissions have been reduced by optimising and conserving every unit of energy at Meluha The Fern, Mumbai. Our LEED certified Gold rated building exhibits state-of-the-art green architecture, sustainable systems and energy efficient technologies – energy efficient lighting, natural lighting, intelligent key tag system and Eco Button. On pressing the Eco Button the thermostat of the air-conditioning unit is stepped up by two degrees gradually thus conserving energy.

Indirect Scope 3 emissions are reduced through local procurement of supplies, procurement of seasonal fruits and vegetables, carpooling for the staff vehicles, etc. We use environment friendly amenities such as ayurvedic toiletries, jute slippers, jute bags, etc. 99 per cent of our waste is diverted from landfill sites through 3R measures and effective tie ups with local MPCB certified recycling agencies.

My smart management concept

The way you interact with your staff, guests and surrounds will most likely contribute to your attributions of being great. Looking at the change in time we do have to change our strategies accordingly, but certain aspects I keep fixed for smart management:

  • Listen to your staff
  • Share your knowledge
  • Dedicate 30 minutes a day reading industry news
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Motivate people
  • Welcome criticisms
  • Always have the interest of the hotel in mind
  • Project a service oriented attitude
  • Never be afraid of change
  • Be a great communicator.

Punish Sharma, General Manager, Meluha The Fern, Mumbai

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)


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Strategies for 2016

20160131eh71The broad strategy would be static – business by relationship. We will strive to drive operational excellence and profitability by enhancing our psychological bonding with all our stakeholders – external customers, internal customers, promoters/ investors and all our allied business partners. Such bonding facilitate in retaining existing business as cost of getting new business is always much higher than retaining existing ones. I believe we are as good as nothing without an effective team. Amplified emphasis would be on training and developing our internal customers for higher efficiency and retention. Retention of high value talent is again cheaper than hiring new ones.

Reducing carbon footprint

We will install motion sensors in most of the places. We are in the process of replacing all our CFLs with LEDs. 65 per cent of our electricity is from an alternative source. We have water saving aerators installed at every guest and service area.

My smart management concept

Keep most of your internal customers happy to keep most of your external customers happy. We have around 350,000 to 400,000 guests per annum in our rooms, banquets, spa and restaurants and we have 680 internal customers to handle them. I send my smiles to these guests through my employees as it is much easier than sending them directly. I monitor the happiness quotient of the employees myself. Feedback from internal and external customers is very important to me and my every official day commences reviewing them carefully.

Amit Samson, General Manager, The LaLit Mumbai

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)


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Strategies for 2016

20160131eh73India is Starwood’s fourth largest market at present and is poised to be the third. We operate 47 hotels in India and 39 are in the pipeline at present. Supporting this steady growth, we have strengthened our investments in the various strategic regions of India. We have not only invested in new hotels but have also introduced variants of these brands in India in 2015. We have recently opened our first forest resort property the Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa in India and the only five-star resort in Mahabaleshwar. Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa features 122 well appointed guestrooms and suites, all complemented with private balconies that offer expansive views of the surrounding natural scenery. It also has the first signature spa of the brand in India – Explore Spa. For 2016, our focus for Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa and Le Meridien Pune will be to offer our guests the local elements of these two distinguished regions in the Western Ghats keeping in mind each destination USP.

Being just a few hours away, we are affirmative these hotels stand out in their own regions bearing distinct properties. Many of our travellers have the option to stop at the Le Meridien Pune before heading to Mahabaleshwar- this way they get to experience our hotel portfolio first and then unwind at our forest resort. This year we intend to work towards giving these unique experiences.

Year-on-year we see the needs of travellers changing. We have been evolving and giving the best to our guests not only as an individual hotel and resort but also as an international brand. We will be abreast in 2016 to cater to these requests.

Reducing carbon footprint

Starwood is committed to doing more to consume less and caring for our planet. Our environmental policy addresses six areas of opportunity, and our initial worldwide focus is on energy and water with our commitment to reducing energy consumption by 30 per cent and water consumption by 20 per cent by the year 2020 (from a 2008 baseline). These goals are just the beginning of an ongoing journey towards environmental sustainability; we also focus on guidance for minimising and reducing waste and emissions, examining our supply chain and enhancing indoor environmental quality. We take all of this into consideration while maintaining the exceptional guest experiences we proudly deliver.

