The Indian Hospitality Industry: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Covid-19

by Apr 28, 2020Covid-19, Travel & Tourism

Foreword

Three or so months ago, who would have imagined the situation that we all find ourselves in — personally, professionally and as a society? The truth of the matter is that we really don’t know how long the pandemic will last, how long restrictions / lockdowns will be in place, or how much worse this could get for our industry. We also cannot ascertain the final net impact on the local, regional and global economy, or the depth and duration of the downturn. In this uncertain and subdued scenario, the only sources of comic relief have been certain suggestions, inadvertent or otherwise, made during the US President’s daily briefings, and WhatsApp spoofs or jokes circulating among us, as we find ourselves WFH.

The hotel business, as we know it, will change. Many of you would remember hotel brands calling themselves ‘people friendly’ or, for that matter, suggesting they liken themselves to community living by creating socializing spaces in the hotel lobby. Well, ‘people friendly’ will take on a new definition now, with safety and hygiene the topmost priority for hotel guests. The one thing the guest is certain to ask going forward is “How safe am I going to be with you – to stay, to eat or even to enter your premises? Those who address this question to their customer’s satisfaction will survive. Just like 26/11 transformed security in India at hotels, we believe the Executive Housekeeper in hotels will emerge as the most critical person in times to come.

“The Indian Hospitality Industry: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Covid-19” is actually a collection of articles by consulting experts who understand the hotel business extremely well. These may be read individually or as a whole and suggest practical solutions for the coming times, when things begin to re-open and the New Normal comes into effect, for the hospitality industry in South Asia. Joining Hotelivate’s partners in this exercise were two ex-MDs with whom I have had the privilege to work: Siddharth Thaker, Managing Partner, Prognosis and Kaushik Vardharajan, Industry Expert. Collectively, this senior leadership of authors has 100-plus years of hospitality consulting experience in India and has worked with at least 50% of all branded hotels that currently operate in India, in terms of room count. We are also thankful to Economic Law Practice (ELP) for providing us with legal insights on things to come.

To my partners and colleagues – Natwar Nagar, Achin Khanna, Saurabh Gupta, Megha Tuli, Anupama Jaiswal, Juie Mobar, Shailee Sharma, Neha Katyal and Deepika Thadani, a big thank you for your thoughts and contributions. Hotelivate also acknowledges the many hotels, restaurants, kitchen staff and volunteers who have gone all out to provide support, by running kitchens and distributing food to our fellow citizens in need, and for working alongside our health warriors in taking care of guests and patients when required, in hotels where the governments have been quarantining them.

Thank you once again and happy reading!

Manav Thadani

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