Vivek Bhalla, as IHG’s chief strategist and thinker, has taken up the battle against OTAs to ensure that the group drives bigger business through its portal. In this war, he is using technology as a weapon to woo back customers. IHG has rolled out a personalised reservation system in partnership with Amadeus that takes a lot of cues from how airline reservation works. It befits Bhalla’s reputation as a shrewd strategist that IHG is pioneering this initiative. Pushing boundaries comes easy to the hotelier. He is driving the group’s expansion plan in India, particularly with the Holiday Inn brand, besides helping to grow the up-scale brand Crowne Plaza and the luxury brand InterContinental region.
Bhalla will drive IHG’s expansion in the subcontinent by leveraging the great infrastructure that they already have in place. Bhalla has strategies well-suited to the dynamic environment where consumer needs and demands are changing constantly. “The hospitality sector is a service industry with people at the core. By enhancing our investments in our people, we ensure that we are the preferred employer of choice and have the right talent who can deliver great guest experiences.”
His ability to focus on the task at hand works brilliantly for the hotelier. He is always on the uptick, keeping abreast with new tools and technologies to upgrade guest experiences, working with new technologies, many of them cloud based. In his last role as director of operations, SEAK, Bhalla was responsible for the operations of IHG’s 30+ hotels across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Bhalla said, "The brand has gained tremendous momentum in the country and we have also made significant progress towards our commitment to strengthen our mid-scale portfolio in India."