We know collaboration is the key in addressing these issues, so we formed a partnership with Conservation International (CI) in 2009. We’ve worked together to set our energy and water goals and establish a platform that will enable us to hit those performance targets. We continue to work together with CI on engagement programmes to drive awareness about environmental issues.

At our newly launched forest resort, Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, we have taken many measures to keep our carbon footprint emission in control from lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning to catering, cleaning and laundry services. The resort uses 50-80 per cent less energy by using LED lights, room automation unit for the key card enabling lights to be switched off as soon as the room is not occupied or in use and window censors which allows AC to automatically switch off as and when the balcony doors are open for fresh air. Keeping in mind the amount of water required for landscaping and horticulture in a forest resort spreading across 27 acres of land, we have the waste water management system in place where the recycled water through STP is used for gardening; the system is applied at our laundry through Effluent Treatment Plant.

We have installed Organic Waste Converter (OWC) within the resort where the kitchen and gardening waste can easily be composted. The whole process takes 15 days for the fermentation of organic waste; the ready compost is then used in the gardens and horticulture land.

My smart management concept

I have been associated with Le Meridien Pune for 16 years and have seen it growing along with my team, the biggest asset any organisation can have. Our strategy along the years has been creating, implementing and evaluating decisions that enable us to achieve our objectives. Our primary focus has been to offer our curious minded traveller the best of the brand across. We have strategically curated the brand experiences and have tweaked them to weave in the local experience.

Jaswinder Narang, Complex General Manager, Le Meridien Pune and Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)


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Strategies for 2016

20160131eh74Our employees are considered to be the soul of our organisation, who believe in ‘Yes I Can !’ service philosophy and they continue to be the heart of our management strategies. The staff forms an important aspect of any service oriented organisation. Our business agility to quickly read and act on signals the change by adapting products and services to meet new customer demands. Revenue optimisation will be our focus for 2016. Our endeavour remains to sell the right product at the right price to the right customer. A two way connectivity between our PMS and the various distribution channels help in revenue maximisation. We will incorporate decision matrices based on occupancy, cost of distribution of each channel and the target net ADR and RevPAR. This interconnected matrix will give us the edge needed to maximise returns from the ‘same inventory/occupancy levels’. It is important to first capitalise what you have in hand, before you go in search of new pastures.

Reducing carbon footprint

We are taking the following steps towards reducing carbon footprint :-

  • Recycle: 0.60 ton papers recycled per annum, which saves six kl water and 840 kg CO2 emissions.
  • Garden: We don’t burn leaf litter, mulch or compost it instead – burning vegetation spews 650 kg per day, reducing the great volumes of CO2 and other heat trapping pollutants into the atmosphere.
  • Tree planting programme is followed under CSR activity and 30 trees have been planted in 2015, reducing the 30 ton CO2, which helps to fight global warming, also reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution.
  • Office: Employees are well trained about carbon emission reduction strategies e.g. a ‘lights off when not in use’ policy.
  • Water and Sewage Treatment Plant (STP): We have in house STP to recover and reutilise the waste water, nearly half of the water consumption is recovered, which saves water 80-100 kl per day and which is utilised for gardening.
  • Lightings: Replace the incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. Saves 70 kg CO2 per bulb per year.
  • Standard Chemicals: Use eco friendly chemicals for the washroom to save water consumption and reduce water pollution.
  • Fuel: We do use the LPG operated boiler instead of HSD operated boiler to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other heat trapping pollutants into the atmosphere.

In addition to the above, our group as a whole actively participates in Earth Day where we have minimal lighting at the hotel, at restaurants we use candles and while guests have appreciated our efforts towards reducing carbon footprint they have also enjoyed the experience.

