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Conventions are usually serious business events. The seventh HPMF Convention and Procurement Excellence Awards, however, managed to mix business with pleasure adroitly

To celebrate its seventh anniversary, the Hospitality Purchasing Manager’s Forum (HPMF) organised a convention and awards event at Indana Palace, Jodhpur from 14th to 16th September 2017. The topic for this year’s three-day convention was ‘Seven Elements Of The Universe’, and during this event, attending delegates had the chance to experience the grandeur of the palatial mansions in the city, including Bijolai Palace, Pratap Niwas Palace and Umaid Bhawan Palace, besides visiting Thar Desert in Rajasthan. Hotelier India magazine was the official media partner for this event, while Welbilt India was one of the sponsors that supported this initiative.
Conceived in 2010, HPMF currently has over 1400 members from the hospitality purchasing fraternity. Some of its key objectives include training and development of procurement professionals, consolidated procurement, industry product standardisation, volume discounts, improved professionalism in purchasing process, green initiatives and corporate social responsibilities.
Talking about the event, Nitin Nagrale, founder and general secretary of HPMF said, “HPMF Convention and Procurement Excellence Awards have created a new industry benchmark in Hospitality fraternity. It was the result of last six months of hard work of core team from conceptualising the event, identifying the location to execution.”
He added, “We did not realise when the convention had transformed into a carnival. The entire audience including guests, delegates, media partners, vendors (partners) had turned into a large family, celebrating a big fat Indian destination wedding. There was a mix of knowledge sharing, serious business in B2B meetings besides a huge platform to network and make new friends and also get to meet old ones.”

The Convention started off not indoors a conference room, but after the guests had settled in, they were taken around the city of Jodhpur to visit some historical sites like Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace. This was to act as an icebreaker in an informal setting. A traditional sit-down dinner was arranged at Bijolai Palace, a heritage hotel overlooking the Bijolai Lake.
Rahul Pandit, MD and CEO, Ginger Hotels, who was the chief guest of the convention, inaugurated it the second day. The day saw a few presentations on the latest trends in organic procurement and how the hospitality procurement is expected to evolve in the future. In the evening, delegates were escorted to the Thar Desert where a traditional ancient Rajasthani Village Fair was recreated for them to enjoy with while they had their dinner. The delegates had an opportunity to meet and interact with the sarpanch (headman) of these villages, which was a mutually gratifying experience for both.

On the third day, all delegates wore a bright Safa (traditional Rajasthani headgear) with great delight. “In fact, we set up an Asia Book of Records for the highest number of people (311) wearing Safa at one event,” Nagrale proudly claimed.
Adding panache to the event was HH Maharaja Gaj Singhji of Jodhpur, who gave a rousing speech in his role as a chief guest. Aman Nath, CMD of Neemrana Hotels who was the guest of honour, made a presentation on how to prudently convert old forts and palaces into hotels. There was one panel discussion on ‘The Way Forward for the Purchasing Manager’.
On the final day, the HPMF Procurement Excellence Awards were held. “We honoured special achievers from India who spent their lives taking care of underprivileged people in the society,” noted Nagrale. “We also lauded the work of distinguished personalities as ‘Indian Achievers’ in the diversified areas like farming, social engineering, education, charity, which added a new dimension to the event.”
While Nagrale called the event a great success, there is one compliment he received, which he cherished a lot. It was when Thakur Sahab Giriraj Singhji Lotwara redefined HPMF as ‘Humanity Promotion Managers Forum’!

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