From the Desk of Mr. Paritosh Ladhani, Joint Managing Director- Radisson Blu, Agra
As an energetic entrepreneur, Mr. Paritosh Ladhani has driven Radisson Blu Agra towards the greater heights with powerful strides into the hospitality domain. He believes that the necessary offshoots to the leisure hotel industry like Spa and food outlets have to be world class. With his sharp understanding of business ethics, he values the amount of detailing and hard work.
Mr. Paritosh himself being from Agra, have been able to personally connect with the local culture and tap on to the vast opportunity that hospitality domain offers. The city has appreciated the freshness, contemporary look and food that Radisson Blu, Agra offers, which has not been an overnight achievement but is a result of the pre-opening research, feedback and understanding of the market, which he personally oversaw.
He hails from a business family that happens to be the biggest Bottler for Coca-Cola India. His family has been the No.1 bottling group for the company for the last 20 years, and this continual supremacy inspired him to venture into other business ideas, such as, hospitality. Being an avid traveller he has travelled half the globe. He also loves to play the sport to stay fit and loves all music genres.
HospiBuz brings you an exclusive interview, straight from the words of Mr. Paritosh Ladhani to know more about how he evolved from his experiences and contributed to the Hospitality industry.
HospiBuz: Being from a business family that happens to be the biggest Bottler for Coca-Cola India, you chose to be the part of the hotel industry. What motivated and influenced the most you in your early days to join the hotel industry?
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: Being a Coca Cola bottler is quite exciting. The entire gamut of customers is so eclectic that you learn from every sect of society. We are dealing with more than 15000 convenience (paan shops et al) stores, 10000 grocery stores and 5000 Eating & Drinking stores .. We are also dealing with Modern Trades like Big Bazaar, Newage Cinemas like PVR and All kinds of hotels including the most luxurious like Amar Vilas.
While interacting with the owners and Hotel GMs, I found the business equally challenging, exciting, full of creativity and lots of energy. I love to travel and stay in various hotels. Also, Coca Cola Bottling is a very prestigious business, Being a Hotelier was equally prestigious..
HospiBuz: Please tell us about your journey in the Hospitality sector. How has been your experience with Raddison Blu so far?
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: I have had an amazing journey so far in the hospitality industry. While we have had some wonderful years of very high GOPs, great recognition, we have also had years of Valleys, low profitability and improvement feedbacks.
The industry is not boring as it is perceived by many. There is lot of decision making involved at every level and every day. You have to come up with the most unique ideas and concepts to outshine and outsell your competitor. We have tried various elements like the Noor e Taj show, which gives a first hand information about the Taj Mahal before the guests actually visit the great monument. Our dining experiences are also very creative and unique
HospiBuz: What do you feel about wellness industry in India? What can be done to make India the biggest wellness industry in the world?
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: Wellness today is a 100,000 crore industry. Ideally, India should be the beacon for wellness industry in the world. We have Yoga and Ayurveda as one of the most proven and ancient wellness science. We need to harness these magnificent concepts and showcase us as the world’s wellness capital.
Wellness Institutes like Jindal and Ananda are doing extremely well. We need to learn more about our history and put the best practices in place. We are also planning to set up a wellness resort in Rishikesh in years to come.
HospiBuz: When it comes to converse about the Wellness industry in India, the views automatically shift to South India, though there are many beautiful locales in North India as well. What could be the reason behind it? How can such notion be changed?
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: I think that the geographic location of South India have helped it become a haven for wellness industry, and why not. The eastern and western ghats combine spread across 250,000 sq km of lush green space. Though in North India, we have the beautiful Himalayas, but the low altitude of Nilgiri and other hills in South India make it more accessible. The appropriate density, optimum rainfall and presence of non-extreme climate in South India has also helped it become a 365 day destination.
We have the beautiful Anandas in Himalayas, however it is only enjoyable for eight months of the year.
Also, North India was attacked by all the invaders in past 2000 years, so our history of Ayurveda and Yoga got subdued or replaced. South India, on the other hand , survived it.
HospiBuz: Please tell us about the wellness properties of Radisson Blu Agra, how it has evolved and your breakthrough or expansion plans for it.
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: Radisson Blu Agra believes in the comfort of the guests. Our guests are in indulgent mood as Agra is a leisure destination. We have 3000 sq ft ALIVE spa where we offer international and Ayurvedic massages. We have regular Yoga sessions for our guests.
We are also developing a two acre kitchen garden, where organic vegetables would be produced. The garden would cater to 50% of our vegetable needs.
HospiBuz: The dynamics of hospitality market has changed quite a bit in past few years with new trends setting that are tech-savvy and attractive to the younger generation. How do you keep your business up to date to cope up with such challenges and changing market trends? Please tell us about few distinct trends that you notice in the hospitality industry in the coming years.
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: For our category of hotels, we do not need to be over the top tech savvy. I stayed in one of the upscale Dubai hotel last winters. The entire had gadgetries everywhere, from living room to bed room extending to public areas. The flipside of such an arrangement was, that the hotel staff was full of engineers solving every little problem in gadget, rather than addressing to guests service on food , housekeeping and basic hospitality processes.
It is important to be tech savvy, but a guest likes to see a beautiful hard-bound menu rather than ordering from I-pads. We introduced I-pad menus in our Bar and speciality restaurants which were outrightly rejected.
It is important to have high speed internet in the hotel, however, for a luxury hotel like us, the guest prefer beautiful analog clocks rather than the digital case.
We strive to be classy in terms of our product offerings, and extremely caring and sensitive when it comes to our services.
HospiBuz: Being in Hospitality Industry you must have undergone a high moment and a low moment. How have you managed both? Please tell us about your wellness mantra.
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: I have had my share of success and failures in life. Initially, I used to be extremely excited and equally depressed during these times, now my reactions are never sinusoidal.
I keep on looking for the best practices in Hotel management, and implement it if my budget allows it. I am extremely confident about the quality and innovation in our food department. I am also very particular about our service scores. I believe in inspiring and motivating my team to give the best.
HospiBuz: What sort of advice you would like to give to our budding hotel management students, managers and hoteliers on how to be efficient and effective in running a hotel?
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: Hard work is the only option. There is absolutely no shortcut to success. Hotel job requires lot of man hours, and one has to be ready for it. Another advice which I would give to these budding executives and entrepreneurs, is to always look for detailing. Whether it is the detailing during building a hotel, or while servicing a guest. Let me give you an example, While serving tea to a guest, it should always be served from the right hand side of the guest, the first pour should only cover 75% of the cup.
One has to be passionate to be in this industry. The leadership would always take note of a hard working passionate employee, as it is extremely easy to get feedback about him in this industry.
HospiBuz: HospiBuz is working on its vision to be the most informative journalism portal where industry professionals can showcase their talents, skills and success stories. With your immense experience and knowledge in the industry please suggest HospiBuz, on what Hospitality industry journalism needs the most and should be covered.
Mr. Paritosh Ladhani: I guess if you really want to be different from others, you should cover insights by the Hotel owners and senior management, which you are doing. You should also cover the novel ideas w.r.t product and services in the industry. The new Food and beverage outlets should be covered, as food is all about creativity. Moreover, best practices by leading hotels like Ritz Carlton and Oberois in form of anecdotes, or wellness best practice in world’s best wellness resorts, would always educate the readers. This is what I would like to read.
Thank you so much for your prestigious time!!