My smart management concept

As already mentioned earlier, the employees are the soul of any organisation and they are the ones that make a difference between a good organisation and a great one. Delivering outstanding service, driving revenues or going that extra mile makes the difference between good and great and that is primarily because of the ADR strategy
(Attract, Develop and Retain). We believe in this and our management concept continues to follow ‘take care of your people and they will take care of your customers.’

Santanu Guha Roy, General Manager, Radisson Blu Resort and Spa Alibaug

(As told to Kahini Chakraborty)


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Strategies for 2016

20160131eh77The overall hotel strategy does not change much from 2015 and shouldn’t for it has yielded 60 per cent commercial growth and placed us firmly on top of the CompSet with a YTD RGI of 1.33. However, I feel the hotel still has 15 – 20 per cent opportunity in room revenue.

The strategy is three pronged – we want to invest in online marketing for all OBTs for room to drive ARR and get value for yieldable inventory through contracted and unqualified online sales. The work has been done in the last quarter of 2015, we have to stay on course for the same.

We will roll out the F&B RevMax initiative in 2016 which will be all encompassing from restaurant occupancy to banquets and catering and the strategy will be both online and market direct. It will cover all areas such as the loyalty programme, corporate contracting and upsell initiatives and clear positioning of our Japanese and rooftop resto lounge, the highest bar in Pune.

Thirdly and equally important is that we have tremendous focus on HR and will keep our winning team together by incentivising the team members, bolstering manning, and adding key profiles and positive moves across all paradigms both internally and within Hilton Worldwide. The plan has been formulated and will be shared with all parties in January 2016.

Reducing carbon footprint

DoubleTree as part of HWI is committed to environment protection and sustainability. We have committed ourselves to this noble cause and as with all our hotels the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pune-Chinchwad too has brand standards for the PMS and all MLPs which are top of the line. Cutting edge technology and efficiency is at the core of our energy/ non-renewable footprint.

‘CARE’ culture meetings have conversations around sustainability and all team members have a responsibility to live the emotion in day to day life.

2016 will witness two key initiatives. The first to roll out is all LED lighting and using renewable energy for this. The second project is very ambitious. We are talking to industry experts to bolster windows with a solar screen. Think about it, as you gaze at the view, the window generates the electricity to power the room. These are just some of the ways the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pune-Chinchwad is setting trends in sustainability. After all we have but our planet, let’s protect it from ourselves.

My smart management concept

My smart management concept in a phrase is ‘Inclusive management where all team members are stakeholders’. We have lived this philosophy for the last three years since the pre-opening and have seen tremendous results. What I mean is that every team member in his or her role in the scheme of the hotel commits emotionally to the partnership to realise our goals in the three focus areas: commercial success, overall team engagement and guest satisfaction. This has yielded dividends exponentially. We have grown at 43 per cent year-on-year on topline and 15 per cent CAGR on bottom-line. We are amongst the top hotels in brand for GSS and will deliver again this year but a factor very close to my heart is that the management mantra has taken the team loyalty to another level. That is as gratifying as all other achievements.

Sahdev Mehta, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pune-Chinchwad

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)


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Strategies for 2016

20160131eh79ibis Mumbai Airport is the most popular hotel in the domestic airport area among discerning travellers. We have well defined strategies in place to remain as a top ranked hotel in market penetration index (MPI) among our competitors. We would like to push our ADR since we expect the demand to increase in 2016, specially in transient and contracted business segments. We would like to achieve these goals by continuously improving our guest services and offering better value for money to our guests.

Special attention would be given to our Le Club AccorHotels members (our loyalty members) who will continue to be our privileged guests. We strongly believe that happy employees bring in happy customers and therefore we will continue to focus on ensuring higher level of employee satisfaction and faster growth for our employees.

Reducing carbon footprint

Being a part of AccorHotels, ibis Mumbai Airport is already committed to delivering 21 commitments made by the group to save the planet and reduce carbon footprint under its well known sustainable development programme called ‘Planet 21’. In 2015 we moved to platinum level by consuming 10 per cent lesser electricity units and water than previous year by installing LED lights in most part of the building, recycling paper, reusing energy to increase hot water temperature and through thorough proper waste management. We have also signed up for ‘Plant for the Planet’ programme – an initiative by AccorHotels with the support of our guests to plant trees with the money we save in each room by saving water.

