Our strategy is B2B – Back to Basics, Build on Trust and Dependability says Aditya Mata, GM, Hawthorn Suites
Hozpitality Group in Discussion with Aditya Mata, General Manager of Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, by Nebula Group of Companies, Managed by Nile Hospitality
India has made its place to the third most affected countries for COVID, the cases have crossed 1 million mark and thousands of cases are reported every day. This leaves a hollow mark in the heart of the hospitality industry professionals who thrive in serving the patrons. Unfortunately, they are bound to stay behind closed doors for a very long time. There are a few airlines who have started domestic flights in India, regular International flights are still a dream. The Government in each state is slowly opening the economy with caution and a few restaurants, bars, and hotels are now allowed to open in a few places. Cities like Mumbai are the hardest hit, where buildings have been sealed to reduce the spread of the virus. Unless there is a vaccine available in the market, there is no certainty in the market and all the predictions seem unrealistic at the moment.
Hozpitality Group spoke to Aditya Mata, General Manager of Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, by Nebula Group of Companies, Managed by Nile Hospitality to discuss how their company was dealing with the unforeseen scenario. Aditya is currently working with, Wyndham Hotel Group ( WHG ) which has the most phenomenal global distribution system for marketing. Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham brings value and power to a destination like Dwarka. It elevates the location onto a global perspective. This in turn facilitates development besides enhancing asset value. Managed by Nile Hospitality, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Dwarka is promoted By Nebula Group of Companies. The eco-spiritual Hawthorn Suites in Dwarka is spread over 15 acres, propagates biodiversity, and connection between mind, body, and soul through its soothing design, interiors, and location.
As a hands-on person, Aditya has immense experience in re-branding hotels, pre-opening, greenfield projects as well as renovating existing properties. He has also been actively involved in overseeing investment opportunities, planning return on investment, project valuation, real estate transaction marketing, and strategic advisory services besides hospitality- linked financial structuring and capital solutions.
Aditya's experience in hospitality is comprehensive and spans most areas including Revenue Management, HR solutions, Training, Global Distribution, and Marketing besides creating a high-value brand through personalization and enhancement of the guest as well as employee satisfaction index. He is recognized to bring in value and operational efficiency to any business model at all locations.
Hozpitality Group:Hospitality Industry was among the hardest hit to experience the extreme effects of Covid-19, what are your thoughts in the current Pandemicsituation and a way ahead?
Aditya Mata:- Aviation, Travel trade, Hotels, and Resorts have been beaten due to this unprecedented COVID 19 related situation. There are no winners here. Only people who learn and move forward with a refreshed positive mindset. No rule book applies, learn as you live is the new mantra.
This pandemic has uprooted most historical trends as well as data and taken all of us back to ground zero. First among equals. Those with wisdom and acumen will move forward progressively, others will possibly wither. The topography will have new colors with new players a few old, some emerging, most new.
We are still to flatten the curve, there is more speculation than fact in the assessment of the current situation. When things begin to recover possibly an early quarter of 2021 each of us will need to relook at our business plan, strategy, and have a flexible-dynamic model at work where we adapt as we go on. Our fixed costs will need to become somewhat variable, manning and HLP will need to be redefined.
Hozpitality Group:In your opinion what will be the long-term effect of Covid-19 on the Hospitality Industry? And how long will it take to bounce back to Normal?
Aditya Mata: Hospitality and Healthcare may no longer be different anymore. Hotels and resorts will in the future include the design of a facility to handle a clinical possibility. The entire worksheets and manuals in terms of SOPs, Best Practises will need constant work hereon. The new design of uniforms, protective and preventive gear, touchless and voice-enabled services, digital and infra gadgets will quickly be integrated into all levels of services in hotels not just for the tech-savvy, trendy and ultra-luxury anymore. It has now become essential. We will all need to redefine functionality. The hospitality space will have a new order.
We are at a stage where the next three months will decide on the next year and beyond. The bounce back in terms of travel and stay after the initial relaxation of lockdown measures has not been as anticipated. Recovery and stages of sanity will be seen, and felt, around October 2021. I only hope I am wrong on this and this happens earlier. Demand will see some upswing and only then rational will be back in the boardroom.
Hozpitality Group:The World is coming to terms with the Covid-19 outbreak, how do you suggest leading a team during the period of crisis and uncertainty?
Aditya Mata: Patience, empathy, and kindness. And communication. The element of fear, insecurity, and not being in control is across all levels. This is a time where there is a need to be assuring. Transparency can be of great help. Rule books need to be metamorphosed as we walk along to move ahead. Leadership today is about doing, and being there.
I have used the last couple of months to upgrade the Team and myself on various online/virtual modules of training and development. Our preopening training was virtual. We also have had adequate time and resources to work on the Wyndham standards and customize them where required. We have fine-tuned our SOPs, integrated hygiene and preventive processes worked on out-of-the-box measures for saving our fixed expenses while showing courage and determination like never before.
Hozpitality Group: The housekeeping department is frontline worrier in facing this crisis,how are you training the Housekeeping staff?
Aditya Mata: The most critical aspect for Housekeeping now is the modus with a new mix of tools and material.
Safety First Count on Us by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is a protocol specially curated towards hygiene and sanitation, and is a trust- build process worked on meticulously. Our Team has been trained on enhanced safety and preventive Housekeeping measures to ensure the stakeholders and guests are offered a clinically processed environment. Food handling, production, and storage have a completely upgraded SOP with checks and measures to offer our Team and Guests a new world hygienic dining experience.
Hozpitality Group:What measures have you taken to reduce the cost of operations?
Aditya Mata: We are still working on this as we move along. The cost realignment has been in HLP, manpower, and marketing. A shift from collaterals to seamless digital communication is necessitated today and will gradually have a lesser impact on operating costs. We have worked on redefining expectations without compromising on our services.
Hozpitality Group: Do you think the relaunch of Domestic Travel will help the industry tosubside the crisis impact?
Aditya Mata: Domestic travel is the lifeline of the Indian hospitality space. As long as there is value, assurance of safety, trust, consistency in delivery, brand assurance, and road connectivity there will soon be a boom. Domestic is the new elixir. It has its challenges and service/cost elements but then these are times when we need to be on our toes and deliver like never before. Wellbeing, adventure, experiences will have a strong following very shortly.
Hozpitality Group:What will be your strategy to make a strong come back once this is over? Which revenue streams will people focus on?
Aditya Mata: The strategy is B2B back to basics, Build on trust and dependability. Relationships will yet again make a huge difference in our business in the years to come.
All areas of possible revenue are critical now. Today packed food, including packed buffets, is getting in vogue. The buffet is becoming a la carte . Chefs are now on wheels doing home service '. It is no longer only, housekeeping, laundry, and packed food for outside services anymore. Work from a hotel, staycations, owned and leased hotel rooms will soon become very ' normal '. I even can foresee some hotels leasing out more space for merchandising than ever before to create a mini-mall or a mini food court.
With the global network of Wyndham Hotels, Hawthorn Suites in Dwarka will soon be the most preferred and sought after destination for quality leisure, serenity, and wellbeing.
Hozpitality Group: What is your expectation from the Government? To what extendGovernment intervention is needed in the hospitality industry.
Aditya Mata: Today the issue for the Government is about creating demand and providing subsidies for repayment of loans and enhancement of infrastructure. There should be subsidies for various operating hotels and ancillary businesses to ensure the furlough and termination of jobs are addressed proactively. People who have sacrificed their lives for the happiness of others also need some love and care. I am confident this will happen sooner than later.
Non-promotional article written by Vandana Raj Bhatt