In-talks with Harpreet Vohra, Radisson Hotel Group

Radisson Blu Faridabad is the city’s first upper-upscale hotel, opening in the north Indian state of Haryana, one of India’s largest business and industrial hubs in the National Capital Region (NCR). It is a hotel that defines luxury while ensuring a comfortable and pleasant experience for all its guests. The staff at the hotel welcomes its guests with excellent hospitality, personalised services and attention to detail. The hotel has everything that will make you come back – contemporary design, well maintained & spacious rooms, sumptuous food, modern facilities, pet-friendly and impeccable service.

We interviewed Mr Harpreet Vohra, Area General Manager, East India, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia & General Manager, Radisson Blu Faridabad, to know more about the hotel. With an enriching experience of 25 years, Mr Harpreet Vohra is an industry veteran and has been with the Radisson Group of Hotels for the last 10 years. He was promoted as the Area General Manager for the East India Region of Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) and is responsible overlooking the brands’ East region. His past experience includes stints in Delhi and Mumbai with various prominent hospitality chains like Hyatt, Oberoi, Taj and The Lalit Hotels. A dynamic hotelier, Vohra has been responsible for successfully establishing systems & processes and consistently achieving high levels of guest satisfaction. He has efficaciously spearheaded his hotels towards excelling in their goals. He believes passion outshines every other attribute for a worker and therefore lives by the RHG ethos of ‘Yes I Can!’.

How does Radisson Blu Faridabad stand out amongst the competition around?

Radisson Blu Faridabad is the first international affluent hotel in Faridabad that is spread over two acres and is aptly situated at the most suitable location with easy access to multiple tourist spots, international airport and best-in-class medical service providers. The property offers a wide array of facilities and services to make the guests comfortable. Our stylish interiors, welcoming staff members, soul-soothing food and world-class services can uplift anyone’s spirit. Radisson Blu Faridabad is a pure reflection of luxury and nirvana, and we believe that it is ultimately our team who make the guests comfortable in order to let them experience the grandeur around them. We are a proud team of 200 people that display the best-in-class hospitality spirit.

What are the USPs of your hotel?

 Strategic Location: We are strategically located on the national highway with easy access to key business districts, tourist attractions and transportation hubs, offering convenience to both business and leisure travellers.

Contemporary Design and Luxury: We differentiate ourselves through contemporary and luxurious design, offering guests a sophisticated and comfortable ambiance.

Exceptional Service: At Radisson Blu Faridabad, we take pride in providing exceptional service, with well-trained and courteous staff dedicated to ensuring a memorable guest experience.

State-of-the-Art MICE Facilities: The hotel offers top-notch Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions/Events (MICE) facilities, making it a preferred choice for business events and conferences.

Culinary Excellence: We stand out for our diverse dining options, with a focus on culinary excellence. We offer a range of restaurants and cuisines to cater to different tastes.

Wellness and Recreation: Extensive wellness facilities, such as a spa, fitness centre and pool, provide guests with opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

Exclusive Loyalty Programmes: We have loyalty programmes and exclusive promotions that incentivise guests to choose the hotel for repeat stays, offering added value to regular visitors.

Event Hosting and Special Packages: We specialise in hosting events, weddings or conferences, offering comprehensive packages and services to make such occasions memorable.

 Is F&B (food and beverage) a big revenue earner for the property?

 Even though we are placed as a Business Hotel, we take in pride in saying that our hotel is F&B haven for our guests. F&B contributes to 50% of our overall revenue. We have four outlets – Broadway: our all day dining, The Great Kabab Factory: our specialty restaurant, Cove The Bar- our niche bar and Tea Studio: bakery. Apart from these outlets, we have state-of-the-art banquet facilities and we have recently won Times of India award for Best Luxury Wedding Destination- Delhi NCR. At Radisson Blu Faridabad we believe in high-quality F&B services that enhances the overall guest experience. Our F&B offerings integrate local and cultural elements into the guest experience. This not only attracts guests seeking authentic experiences but also provides opportunities for themed events and culinary festivals.

What is the marketing strategy you have adopted to promote your property?

