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Indian hotels should try to reflect Indian-ness rather than aping the West: Suhel Seth

PIHMAA holds its second annual Alumni meet in Delhi NCR

Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 17:00 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | New Delhi

Delivering the keynote at the second annual alumni meet of the IHM Pusa, New Delhi (Pusa Institute Hotel Management Alumni Association – PIHMAA), acclaimed author, columnist and Corporate Advisor, Suhel Seth asked Indian hotel industry to espouse the spirit of Indian-ness rather than trying to ape the West. “Hospitality Industry of India should reflect Indian-ness and the Indian way of life,” he said. While lots of forces are trying to divide the country, the hospitality industry should try to “celebrate our way of life.” Indian-ness lives in its diversity and that is our strength and beauty, Seth said.

He asked hoteliers to learn to celebrate our history, heritage in its varied aspects, including our cuisines. Globally, chefs are going back to the regional food. Countries of the world like Greece, France, and even the US are celebrating their history and heritage in food. “We must celebrate our cuisines by creating authentic experiences,” he said.

He asked hotel industry to take some finer threads from the Incredible India campaign and sell it in a different way. Don’t promote India as Incredible India as the word Incredible has both negative and positive connotations, Seth said.  Sell India as an ethereal experiential destination, he suggested. While India has one of the best hospitality talents in the world, he asked hoteliers to check the ‘overzealousness” to please the guests.
As a piece of advise, he asked hotels and restaurants to make their service design unobtrusive to the guests. The objective of hotel business is to delight customers and not challenge them.  Service design needs to be “uncluttered” in hotels and restaurants.  Even technology that is being used should not be intimidating to customers, he observed.

The second PIHMAA Annual Conclave and Exchange (PACE) was attended by alumni of the institute starting from the 1965-batch. The event was marked by panel discussions, CEO panel, GM’s panel, F&B panel, etc., and distribution of Hall of Fame Awards.

In his welcome speech, KB Kachru, Chairman, PIHMAA said that it is heartening that leading hotel chains in the country are lead by Pusa institute alumni today. He said that the endeavour is to reposition PIHMAA and make it more useful for the industry and the society at large and inspire future generations.

Later, speaking to Hospitality Biz, Mandeep S Lamba, President of PIHMAA said that the role of the alumni association is to help the institute build its brand equity and get the industry together and catch up with the leadership.  

PIHMAA also recognised alumni from the initial batches of the institute who became role models and leaders of the industry later on. The recipients of the Hall of Fame awards included Anil Bhandari, Virender S Datta, Dr Psyche Nigam, Manmohan Singh, KB Kachru, DK Beri, Arun Agarwal, among others.

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