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Express Food & Hospitality’s Atithi Devo Bhava Confex Series debuts in Pune

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Akshay Nayak

India’s foremost hospitality trade publication by The Indian Express Group, Express Food & Hospitality’s new initiative, The Atithi Devo Bhava Confex Series, debuted in Pune recently. The event witnessed the presence of the who’s who of the hospitality industry discussing and brainstorming about the scenario of the hospitality market in the cultural capital of Maharashtra. The event was graced by keynote speaker Vikram Kamat, founder chairman, VITS Kamats Group during which he shared valuable insights on ‘Hotel Financing in India’s New Economy’. In his keynote speech, Kamat said that unlike traditional ways of hotel financing, today there are new avenues that can be tapped by hoteliers. Giving a detailed note about three new avenues that the modern-day hotelier must focus on, he said, “REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust; Condominiums and Other People’s Resources will guarantee strategic funding for hotel projects that will only go north.”
Speaking on Indianising The Hospitality Sector, Arun Nayar, executive director, Pride Hotels, said, “The country is getting more and more westernised. We need to present the real India to every traveller, whether Indian or international. All the European countries could be one India by size, but still, we Indians go to countries abroad to experience their culture, their uniqueness. All the hospitality professionals need to say that India is the only country to offer diverse locations and experiences in one country. The mountains, i.e. the Himalayas, world heritage monuments, spiritualism, beaches, wellness, etc. I think we need to bring the Indianness back into the core hospitality experience. If we can provide the unique Indian culture to anyone visiting a particular region, there would be no question of ARRs or the rooms remaining vacant, but to build more hotels to accommodate all the travellers.”
Making a presenttaion on The India Hotel Development Pipeline to 2022, Nandivardhan Jain, founder CEO, Noesis Capital Advisors, observed, “Profitable hotels are the requirement to build a robust hospitality ecosystem. With the notion of strong demand hovering in the market, in turn, it will require the existing hoteliers and newcomers to build more hotels.” He went on to say that there is a balance of 50 per cent each in terms of supply of international and domestic hotel brands in India currently.
He added, “From 2000 to 2018, around US$ 12 bn has been pumped into this industry. However, India still lacks in providing quality hospitality as compared to countries like the US and China, with only 130,000 room inventory in the organised hospitality sector. The government is taking a lot of initiatives i.e. any new development in infrastructure is welcomed. For example, Statue of Unity, which came up six months back, Vadodara market didn’t see any weekend travellers earlier, but rebounded suddenly to witness an increase in occupancy by 13 per cent. Another key area to boost the hospitality business is connectivity. We need to have a micro to macro approach to see this industry growing further.”
Rahul Pabalkar, chief trustee, Academic With Excellence – Spectrum of Maintenance Engineers (AWESOME) and Akshay Pahade, consultant – Energy & Sustainability, ECBC expert professional, underscored a detailed study on various applications that a hotel can invest in, and also spoke on the in-depth technicalities that a hotelier should keep a track of, while trying to make their hotel sustainable, given that the industry is an energy-guzzling one.
The event also garnered the presence of general managers of leading hotels in Pune including Himanshu Sachdev, area GM – Pune, Lemon Tree Hotels; Amit Kumar Sharma, GM, Amanora The Fern Hotels and Club; Girish Sehgal, GM, JW Marriott Hotel Pune; Pankaj Saxena, GM, Radisson Blu Pune Hinjawadi; Aditya Malla, GM, DoubleTree by Hilton Pune – Chinchwad; Shobhit Sawhney, GM, Hyatt Regency Hotel & Residences Pune; Biswajit Biswas, GM, Fort Jadhavgadh, Pune and Advait Kurlekar of Upohan Management Consultants, voicing their views at the panel discussion on topic – Emerging Dynamics of Hospitality in Pune. Le Cordon Bleu Chef Michael Swamy moderated another panel discussion on Sustainable Kitchens which saw the presence of Chef Sachin Joshi, executive chef, Blue Diamond, Pune – IHCL SeleQtions; Atul Gokhale, director, Symbiosis School of Culinary Arts and Chef Anil Chabukswar, executive chef, Novotel Pune. The partners for the event were RMS Hospitality Cloud, Elanpro and Wyntronix.


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