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“Technology is here to help us”: Dr Chekitan S Dev

Friday, June 25, 2021, 18:24 Hrs  [IST]
Asmita Mukherjee | Hyderabad

Hotel GM's Guild and AIMS Institutes recently co-hosted an insightful webinar on "Hospitality Leadership in a VUCA World"  with Dr Chekitan S Dev, Singapore Tourism Distinguished Professor at Cornell University. The event was co-hosted by Mohankumar PK, Founder Patron, Hotel GM's Guild – India, who is also the Founder & CEO of Turnstone Hospitality.

The discussions aimed to identify and mitigate VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) in the hospitality industry. Dr Dev spoke about pressing issues faced by hoteliers during the pandemic and how to mitigate those issues.

While emphasising the increasing power of technology, Dr Dev said that it is indeed important for hoteliers to understand and implement necessary technologies for a growth perspective. Citing an example, he said that before the pandemic, roughly 70% to 80% of airline customers had downloaded the airlines app, while the number for hotels, in this case, was roughly between 20% to 25%. Pointing out the back draw of the industry which still works in a very old-school way, he said, “We are not a very digitally forward business. We don’t have many digitally engaged customers. The challenge and crisis of today are how do we double down on digital, how to make the right balance between high tech and high touch. Now it’s not either-or. High tech is the new high touch. The need of the hour is to look for the right mix of both of them. Technology is here to help us. We have to make the most of it.”

He has also highlighted the understanding of trends in the industry, especially around brand loyalty. He said that one needs to learn and create ideas on how to reverse the decline. He stressed the importance of evolving value orientation.

According to Dev, the industry needs to be sustainable. It is indeed imperative to understand the new changing patterns of consumers across social, personal, and environmental priorities, to lure them to revisit their property.

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