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In today’s environment, localisation is key: Gaurav Singh

  • In today’s environment, localisation is key: Gaurav Singh

    The new Market Vice President for South & East India, Bangladesh and Nepal for Marriott speaks about his region and the challenges of his role during the pandemic.

    This is the first time in his career that Gaurav Singh will not be at the helm of a hotel personally. Singh, who became the Market Vice President - South & East India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Marriott International, spoke about the challenges and rewards of his new posting.

    Marriott International has gone through a change of top management recently in India, with Neeraj Govil taking over as Senior VP operations-APEC, Ranju Alex moving to Mumbai to become Vice President, Market (West, India) at Marriott, while Jatin Khanna is Market Vice President- North India, Bhutan and Nepal, Marriott International.

    I've always been an operations person. So, I don't think I can let go of that very easily. Even though I am no longer based out of a hotel, I was in a property speaking to the team during a town hall. It is about connecting with the larger part of my team. It's no longer one hotel team, it's a lot of teams, I may not be directly responsible for their day-to-day things, but I'm still responsible for their well-being for theirs, and for their livelihood—so, in that sense, I do continue to keep a good connection,” Gaurav said.

    In his current role, Gaurav is responsible for 35 hotels accounting for a total 7229 keys.

    Gaurav, who was based out of Bengaluru before moving to his earlier post in Kolkata, makes a return to the city and says, in some ways, it made the transition to the new role easier.

    While this role happened in January, I only moved to Bengaluru last month. So now, we've got three specific regions, my region; Ranju (Alex), who looks after the West, and Jatin (Khanna) based in Delhi who looks after North India, Bhutan and Nepal, therefore it becomes a one-third split between the three of us,” Gaurav explained.

    Gaurav, who grew up and worked pretty much travelling the length and breadth of the country, has a vast geographic region under him stretching from Sri Lanka, to the whole eastern part of India and Bangladesh.

    I actually enjoy this because each of these places have a lot of diversity. And in Marriott, diversity is a big play for us. We wish for people to work together, for us to be able to learn from the cultures, localise that, in today's day and age with the lockdowns that have taken shape in particular, localisation is becoming even bigger. You have to find all things local, whether it's the ingredients to make your food, whether it's the talent to serve your hotels, whether it is the service to the customers, then the customers themselves are local, now that they're driving in,” he said adding that this ability to understand different regions, cultures, languages, regions, helps in hitting the ground running.


    On the question of doing business virtually, especially since he oversees such a varied number of hotels spread across his region, Gaurav still thought hospitality was about the personal connect, and not only for customers, but also for associates, more so in such trying times.

    If you come to a hotel, you can't meet a guest virtually, you have to meet them face to face to be able to, to deliver the through experience. And similarly from our associates as well, it's easier for me to connect virtually, it's easier to have a conversation. At times there is a negative, suddenly you get five calendar requests for the same time slot, so there are those challenges that one needs to live with. But I strongly believe that individual human connection is going to remain and I need to physically be on property, meet the teams, interact with them, feel exactly what they are going through,” he said adding that you couldn't really get the nuances and undertones when meeting virtually.

    by :Bikramjit Ray ETHospitalityWorld


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