My smart management concept

Spirit of conquest in the team plays a major role in my management style. Smart goal setting for the team and motivate and support them to achieve those goals is the best way forward to achieve the organisational goal as well as chase their own dreams. Another aspect of my management is to constantly remind the team about quality and make everyone quality conscious. Quality offers greater value for money and higher customer satisfaction. By constantly challenging the team against the best makes them very competitive and keeps them highly motivated.

Ridul Deka, General Manager, ibis Mumbai Airport

(As told to Rituparna Chatterjee)


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20160131eh91Strategies for 2016

  • Communicate the mission and vision statements of the organisation internally and in the external environment.
  • To differentiate ourselves from the competition and create value for our customers and for the organisation by establishing a clear organisational direction, setting objectives, continuously innovating in our product and services.
  • Attracting new customers will be the primary focus and will be managed through new methods and marketing.
  • Increase employee motivation and create more interaction between different levels in the organisation leading to better service and more happy guests.
  • Enhance relationships between employees and managers and create a good working environment.

Reducing carbon footprint

  • Ensuring compliance is through the use of certified management systems.
  • In sync with nature, preserve trees as part of the resort landscape.
  • Improved energy efficiency through a better building design, better energy management and by using more energy-efficient equipment and appliances.
  • Alternative fuel options and making greater use of renewable energy where possible.
  • Effectively manage environmental impacts by reducing food waste to energy and using recyclable products.

My Smart management concept

  • Customer focus – to achieve a higher positive guest satisfaction index through employee trainings, efficiently managing guest feedback.
  • Managing business – to achieve budgeted top line revenues and GOP, controlling cost through innovative methods.
  • Managing change – to implement best practices/ new process/ SOPs every month which will affect either the guest, employee or GOP in a positive manner.
  • Managing people – to achieve a negative employee turnover for the year through communication forums, casual job chats and employee learning and development and engagement programmes.

Nasir Khan, General Manager, Rhythm Lonavala

(As told to Reema Lokesh)


Strategies for 2016

20160131eh81We would like to consolidate our position and explore new avenues especially in F&B. Be more efficient and make the operation seamless. Innovate for better and consistent guest and associate experiences. We would go all out and be aggressive to further increase our market share.

Reducing carbon footprint

Starwood as a company has been actively working to realise its dream of 30:20 by 2020; reduction of electricity by 30 per cent and water consumption by 20 per cent by 2020. Our property has lined up many initiatives towards carbon footprint reduction. Our work to install a much more efficient chiller has already started and we are looking at running this from April, 2016. Several other majors like energy efficient equipments, uses of solar power, etc are in pipeline. We have been utilising wind power for the hotel. As a company we are reducing our travelling and have been using video conferencing extensively. Our meeting space is clutter free for the guests and digital signage are used everywhere. We strongly believe in educating our associates and guests in energy conservation measures and the 3R. There are minimum uses of linen in conferencing. Apart from these we are working on an organic food menu and also encouraging farmers to produce them and we will guarantee purchases. Water less urinals has just been implemented and we are in process of reducing the uses at our laundry. There is a strong thrust on minimising food wastage.

My smart management concept

Four Points is all about honest, uncomplicated comfort and I believe that things should be kept simple without complicating them. Empower associates and do not micromanage them. Millennials want to be treated differently and we must aggressively invest in associate’s development. I believe in employee first, guests second. And lastly – Dream, Believe, Dare, Do.

Sumit Kant, VP & General Manager, Four Points by Sheraton Navi Mumbai, Vashi

(As told to Sudipta Dev)


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Strategies for 2016

20160131eh83Sofitel Mumbai BKC has done well and 2015 has been very positive for the hotel. We have seen enhanced occupancy levels over last year and the upcoming season looks buoyant in terms of both ARR and occupancy levels. Our present ARR is ahead of other luxury hotel competitors and our RevPar has actually been performing better. We endeavour to enhance our RevPar, which will be a judicious mix of volumes as well as ARR. The primary focus of Sofitel Mumbai BKC has always been quality in the products and services offered, which runs parallel to the performance of the hotel. Impeccable service, intelligent marketing and a keen eye for detail makes for a perfect recipe in ensuring a high ratio of repeat guests.

