Un­der­stand­ing a new world or­der

Nakul Anand, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, ITC Ho­tels, at the re­cently-con­cluded FHRAI An­nual Con­ven­tion, shared his vi­sion on how global trends are ush­er­ing in a tech­no­log­i­cal era for travel and hos­pi­tal­ity.


Nakul Anand claims that with the rise of dig­i­tal and mo­bile con­sumer us­age, the con­trol has com­pletely gone into the hands of the con­sumers. “We see a flurry of in­dus­try changes. On­line search en­gines are ex­plor­ing ad­ver­tis­ing mod­els and metasearch com­pa­nies are mov­ing to as­sisted book­ings. There is a blur­ring of in­dus­try value chains and data is the new oil. The travel in­dus­try re­mains the leader in e-com­merce ma­tu­rity, with high on­line pen­e­tra­tion. It is this twin rise of mobiles and so­cial me­dia that has made all the dif­fer­ence,” he says.

Anand elab­o­rates on the five ma­jor global trends that will be in­flu­enc­ing the world and ev­ery busi­ness. Trend 1: Tech­nol­ogy Smart­phone and so­cial me­dia

Anand says, “In­ter­est­ingly, 79 per cent of peo­ple say that if their cell phone were taken away, they would be ready to give up al­co­hol and choco­lates to get it back. So­cial me­dia is be­yond ju­ris­dic­tion, it’s own­er­less. It con­sumes, pun­ishes, da­m­ages and de­stroys in sec­onds. Num­bers are con­stantly on the rise- Face­book to­day has 1.18 bil­lion users; YouTube has 1 bil­lion users; in 60 sec­onds, 16 mil­lion text mes­sages are sent and 156 mil­lion emails are sent; 120 new ac­counts are cre­ated on LinkedIn and 342,000 mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions are down­loaded.” Emer­gence of the on­line cul­ture

Ev­ery­one to­day is a so­cialite, true priv­i­leges are those that are earned on merit. Anand de­scribes this ‘ Sta­tu­sphere’ as a so­cial sta­tus that mea­sures your ‘sta­tus­fac­tion’. “Sta­tus boost­ers boost your ‘ sta­tus skills’. Ear­lier, only the very rich, and be­ing ex­tremely small in num­ber, would en­ter this sphere; to­day, ev­ery hu­man be­ing who has ac­cess to the in­ter­net can be part of it. The more you share, the higher your so­cial sta­tus and the higher your sat­is­fac­tion,” ex­plains Anand. He fur­ther adds, “There has been a be­havioural shift; a mass meet­ing and on­line cul­ture has emerged where in­di­vid­u­als share, en­gage, cre­ate and col­lab­o­rate, con­trast­ing the cen­tury-old di­men­sion of me, my­self and I. The shift is from ‘me’ to ‘we’. Gen­er­a­tion-G en­dorses gen­eros­ity as the lead­ing so­ci­etal and busi­ness mind­set.” Re­views- the new ad­ver­tise­ment

With in­stant on­line re­views avail­able for any­thing and ev­ery­thing, com­pa­nies are con­stantly seek­ing to up their game. “In this world, there are no se­crets; there is only trans­parency of prices, opin­ions and stan­dards. That is what we call ‘ Re­spon­si­bil­ity Revo­lu­tion’, where only fair trade can sur­vive. Ef­fi­ciency is a min­i­mum thresh­old at­tribute, wait­ing for ser­vice is un­palat­able, and pa­tience is a rare virtue. We are an on-de­mand so­ci­ety. ‘Now­ism’ is fu­elled by a cash-rich, time-poor so­ci­ety. Sav­ing time, the new cur­rency, is the great­est lux­ury. There is a new breed of busi­ness trav­ellers that live by the rules they break, con­nect through dis­con­nect and be­lieve in re­la­tion­ships, not sta­tuses. They work from the couch and not from the desk. They are not in­dul­gent, but when they travel, they are zero-waste trav­ellers,” says Anand. Trend 2: Sus­tain­abil­ity

The in­for­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy ex­plo­sion has made hu­man be­ings re­alise that we have not in­her­ited the earth from our pre­de­ces­sors but bor­rowed it from fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Anand says, “This is what we call the ‘ Curse of ex­cess’. Global con­sump­tion lev­els are five times of what they were 50 years ago. All this comes with a price tag- there has been an 82 per cent in­crease in car­bon diox­ide over the last 52 years. It now takes the earth one year and six months to re­gen­er­ate what we use in a sin­gle year. We are in­deed liv­ing danger­ously. The way for­ward is that we must try and live off the ‘ in­ter­est’ of the planet’s re­sources and not take the ‘cap­i­tal’, the non-re­new­able re­sources. Al­most one-third of the world’s pop­u­la­tion agrees that ‘ Green’ is not only a cool thing to do but is also the right thing to do.” Trend 3: Geopol­i­tics

To­day, Asia is at the cen­tre of most things. Re­it­er­at­ing this fact, Anand says, “More than 50 per cent of the global traf­fic will come from the At­lantic. If we go by the ori­gin of trav­eller, the max­i­mum travel ex­pen­di­ture in Asia Pa­cific in 2030 will be led by China at $199 bil­lion, fol­lowed by In­dia at $91.2 bil­lion.” Trend 4: Health

There is more and more in­ter­est in want­ing to be healthy. There is no point in hav­ing money if you don’t have good health. Anand feels that health, wealth and look­ing good are high on the pri­or­ity list of most peo­ple. They are in­creas­ingly talk­ing about con­trolled di­ets and health farms. Peo­ple are stay­ing healthy longer and liv­ing longer. Well­ness tourism, by the end of this year, is ex­pected to grow to more than $ 675 bil­lion. Trend 5: Se­cu­rity

We are liv­ing in a world that is ex­tremely sus­cep­ti­ble to ter­ror at­tacks. Ef­fec­tive se­cu­rity will not come from barbed wires or more guards and guns, it will come from ac­cept­ing a new real­ity that the world or­der has changed. We our­selves need to en­sure that we pro­vide as much se­cu­rity as we can at ho­tels.

Nakul Anand Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor ITC Ho­tels

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