Take the ‘Demon’ out of ‘Demonetisation’
|Friday, January 20, 2017, 18:58 Hrs [IST]|
The New Year has arrived and the
hospitality industry is looking in
bad shape. Demonetisation has been
hard to swallow. Restaurant operations have
taken a hit. Banquets and weddings have seen
major revenue losses and, along with it, room
bookings have gone south. The travel industry
reports the same fate - families scrapped tours
and travel plans. Let's face it; black money was
good for white business.
We can reverse the current downward trend
but we need to first change our attitude. Let's
stop telling ourselves and others that there is
a problem. Let's see things not as how they
are but how they can be and individually and
collectively go out and make it happen.
Some lessons I learned:
A friend of mine, Shailesh Patil, MD, Kesari Tours and Director,
Sukho Thai, is an astute businessman. Whenever I meet him, he
always says business is up. When
I mention or question him about
the environment he says, “Oh
that situation does not affect
us” or “The impact is hardly
anything as we get business
from this (another) source” or
“Because of this situation that
(another market) has opened
up”. His attitude is what keeps
his business going up and on. His
infectious positivity obviously
penetrates his team and the
clientele continues to give him
business - because everybody
loves a winner.
Lesson: The change we want to
see must first begin in our own
Dubai too is facing a downslide.
I visited Zuma, Mythos and
Nola. These are huge outlets yet on weekdays they are full
and on weekends it's impossible to get a seat. I experienced
awesome service, great food and mind-blowing ambience at all
places. Prices are high but you get your money’s worth. In a
panic situation many participate in a price war. Drop prices and
obviously standards too go south. Guests have a bad experience
and you lose them. To woo them back you spend on marketing
and PR. Bottom line and top line both shrink. Then we say the
market is down.
Lesson: Don't focus on the price, focus on the guest experience.
A friend of mine 'stole' a couple of quality staff from the
competition. These personnel, since they were in demand,
negotiate higher packages. But once on the job he
was disappointed. Neither were they able to meet
his expectations nor get along with his pre-existing
team. Shortly they got better offers and moved on but
not before creating widespread HR related damage.
These 'imports' were not bad but each organisation is
different and the staff has to be trained and shaped to
an organisation’s unique culture and needs.
Lesson: Invest in training and upgrading your own
team, in the long run it pays rich dividends.
One common trend with all industries -
automobile, electronic, banking and financial services,
pharmaceutical, IT - they innovate big time. They all
have R&D departments. In hospitality too we have
innovative companies Airbnb, McDonald’s, Dominos.
It's time we realised that only the ones that adapt will
Lesson: Make small changes or huge transformations but
The normal reaction when the market is 'down' is to wait and
watch or crib and moan. But a good driver is not one who drives
fast on a good open highway. His skill is judged by how fast
and safely he can on a road with corners, curves, slopes, and
other perils. As a professional, don't make excuses. Get up! Get
aggressive! Attack the market, lead from the front. Show the
industry what you are made of.
Lesson: Being tough is not about how hard you can hit, but how
hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!
The views expressed within this column are the opinion of the author, and may not
necessarily be endorsed by the publication.