 We’ve invested in digital marketing strategies to connect with our guests directly. This includes personalised WhatsApp and email campaigns, social media engagement and loyalty programmes. Building strong guest relationships helps us maintain a steady flow of bookings, even during downturns. We closely monitor market trends and guest preferences. We use this data to adapt our offerings, pricing strategies and marketing campaigns. Being attuned to market shifts allows us to proactively respond to changing conditions and design our market strategies accordingly.

 How is Radisson Blu Faridabad performing in terms of MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) tourism?

 The hotel industry in India saw a resurgence in 2023, driven by domestic leisure trips, MICE events and the return of business travellers. We recorded impressive occupancy rates, banqueting demand and increased room rates. Radisson Blu Faridabad is the only 5-Star deluxe in the city and incredibly huge in terms of rooms and meeting space, we boast of one of the largest banquet and convention facilities in the city with 20,000 square feet of space and room for up to 1,000 guests. Convenient amenities like high-end audiovisual equipment, free Wi-Fi and access to a fully equipped business centre ensure successful MICE events. We also offer customised catering packages to enhance any social gathering. The property is strategically located on the national highway and minutes away from the Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida with easy access to all the business and entertainment hubs which gives us an added advantage. The hotel has always been big on MICE and this segment contributes to a major chunk of our overall revenues.

What are some of the facilities that guest of Radisson Blu Faridabad can avail?

 Luxurious Accommodation: Radisson Blu Faridabad provides elegant and well-appointed rooms and suites designed for both leisure and business travellers. The comfortable furnishings and modern amenities ensure a pleasant stay. The hotel’s location in Faridabad, a city in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India, offers easy access to the business districts, shopping centres, and tourist attractions. This makes it an ideal choice for both business and leisure travellers. And we have recently announced ourselves as ‘A Pet Friendly Hotel’ making us the first RHGs Hotel in North India to go pet friendly.

Superior Dining/meeting and recreation options:The hotel boasts a range of dining options, including multi-cuisine restaurants, specialty dining, and a stylish bar. Guests can savour a variety of culinary delights, from local Indian flavours to international cuisines. Radisson Blu Faridabad offers state-of-the-art meeting and event spaces, making it a preferred choice for corporate events, conferences and weddings. The facilities are equipped with modern technology and can accommodate various group sizes. The hotel also features a fitness centre, spa, and swimming pool, providing guests with opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation during their stay.

Hospitality and Service:Radisson Blu is known for its commitment to delivering exceptional service. The staff at Radisson Blu Faridabad aims to provide personalised and attentive service to ensure a memorable guest experience. Guests can enrol in the Radisson Rewards programme, which offers various benefits such as discounts, free stays and exclusive member rates. One of our major focuses has been on sustainability and eco-friendly practices. This can be a significant draw for environmentally conscious travellers. We prioritise guest safety and security, with features such as 24-hour security, CCTV surveillance, electronic key card access and we also offer accessible rooms and facilities for our differently abled guests, ensuring that all guests can enjoy a comfortable stay.

What, according to you, is the latest trend in the hospitality industry?

 The integration of technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, while enhancing guest experiences by providing personalised services and anticipating guest needs is a major hospitality trend these days. Hotels are exploring VR and AR technologies to provide virtual tours of rooms and facilities, allowing guests to experience the hotel before booking. AI and data analytics analyse guest preferences, past behaviours, and demographics to provide personalised recommendations for dining, activities and services. This level of personalisation creates a more tailored and enjoyable experience for each guest. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants offer real-time assistance to guests. They can answer queries, provide information about hotel services and even assist with room adjustments, contributing to improved guest satisfaction.

What are the key challenges that lie ahead for you?

 Post pandemic a major challenge that lies ahead all of us is the manpower crunch. As an industry, Hospitality sector often experiences high turnover rates due to factors such as long working hours, seasonal demand fluctuations and relatively less competitive wages for certain positions. Frequent turnover necessitates continuous hiring and training efforts. Competition from other industries, such as retail and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), have indeed contributed to a manpower crunch in the hotel industry. The hotel industry faces challenges in attracting and retaining skilled talent, especially when other sectors offer appealing alternatives.

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