Travel Trade Journal
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With an experience of over two decades in the hospitality sector, Vinay Singh has embarked on an entrepreneurial journey by announcing his new venture, Cedarmint Global, a Hospitality Management Company. The newly formed company recently announced the signing of their debut resort property, The White Resort and Spa Pawna. His career span includes multiple brands of the Marriott International, including St. Regis, Renaissance Hotels, Westin Hotels, and Marriott Executive Apartments, to name a few. In this exclusive interaction, Vinay Singh, CEO, Cedarmint Global, tells us about his background in hospitality and entrepreneurship, his hotel management philosophy, and the difficulties that lie ahead.
Now that you’re an entrepreneur, tell us about your motivation, entry, and journey so far in the industry?
My journey is one that I look back on, and feel inspired each day. Every young boy aspires to achieve bigger dreams and goals. With a keen interest in management studies, I remember I used to travel extensively and learned a lot during my college tenure. While I pursued it, I was inclined toward hospitality and gradually paved my path towards it. For someone who learned through interactions and on-ground learning, the goal was set. To run the overall operations and manage properties was something that motivated me to serve a greater purpose and work towards relationship building at the same time. Being in a fast-paced city also motivated me to dream big and do bigger. The hospitality industry provides you with an opportunity to meet, build relationships and
interact with people from different walks of life and different industries. It allows you a warm and beautiful working atmosphere to work in. Working with international brands of Starwood Group, now Marriott International, the entire transition and journey has been one enriched with learnings and growth.
You have worked with many luxury properties while with Marriott. Which are the qualities and traits that you have inculcated from the Marriott brand?
The brand, Marriott International is a statement today. With hotels and resorts spanning the entire globe, there is no dearth of opportunities. There is so much potential with Marriott International brands, that each one teaches you brand values that serve you for years to come. To state, The St. Regis is the personification of luxury, and it was all about the grandeur and extravaganza that we delivered. Westin Hotels, being a brand focusing on wellness and wellbeing, made us focus on six wellness pillars and heightened its effect on our guests accordingly. Each brand collectively teaches you certain focus elements and how the desired target audience relays or reacts to them. The Marriott International group also teaches you that it’s all about the people and team that makes things possible, successful, and wholesome.
What prompted you to be an entrepreneur in the hospitality segment?
With hotels and resorts, each day is different. There is no dearth of challenges or opportunities. The extremes that I have witnessed are what roused the idea of embarking on an entrepreneurial journey. To have something of my own was a budding thought and to see it materialise and come to life is another feeling altogether.
In my 22 years of experience, I have always taken small risks at certain intervals, and that has always driven me to explore untapped potential. Be it stand-alone restaurants, private banquets, boutique hotels, or working with international brands like Marriott International; in totality, there were many avenues that I explored. Plentiful encounters like working on the pre-opening team or revamping brands only drove me to discover further. This could be considered as the last risk, or as some may call it, a
leap of faith, that I took to test my extremes.
What are the new elements and concepts you have visualised for Cedarmint Global? How different will it be from other hotel management companies?
Cedarmint Global is a concept with which
I am focusing on providing overall project development and management of hotels and resorts, along with handling management contracts. With my team, I want to focus on overall hotels, branding, and NFTs (NonFungible Token) on the whole. With an in-depth understanding of the hospitality industry, we provide professional advice to investors and individuals alike. For those looking to invest in the ever-evolving hospitality sector, we are your one-stop solution for all queries.
We take up new projects with independent hotels and resorts that are already operational. Our team of experts possesses over two decades of hotel expertise that enables them to understand the minutest of details about any department. To adapt, nurture and take advantage of upcoming opportunities, we make sure our client’s resources are optimally and strategically used. If there is something different and interesting about Cedarmint Global, I would say it’s the NFT segment that we are targeting with our company. Being among the first few in the country to align it with the hospitality sector is one to generate curiosity and interest in our client’s mind.
What will the Cedarmint Global brand’s credo be?
It is our constant endeavour to establish and maintain service excellency by providing integrated marketing solutions in hospitality projects. To provide our clients with value-added offerings and ensure high standards of professionalism cascade through all avenues.
Our motto is to deliver optimum results through product enhancement, guidance, and commitment to ensuring financial stability and growth. Build a level of commitment while managing our client’s assets with a sense of true ownership. Our multi-skilled resources, intensive supervision, and personalised assistance grant our team to stay updated with recent innovations, industry trends, and market needs. Our focus is to deliver tangible and effective solutions at affordable costs.
What potential challenges do you foresee in your new venture?
Being an entrepreneur is not an easy feat to achieve. I am sure there are multiple challenges that we will face along the way, as both life and the hospitality industry are unpredictable. With our core being development, overall project management, and management contracts, we are placed in a very competitive market with national and international brands. However, it does become an exciting placement to contest with the best players in the market.
Identifying and aligning the right team is the foundation for any company and that is something that I am extremely focused on. With unprecedented things that happen around us, we cannot be in complete control. For instance, COVID-19 took the world by surprise, and it did take time for the masses and industries to identify their way around it. Such challenges cannot be foreseen, however, the approach towards dealing with them and overcoming them with tasteful solutions is what makes us different.
Tell us about your debut project, The White Resort and Spa Pawna, and its USPs?
The White Resort and Spa, Pawna is a 100-keys resort, spread across 25 acres of land, engulfed by mountains has a 9-hole putting golf course and comprises a luxury Wellness Spa, three food and beverage outlets, a ballroom with 5500 sq. ft. space, and two grand open-air lawns. The entire project is being developed, managed, and will be launched by Cedarmint Global along with Vikas Jain, owner of the resort. The location is one that is perfect for staycations and getaways from the hustle and bustle of city life. With villas and rooms detailed to perfection, along with the grand ballroom, events and functions are also bound to be a core USP of the resort.
What will be your way forward and strategies to establish your brand and expand it?
With Cedarmint Global coming to life, there are multiple avenues that we intend on tapping with our customised and personalised approach. Our impeccable standard of delivery and project management is what makes us different. The vision that I have for my company is bound to curate the required demand and buzz in the market with the properties we associate with. Now, we are associating ourselves with the luxury segment and hotels around the state. Eventually, we have expansion plans in the pipeline.
How do you look at the hospitality business shaping up in India in the next few years?
The hospitality industry is an everevolving domain. There are multiple avenues and innovative methodologies that are being integrated and explored today. With major technological integrations and developments in the industry and globally, aligning our products with these is essential to maintain the upkeep and remain updated in the market. India and the hospitality industry have been interlinked using the approach of ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’, wherein our guests are at the epitome of hierarchy, and we want to tend after the same. Irrespective of how technologically advanced we become, the personal touch is what will differentiate hospitality across the world and in India.