ONE YEAR AFTER THE pandemic swept the country and led to the shutdown of businesses and a resetting of how hotel chains were operating, the after-effects are being seen in brand new strategies, a re-prioritising of luxury standards, and learnings that are directing the way forward.
Even as occupancies bounce back to normal, the shift in business reflects new sets of operating rules, a new group of customers, and the realisation that the pre-pandemic business may have changed for the better.
Inbound travel from foreign tourists has all but dried up, but, on the other hand, one can now witness a wave of industry-wide traction for weekend revellers, staycation seekers, and locals who’ve simply gotten tired of staying at home, all these giving a fillip to local businesses. This has led to new SOPs and new learnings which are key, especially for premium and luxury hotels which have felt the economic pressure arising out of the pandemic more than economy players.
Research recently done by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. underscores the key differences in operating economics of different kinds of hotels: Economy hotels can stay open at lower occupancy rates than other chain scales. In all hotels, revenue is a function of average daily rate, number of rooms, and occupancy—plus food and beverage where available. Costs are threefold: variable (with revenue); semi-fixed (may be eliminated if a hotel suspends operations); and fixed. For owners considering suspending operations, variable and semifixed costs are factors, since fixed costs don’t change, no matter what. In other words, to cover variable and semi-fixed costs, luxury hotels conservatively need occupancy rates 1.5 times greater than economy hotels.
India’s largest homegrown player, the Taj group of hotels (which is owned and run by the Indian Hotels Co. Ltd or IHCL) has, in addition to implementing health and safety norms with World Health Organization (WHO) standards, also launched brand new technology systems across hotels, says Saleem Yousuff, senior vice president-operations, South, IHCL.
Going by the name of I-Zest, these digital solutions enable social distancing for guests and associates and include offering zero to minimal touch options through digital pre-check-in registrations to contactless guest access to their rooms via optional digital key cards.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
COMMUNITY, CONTENT, AND COMMERCE
FACEBOOK EARNED ITS CHOPS BY CONNECTING PEOPLE, SOMETHING THAT ONCE AGAIN CAME TO THE FORE DURING THE PANDEMIC. ITS NEXT BIG BETS ARE ON CONTENT CREATORS AND SMALL BUSINESSES. AIDING IT IN THIS MISSION ARE INSTAGRAM AND WHATSAPP.
The Galgotias Charming Scion
Exiting the Terminal
The Airports Authority of India’s planned exit from four metro airports and its privatisation drive has raised concerns about ‘private monopoly’. But the government is clear: monetise operating public infrastructure assets to finance new ones.
The Art of Building a Sports Car Portfolio
Angel Broking founder Dinesh Thakkar explains why track record matters when buying exotics.
The Conversation - AKSHAY NAHETA
U.A.E.-based Akshay Naheta, 39, is the youngest executive 1 to report directly to SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son (“Masa”). As CEO of SB Management and senior vice president, investments, SoftBank, he leads the conglomerate’s investments into publicly traded stocks and other securities. Naheta, an equestrian buff, 2 decodes his stint at the investment giant.
THE DOCTOR COMES CALLING
WITH MANIPAL HOSPITALS WRAPPING UP A DEAL TO BUY COLUMBIA ASIA HOSPITALS, RANJAN PAI HAS CHALKED OFF A MAJOR ITEM ON HIS BUCKET LIST: BUILDING A PAN-INDIA HOSPITAL CHAIN. BUT THE SAVVY ENTREPRENEUR IS FAR FROM DONE AND IS GUNNING FOR THE NO.1 POSITION.
THE SOUND OF STREAMING
Two years after its entry into the Indian market, streaming giant Spotify is already among the top three players in the growing audio OTT industry. Key to its success has been its localisation and diversified offer strategy.
BHARAT BIOTECH HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF MAKING VACCINES FOR SWINE FLU, POLIO, AND OTHER VIRAL DISEASES FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTURY. YET IT TOOK A GLOBAL PANDEMIC FOR THE SPOTLIGHT TO SHINE ON THE COMPANY CO-FOUNDED BY KRISHNA M. ELLA AND HIS WIFE SUCHITRA M. ELLA.
Cool Outfits For A Hot Summer
While fashion took a back seat in 2020, with the world slowly opening up, fashion is back. We look at five trends for the summer.
Big Hospitals Vs. Big Pharma
As talk of healthcare reform grows, the two titans are gearing up for an epic clash over wh ’s most to blame for soaring costs. Will it lead to truly radical change?