LOOKING UNDER THE HOOD
Hotelier India|November 2021
Rather than chart ambitious strategies in boardrooms, BWH Hotel Group’s Incoming President and CEO, Lawrence Cuculic prefers getting into the trenches to better understand team and partner expectations
VINITA BHATIA

When BWH Hotel Group’s President and CEO, David Kong announced his retirement in September this year, it took most people by surprise. One of the industry’s longest running CEOs, he had joined Best Western Hotels & Resorts in 2001 and was named CEO three years later. During this 20-year journey, he transformed the company and formed BWH Hotel Group. His exit will, understandably, leave an indelible mark on the entire hotel industry.

As the incoming President and CEO, Lawrence ‘Larry’ Cuculic is well aware knows he has big shoes to fill, when he takes charge in December 2021. Calling Kong a visionary who transformed BWH Hotel Group into a global hospitality powerhouse, he pointed out that despite the hard ships endured during the pandemic, the organisation is in the strongest financial position in the company’s history – all thanks to Kong’s far-sighted strategies.

“We continue to celebrate tremendous successes, including industry-leading guest and hotelier satisfaction and record-breaking RevPAR growth. I intend to continue building on our many successes by increasing brand revenue delivery to our hotels, ensuring we are well-capitalised, increasing scale in a responsible manner, and continuing to provide superior care to our guests,” Cuculic announced. “Importantly, I want our hoteliers to know that we are a family that stands together, shoulder-to-shoulder, when times are tough, and our guests to know that when they enter our hotels that they will be welcomed and their expectations will not just be met, but rather will be exceeded.”

THINGS IN THE WORKS

While preparing for his new duties, Cuculic is gearing to hit the ground running. As BWH Group’s SVP and General Counsel, he had the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the organisational structure, the needs of its hoteliers, and how the company can best drive results to its small businesses. Moreover, he also oversees the Call Center, leads the HR department and supports the development efforts – all of which has armed him with global brand-level experience.

Over the past 12 years that he has been associated with BWH Group, Cuculic has seen it grow from that a single brand into 18, spanning every market segment – from economy to luxury, including lifestyle and extended stay hotels. During this same period of time, its hotels underwent a complete brand logo refresh while its hoteliers were investing heavily in their properties through the company’s Design Excellence Program.

Recalling those days, Cuculic stated, “The brand logo refresh and the Design Excellence Program ensured our guests knew that when they stay at our hotels, they will experience a property that is contemporary, clean and well maintained. Throughout this time, we have delivered on our promise of providing superior customer care and our commitment to driving revenue to our hoteliers. As a result, we have enhanced our brand image and celebrated a record-breaking number of industry awards and accolades across the globe.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM HOTELIER INDIAView All

Coming Home to Odisha

With niche tourism becoming the keyword for travel enthusiasts, the Odisha government plans to promote unique localised experiences through creation of homestays at select areas

4 mins read
Hotelier India
January 2022

Meet, Greet, Learn

While participants at the 12th Hotelier India Awards learnt more about Kimirica Hunter International’s latest products, the brand’s key people also learnt about ongoing hospitality trends from attendees

2 mins read
Hotelier India
January 2022

Easing Things

EaseMyTrip continues to leverage and utilise its vast agent network to grow its holiday booking segment

2 mins read
Hotelier India
January 2022

It All Boils Down To Effective Housekeeping

Following the pandemic, hotels are relooking at their traditional Operating Supplies and Equipment (OS&E) portfolio to ensure better safety and hygiene

4 mins read
Hotelier India
December 2021

EXPO 2020 DUBAI: PULLING OUT ALL STOPS

The global event aims to become a strategic platform for India’s HoReCa sector to meet suppliers, build on key relationships and influencers in the hospitality industry

4 mins read
Hotelier India
December 2021

CUTTING THROUGH THE CLUTTER

As travellers increasingly shun cookiecutter hotels in lieu of boutique properties, hoteliers need to concentrate on experiential hospitality that create memories for a lifetime

4 mins read
Hotelier India
December 2021

INDIAN TRAVEL PLANS AT NINE-MONTH HIGH

47% of Indian adults plan to travel over the next three months, up from 36% in October 2021

2 mins read
Hotelier India
December 2021

EYE ON THE BALL

Given the significant impact their department has on a hotel’s financial goals, here’s how some engineers helped their team to effectively manage controllable expenses

7 mins read
Hotelier India
December 2021

FIGHTING CARBON EMISSIONS WITH INTELLIGENT HVAC SYSTEMS

With the shift towards intelligent solutions and considering the extent of HVAC related carbon emission, hotels are focused on smarter systems to enable energy efficiency

2 mins read
Hotelier India
December 2021

OPTIMISING REVENUE THE SMART WAY

As hoteliers prepare for much-needed business recovery, it is time to get creative while driving revenue for their room inventory

3 mins read
Hotelier India
December 2021