You started Royal Orchid in 2001. How has the hospitality industry in India changed over the last two decades?
We have come a long way. The early years; 2001 to 2003 were years of struggle. The five years between 2003 and 2008 is actually when the economy boomed, only to realise there was a shortage of accommodation options. Investors at that time naturally turned bullish and desirous; everyone had a plan to operate 100 hotels. Growth, however, comes with its own challenges. The industry battled funding, investment and licensing issues. It was normal for the process to take 3-4 years before a hotel could open and many hotel projects got delayed because of this. In 2008 recession hit the market. The economy was in a limbo, and ironically, by now, there was an abundance of hotel inventory. The downturn continued for 10 years - it was the biggest slowdown we have seen.
Over the last few years, growth in technology, financial services and manufacturing sector has led to high demand for rooms and hotels have started doing well. A lot of new players have entered the market. So much of unorganised inventory is now available for booking and all of this has been enabled by technology. Look at the enormous and fast growth of Oyo, Fabhotels and Treebo. OTAs have been enablers of monumental growth. We see thousands of small hotels now being able to list themselves and get bookings online. People have started converting houses into guesthouses, which goes to show that the demand is healthy. Also, an increase in disposable income, new airports, better road and rail connectivity has led to an increase in demand for hotels.
As an industry, we have certainly benefitted from tech advancement. Our distribution and reservation systems are now on the cloud. We’re able to manage the entire customer lifecycle journey, thereby building an ecosystem where we know much more about our guests so we’re able to deliver personalised experiences. I remember the days when it was difficult to manage individual hotels, and we’re certainly much stronger today when it comes to revenue and operations management across our portfolio. We use multiple technology platforms that give us real-time analytics and insights into business on-ground, enabling us to create better value for our asset owners and investors in terms of occupancy, ARRs and GOP.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Managing A Cost Efficient Kitchen In Times Of Price Volatility
The second day of the 39th edition of EF&H Expo saw executive chefs and F&B heads of leading hotels in Mumbai voice their views on the challenges and opportunities faced by them in running a cost efficient kitchen during times of volatility in pricing of staple ingredients.
Think About Where The Market Is Headed, Prepare For Tomorrow, And Move Fast
Chander Baljee, CMD, Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels is a veteran hospitality thought leader and an expert on owned, leased, managed and franchised hotel models. His success story features in a book titled ‘Stay Hungry Stay Foolish’ which follows the professional journey of 25 IIM Ahmedabad entrepreneurs. In an exclusive interview with Steena Joy, he elucidates on the changing hospitality landscape, the demand for industry status and advises hoteliers to boldly venture into newer segments, try new niches and create new experiences.
TODAY'S CHEFS ARE RECOGNISED, NOT JUST AS ARTISANS OF FOOD, BUT ALSO FOR THEIR SKILLS AS CULINARY AMBASSADORS
Chef Davinder Kumar, president, Indian Culinary Forum and VP (F&B Production) & executive chef, Le Meridien New Delhi, started his career in 1972 with the Oberoi Group of hotels. The group later sponsored him to go to the Lychee Technique de Hotelier in Paris, to work with selected chefs specialised in French cuisine. He was also the sole Indian representative at the International Cooking Festival held in Tokyo in 1983 and was awarded a medal for his presentation of Indian cuisine. He speaks to Steena Joy on how the culinary scene has evolved in India and his vision for ICF.
Industry experts laud Centre's decision to boost infra and tourism sector in Union Budget for FY 2020-21
THE UNION BUDGET for FY2020-21 focused on three key themes - aspiring India, economic development and caring society.
The demand-supply gap in Indian hospitality industry
At the second GM's Conclave held at the 39th edition of EF&H Expo in Mumbai, our esteemed panelists from leading hotels in Mumbai and Pune discussed the room inventory status in the metros and why hotels need to change their market mix to open up new opportunities.
Go for the kill: Saving v/s vendor relationship
Organised in association with Hospitality Procurement Managers' Forum (HPMF), the second day of the three-day EF&H Mumbai Expo conducted the Power of Purchase, where the who's who of the hospitality procurement fraternity discussed ways to balance two aspects i.e cost saving and maintaining vendor relationship strategically.
Impact of automated revenue management system using Artificial Intelligence in hotels
It is time that concepts like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning also enter the field of marketing and pricing, and not just directly relating to enhancing superior guest experience, says Siddharth Goenka, founder, Aiosell Technologies.
Economic slowdown: Riding out the storm
The first GM's Conclave panel discussion at the 39th edition of Express Food & Hospitality Expo in Mumbai highlighted how the country's hospitality industry is strategising to face the slowdown.
Designing experiential spaces
Hotels and restaurants are reshaping the look, feel and appeal of their properties, using exterior and interior designs as one of the differentiating methods to create unique experiences. Hospitality spaces are moving from utilitarian functionality to contemporary aesthetics and experience driven developments engaging the senses.
INDIA IS ONE OF THE LARGEST POTENTIAL EXPORT MARKETS FOR JIANGXIAOBAI PURE
VBev, a dynamic company engaged in the import, marketing, sales and distribution of international wines, spirits and beers recently introduced first and only premium Baijiu - Jiangxiaobai Pure in the India market. In coversation with Akshay Nayak, Sumedh Singh Mandla, CEO, VBev India and Zoe Fu, director of International Business, Jiangxiaobai, spoke about the future roadmap of the premium white spirit in India market.