Bengaluru as a hospitality market
Bengaluru is one of the most booming markets in India and South Asia. We have seen a huge amount of investment coming into Bengaluru since the past seven years and a lot more new companies are opening their branches here, which in turn is helpful for the hospitality market in the city. We have also seen different brands of hotels entering Bengaluru which shows that there is a spectrum of visitor segments to tap here. Marriott itself has 13 hotels as of now in Bengaluru under various brands with more in the pipeline. We have the Ritz Carlton brand and now 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 focussing.
In terms of ADRs, they are the best here that India has seen. Bengaluru is quite dominant in this aspect. 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 people come to meet their clients. CBD gets a lot of business from different micro markets. So in the next five to seven years time, I don’t see any threat to our business, but only growth, despite the increasing number of hotels.
USP of Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel
Before Renaissance, Bengaluru didn’t see much of lifestyle hotels in the CBD area. Most of the hotels in Bengaluru are business hotels, either in the luxury or the midscale segment. The unique aspect of Renaissance is its concept – a very unique indigenous kind of concept. It will be known as an independent hotel from the Marriott brand. Renaissance is one of the lifestyle premium brands of Marriott. Renaissance as a brand takes a lot of influence from the local culture. Our hotel being right next to the Race Course, the influence can be seen in the design throughout. We have horse/derby themes all around the hotel. Plus, 60 per cent of our rooms directly face the turf, so the guests have a clear view of it. During a race, we actually provide the guests with binoculars to have a clear view of the derby from their rooms. 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 instill the brand values in our staff right since our opening about seven months ago. So far our attrition rates have been very low. am. Training remains one of the most important aspects of team engagement. Currently, our guest responses are a total reflection of 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 especially in a services industry like ours wherein we deal with people throughout. We spend at least two hours a day just focusing on training across all departments which actually helps us to retain our staff because they feel the company is taking care of their development and that helps in our guest experiences as well. Currently, in the Renaissances across the Asia Pacific, we are ranked second in our guest course which is a very big achievement.
Renaissance also has specific service designs which engage 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 historical information about the cocktail and the place of origin of the ingredients used is shared. 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 and they can unwind but at their own pace.
My Management Mantra
My management mantra is very simple. It is very important that there is constant communication in my team. As a GM, how I want to see the hotel growing, if that vision is not communicated down the line to 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 or associate satisfaction, etc., if we look at these parameters, what is crucial is the communication that happens with our teams. We have different forums for communication in which I communicate in a day, having meetings with different team members.