Heading twin properties and delivering at both brand standards is more of a inspiration for GM Gaurav Singh than a challenge
With over 14 years of experience across various brands, Gaurav Singh as the general manager, was the first resource for Courtyard by Marriott & Fairfield by Marriott-Bengaluru, outer ring road â€“ one of the first complexes by Marriott with two brands. This WGSHA, Manipal and WMI, Gurgaon alumnus, does not take anything for granted and believes in leading from the front.
Ask him about the challenges and Singh says, “A challenge has been to switch hats between the two brands as both of them have their distinct identity and voice, and to be able to deliver on both and to move from one to the other, is an interesting exercise for me.” He admits that the biggest strength and hence, advantage, is the “location and product”. Being in one of the most important and growing micro markets in the city, complemented with a smart design, the property has the advantage of offering two distinctive brands under one roof creating different experiences in terms of both â€“ stay and F&B. “Marriottâ€™s brand leverage and our royalty programme are some of the key strengths. Though the biggest strength is surely the team, young, energetic and eager to please â€“ they have really set the bar high and are delivering exceptional guest experiences,” shares Singh.
As head of the unit, Singh meets and interacts with global consumers who have diverse interests and this enriches his learnings. He believes that personal interaction and recognition across all staff at all levels is a persuasive medium to motivate and adds that the best motivation, however, comes from the guest feedback which drives team members to go the extra mile. According to him, some of the biggest challenges faced by a general manager are the growing demands of the evolving consumer, keeping in mind company quality and profits and stakeholder engagement. “Also this being a 365 days, 24×7 duty, leaves you with almost no time for personal passions and family. But balancing work and home is something you always strive for but rarely achieve and that is the fun of this journey,” he reveals.
The complex is amidst one of the fastest growing IT and servicing areas in the city. Singh’s existing strategy is to provide the best service at great value for money, this includes key focus on food and beverage offerings with emphasise on local cuisine. “We strive to reach the non-residential community who eventually become your advocate for goodwill in the city, as we earn mind share and pocket share that eventually results in market share,” says the strategist, who believes that F&B is one of the key drivers to influence revenue and brand positioning. A beverage expert, the decision to move from this key driver to start driving overall operations, revenues and positioning consciously was the turning point for him. Singh has participated in several industry forums including that on Managing Strategic Growth and Leadership in Emerging Markets conducted by Cornell University and a leadership programme from IIM, Kolkata. He has also attended specialised programmes such as Raising the Bar by Diageo Reserve World Class and Louis XIII de Remy Martin Fortress Program in Cognac, France and has also visited the famed wine producing areas of Burgundy, Rhone and Champagne, most parts of South Africa and the Napa valley in USA.