This year, the plan is to amplify Sofitel’s key brand pillars of culture, design, gastronomy and wellness, providing guests with a holistic experience to make the hotel a destination in itself. In the past few months, the hotel has seen a host of events supporting its brand pillars including flying down over a dozen international chefs to India such as a French chef for introducing guests to the flavours of France, a Vietnamese chef for a taste of Vietnam and more recently, a Japanese chef as well as a Lebanese chef for a Middle-Eastern fare. Together with the cuisine, Sofitel Mumbai BKC has also flown down local artists to give guests not only a taste of gastronomy, but also the culture of that particular country through performances, art, décor and more. These initiatives are just a tip of the iceberg to offer guests with unique experiences. We also plan to highlight our brand new lush green outdoor space – the Kitchen and Herb Garden, a first of its kind, where one can savour organic and green delights. The goal is to make Sofitel Mumbai BKC the luxury landmark in Mumbai as well as a cultural and entertainment watering hole in the heart of the city.

Reducing carbon footprint

Following are some practices undertaken by Sofitel Mumbai BKC to reduce carbon foot print:

  • During hotel’s low occupancy, the temperatures of the air conditioners are increased from 20°C to 24°C, or sometimes completely switched off
  • Use of UV lamps in Air Handling Units (AHU) to reduce AC energy and improve indoor air quality
  • Installation of online condenser tube cleaners to reduce scaling and to maintain condenser pressure which is more economical
  • Replacement of incandescent lamps with LED lamps
  • Chiller water temperature set point increased from seven°C to 9.5°C. Introduction of dual setting by modifying thermostats of the guest rooms in which temperature drops down automatically, which is cost effective

These practices at Sofitel Mumbai BKC have resulted in saving more than 1,80,000 KWH per month which is approximately 160 tons.

My smart management concept

We emphasise on employee satisfaction as much as guest satisfaction as we believe that only a content workforce can serve its guests with happiness and pleasure. We call our colleagues ‘Ambassadors’ as they are the ones who live and share with passion the values and ambitions of the Sofitel brand. At the heart of all operations are our people and they are the primary link between our guests and a true luxury experience, which becomes the defining moment of truth. The grandeur of Sofitel Mumbai BKC is reflected in its unrivalled facilities and personalised service from the heart, which we refer to as ‘Cousu Main’ in French. An incredible sense of professionalism and generosity, combined with impeccable service that stems straight from the heart of our Ambassadors helps achieve operational excellence and creates ‘Magnifique’ experiences for our guests. Our Ambassadors’ supervisory effectiveness and synergistic teamwork enable us to create guest loyalty and Sofitel brand equity.

I see myself as the catalyst in crafting the pathway to make Sofitel Mumbai BKC a luxury and cultural landmark in the city. A large part of running a five-star luxury property is to inspire its people and success in hospitality is a direct result of effective team work. In our rapidly changing world, the ability to exceed customer expectations will be the only differentiating force in this competitive luxury hospitality segment.

Biswajit Chakraborty, General Manager, Sofitel Mumbai BKC

(As told to Sudipta Dev)


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Strategies for 2016

We launched Novotel Imagica Khopoli just a few months ago and the response has exceeded our expectations by leaps and bounds. Being the first theme park property of its kind in India, our focus will be to increase awareness regarding the resort and strive to provide guests with an unforgettable experience to remember and take back. The focus will be on providing guests with a location which offers fun and enthralling activities for an entire weekend. In addition to the Irolic Parade – a signature of Novotel Imagica Khopoli, the hotel hosts fun activities like treasure hunts, Zumba, gaming rooms with pool, table tennis, darts and more. We also feature a sunset brunch on Saturdays with painting classes, pottery, astrology and bouncy castle. With our well trained staff and differentiated happenings at the hotel our effort will be to increase guest satisfaction, reach out to source and feeder markets and create strong brand recall. From F&B to entertainment and from MICE to weddings, the hotel is designed for one and all. The focus of 2016 will be to host well-renowned events and make it a destination for work and for leisure.

