GM Speak

Shubhankar Bose GM, Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel

Bengaluru as a hospitality market
Bengaluru is one of the most booming markets in India and in South Asia. We have seen a huge amount of investment coming into Bengaluru since the past seven years and also look a lot more new companies opening their branches here, which in turn is helpful for the hospitality market as a whole here. We have also seen different brands of a hotel group emerging into Bengaluru which shows that there is a spectrum of visitor market to tap here. Marriott has 13 hotels as of now in Bengaluru under various brands and also has a lot in the pipeline. We have the Ritz Carlton followed by Renaissance which was missing in this market. We already have two Sheraton branded hotels in the market. So Bengaluru is a huge market where Marriott is also focussing.
In terms of ADRs, they are the best here that India has seen. Bengaluru is quite dominant in that field. We see steady growth in every business as such. The uniqueness of Bengaluru as a market is that it is not dependent on a fixed region but comprises of various micro markets. Whitefield as an area is increasing in potential and likewise is Hebbal. Electronic City can still see some more inventory of hotels. And, of course there is the Old CBD area, where most of the people come to meet their clients and plus it is a happening area. A lot of people who are working here like Bagmane Tech Park which is in Bellandur area. My previous assignment was in JW Marriott in Bengaluru as the director of operations and I saw movements have been happening within the area. I have seen a lot of common guests at that hotel, which has been frequenting to the Renaissance hotel too. CBD gets a lot of business from different micro markets. We are seeing the other side of the airport and Devanahalli area pacing a lot as a market. So in the next five to seven years time, I don’t see any threat for our business, but only growth, despite the increasing number of hotels.

USP of Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel
Bengaluru didn’t see much of lifestyle hotels in the CBD area. Most of the hotels in Bengaluru are business hotels. They are either luxury business hotels or midscale business hotels. The unique aspect of Renaissance is its concept. Renaissance comes as a brand which is a very unique indigenous kind of concept. It will be known as an independent hotel from the Marriott brand. Renaissance comes into the lifestyle premium brands of Marriott. Renaissance comes influenced with a lot of local culture. Our hotel being right next to the Race Course, the influence can be seen in the design throughout. We have horse themes all around the hotel. The small touchpoints, we have kept them resembling the turf derby which is seen in our service sequence. Plus, 60 per cent of our rooms directly face the turf, so the guests have a clear view of the turf. During a race, we actually provide the guests with binoculars to have a clear view of the derby from their room itself. Also, Bengaluru having a lot of concrete developments throughout, not much of skyline is visible in the city but at our property. Our property also has a lot of lush greenery which is one of our USPs.
The greatest USP of our hotel is our team. We have been quite fortunate to engage our teams, so that has been quite well. We have been quite fortunate to instill the brand values in our staff right since our opening about seven months back. So far our attrition rates have been very low and perhaps because of the fact that we are more engaged with our team. Training remains one of the most
important aspect. Currently our guest responses are totally reflecting in how our staff feels. Just like Mr Marriott’s mantra, if we take care of our associates, they will take care of the business and you will have repeat guests. That is an ultimate mantra and applicable in any industry today specially in a services industry like ours wherein we deal with people throughout. We spend at least two hours a day just on focus training which actually helps us to retain our staff because they feel the company is taking care of their
development that helps in our guest experiences as well. Currently, in the Renaissance across Asia Pacific we are on the second rank in our guest course which is a very big achievement.
Renaissance also has specific service design which engages the guests. We have a bar ritual which is extremely unique and there is no other hotel which does that. Whenever the clock strikes 19.30 hrs whoever is nearby the bar, they would be called at the bar and we will do an indigenous cocktail, during the making of which the historic information about the cocktail and the place of origin of the ingredients used is said. It is then given for tasting to the guests. This helps the staff understand the hotel’s brand concept which is independent, indigenous and intriguing. The other concept in our hotel is that we don’t call our concierge as the concierge, but the Navigator. The Navigator helps the guest to explore the local experiences, which is the main focus area. Whoever stays with us, discovers something within or outside the hotel. These concepts make our hotel very lively. We also have live performances running on a regular basis which reflects the brand’s value. During the morning we keep the performances very Indian. That is how Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel is not a typical business hotel. People can do business, but at they own pace and while they
unwind.

My Management Mantra
My management mantra is very simple. It is very important that constant communication keeps happening in my team. How I want to see the hotel as the GM growing, if that is not communicated down the line in the team, it will never be achieved in its full capacity. It takes time, it doesn’t just happen overnight. In the first three months of the operations of the hotel it was extremely difficult because you have to get the confidence of the team and finally we are right now in a stage wherein we are fully aligned with the mantra. Be it guest satisfaction, the revenue generated, associate satisfaction, etc., if we look at these parameters, very important is the communication that happens with our teams. We have different forums for communication in which I communicate in five to six forums in a day, having meetings with different team members.

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