Ashok Tanna, General Manager of Country Inn & Suites
Mr. Ashok Tanna is a highly qualified individuality who has to his credit , various degrees in hotel management and hospitality from IHM Ahmedabad and Glion Institute of Higher Education, Switzerland. He has a vast experience of nearly 25 years in heading various domestic and international hotel/resort properties across Asia, Pacific and Europe continent. He is associated with reputed industry leaders like Radisson Hotel Group, Palau Pacific Resort, Coco Palm Resort & Spa and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. His vital differentiators are setting up, scaling up and growing the business performance of hotel properties and F & B departments, delivering operational excellence and building strong relations with trade partners and both internal and external stakeholders. He is known for developing sustainable growth and expansion plans, forming strategic partnerships and maintaining strong relationships with C-level executives. His other areas of expertise are product management, marketing, service operations, customer satisfaction, team management and development.
Passion for hospitality is the key secret to his success .He believes that passion is the fundamental requirement in any career but for the hospitality industry, along with passion one should have the love to work with people. He advises the youngsters and readers wishing to join this industry to dedicate themselves to the hospitality industry. It is service delivery which cannot be done later unlike a manufacturing unit where you can stop the process and start again after rest. So basically hospitality being a service industry runs as per the guest’s timings and not ours.
He mentions that in today’s world of competition, psychological selling helps as a marketing strategy. Marketing which may include reward /loyalty programs, membership schemes, etc. And Psychology includes analysis of the guest’s senses , building and providing a bouquet of services with prices based on these senses. Such strategies will help build good customer relations, thereby increasing customer retention. It is essential for an hotelier to put himself in the customer’s shoes, which helps to serve them better.
According to him, “The attitude” of the staff plays a major role in enhancing the guest’s experience. Proper communication and feedback also alleviate customer experience. In his opinion, to have a proficient staff, the management should take care of their basic needs like provision of launder uniforms, proper meals, training facilities, conducive work environment, proper timing schedule with restrictions.
As far as challenges in hospitality are concerned, Mr.Tanna feels that when working with people communication, sometimes creates hindrances. So to overcome this, the staff should be well trained and so there should an inverted communication system. If staff is treated well, the staff will treat the guest in the same way.
Every industry confronts various challenges. So also the hoteliers have to face the challenges like staffing which is a major challenge today .Secondly increasing over demands of customers and thirdly the basic utilities or infrastructure provided by the government which are insufficient like water, electricity, sewage, etc.
He believes in the power of fostering collaboration, empowering performance & driving excellence across business domains for delivering results in a constantly evolving business environment. He leads teams & develops organisation capabilities towards achievement of long & short term goals.
So as an expert
His advise to new hoteliers-
Staffing should be given priority .Do not treat staff as slaves.
Lower wages- Overtime should be paid for extra working hours.
His message to guests –
He gladly quotes Mr.Veer Sanghvi who is a big name in hospitality-
“If you want good service, come as a guest and not as a customer.”