Nandkishor Kothamkar, Purchase Manager of Le Meridien

Nandkishor C. Kothamkar, aged 41 years is in the Hospitality Industry for a long period 20 years. Presently he is the Purchase Manager for, LE MERIDIEN, Goa. He holds a strong analytical capability, flair for negotiation and networking and ability to deliver to deadlines.

Q1. How do you keep yourself updated with the latest launches?

We gather information and keep ourselves updated through various sources like Newspapers, Catalogues, Brochures, and Network with the vendors, work groups, etc. We are also updated about the products, new launces the market through team of various properties of Marriott. We maintain a good Vendor data base-with all their necessary details and the required criteria. We have a Marriott India Purchase Manager Group as well we HPMF (Hospitality Purchase Manager Forum) Group. As a purchase manager, he or she has to maintain a database and keep oneself updated with the latest information.

Q2. What are the main criteria that you look for while short-listing the vendors?

Before we shortlist the vendors, firstly we take into account the References. We investigate and ascertain about the vendor regarding his reliability, his performance in the market, duration of the business, reputation, terms and conditions of business. We know basically the strengths of the vendors who have a long standing in the hospitality industry.

Q3. What was the key failure in your career and what are lessons that you have learnt from the same?

I feel my greatest failure was being unaware of the market situation and criteria of Goa. Didn’t know that Goa was a poor market earlier. All the new products and also the potential vendors are mainly from Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. Initially I was new to the Goa market, but gradually I started developing myself and also started creating the database of the vendors. Generally, we depend for all our supplies on the vendors situated outside Goa as we don’t have potential vendors in Goa who can cater to all requirements.

Q4. What is the most challenging part of your job?

I cannot call it challenges but I can say it is a part of our profession. We face challenges during last minute requirements that come up suddenly. And in hospitality everything is last minute, like keeping up to the expectations and requirements of the customers. Everything is unforeseen and unpredictable, but one must learn from these experiences. It is the front and back office working hand in hand and contributing collectively. TAKING THE RIGHT CALL AT THE RIGHT TIME- Is very essential in the hospitality industry.

Q5. What is your desire being in this profession?

actually, I always dream to be a part of Hospitality Industry, that too in the culinary section, because I like cooking. Any future option I will like to do cross Training in Culinary.

After a decade experience I got the opportunity to work as a Purchase Manager. And I am very thankful to my Senior who made me capable and believed in me. I really like my job and Procurement is the process of finding product, agreeing terms, buying goods, services, or works from an external source. if you can manage your regular requirement at Home – Buying, Planning, Budgets, Saving, Similar is the Profession just u should have right Documentation and Approval in place.

I am always Motivated and Dedicated to the Profession which I like to do in this job profile.

Q6. What are the basic needs of the employees that should be taken care of by the management?

The management should be good with their associates, understand their problems, and support them in their crisis. In Marriott’s we maintain an OPEN DOOR POLICY-wherein any employees can discuss about their grievances without any hesitation. I feel that the basic requirements are providing food and accommodation so that they can give their hundred percent.Provision of a conducive environment by the management fosters good relations and leads to loyalty of employees towards the organisation.

Q7. How do you contribute in making your guests happy?

We try our best to give 100% to the guests and we never deny anything. We undertake to fulfil the requirements of the guests. Sometimes we go out of our way to procure certain necessities to satisfy them. Example local sweets, bouquets, etc. We try our level best to meet the demands of the guests and provide homely environment.

Q8. How do you contribute in raising the revenue for your hotel?

As a purchase manager, it is to cut costs and increase savings. Every year, we review and check the prices, supply terms, etc. of the different vendors. Then decisions are taken. We work in co-ordination with the finance department as well, to look into matters like cost cutting, savings, payment terms and so on. The most important practise in this regard is to maintain good and sound relations with vendors so that you can rely on them for regular discounts, special offers and supply during emergencies without going through the lengthy P.O. process, ensuring approval from head of the department are in place for Emergency Purchases.

Q9. What inspires you to get the best deals for your company?

I work for one of the best brands in the country and I am honoured. It is my moral duty and responsibility to give back my best to the company. Basically it is the loyalty, integrity and my passion which inspires me to perform well.

Q10. How do you maintain and retain your vendors while facing financial challenges from the side of your company?

Purchase manager is the middleman between the vendor and the company. According to me, everything should be documented, approved and signed by Finance and General Manager. The purchase Manager should act as a mediator, ensure that everything right from raising the PO till the payment to vendors, goes smoothly without any hindrance.

Q11. What system do you prefer, central purchase system or local authority system?

I prefer Central Purchase system which helps in cost cutting and ensures smooth flow of requirements. As, Marriott group has numerous hotels, we maintain cluster contracts giving us various benefits of bulk purchasing. There is central purchasing contract, which also benefit in best rates, supply. On a Perishable day to day requirements, I prefer the Local system of purchasing. Basically, it is a two way process. Maintaining good and clear ethical relations with vendors really pays back.