‘We Have To Look Beyond Hospitality Sector’: Ajay Bakaya

How can the hospitality sector revive? How to handle the situation of laying off resources? How long will be the adverse impact of corona pandemic? These and several more questions were discussed and debated in the BW Hotelier Webinar on the topic ‘Getting Indian Hospitality Back – Hear The Honchos’. Ajay Bakaya, MD, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts answered some of them.

There are a number of problems gripping the hospitality sector due to the corona pandemic, not just here in the country, but across the world. Lay-offs pay cut, inability to generate cash, managing the supply-chain issues are just some of the issues posing grave challenge to the lakhs of small, medium and large hotel chains. How does one deal with laying off employees? Responding to this question, Ajay Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts said his company’s philosophy is “to hold onto as many jobs as you can and look at the deeper job cut”.

Bakaya is of the opinion that since the resources working in the hospitality sector are ‘well-groomed and built to handle themselves’, they should look beyond this sector. “Our people will have to look beyond the hospitality sector. They will have to look in the medical space; they will have to look wherever they can find an opportunity. Fortunately, hotel people are groomed and built to handle themselves wherever they can be it banking, finance, etc,” said Bakaya. 

On the question of whether the customers too have changed because of the current situation, he said ‘all of us will have to go through handling cases that are Covid-19 Positive”. According to Bakaya, it is important to be upfront towards such situations. “One has to be frank and honest about these issues rather than sweeping the truth under the table”. 

Experts including Bakaya opined that the corona-virus pandemic has pried open the wounds and ‘healing them will require strong judgments and decision-making from the leader's end’. “Getting back in the business for the hospitality sector will not be an easy task,” he said.


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