Vikas Sharma, Vice President Operations at Hard Rock Hotel Goa

Mr. Vikas Sharma is a multifaceted personality who has a wide cross-functional experience of over 25 years at some of the finest luxury, business and leisure hotels abroad as well as in India, including the Iconic Taj Mahal Hotel and Palace, Mumbai. He is highly qualified and holds several degrees from prestigious institutions. He is called as the walking encyclopaedia of the hospitality industry. He possesses in depth knowledge, multi-tasking abilities, progressive vision, excellent work ethics and people management skills. His simplicity, classic style, ability to inspire, motivate and down to earth nature are his true assets. He has definitely made a mark in the hospitality industry and during his tenure in operations, Hard Rock Hotel Goa has won several National and International awards. He has worked with the Taj for end number of years. His multi-tasking ability has given rise to new and innovative concepts in the Food & Beverage arena which has made him the “Wonder Boy of Taj”. He is a true master of the hospitality industry, a champion across hearts of not only his guests but staff as well. Vikas Sharma is a source of inspiration to any organisation marching towards excellence.

Vikas states that there is no secret formula to success. It is only passion to learn and work with different organisations and brands that helps you gain insight about the industry. According to him, it is worth experimenting, rather than just restricting oneself to a particular organisation; the more you explore, the better you get to know about different processes.

In his opinion, IHM could include more choices in their curriculum with focus on empowerment and encouragement to the young minds. In the first year, the students could be enlightened with the minor details about the hospitality industry and then the following years could go in depth into the specialisation of their choice.

Many youngsters who wish to join the hospitality discipline are often misguided with the industry’s glamour and quick success as mentioned to them during their training. But they are far from the truth which is, they have to start their journey right from the bottom of the ladder and climb then all the way to the top, facing many challenges along the way. So Vikas advises them to be patient and choose their respective careers in hospitality wisely. According to him, there are also many opportunities for non-IHM degree holders in Finance, Housekeeping, Sales, Marketing, HR, Communications and many more areas, to make a career in the hospitality industry.

He advocates that it is very important to keep up to the brand and loyalty which every organisation holds. To boost customer experience, it is important to know your customer, his preferences, likes, dislikes and continuously keep in touch to establish a bond and make his stay worthwhile. There are some basic needs of employees too which should be taken care of by the management Adequate monetary compensation along with proper training and appreciation should be provided by the management to improve an employee’s competence and development.

Every hotel has its own positioning. Hard Rock Hotel Goa positions itself as a lifestyle brand associated with music. Vikas describes Hard Rock Hotel Goa as a music-themed resort hotel which attracts customers who understand, appreciate and have an inclination to music. He believes that hotel employees at every point should have product knowledge and keep themselves updated with the evolving trends of the industry in order to engage with guests and increase customersatisfaction.

Everything at Hard Rock revolves around music. Vikas asserts that music is the key differentiator at Hard Rock, making it the ultimate music and entertainment destination in Goa. Hard Rock Hotel Goa offers unique brand programs like Sound of Your Stay and Rock Om among many others to provide guests with an unforgettable experience during their stay.

Vikas feels that there should be rationalisation of Central and State perspective GST which is much higher in India as compared to other destinations. Infrastructure and transportation should be improvised. Irrational and exorbitant pricing can be done away with by using app based transportation services with modern technology. These issues should be resolved by the government to make Goa, a preferred tourist destination.

He further states, for any hotel, accommodation has a major share in the hotel revenue. In some hotels, food & Beverage revenue contribution is on par with accommodation, depending on the destination.

He says that people have the notion that 5 star hotels are expensive, which needs to change. There may be offerings that are reasonable too and value for money. At Hard Rock, we have introduced Saturday Brunch which is one of the most popular brunch events in Goa.

All is well, that ends well. So Vikas concludes with Hard Rock’s mottos which adorn the walls at various Hard Rock properties across the globe:

“ALL IS ONE” – Every person within the Hard Rock family has a significant role to play in the band. We are a team and we must work together to be successful in what we do. The spirit of partnership, along with respecting others and lending a helping hand, is our norm.

“LOVE ALL SERVE ALL”– Our image is energetic and dynamic, but we cater to no particular social group. We embrace everyone, regardless of race, income, age or background… bakers and bankers alike are welcome! Being of service to others is perhaps one of the greatest things you could do in life. More than a job, we chose this industry and this brand so that we could make a difference in people’s lives.