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Strength of association

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The Hospitality Purchasing Managers’ Forum’s 7th Anniversary Celebrations, Convention and Awards 2017 held at Indana Palace, Jodhpur brought to the fore the strength of the association which now has presence in 40 Indian cities and is soon to go global

The 7th Anniversary Celebrations, Convention and Awards 2017 of Hospitality Purchasing Managers’ Forum (HPMF) organised in Jodhpur recently was a mega event that witnessed an eclectic gathering of delegates – purchasing managers, media and leading names from hospitality and other fields. HPMF has more than 1500 members across India and the Middle East, and has come a long way since inception, bringing to centrestage the important function of procurement in the hospitality industry. As the community has gained recognition thanks to the relentless efforts of the association, it has brought to limelight the contributions made by individual purchasing managers, for their companies and their fraternity. The three-day convention also highlighted many unique experiences that Jodhpur offers as a destination.

201710eh31Speaking at the inaugural function Mohan Deshpande, chairman, HPMF said, “Rajasthan is a land of palaces and royalty, and celebrates success like no other destination. What better place to celebrate our 7th anniversary than Jodhpur. The core committee and working committee has worked hard to ensure that this year’s event is greater, grander and more engaging than previous years.” He also informed that this year the first batch of certified purchasing managers  have graduated. HPMF has also launched many chapters including Delhi, Bengaluru, Goa, Hyderabad and Pune. “Very soon we will move overseas, I urge the first time participants and young members to hone their skills and take the profession to new heights,” added Deshpande.

201710eh32Nitin Shankar Nagrale, general secretary and founder, HPMF, stated, “The objective of the convention is to develop, network and grow.” Urging the purchase managers to believe in ‘Make in India’, he mentioned, “I am sure collectively we can do that. HPMF is in 40 Indian cities and the first international chapter will be launched in Dubai in January 2018. We are hoping of tying up with several international associations of purchase managers who have shown a positive response to HPMF.”

201710eh33In his keynote address chief guest, Rahul Pandit, MD and CEO, Ginger Hotels, also urged the purchasing managers to support ‘Make in India’ while making purchasing decisions for their organisations as it will lead to job creation in the country and support the economy. “We should demonstrate mutual respect for our partners. We are as good as our partners,“ he affirmed. Pandit believes that the job of a procurement professional is a calling, and HPMF is a dynamic knowledge sharing platform.

Speaking about the future generations of purchase managers, guest of honour Giriraj Singhji Lotwara, president of Rajput Sabha highlighted the need for a good education institution for their training.

Ram Kumar Kharb, a farmer from Haryana and one of India’s foremost names in organic farming urged the hospitality community to support their cause. Giving a presentation on organic produce he was hopeful that for the organic farmers’ community to tieup with HPMF.

201710eh35A motivational talk by Pankaj Mehta on being a game changer encouraged the audience to do the extraordinary in their lives by changing the mindset. Giving the differences between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, he said, “The mind of a human sees only what he wants to see, but a game changer sees it differently.” According to him, to be a gamechanger the following are essential –  a mentor, traits of humility and perseverance and interest in books.

A presentation on Green Hotel – Responsible Luxury saw Mala Singh, chairperson and founder, PEC Greening India, focus on how environment and growth complement each other. Talking about the benefits of going green, she spoke about green and sustainability features of new hotel buildings. “Indoor environment quality is very important in green hotels,” mentioned Singh, adding that passive architectural strategy (used in heritage buildings and forts) are learning experiences. Further, in hospitality industry the biggest cost is energy so procurement of Building Management System (BMS) should be done with strategy. “It is important to use local materials in green construction (reducing carbon footprint), use of certified wood and salvaged materials,” informed Singh, reminding that green policy and operational efficiency are important in hotels.


In the panel discussion on climbing the leadership ladder, learning from the leaders, Nagrale highlighted that the key drivers to succeed included motivation, love for the job, inner drive and self motivation. Celina Joy of Pillai Institute of Management Studies who had worked as a CA with the Oberoi Group, in charge of purchase and later as the GM of Trident Udaipur, highlighted the significance of being a mentor and encouraging young talent. Sanjay Goyal added, “The ability to communicate with conviction is important, I tell my team to get out of the comfort zone and take risks. I always encourage them to take some course. It is important to learn, unlearn and relearn.” Sunil Kuttan, head of procurement at Pizza Express shared that aspects like focus on the job and clarity have attributed in his professional growth.

201710eh34The highlight of the three-day event was a visit by Maharahja Gaj Singhji of Jodhpur, who appreciated the efforts of HPMF and welcomed the fact that Jodhpur was chosen as the convention city. “India has a great possibility in terms of tourism and hospitality, but we are not able to reach the full potential due to lack of infrastructure. We have a long way to go,” he said, adding that the tag of luxury has not helped the industry and neither has 28 per cent high GST rate. Stressing on the need to have direct buyer-seller meet, he told the purchasing managers community that they are the backbone of the hospitality industry.


The 7th HPMF annual convention also made a record in the presence of Maharaja Gaj Singhji, when all the 311 delegates tied Jodhpuri turbans, entering the Asia Book of Records, which is distributed across 34 countries. The glittering awards ceremony on the last day honoured many veteran and young purchasing managers, in various categories. The Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 was conferred on Bhalchandra D Khole.


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