Creating efficient hotels
The Hotelier India B.E.A.M.S. 2015 conference highlighted the aspects of the industry that are essential for a property to function at its most efficient. BY TEAM HOTELIER INDIA
The pursuit of excellence is what leads the industry to innovation in the various areas that come together to become a successful hotel property. The B.E.A.M.S. 2015 conference that was held on September 5th in Mumbai’s Sahara Star Hotel was all about technology and creating smart hotels. It was a day full of discussions and deliberations, where experts talked about all the elements that ensure that not only is a hotel built well but also has all the processes in place that will result in an excellent performing property. Some of the best practices and technologies that are available in the Building, Electricals, Air-Conditioning, Maintenance and Safety (BEAMS) sphere that are being followed by most brands across the country were also shared through the presentations and the panel discussions during the day.
The day began with the welcome note by Bibhor Srivastava, group publishing director, ITP Publishing India, where he highlighted the endeavour of the publishing house to provide platforms for knowledge sharing for the industry. This was followed by Sundaresan Narayanan, assistant director, marketing and strategy, UTC CCS Products India who were the presenting partners, Keshav Deodhar, director, ASPA Watermelon Hospitality Infrastructure from AWESOME and Manish Sodhi, GM, Hotel Sahara Star & Aamby Valley City, the hospitality partner, addressing the gathering and welcoming them to B.E.A.M.S. 2015 conference.
The proceedings kick-started with the keynote address by architect Sanjay Puri on the ‘Evolving new perceptions in hospitality design’. Through his hospitality projects of various scale all around the country, Puri explained how architectural design is the first thing that happens in an hotel and efficiency should start from there. “You can actually reduce the payback to half if the hotel is designed well, based on what your site is and how the property is planned,” he said.
This was followed by a presentation on ‘Making HVAC a mission rather than a vision’ by Chirag Baijal, director, Toshiba and Commercial Applied Business, UTC CCS Products India.
The first up was the CEO panel that came together to discuss the best practices employed by them to ensure efficiencies. Some of the points discussed were the current trends and strategies adopted by hotel operators and developers, technology becoming a key driver in ensuring guest comfort, energy saving measures and the technological innovations that enhance the guest experience. With many points of views that came up during the discussion on how design engineering and technology will play a large role and how hotels are going to be different in future, all agreed that technological developments will play a big role in both back of house and customer interface.
This was followed by a presentation on ‘Energy focused retrofits in hotels’ by Rahul Garg, director, UTC Building and Industrial Systems India. The second panel of the day was the Sustainability Panel that discussed ‘Responsible Luxury’. Moderated by Mala Singh, CMD, PEC Greening India, the panel discussed the role of design and if engineering systems could be retrofitted comprehensively without affecting operations amongst other sustainable challenges. Uday Thorat, corporate account manager, Nalco Water India Ltd then made a presentation on ‘Sustainability solutions for hospitality industry’.
The post-lunch session began with the felicitation of AWESOME members (the association of engineers) who are an important part of ensuring efficient hotel buildings. This was followed by a presentation on ‘Advantages of participation in automated demand side management’ by Niranjan Gopinathan, COO, India & Asia Operations, Innovari. The last panel of the day, moderated by Vinayak Sane, MD and principal consultant, SI Consultech, was on the ‘Security, Fire & Life Safety measures to insulate your heritage and value systems’. The panelist pointed out the need for advanced security technologies to facilitate safeguarding security like integrated surveillance systems, advanced lock and access control systems, and sophisticated asset protection tools.
This was followed by a case study on ‘Asbestos awareness in hotels’ by Suhel Parker, EPSCO India. The conference ended with the felicitation of the HPMF members (a consortium of hospitality purchase managers).
Babita Krishnan, editor, Hotelier India, thanked all the people present at the conference for an active participation, which is a sign of a successful knowledge exchange platform. The day ended on high note where the participants got a lot of food for thought and the discussions continued over cocktails and dinner.