Rajesh Dempo – Founder & Managing Director Dempo Vision Group.

Mr. Rajesh Dempo member of illustrious Dempo family and owner of The Crown Goa Hotel in Panjim is a first generation hotelier. He started off with Real Estate in 2005, but 10 years ago, his passion for the hospitality trade influenced him to acquire 5 Star Hotel which was known as Sun N Sand and he renamed it The Crown Goa. After making a success of it, he is today looking at starting two more hotel projects one A Heritage Boutique property in Fontainhas and a 5 Star beach resort, both are under approval stage. He says “you can have the capital to pick up a property but you have to be a risk taker and more Importantly plan out every step.”

Being a new entrant only 10 years ago how did he make a success of it? One of the most important things as a hotelier Is ‘to nurture your staff. With so many big hotel chains in Goa and with numbers increasing every day, he has managed to control attrition, one of the biggest banes of this industry. Some members of his staff have been with him since inception. Not only that, he has still retained staff that came along with the property when he bought it How has he done that? He has put in place a very strong Rewards and Recognition programme where deserving staff members are felicitated on their annual day. Ongoing training is another positive factor. He rates these two initiatives higher than salaries on a scale of 1 to 10 because what people are looking for Is respect and appreciation. One of the mantras he lives by Is “You take care of your staff and they will take care of you and your business.” Hotel consultants are very important at the planning stage but at the end of the day It Is your staff and your core team that makes or breaks a business- especial, the hospital’, business. With this in mind he ensures that every new member of the staff that he hires is passionate and has the right attitude towards WM, they can be under graduates and people with no technical training, doesn’t matter because training is provided on-site.

Personalized “service with a smile” is what keeps bringing in guests – both new and repeat. His staff is trained in simple things like not asking a repeat guest for ID proof since details are already available in their database. Repeat guests are addressed by their names and that adds a personal touch to their experience. Guests are encouraged to state their likes and dislikes and service is provided accordingly. Another pull factor is the creative and consistent with the food they serve. ‘Never make food boring”, he says. “Your logo is not your brand. It’s your guests who are your brand ambassadors.” And if this is not enough, he has ensured that all rooms in his hotel are airy and spacious and have balconies that allow his guests to take their fill of the fantastic view offered.

His advice to new entrants in the hospitality business is, “believe in yourself, be confident, know your market well, offer excellent service to guests, build a strong relations ship with your staff so you can retain them. This is the key to managing this business successfully.