Tarandeep Singh’s Blog

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WELCOME 2011

Had been trying to take time out, concentrate and put down my thoughts for some time now. But seems it was as distant as my NY resolutions. So good to just start typing straight from the heart and doing a warm WELCOME to 2011, the year that hopefully will be filled with new challenges and excitement for the industry.

When I sit and look back now, I realize how fast the year has gone by. I spent a year in the development space and came back to Revenue Management at the beginning of 2010. It has been a roller coaster ride for me. Handling hotels across the region, challenging targets, last minute requirements, regular work pressures, travelling like hell, attrition and new recruitment and what not? Looks like I missed all this in 2009 and was enjoying it all the more in 2010.

But the biggest of all that I felt was and will remain a challenge seems to be acquiring the right talent and the reason seems to be very simplistic in nature. I have just managed to tweak the definition of revenue management–

“The art of selling the room at the right price at the right time to the right customer on the right channel by the right resource is Revenue Management*”

The word “resource” is crucial now a days in this definition. You need the right talent to run your hotel and handle business plans that generate revenues for your hotel. Each step that they take in short term and long term has a direct impact on the business. The vision this person has to look out in advance and adjust his strategies to optimize on market conditions can play a crucial role in the GOPs the hotels enjoy at the end of the month.

I had the pleasure of hiring two people in 2010 in my Revenue Management for Hire (RMH) division. While one was a bit easy as I was able to get some one back to work with me after a break, the second one actually gave me a chance to interview candidates and understands the current talent profile available in the country. When I moved to RM, I had 5 years of sales & marketing experience behind me. Today we have RMs that are fresh out of college and thrown in main stream. Not every one is lucky to get enough training before he is swimming on his own. Worst part not every one has even got a lifeguard.

End result – some bright minds leave a mark. Others are struggling and trying to understand if they are even in the right place first of all.

With the India development pipeline ready to explode. Pick up any established brand’s press release and they are talking about having a 100 hotels in the next 3-4 years. Where are we planning to get our talent from? WTM did a survey of key exhibitors and senior buyers this year and asked them about the biggest single issue facing their business over the next five years. While they covered points like Global Downturn, Exchange Rates, Taxation, Industrial Relations, Oil Prices, Consumer Protection, New & Emerging Markets – they failed to give any importance to Talent Requirements. Unless they want to keep it under others that accounted for 7% in the pie chart.

With all these new hotels opening up, the fear of attrition looms large on the head of every GM, HR Manager and Department Head. I was myself surprised and shocked by listening to some stories (breaking news items) of people moving from one hotel to another and being offered salaries never heard off. Well not that I am complaining since I am on the other side still. But I am wondering if the worth is really that much. Not to mention, I also came across stories of people leaving or rather asked to leave on account of under delivery results.

We usually debate today that with the number of hotels opening in Delhi NCR alone will make sure that the price points come down to 7-8K mark. Which leaves us with a question that where will the budget hotels go? So if the ADR is going to be in that range, does the salary structure justify the numbers?

Also, every year a decent 10% increment in salaries (if you get it) has a direct impact on the hotels bottom lines.

And remember our industry works in a cycle. The last one had a 4-5 year run with its own ups and downs a bit. And jokingly though, a good friend actually said “God knows what is coming in 2013” in a corporate presentation. While everyone did laugh at it, I think it was something to think about…

So keep looking for the best man on the job. You never know when you might need his services. Keep the social media working for you.

By the way we spent some good time asking hotels to start working on this. Might not be as big right now but certainly no harm in being there rather than being left out completely. Technology always helps, the only problem being that we get too dependent on it. During my recent visit to US I came across this mobile technology of checking in at airports. You get a picture code and you have to scan it on the machine at the kiosk. You are in!! Its not being used for travel in India but definitely not very far. The hotels and airlines are already there on the facebooks and twitters of the world. How effectively they do it again depends on the Right Resource though.

For the rest of the predictions and gyan – just Google !!

December 30, 2010 Posted by | Hospitality & Tourism, TOURISM, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment