Som Parkash Malik, General Manager of Sarovar Portico Suites Lazy Lagoon

With over 22 years of demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry Mr. Som Parkash Malik is skilled in Food & Beverage, Business Planning, Hotel Management, Hospitality Industry, and Banquet Operations. In 1998, he started his remarkable odyssey of being an enterprising hotelier with The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla as a Steward. Having worked for almost 8 years with the various properties of the Oberoi Group, he has served in several Supervisor positions. Later he got a stance of opportunity of pre-opening of a Radisson Hotel property in Shimla itself. Later he headed the department as the Assistant Manager, F & B in Ananda in the Himalayas, Uttarakhand. He then also worked for the Mahindra Holidays in Coorg, Karnataka as F&B Manager. He headed the Sterling Holidays resort property in Kodiakanal, Tamil Nadu as the Resort Manager for around 2 years.

In 2012, he moved to Goa and joined the Joecons Beach resort, South Goa as a General Manager where he served for 5 years with utmost excellence. His next venture was with the Lemon Tree Hotel Group where he got the privilege of opening one of their business hotels in Patna. Currently he is the GM at Sarovar Portico Lazy Lagoon. A 1997 batch IIHM Bhopal alumini, Mr. Malik attributes his success story to the right kind of training and foundation he got in his initial phase of career span at the Oberoi Group. He is obliged to his mentors in hospitality industry who have guided him in his initial years and have been the path setter for him. He quotes that acquiring the complete knowledge of the trait you work for is the key to attain success. In hotel industry what you carry with you forever is your work.

In today’s world, the millennial want to attain overnight success. Considering this, Mr. Malik specified that the secret path to success is only through patience and perseverance. There are ample opportunities today unlike yesteryears, so the competition is also high. Today the priorities have changed. A true hotelier is the one who carries himself the best and keeps himself apprised of all the latest trends around him. “Change is the only thing that is Constant” he believes. To be more receptive and adaptive is the secret key to success for a true hotelier. He reemphasized that the trends are changing much faster today as compared to his time. Technology is the main factor for change over the period of time, so a true hotelier should be updated regularly. Along with that, he should also not lose the essence of being an hotelier with hospitality and gratitude.

Every property has their own distinct feature, architectural layout and plan of action, but Mr. Malik believes that the hospitality industry will still thrive for hospitality and amiability to be at par excellence. The bottom line is that the hotel or hotelier who makes a difference to its customers with a little more personalization of their service excels. Technology has already made half of the things easy; it is just that the hotelier needs to be more personalized in his services. To keep the millennial updated with the current trends, the management should provide them with good quality and proper trainings of current trends, as they are keen to learn new things for more growth options. The tenure of work for the hoteliers has fallen down because they want more growth options and foundation in terms of learning and development. To expedite a refreshing guest experience, the hoteliers should ensure something new and difference for them on the table. With the advancement of technology, there are more options available to choose from.

Mr. Malik who hails from Shimla reemphasizes that all the power lies in the hand of the customers; they review the hotel and the hoteliers just on the verge of a few clicks. When a customer comes on a holiday, away from the hustle bustle of the city, they expect the best service for them. They want to go on heritage treks, bike tours as an add-on from the hotels and explore the city.

The biggest challenge faced in the operations is of course meeting the expectations laid by the guests. The second challenge would be to retain your talent as in the course of time new things are coming up and more and more people are getting trained. Retaining the quality work force is also one of the factors that affect the operations. Being sensitive to your guest feedback would definitely help in finding solutions to problems faced. There are so many platforms today to voice the feedback of the customers, and the hoteliers who are keen to know where they are lacking are the ones on the top. They should keep a track on their online and offline reviews by customers.

One interesting fact which he threw light on was that once the guests have left from their hotel, then their reviews are just a post-mortem. Instead the real time reviews should be taken during their stay at the hotel and whatever possible should be done then and there only to make their stay a remarkable experience for them. Taking this view in mind in his management, he has appointed 20 to 25 people and assigned them several rooms to be more personalised to their customers. Being more transparent and with the right communication, an hotelier can make his customer feel more acknowledged, henceforth more happy. They feel looked after.

To summarize the success mantra for a hotelier according to Mr. Malik would be to create a customised experience for each one of them.