Reducing carbon footprint

Novotel Imagica Khopoli, being a part of the AccorHotels, follows the Planet 21 policy. AccorHotels worldwide promises to support sustainable development with seven key areas and 21 related commitments. Some of the key features of Planet 21 are as follows:

  • Nature = Reduce water use, expand waste recycling, protect biodiversity
  • Carbon = Reduce our energy use, reduce our CO2 emissions, increase the use of renewable energy
  • Innovation = Encourage eco-design, promote sustainable building, introduce sustainable offers and technologies

In accordance with the above, we make efforts to reduce waste as much as possible and reuse, and recycle material. A few efforts constitute double-side print, natural day light use in restaurant and lobby, controlled air conditioning with BMS, using water saver aerators for faucets and showers and more. We also use timers for garden lights and external façade lights and recycle water for gardening and flushing systems.

My smart management concept

In hospitality it is difficult to maintain a balance between one’s work and personal life, however if one enjoys the work they do, it gets easier. I believe that it is essential to create an environment where one can work with ease as a guests’ satisfaction is proportionate to the happiness of the staff. Here at Novotel Imagica Khopoli, we encourage a culture that entails everyone to live by the values and vision that we have, ‘where fun never ends’. Hospitality is about delighting guests with our culture and service attitudes and it is good to remember and revisit the basics and the small things we can do for them.

Srinivas Srirangam, General Manager, Novotel Imagica Khopoli

(As told to Sudipta Dev)


Strategies for 2016

20160131eh862016 looks a very interesting and promising year from a business perspective. We are looking at a lot of events and are very keen to promote our F&B outlets .We have planned some exciting offers around our 72 bar. We are redesigning our menu, trying to re-strategise and focus on the complete food and beverage sales. Also we do a lot of food festivals and promotions to ensure that the guest has lot to choose from and it drives our F&B sales as well. As far as room revenues are concerned we are quite focused on domestic travel as this segment is giving us a good share of business. Also, Mumbai has been witnessing increased travel for exhibitions. There are lot of exhibitions and other events which keep on happening, which we are targeting in a big way.

Besides MICE and leisure segments are the next big thing and we are working on it.

Reducing carbon footprint

Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport is at the fore front of sustainable environment practices. We have adopted a lot of measures to ensure environment protection. Be it water conservation or solid waste management we are using the best available technology to reduce waste. We also have the best energy saving devices at our hotel. Our endeavour is to save water, electricity and we try to recycle things as much as possible. We have some of the state-of-the-art equipment and practices which are of international level. We follow the highest level of sustainability applications. The highlight of our environment policy and green initiatives are:

  • Meeting Leed Certification criteria
  • Water audit and consumption benchmarking
  • Waste water management
  • Solid waste management- Air pollution management

We are taking a lot of initiatives for the betterment of the Hotel and the environment. Like installation of LED light in all guest rooms, façade, water bodies , pathways and garden areas. We are also using treated waste water for cooling chillers .We are using auto chemical dosing system for cooling tower water treatment in order to consistently maintain the chiller approach, which helps in maintaining the efficiency of the chiller.

My smart management concept

Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport offers today’s business and leisure travellers dependability, friendly services and modern, attractive facilities at an excellent value and at convenient location providing the services a business traveller needs, while also offering leisure travellers a comfortable, simple atmosphere where they can relax. With new strategies in line and understanding the needs of the client that we serve, we make it an effort to keep up with trends.

I strongly believe in challenging myself and the team. An engaged team has the capacity to deliver better. We will continue to focus on delivery. Innovation comes from the opportunities and we should encourage the team to look at every such opportunity. We also believe in relationship with guests and employees.

Suraj Kumar Jha, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport

(As told to Sudipta Dev)


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The Rain Formula

EF&H Staff-Mumbai

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