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‘Govt. must focus on domestic investments & not just foreign investments’

Friday, June 23, 2017, 17:57 Hrs  [IST]

The 12th edition of Hotelier Summit India 2017 was hosted by IDE Consulting Services, a real estate solutions provider based out of Bengaluru India on June 6 & 7 at the Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai. Bringing together leading hotel owners, operators, developers, architects, interior designers, consultants, industry experts and service providers, the summit addressed various issues and challenges faced by the hospitality industry. Reports Kathryn B K and Kajol Tamang.





The summit started off on a high note with the inaugural ceremony with lighting of the lamp, followed by an enlightening speech by Gaur Gopal Das and Dr. Pawan Agrawal. Das spoke about the four ‘S’ that Indians are good at i.e. securing money, saving money, spending money and service. He said, “The USP of Indians is their service.”

Hospitality industry is all about enhancing guest experience. So, go an extra ‘mile’ to bring a ‘smile’ on your customers’ face, added Das.

Hotel industry is the ‘Anna Datta’, said Dr. Pawan Agrawal. A motivational speaker, Dr. Agrawal elucidated how Mumbai Dabawalas provide food. He said that Dabbawalas are ordinary people working extraordinarily for customer satisfaction.

Both, Gaur Gopal Das and Dr. Pawan Agrawal spoke about the service and customer satisfaction must be the way forward for the hospitality industry.



Keynote address by Mandeep Lamba
Mandeep Lamba, MD – Hotels & Hospitality at Jones Lang LaSalle presented few statistics and data about various stages of projects and the reasons behind the delay in projects.

Lamba said, while India is the cheapest place to construct a hotel, barring Russia, the cost of Capital in India is the most expensive for the hotel industry. And that is one of the major reasons why hotel owners find it difficult to repay loans.

Few reasons for delays of projects mentioned by Lamba were limited understanding of business, hiring inexperienced architects and consultants which results into poor designs, not appointing an operator on board at an appropriate time.

Lamba suggested, “The government should have a single window clearance for hotel projects with a committed time frame and approve hospitality projects of INR 50 crores and above for infrastructure lending rates which allows a lower interest and a longer payback period.”

The investors need to understand the working of the industry before s/he enters the industry, get an operator on board as early as possible if you are entering the business for the first time and use an architect who has experience in handling hotel related projects, opined Lamba.

“The ease of doing business must not be aimed only to attract foreign investments; we must first focus on domestic investments for the large and vibrant economy like ours. It is important for the government to look at domestic investments as well,” concluded Lamba.



How to handle project delays?
The keynote address by Mandeep Lamba was followed by a panel discussion on how well the delays can be handled and industry experts tried to dissect the reasons behind the delays and realign the processes in the panel, moderated by Lamba.

The panelists for this session were Vineet Verma, Executive Director & CEO, Brigade Hospitality Services; Jaideep Gupta, Director, Aanyah Management; Sujjain Talwar, Co-Founding Partner, Economic Laws Practice; Suma Venkatesh, Senior VP – Real Estate & Development, Indian Hotels Company and Vikas Chadha, Executive Director & CFO, Berggruen Hotels.

The session started off with how can the delays in hotel projects be cut down. During the discussion, the panelists came up with two aspects – one that can be controlled and the other which cannot be controlled.

Lamba suggested that the process of the way the hotels are managed should be improved. Venkatesh pointed out saying, “We need to spend enough time during planning stage or else we will spend more time during the execution stage.” It is important to preplan everything and make sure every block is put up at the right place and right time, added Verma.

Gupta explained the significance of effective communication between the operator and the investor, he said, “Planning and communication between the owner and the operator is essential. An operator should define stages to the investor where the fund will come up.”

Another major reason for delays Verma mentioned was not implementing what is in the sanctioned plan. He said, “We are the main reasons for the hotel project delays, because we deviate. We need to take the responsibility to stick to a sanctioned plan.”



Procurement in depth
The second panel discussion was on the topic - Muda, Mura, Muri (Japanese words for wastage, inconsistency and overburden) of hospitality procurement which was moderated by Madhu Chandhok, Director and Founding Partner, pip2020.

The discussion began with Chandhok briefing about Muda, Mura, Muri, as she said that they are not only nomenclatures of three words that is inspired from the Japanese learnings but hold higher values. Various important segments of procurement such as, designer execution, value engineering, relation with vendors, were covered during the session. To set a tone to the discussion every panelist were asked ‘what to them procurement is all about?’

