Herald­ing MICE with Mar­riott

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, Jatin Khanna, Multi- prop­erty VP, Ben­galuru, talks of the ex­pan­sion of Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional in Ben­galuru, in­tro­duc­tion of new brands and more

Micetalk - - Contents - Kan­chan Nath

How is the state of Kar­nataka and specif­i­cally Ben­galuru de­vel­op­ing as a des­ti­na­tion for MICE?

Ben­galuru has long been per­ceived as an IT hub. And as the ma­jor in­flux is of peo­ple vis­it­ing the city for meet­ings and con­fer­ences, the MICE seg­ment has a lot of scope to grow. As a brand, Mar­riott is fo­cus­ing on be­com­ing the pre­ferred des­ti­na­tion for all big city wide events with the largest meet­ing and con­ven­tion space to of­fer in the city.

Which ho­tels does Mar­riott of­fer in Ben­galuru, es­pe­cially af­ter the Star­wood merger? What are your fu­ture plans there?

Post the merger, Mar­riott has 10 brands and 12 ho­tels op­er­at­ing in Ben­galuru. Th­ese in­clude Ben­galuru Mar­riott Ho­tel White­field, ITC Wind­sor Ben­galuru, ITC Royal Gar­de­nia Ben­galuru, le Merid­ian Ben­galuru, Aloft Ben­galuru White­field, Four Points by Sher­a­ton Ben­galuru, J.W. Mar­riott Ben­galuru, Court­yard Ben­galuru Outer Ring Road, Fair­field by Mar­riott Ben­galuru Outer Ring Road, Fair­field by Mar­riott Ben­galuru Ra­ja­ji­na­gar, Sher­a­ton Grand Ban­ga­lore Ho­tel at Bri­gade Gate­way and The Ritz-Carl­ton, Ban­ga­lore.

The hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try in Ben­galuru is up­beat and we ex­pect the mar­ket to con­tinue grow­ing at a steady pace. Within Ben­galuru, Mar­riott holds 24 per cent mar­ket share with a di­verse port­fo­lio across brands and cat­e­gories which en­sures that we con­tinue to grow at a fast pace.

Has there been any lay-offs post the merger? What are your poli­cies on re­ten­tion and growth of tal­ent?

Across all our Mar­riott ho­tels we fol­low our par­ent com­pany's phi­los­o­phy which fo­cuses on putting peo­ple first. We be­lieve that if we take

care of our as­so­ciates, they will take care of the cus­tomers and that will have the cus­tomer keep com­ing back. We be­lieve that our em­ploy­ees are our brand am­bas­sadors and we give our as­so­ciates op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow and suc­ceed with the brand.

Set­ting the right cul­ture and in­still­ing our core val­ues in every­thing we do, are the two pil­lars to en­sur­ing each and every as­so­ciate who walks through the doors, each morn­ing is felt as a sense of own­er­ship and pride in their lives. Em­brac­ing what makes each of us unique as well as pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­nity for per­sonal ful­fil­ment and growth is all part of our Putting Peo­ple First cul­ture.

Which were your pre­vi­ous brands, enu­mer­ate the new de­vel­op­ment in the pipeline?

As men­tioned be­fore, we have 10 op­er­at­ing brands of Mar­riott and 12 man­aged ho­tels in Ben­galuru. Our out­look to­wards the fu­ture is to con­tinue striv­ing to­wards pro­vid­ing our guests with bet­ter and unique ex­pe­ri­ences. We will con­tinue refin­ing our cus­tomer strate­gies keep­ing in mind the evolv­ing na­ture of the cus­tomer. To­day's trav­eller is tech savvy and en­joys unique tai­lor made ex­pe­ri­ences. With that in mind, we are fo­cus­ing to­wards our loy­alty pro­grammes, namely Mar­riott Re­wards and Star­wood Pre­ferred Guest (SPG) to con­tinue cre­at­ing th­ese ex­pe­ri­ences for our guests.

What has been the av­er­age oc­cu­pancy, ARRs and RevPAR for your ho­tels in Ben­galuru? Be­ing es­tab­lished in a city where at present the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try is wit­ness­ing a dou­ble digit RevPAR growth driven pri­mar­ily through ADR we have never re­ally seen a dip in the oc­cu­pancy rates. On an av­er­age, the oc­cu­pancy rate is con­sis­tent an­nu­ally at Mar­riott.

With so many ho­tels in Ben­galuru, which are the lo­cal ven­dors that you con­nect with?

We en­gage with a lot of lo­cal ven­dors when it comes to fresh, sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents as th­ese ini­tia­tive's truly help and sup­port liveli­hoods in the so­ci­ety we serve in.

Within Ben­galuru, Mar­riott holds 24 per cent mar­ket share with a di­verse port­fo­lio across brands and cat­e­gories

Jatin Khanna

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