FHRAI: Pro­gres­sion with prow­ess

Gar­ish Oberoi has been elected as the new Pres­i­dent of FHRAI for the term Septem­ber 2017-18. Oberoi has been in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try for over three decades. He pre­vi­ously held the post of Vice Pres­i­dent and Trea­surer, FHRAI. In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view,


QWhat will you

The last ten­ure of the Pres­i­dent and the Board saw a very shaky year for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try from de­mon­eti­sa­tion and the liquor ban to get­ting used to the GST. In the liquor ban is­sue, we went to court and the state gov­ern­ments as well. A lot of ef­fort and en­ergy went into that; I am happy to say that we could win 90 per cent of the bat­tle, where the court ap­pre­ci­ated our sit­u­a­tion and most of the ho­tels and bars that were af­fected by the ban were even­tu­ally re­opened. There are still a few bars and restau­rants that are left since there is a lit­tle la­cuna at the Gram Pan­chayat as well. There are states like Ker­ala and Ma­ha­rash­tra where the Gram Pan­chay­ats are the chal­leng­ing ar­eas, fore­stalling the open­ing of new ho­tels, restau­rants and bars. We must ad­dress this is­sue and it is a top pri­or­ity for me. be

We have been try­ing to con­vince the gov­ern­ment to not treat us as a lux­ury. The GST slab of 28 per cent is still very high. We had been fight­ing for a low slab of 8 per cent and will keep fight­ing to get a slab of 12 per cent across the Board to try and end the 18 and 28 per cent slabs. I do hope that we get some suc­cess on that. My agenda is that I will be meet­ing, through my Board and per­son­ally, the fi­nance min­is­ters of dif­fer­ent states and try and get them on board to re­duce this fur­ther.

In­dus­try sta­tus, cat­e­gori­sa­tion of ho­tels in Red and other con­cerns on guide­lines is­sued by CPCB and MoEF, di­a­logue with Min­istry of Con­sumer Af­fairs, is­sues re­lated to MRP, PPL and IPRS, and FSSAI reg­u­la­tions are the ma­jor ar­eas wherein the As­so­ci­a­tion needs to fo­cus in days to come. The As­so­ci­a­tion also needs to adapt to the pace of the chang­ing world by em­brac­ing the dig­i­tal age. Pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion to all stake­hold­ers in­stantly through all kinds of so­cial me­dia is the need of the hour.

QTell us about .

The vi­sion doc­u­ment for FHRAI was first started by one of our former Pres­i­dent Kam­lesh Barot. I am tak­ing a cue from that doc­u­ment and also try­ing to bring all four pres­i­dents on the same page so that once we have a con­sen­sus, we will have a vi­sion doc­u­ment for the next five years of FHRAI. One of the key items on the vi­sion doc­u­ment is to en­cour­age the mem­ber­ship base. The other is to bring all the re­gional as­so­ci­a­tions and other travel trade as­so­ci­a­tions on the same plat­form as FHRAI. I am look­ing for­ward to im­ple­ment­ing that this year it­self. All as­so­ci­a­tions are work­ing to­gether but they are be­ing rep­re­sented in­di­vid­u­ally; they should all be brought un­der FHRAI, that be­ing the par­ent body.

Qthe I There had been some dis­sent within the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (EC) as well as out­side it. FHRAI’s con­sti­tu­tion says that you can be on the EC Board for eight con­tin­u­ous years and then you must take a break, post which you can come back for four more. The last EC Board wanted to make some changes to that be­cause it felt that in 2018, 60 per cent of the Board, that is, the el­ders on the Board, may have to re­tire be­cause of this con­sti­tu­tion. There was a de­bate within the Board wherein they said that they should re­tire, but only one by one and not in one go be­cause then the ex­pe­ri­ence that they held would not be passed on.

FHRAI is a dy­namic body where the six Board mem­bers are from dif­fer­ent re­gions. So, it’s up to the re­gion whether they want to re­peat the per­son or have a new per­son come in. In the North, we have al­ways been re­peat­ing, as also in the West. In a cou­ple of other re­gions, the same peo­ple have been com­ing in for the last 3-4 years and that’s where the con­cern was; they do have their own rea­sons though. I reached out to some of the se­nior past pres­i­dents who were un­happy with the changes in the con­sti­tu­tion and I as­sured them that as I take over, I will have a con­sen­sus with every­body and have a fea­si­ble so­lu­tion to the is­sue. That con­sen­sus has been given and ev­ery­one is now on the same page.

Em­brac­ing the dig­i­tal age, it is im­per­a­tive that the As­so­ci­a­tion pro­vides in­for­ma­tion to all stake­hold­ers kinds of so­cial me­dia

QWhere the next

The next con­ven­tion will be tak­ing place in Lucknow. The con­ven­tion has never taken place there in the past; it will be a new des­ti­na­tion and the city now of­fers good con­nec­tiv­ity as well. Nu­mer­ous 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star ho­tels have come up in Lucknow. We have some ex­cit­ing things in store for all our mem­bers in 2018 in Lucknow. is

Gar­ish Oberoi Pres­i­dent FHRAI

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