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HPMF: Pulls off another successful annual convention

Monday, October 16, 2017, 17:29 Hrs  [IST]

The 7th Annual Convention and Awards Ceremony of HPMF took place from September 14-16, 2017, in Jodhpur. The convention organising committee strived to give a little over 300 delegates a sneak-peek of the destination as well as an engaging time with business to business meetings and networking parties. The proceeding of the convention started with a lunch session at the Indana Palace, the convention hotel, followed by a site visit to Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhavan.

After the success of last year’s convention at Bhubaneshwar, the leadership has had the challenge of raising the bar a notch up this year, and with a great level of coordination and teamwork, the HPMF leadership had managed to achieve that goal.

Although the HPMF leadership was expecting hi-profile guests, including the likes of the Prime Minister of the country, to be guests of honour at the convention, in their absence Mohan Deshpande, Chairman, HPMF, inaugurated the convention. He spoke on the number of partnerships that the association has been able to forge in the last one year to strengthen its hold.

Nitin Nagrale, Founder & General Secretary, HPMF, in his address said that the HPMF annual conventions are platforms for networking, branding and knowledge sharing. “We will soon launch our chapter in Dubai,” he said.

Rahul Pandit, CMD, Ginger Hotels, in his speech praised the initiatives that HPMF has taken in the last few years. “HPMF during its short span of time has done remarkable work; from 3 members in 2010 its membership has grown close to 1,500 today. This speaks volumes of the organisation,” he said. Describing the event as a platform for knowledge sharing, Pandit appealed to the delegates to support Make in India programme of the government and ensure that their procurement decisions help creation of jobs in India.

Day two also witnessed few important presentations by Ram Kumar Kharb, Organic Farmer; Pankaj Mehta; and Mala Singh, Founder and Chairperson, PEC Solutions Green Designs. Kharb, an agriculturist from Haryana emphasised on the importance of organic farming, while Mehta threw light on ‘Game Changers.’ In his presentation, he elaborated that everybody is capable to be a game changer. “But the person should know what quality is needed to be a game changer,” he said. He also said that every game changer initially faced severe criticism from different people for his initiatives to bring in changes in that particular arena. “Be prepared to be ridiculed. Every game changer faced it when they started their journey,” said Mehta.

Singh dwelled up on Green Hospitality and made it clear that environment and growth should complement each other. Singh also said that the green concept revolves around the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). According to her, a green hotel is th e one which uses less water, optimises energy, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces. “Green procurement policy also plays a very important role for new hotels that are coming up,” she pointed out.

Maharaj Gaj Singh was the chief guest on the third day of the convention. Addressing the convention, he said that India has not been able to take full advantage of her tourism potential due to various reasons. “Our Prime Minister has initiated several steps to take it to different a level. And hotels are the backbone for tourism to flourish,” he said.

A panel discussion on ‘Climbing the Leadership Ladder-Learning from The Leaders’ had speakers drawn from different verticals of the hospitality industry. They included Dr Celina Joy, Professor, Mahatma Education Society; Sanjay Goyal, Founder President, Pro Partners; Sunil Kuttan, GM, Supply Chain, Pizza Express; and Nitin Nagrale. Marcel Parker, Chief Mentor, Quess Corp Ltd, moderated the session. The panelists opined that self motivation, relationship management, upgrading knowledge, etc. are key to success. Dr Joy said that her association with procurement department immensely helped mould her career. “The procurement job taught me the art of negotiation which is very helpful,” she said. While Goyal said that it is very important to be disciplined throughout one’s career. “Any successful leader is always good in managing people. All the team members in any team are important, may be their roles are different,” Goyal stressed. Kuttan was of the opinion that focus and clarity are the two important qualities of a successful leader. A procurement person should be a person with honesty, sincerity and integrity, Nagrale said. “The risk is also involved in procurement job as we deal with money. Our purchasing decision plays an important role in the overall image of a property,” he pointed out.

Aman Nath, Chairman, Neemrana Hotels, also spoke on that day. Nath is known for his restoration works across the country. He is instrumental in restoring 32 properties in different locations of India. “We faced many challenges during our restoration works but nothing could stop us,” he said. Nath further added that it is not always good to be number 1 because complacency grips. “There is always a scope to do better,” he exhorted.

There were delegates from seven countries at the convention. Speaking on selection of venue, Nagrale said, “We came up with the idea of organising in a place which is rustic and has tradition, culture and Jodhpur perfectly fits the bill.”

Jaideep Gupta, Member, Advisory Board, HPMF, while talking to Hospitality Biz on the sidelines of the event, said, “We have successfully initiated the Certified Hotel Purchase Manager (CHPM) course from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and this year many of our members have graduated to become the first batch of CHPM Graduates – which is an international recognition.” In their endeavour to connect buyers and sellers directly, HPMF is coming out with a new app soon. “We have been working on this since last one year and going to launch it soon,” said Gupta. The 7th convention also honoured people from different areas for professional excellence.

38 exhibitors showcased their products at HPMF 2017, and they expressed happiness at the turnout and enquiries they received at the convention. Said, Navin Mittal, GM, Project Sales, “It is a right platform to exhibit our products to right people. We are meeting the purchasing managers and showing our latest products. It saves our time and prospect of getting business is more here.” Echoing similar sentiment, Sangita Khalsa, Owner, Tuplis, said, “We are very happy to be here. What is important here is, we are meeting the decision-makers unlike other shows.”

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