Power List 2018: Dipak Haksar, Chief Executive, ITC Hotels & WelcomHotels

With his leadership style, Haksar commands not just respect of his peers and industry colleagues, but the love and admiration of his team and employees in equal measure.

With the recently opened ITC Kohinoor at Hyderabad, the 500-keys ITC Royal Bengal—the company’s second property in Kolkata set to be operational in 2019 and the 300-key Ahmedabad property in 2020, ITC Hotels endeavour to showcase the
diversity of each region. Their distinct regional architecture, indigenous interiors, design and art, and curated services honour local traditions; their cuisine represent the regional palate; and their wellness experiences are inspired by local traditions.
Bullish about their growth and expansion, Dipak Haksar, Chief Executive, ITC Hotels and WelcomHotels, states, “There are close to 30 hotels in the pipeline with more than 2,500 rooms owned or managed by ITC’s hotel group. The commitment to enumerate luxury with a responsible ethos governs and inspires our business philosophy.”

According to Haksar, the success of the company is a result of “our innate vision and commitment to offer experiences that bring alive the diversity of India through unique, enriching, indigenous experiences that set every ITC hotel apart. Our collection of hotels define the destination, enumerated through the expression of Namaste, the symbol of our brand experience.”

Haksar believes in growing and evolving. He states, “Like most other segments, millennials are looking for experiential luxury. In addition, they expect to interact with brands on-the-go and in real time. ITC Hotels is cognizant of the value of
personalised service in the hospitality industry. We believe that technology is a game-changer, and we can leverage it further to enhance the level of personalisation and customisation for this segment.”

A 4-tier brand architecture (ITC Hotels, WelcomHotels, Fortune and WelcomHeritage) catering to different segments of the market mix, according to him, enables them to penetrate the market and also have an in-depth understanding of various segments.

Perceptive and endowed with a keen sense of observation and understanding of the hospitality industry, he analyses the challenges. “Exploitative business practices in the context of the environment, which includes the ecology and culture of the
destination would be the single biggest ethical issue confronting the tourism industry. Misrepresenting the offering, incorrect packaging and advertising would result in a breakdown of trust between the guest and the service provider.”
Among the major launches scheduled is ITC’s first overseas venture in Sri Lanka. The Colombo property, with 300-keys, is expected to be operational in 2020.

A simple man, Haksar admits, “I am a life-long student of the doctrine of Vedanta. I draw my inspiration from Indian traditional writings. There is a sea of wealth in our history that can guide us through both our professional and personal journey."

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