Abhinav Kapoor, Ex GM at ITC Fortune Miramar

Abhinav Kapoor, originally from Chandigarh, belongs to a learned family, whose both parents were teachers in the Punjab University and his sibling (sister) too is a teacher. He considers himself the only black sheep in the family who moved into the hospitality sector. In the 8th grade he was inspired by the glamour of the celebrities who attended the Asian games. Looking at all such pomp and attractive life, he interned at the erstwhile “Hotel Vasant Continental” in New Delhi for 2 months after his 10th Standard. This pushed him to work in five star hotels. He successfully completed IHM Course from Mumbai despite all the hardships.

Perseverance is the key secret to his success. Mr. Kapoor was very patient and would never get frustrated with the amount of work pressure or stress that he had to go through and believed in taking each day as it comes. Each day would have new challenges and facing new challenges would strengthen him to take up new challenges. Thus, there is no routine in this. He says hard work always pays. One should not feel dejected by the failures that come into one’s life. It will help the same person be strong and successful. As per him, the hotel provides an opportunity to learn and understand people.

As far as changes or additions to the IHM (Institute of Hotel Management), Mr. Kapoor is of the opinion that the course and syllabus has changed over the years and suggests that students should be encouraged to undergo training at different hotels rather than only in one hotel. Working in different hotels widens the scope and experience of the students and at the same time, exposes you to the diverse work cultures that exist at different hotels.

Advice of Mr. Abhinav to readers and youngsters who wish to join the profession- the IHM course being vast and lengthy has many subjects to study. So, students should try and understand what they are studying and relate the same to something in their lives and as to why they are doing it. Each subject has its own value and importance.

With regards to enhancing the guest’s experience Mr. Kapoor considers that knowing your guests likes and dislikes will definitely enhance what the hotel is going to offer to its guests. There needs to be a “WOW Factor” to be created to awe its guests. This will create an impact on the guests and leave them to cherish the memories for a life time. Additionally he feels “Entertainment” activities should be conducted to enhance the guest’s experience.

As per Mr. Kapoor’s opinion, guest retention is a very subjective field. “What applies to one guest may not necessarily apply to others, but yes we are in the people’s profession” he adds. He feels that one should know to study people. All senses should be working and be very receptive to what the guests actually require. this will help to retain them. He believes that management of an organisation should take care of the basic needs of employees –Roti, Kapda, Makan and motivate them for better performance. The management should also provide a proper work life balance apart from the work knowledge to its employees.

It is observed that as compared to other cities, transportation costs in Goa burn the tourist’s pocket. So, Mr. Kapoor as a hotelier personally believes that transportation i.e. internal travel cost is a crucial area that needs to be focused on by the Authorities of Goa so as to make it the most preferred tourist destination.

The major revenue generation of course comes from accommodations as compared to F&B says Mr. Kapoor. He basically feels that, all good/ great feedbacks should be given to the world by the guests but all the bad/negative feedback should be given to the hotel management in order to improve on the guest’s grievances.

Moreover Mr. Kapoor is of the opinion that the guest’s grievances should be attended. If the guest’s are not given such assurance or confidence they will move to social media and tarnish the hotel’s reputation.

Mr. Kapoor being in the industry for vast period of time says that there is a wide scope in the hotel industry for students without a degree in Hotel management. And the reason being the hospitality industry in this era is now driven by technology. Mr. Kapoor further elaborates that for all the ancillary services to support the hotel industry one need not actually possess a degree in Hotel management.