MCUBE en­gages MiCE pro­fes­sion­als

Mar­riott group’s MCUBE – (Mar­riott Meet­ings Mat­ter), held re­cently at the newly-opened JW Mar­riott Jaipur Re­sort & Spa, brought to­gether pro­fes­sional con­fer­ence or­gan­is­ers

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The two-day event saw a healthy mix of both sides along with the Gen­eral Man­agers, Mar­ket Lead­ers and Se­nior Mar­riott lead­er­ship of South Asia cul­mi­nate along with in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als from the MiCE seg­ment to en­hance syn­er­gies and strengthen part­ner­ships.

EX­PLOR­ING MiCE IN TIER II CITIES

San­jay Sharma, Mar­ket Vice Pres­i­dent for North In­dia, Nepal and Bhutan, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional, shared some in­sights on the vi­a­bil­ity of MiCE in In­dia and why bring­ing events to cities helps el­e­vate lo­cal econ­omy as well. “MCUBE is an op­por­tu­nity to show­case Jaipur as a MiCE des­ti­na­tion. Jaipur is re­ally up­com­ing at the mo­ment and with the avail­abil­ity of new in­fra­struc­ture and de­vel­op­ment, it can avail more busi­ness from the seg­ment.”

The brand of Mar­riott is wit­ness­ing dou­ble digit growth and hopes to re­tain it in fu­ture as well. “Mar­riott had a dou­ble digit growth of RevPar dur­ing the pe­riod of 2016-17 and 2017-18, for F&B, we had a lit­tle bit of a cri­sis due to liquor

ban, GST and de­mon­eti­sa­tion; a cou­ple of our ho­tels were hit. We still held on even in F&B. So over­all 2017 was a stel­lar year for us and we per­formed far above our mar­ket share against our com­peti­tors,” Sharma added.

Through col­lab­o­ra­tion with brands, more in­ter­na­tional events will come to In­dia

Col­lab­o­rat­ing with a brand has its own ben­e­fits, from be­ing the suited col­lab­o­ra­tive providers, Mar­riott as a brand con­sid­ers it vi­tal. Said Sharma, “By col­lab­o­rat­ing not only within our ho­tels but with other brands as well and mar­ket­ing that des­ti­na­tion as ‘col­lab­o­ra­tive ser­vice providers' will make more head­way in bring­ing in more and more in­ter­na­tional events into the coun­try.

In­dia is the op­ti­mal in­bound des­ti­na­tion be­cause it has the ex­cel­lent in­fra­struc­ture now and myr­iad op­tions of cui­sine, has great value for money and build­ing ser­vice lev­els here are ex­em­plary.” On stat­ing why MiCE agents and play­ers should choose Mar­riott as their choice, he con­cluded, “We are easy to do busi­ness with and have largest foot­print in the coun­try. We have a to­tal of 108 ho­tels in South Asia.”

MCUBE: A HIT

Kadambini Mit­tal, Se­nior Area Di­rec­tor of Sales & Dis­tri­bu­tion -South Asia, Mar­riott, ex­pressed, “MCUBE is in its fifth edi­tion. It has re­ally grown over the years. The way we en­gage and show­case our prod­ucts ex­udes a per­sonal touch more than a busi­ness set­ting. Ini­tially when we launched in 2013, the event had se­lec­tive par­tic­i­pants, but, now it has surged to over 50 part­ners.

PAINT­ING A CSR CAN­VAS

The event also saw the group par­tic­i­pat­ing in CSR ac­tiv­i­ties. Par­tic­i­pants painted the walls of a gov­ern­ment school, which was adopted by JW Mar­riott Jaipur for their lit­er­acy pro­gramme. They also played games with the school chil­dren, taught them how to paint and gave away gifts.

Elab­o­rat­ing on the CSR ac­tiv­ity the brand does, Anu­raag Bhat­na­gar, Multi Prop­erty Vice Pres­i­dent, Mum­bai & Goa, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional, said, “The JW Mar­riott, Jaipur will be in­volved in de­vel­op­ing the lit­er­acy pro­gramme. All our ho­tels does CSR ac­tiv­i­ties, in their im­me­di­ate com­mu­nity, through our busi­ness coun­cil pro­grammes.”

SCOPE OF MCUBE

Wed­dings in In­dia is a never-end­ing busi­ness. To make it a thriv­ing one, ho­tels en­sure plethora of­fer­ings for that spe­cial day at a spe­cial rate. MCUBE gave a plat­form to wed­ding plan­ners and other seg­ment buy­ers

a chance to build fruit­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties. Fur­ther point­ing out on the seg­ment, Chandra Shekhar Joshi, Gen­eral Man­ager, JW Mar­riott Jaipur, said, “We have, till now, done 25 res­i­den­tial wed­dings. These were mostly full buy-outs.” Giv­ing his in­put on MCUBE, he added, "We had 50 to 60 event plan­ners, EMCs, cor­po­rate cus­tomers, dis­cussing the way for­ward as far as MiCE is con­cerned.”

Naveen Rizvi, Re­gional Di­rec­tor, In­dia, In­dian Ocean Pa­cific world and Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, In­te­grated Con­fer­ence & Event Man­age­ment, added, “It was a good op­por­tu­nity for net­work­ing for un­der­stand­ing the new prod­ucts of Mar­riott."

Rizvi added, "MiCE is gain­ing trac­tion in North­east and also in cities like Bikaner, Jaisalmer.” Rizvi in­forms that out­bound MiCE is vi­tal, and that 60 per cent of busi­ness is gained through it. “We did a re­ally big group for Turkey, for al­most 700 peo­ple. Sim­i­larly, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land, Dubai are al­ways ever­green,” he added.

FRUIT­FUL ONE-ON-ONE

MCUBE saw fruit­ful in­ter­ac­tions over a span of three days of all MiCE vet­er­ans choos­ing to un­wind and dis­cuss busi­ness in the lap of lux­ury in Jaipur. Vinita Kri­palani, As­so­ciate Re­gional Vice Pres­i­dent, Helms­briscoe, elab­o­rat­ing on des­ti­na­tions for do­mes­tic MiCE, said, “There are metro cities, and Tier II cities like Chandigarh, Jaipur, Goa, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mum­bai, Lon­avala, Khan­dala.

We have seen the cul­ture is pick­ing up a lit­tle bit from Mum­bai while Mus­soorie has per­formed well. A good ho­tel, cou­pled with the essence of the city can def­i­nitely push a des­ti­na­tion. Cor­po­rates al­ways want lower rates, espe­cially if it is a re­peat busi­ness.”

Rishi Khan­del­wal, Di­rec­tor, Wish Bone In­dia, said, "MCUBE saw con­glom­er­a­tion of gen­eral man­agers of ma­jor MiCE prop­er­ties along with part­ners." On out­bound pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions, he added, “Nowa­days, the CIS coun­tries like Al­maty, Baku, Tashkent, are the des­ti­na­tions that are re­ally in. Al­maty is a three-and-a-half-hour jour­ney from Delhi, it has direct con­nec­tiv­ity and well suited con­ven­tion hall.”

MiCE IN OF­FER­ING

In­dian MiCE ho­tel Gen­eral Man­agers gath­ered at MCUBE to de­lib­er­ate upon what they have to of­fer on their plat­ter.

Faiz Alam An­sari, Com­plex GM, Sher­a­ton Grand Bengaluru White­field Ho­tel & Con­ven­tion Cen­ter and Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Busi­ness Park, shared, “Our ho­tel of­fers the big­gest MiCE space in Bengaluru. It can seat about 2000 peo­ple. We have 12 break­out rooms and another ball­room which can ac­com­mo­date another 800 peo­ple, and an ad­di­tional 360 rooms to sup­port it.”

Taieb TJ Joulak, Gen­eral Man­ager, W Goa, on the unique prop­er­ties of MiCE, the ho­tel in­cor­po­rates, ex­claimed, “We opened on Christ­mas 2015. We have 130 rooms, in­clud­ing Chalets and vil­las. Goa is a great des­ti­na­tion, there are up to 20 flights a day." On busi­ness

Out­bound MiCE is vi­tal, about 60 per cent of the busi­ness is gained through it

he said, “We are touch­ing `20,000 ADR, in oc­cu­pan­cies we are in the high 80's . We have about 25 wed­ding lined up in this year. Goa as a des­ti­na­tion is leisure so peo­ple come in the week­ends. We tar­get in­cen­tives from Mon­day's to Thurs­day's. We have about two to three meet­ings in a month on a weekly ba­sis, which car­ries on till June, when the mon­soon starts.”

Ni­cholas Dum­bell, Gen­eral Man­ager, Re­nais­sance Mum­bai Con­ven­tion Cen­tre Ho­tel, said, “We have 773 rooms. So, we can ac­com­mo­date some re­ally big groups for op­ti­mal MiCE busi­ness. We have a huge meet­ing space, that en­com­passes a 13,000 sqft ball­room. Even with such ex­quis­ite fa­cil­i­ties, I think it's the out­side space that makes a dif­fer­ence at the Re­nais­sance.”

Piyush Tyagi, Gen­eral Man­ager, Le Meri­dien Jaipur Re­sort & Spa, said, "In terms of where we are lo­cated, 70 per cent of our busi­ness comes from wed­dings. Wed­dings are very spe­cific with re­gard to the aus­pi­cious dates.”

Rahul Puri, Gen­eral Man­ager, The Westin Gurgaon said, “Ex­cit­ing new ho­tels opened over last year and are open­ing, which should ac­tu­ally help us.”

Vi­neet Mishra, Gen­eral Man­ager, J W Mar­riott Pune, said, “We have been hav­ing great num­bers com­ing in. We had al­most 10 to 11 per cent growth as far as busi­ness is con­cerned. Pharma is mov­ing in in a big way. IT off­sites have started com­ing into Pune as well. I think it's a city that of­fers ev­ery­thing for any in­dus­try.”

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