Jain said that in today’s context procurement can make the success of the project. While Nagrale opined, “Procurement for me is an extension of purchase. It not only takes care of identification of goods but you identify the vendor, partners and ensure the supplies are provided at the right time, right place and when it is needed. Every stake holders in terms of partners who are supplying, receiving and consuming need to understanding what do they need, when do they need it and how much do they need it. If all these aspects come together, then the Muda, Mura, Muri, can be controlled very well.”

Talking about the importance to understand the operation efficiencies while designing, Gupta said, “There are different factors such as cost and quality of the products which come into play, it really depends on what the design wants to express, one of the main characteristics in design is we try to make it efficient in terms of energy. Optimisation is the key as it is all about the costing. In the end it is about giving the best product to our clients.”

When asked to throw some light on how do you value engineer by any specification by the designer to meet both brand standards and owners budget as a project manager, Nair responded, “We play a major role at bringing them together and trying to give a solution which can meet the requirements of the designer as well as meet the budget of the promoter.”

Closing the panel discussion Chandhok said, “Procurement is a very collaborative process and it can’t be a responsibility of an individual. It has to be a responsibility starting from the specifier to someone who is going to receive that material. The ethos of our learnings in terms of old school needs to imbibe the new technology, standardise the procedure, eliminate the loops and set a common tempo with a collaborative approach.”



Customisation v/s Standardisation
The first session of Hotelier Summit India 2017, day two, began with a debate session on the topic, customisation v/s standardisation of hospitality products & services, which was moderated by Sheldon Santwan, Editor & COO - Saffron Synergies. Veer Vijay Singh, MD & CEO, Trance International Hotels & Resorts; Deepak Gahlowt, Architect & Directore, Xebec Management Services; Alhad Raje, Founder & Principal, Alhad Raje & Associates had a pro-standardisation viewpoint. On the other side, PK Mohankumar, Director, Orange Country Resorts & Hotels; Siraj Hasan, Co-Founder, Siraj & Renu Architects and Interior Designers had a pro-customisation stand.

From the project managing point of view Gahlowt talked about having no choice except standardisation considering the various kinds of challenges faced in India and the existing inefficiency. “As per the construction and design site is concerned, in terms of the quality standards and the product standards and the construction methodology we really have no choice, we have to go with the standardisation method,” added Gahlowt .

In support of customization, Mohankumar linked customisation to the theory of evolution of human beings that every individual has a unique identity and one has to quantum leap towards customisation. Speaking from the design perspective for Raje as far as the design aesthetic is concerned; standardisation should only be a guideline in terms of cost and availability.

Santwan concluded the debate session stating that standardisation will be the broad guideline and within that will have customisation that can’t get over.



Awards
The 3rd Edition Hospitality Leaders Industry Choice Awards was also hosted at the Hotelier Summit India 2017 by IDE. The winners were selected through online voting by professionals from the hospitality fraternity itself. The awards celebrated the stalwarts of the hospitality industry who have distinguished themselves in their field of expertise. Thousands of votes were received and tabulated by IDE before identifying the winner. Following are the list of winners:

AWARD WINNERS
HOUSEKEEPING LEADER OF THE YEAR VAISHALI SINHA, MELUHA THE FERN
EXECUTIVE CHEF OF THE YEAR JP SINGH, ITC MAYURA
DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE OF THE YEAR SOUMITRA PAHARI, NOVOTEL HYDERABAD
OPERATIONS HEAD OF THE YEAR RISHI PURI, LORDS HOTELS & RESORTS
ENGINEERING LEADER OF THE YEAR VIJAY GIRI, TAJ HOTELS
PROCUREMENT LEADER OF THE YEAR SURESH SHINDE, BRAMHA CORP LTD
GENERAL MANAGER OF THE YEAR PUNISH B SHARMA, MELUHA THE FERN
RESTAURANT INTERIOR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR SAHEBA SINGH, THIS IS IT DESIGNS
HOTEL INTERIOR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR REZA KABUL, ARK REZA KABUL ARCHITECTS
MOST INNOVATIVE HOTEL DESIGN OF THE YEAR BRITTA KNOBEL GUPTA, STUDIO SYMBIOSIS
HOTEL ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR AMIT GUPTA, STUDIO SYMBIOSIS
SILENT THUNDER OF THE YEAR SATISH ARORA, TAJ GROUP
RISING STAR ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR UPENDRA KULKARNI, WAARI HOSPITALITY
RESTAURANT OWNER OF THE YEAR SANJAY VAZIRANI, FOODLINK RESTAURANTS AND CATERING
HOTEL OWNER OF THE YEAR SANJAY SETHI, CHALET HOTELS
LEGEND OF INDIAN HOSPITALITY GRAND MASTER CHEF PADMA SHRI, MD. IMTIAZ QURESHI

 
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