Lalit adopts 3-pronged policy
The group focusses on existing and dormant customers and on creating new users; tapping the hinterland with ‘Lalit Preferred Partners’ or GSAs in over 50 towns and using the same property in a new manner to generate revenue.
A 3-pronged approach will hold a lot of potential to turn things around on the business front
the hotel industry witnessing muted growth in 2012, the New Year will bring some relief to the industry. According to Samil Malhotra, Vice President - Sales and Marketing, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, there will be slow and long slog to recovery, but real grip is expected to return to the industry by 2013. “All the same, we remain optimistic on the long term growth story for the industry,” he adds.
The group is opening The Lalit Chandigarh and reopening the Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata in 2013. The Lalit New Delhi has also commenced celebrations of its completion of 25 years.
The travel and hospitality industry cannot be separated from the prevailing economic conditions and a look at the present conditions would reveal that both domestic and international trends have been bordering along mediocre and poor. So, the challenge lies in planning/booking business ‘far out’ to establish a threshold of occupancies, feels Malhotra. As a solution, he suggests looking at a 3-pronged approach that will hold a lot of potential to turn things around on the business front.
“Creating more usage, by focussing on existing as well as dormant customers; creating new users, by exploring new geographies and progressive economies (BRIC countries) as well as tapping the hinterland of India with ‘Lalit Preferred Partners’ or GSAs in 50 of the one million plus towns (such as - Udaipur, Jaipur, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Vijaywada, Mysore, Nasik, etc) and creating new uses, by using the same property in a new manner to generate revenue,” he says revealing the game plan. For instance, the renowned American DJ, Steve Aoki, performed live at The Pleasure Dome of The Lalit, Mumbai. The structure originally is an air-conditioned hanger which was then converted into a performance arena with lasers, trapeze, lights and integrated sound systems.
“Yet another example of the same theory is, when we look at the same customer who is using a luxurious suite in the hotel and finds three different uses for the same suite – hold meetings in the day time; host a cocktail party in the evening and use it for his personal space and enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep,” he adds.
By using the above mentioned three- pronged approach, one can tackle such challenges. “We have structured ourselves clearly into a unified selling force because the customer has a limited span of attention. For the future, what holds true is a shift from an inward looking approach to that of an outward looking one. Rather than products and services, we need to sell what the customer actually needs, using the various tools of sales and marketing available and target him through a multimedia approach,” he says.