Senior Area Director of Operations – South Asia Marriott International
LURING THE INDIAN WEDDING BUSINESS
The social segment is different from the corporate segment, as it requires customisation and not a standard format. The corporate segment works on a plus or minus 20 per cent variant standard format, whereas in the social segment, the requirements have to be customised because of diverse cultures and rituals. Even though it is a lucrative segment, the challenge is in understanding the needs and being able to offer solutions pertaining to them.
SHAADI BY MARRIOTT
We have rolled out a pan India campaign called Shaadi by Marriott, for which a video was launched about 8-10 months ago. The video has organically grown into being sub-personal. We are activating the brand with each of our hotels in terms of collaterals, execution, special menus, and everything associated with it. We have also launched the Honeymoon by Marriott campaign, where we give options to the guest based on the tier or the budget for expenditure, and a destination of their choice. We are going to launch a few more campaigns over the next six months.
Décor and themes are largely influenced by the Indian films industry. Any latest movie or a popular song, apparels, etc., that are in trend act as influencers. The rituals are traditional, but the execution of the rituals does change as people are looking at innovative ways to stand out. This has made destination weddings a huge trend. People are now taking small gatherings to a destination for two to three nights, rather than spending money on 500-600 people that they barely know.
COME WHAT MAY, WE WILL ADAPT
The demonetisation impact was temporary, but we did witness a slow pace. People will spend on their wedding notwithstanding the economical hiccup. The trend now is to reduce the attendance of people. Demonetisation has had no impact. With GST, the ripple effect is yet to be seen until the next quarter. Whether the increase in tax by 75 per cent is going to predominantly affect someone to spend less, is too early to determine. Liquor ban has definitely seen some effect with customers preferring to serve liquor on limited events.