You are continuously learning and each day brings a new insight and challenge in the people business says Albert Rebello, GM, The Gateway Hotel Hinjawadi Pune – BY gita Hari
Tell us about your journey in this industry and some lessons from your experiences.
From a trainee in 1983 to a GM now has been a very enjoyable journey. I have worked across various functions at all levels and as GM, it is good to have an understanding of all functions to provide the best in service to your guest. Lessons are aplenty, however, most importantly you need to be patient. We have to understand that every person one meets has a different perspective and the service one seeks is personalised. As a part of the hospitality fraternity, we need to be flexible in order to evolve with the changing times.
How do you motivate the team?
I keep them engaged at all times with initiatives that interest them, this ensure productive output and learning at the same time.
What are the challenges that you face as the GM?
Creating an entrepreneurial mind set among all your associates while improving efficiency to manage costs better. Building agility to meet the volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous business scenario remains an important challenge that keeps us striving for excellence.
What are the revenue-enhancing strategies that you have adopted/introduced at the property?
In our first year of operation, we have witnessed an increase in revenue through volumes owing to upsurge in footfalls and widespread awareness of the facilities at our hotel. Introduction of unique F&B concepts like night conferences and gluten-free food help us gain loyalty of customers. In addition to these, we offer speciality regional cuisine for guests who like to experiment and exciting beverage offerings for the young professionals.
What are your favourite areas of the property?
The heart of the house, as this is the area you get to engage with all your associates in their most comfortable environment.
What according to you is the most important thing for success in the industry?
Be a good listener, be flexible, never say ‘No’, offer alternatives, take care of your people as they are your most valuable asset, and be agile to the ever changing business scenario.
What are some of the positive changes in the industry in the last decade or so?
The huge increase in domestic travel due to greater disposable income resulting in the growth of branded upscale, mid-market and budget hotels. Growth of the online distribution system. Healthy competition with brands both national and international, keeps the industry thriving on excellence and better service offerings, which is good for the guest.