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“We are eager to enter India”

HMH, a pioneer in creating alcohol-free chain of hotels, boasts 50% share of the MENA region’s halal-friendly segment. Laurent A Voivenel, CEO, spells out the company’s unique offering and plans for India. INTERVIEWED BY SHAFQUAT ALI           Hospitality Management Holdings (HMH) has come a long way since its formation 15 years ago and now boasts 50% share of the halal-friendly seg ...

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Affordable excellence

Promising a pleasant experience at affordable pricing, Ritesh Agarwal, CEO and founder, OYO Rooms, on the success of an idea. BY ROMA B             The genesis of most start ups is borne out of personal experiences or incidents of the founder(s). “The idea germinated to solve a problem that I personally experienced as a traveller. While travelling across the country on a minima ...

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Pune budget hotels market – rising to the challenge

Pune has become one of India’s top five hotel markets in 2014. BY MANDEEP LAMBA   Over the past decade, the Pune hotel sector has emerged a formidable competitor to the other hospitality markets in the country, growing from a negligible base of branded hotel rooms in 2005 into becoming one of India’s top five hotel markets in 2014. Over the course, it has weathered multiple storms ranging from signific ...

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Educated perspective

Judy Hou, CEO of the Swiss institute Glion, on partnering with the industry to create a more skilled human resource. BY BABITA KRISHNAN     With a slow but sure show of improvement in the overall industry scenario, there's a new breed of young people who are eager to join the hospitality industry. However, to achieve professional success in any industry needs backing of information and knowledge – ...

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Putting guest comfort first

Vinesh Gupta, GM Mövenpick Bangalore, believes that as hoteliers, the most important success mantra is the service given to the guests. BY BABITA KRISHNAN         Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is not very aggressive. With only one property, how do you make your presence felt in the light of competition? Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is an international upscale hotel management company ...

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‘I have focused on providing a true JW experience’

What are the specific changes that you have implemented at JW Marriott Chandigarh since you took over as the GM? I believe the ultimate goal of a general manager is to ensure that all guests leave raving about the hotel. Therefore, I have focused on providing a true JW experience to guests through effective trainings and process improvement at all focal points. Be it execution of service designs and skill-b ...

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What a tribute

Congratulations on the launch of Starwood’s 10th brand and second collection of independent hotels. The ad campaign suggests that the Tribute Portfolio is targeted at discerning guests who want to try something different but still stay in the Starwood family. Could you elaborate on the thought process behind it? Thanks so much. We created Tribute Portfolio to allow both our Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) me ...

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‘Attitude determines altitude’

What are the specific changes that you have implemented at the hotel since you took over as the GM? Situated on Willingdon Island with a magnificent view of Cochin harbour, our hotel is a fine balance between yesterday and tomorrow, creating a rejuvenated and stylish experience, offering highly energetic and sophisticated getaways. We have cleaned up an island, which is now being offered as the only destina ...

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‘Indian chefs are among the best in the world’

Is it good for our industry to get expat chefs to continuously come and work in India? Jiggs Kalra: It depends on the type of cuisine they’re doing. It’s good to have this intellectual trade and cultural exchange with people from other countries, especially if they come and set up great restaurants. It would be great if Ferran Adria comes and sets up a cool new restaurant in India. I’d love it for Heston Bl ...

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‘It is a big honour to be a general manager’

What are the specific changes that you have implemented at the hotel since you took over as the GM? I have executed few modifications at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel & Lakeside Chalet Marriott Executive Apartments. My team and I have revamped the guest engagement programmes for our Marriott Executive Apartment (MEA) residents. I feel it’s important for our residents to feel at home and ...

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