Surendra Kumar Jaiswal, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) speaks about the aim behind association’s food safety training programmes and the MoU with IRCTC
How has HRANI evolved over the years?
Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) is the northern outfit of FHRAI, an apex body representing the Hotel & Restaurant Industry of the ten North Indian states. Since its inception in 1950, the organisation has been effectively working for the cause of the hospitality industry and plays an important role in developing tourism in the states, which come under its purview. These ten states are Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Over the course of time, HRANI has become the leading voice of the hospitality segment. HRANI serves as a unique platform for member organisation from across Northern India to interact and deliberate with key stakeholders including those at the highest echelons of the government, eminent global experts, business icons, media. As the single largest association of Northern India of the hospitality industry and allied sectors, HRANI is facilitating its members by creating a conducive environment to tap the vast potential of the hospitality industry in Northern India.
What was the aim behind organising your food safety programmes? What has been the response?
HRANI is the lead Training Partner for the organised sector in Northern Region empanelled by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). We have been conducting Food Safety Supervisor Training and Certification (FOSTAC) programmes in all ten states on a rotation basis to facilitate members of the association for the past three years. The objective of the workshops is to train hospitality aspirants in food safety. We are enthused by the overwhelming response from attendees. Recently, we organised a session in New Delhi where we witnessed a full strength of 40 trainees.
HRANI’s MoU with IRCTC. How will it benefit the hotel industry and how many members have logged on to the platform?
HRANI has recently signed an MoU with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The move will facilitate the hotel members of HRANI for the listing of their room rates and inventory on the IRCTC booking engine portal. As a part of the MoU, IRCTC would be promoting hotel inventory on all its websites and through different promotional activities. The initiative aligns with our overall vision to provide a fillip to the hospitality sector. It will spur domestic tourism and reduce the customer acquisition cost.
Your insights on the economic slowdown, Covid-19 and its impact on the hospitality industry?
The economic slowdown and Covid-19 has impacted the occupancy levels in hotels, and therefore their bottomline in short term and medium term. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that this is a temporary phase.
Future plans for HRANI?
Our immediate focus is to strengthen the MOU between HRANI and IRCTC through empanelment of hotel members. We will also be hosting the sixth edition of HRANI Conclave and second edition of HRANI awards soon.
Being an apex body in the hospitality sector for northern India, we will ensure that we are well-
represented across various forums and platforms. We intend to usher a knowledge-driven ecosystem and contribute to Skill India through our training and certification sessions on food safety and various other programmes of skill development in hospitality sectors. We also aim to augment our membership base through interactive meeting and networking events.