Under Dipak Haksar, ITC has expanded its portfolio across its four brands — ITC Hotels, WelcomHotel, Fortune and WelcomHeritage — to about 10,000 keys. In the last year, ITC Luxury Collection launched two new grand properties — ITC Grand Goa and ITC Royal Bengal, Kolkata, establishing its presence in the luxury end of the business.
ITC, right now, has a portfolio of 10,000 keys and over 100 properties in almost 71 destinations. Haksar, with his ‘empower others’ leadership in keeping with ITC Hotel’s philosophy, strikes a deep chord within the organisation. “All divisions of ITC have deep synergy and interplay between manpower and resources. This allows us to leverage some of the institutional strength,” he said in an interview.
Haksar is known to spend time mentoring his younger colleagues in the company, along with the new management entrants into the industry, in an attempt to create a managerial talent pool for the future. ITC continues on the growth path; on the anvil is ITC Narmada in Ahmedabad, a part of its Luxury Collection. In the upper-upscale Welcomhotel brand, the company is actively pursuing an asset-right strategy. Under Haksar’s leadership, ITC will launch 3,000 rooms in WelcomHotel brand in the next five years through management contracts.
The new WelcomHotel properties will come up in destinations such as Corbett, Chennai, Chail, Ahmedabad and Puri. Haksar is also pursuing ITC’s ‘Responsible Luxury’ and sustainability initiatives with gusto. “We offer an exceptional luxury experience to our guests but we also take care of the environment. We have tried to create the lowest possible carbon energy footprint and we benchmark our hotels to achieve this. We are already carbon positive, water positive and solid waste recycling positive. For example, we have invested heavily in wind turbines at some of our properties, which meet a lot of the energy needs. Wherever we can, we are going for these turbines because it's the cleanest form of energy,” he is quoted to have said. ITC is revamping the experiences offered at the properties for the millennials by modernising the spaces and focusing on responsible luxury, besides incorporating technology and enhancing this package through personalisation and customisation.
Haksar attributes the success of ITC Hotels to a combination of factors — among them, an innate vision and commitment to offer experiences that capture the beauty and magic of India. A student of Vedanta, he brings the wisdom encapsulated on the pages of these ancient scriptures, to his work.