Banquet and Conventions are an Untapped Market for Us

Perkin Rocha, Area Director for Haryana and Rajasthan at Lemon Tree Hotels spoke about his role in the company and of course the brand new Lemon Tree and Red Fox Hotel complex with 20,000 square feet of conference facilities, a first by the company, but by no means a one-off.

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BW HOTELIER got the chance to speak with Perkin Rocha, Area Director for Haryana and Rajasthan at Lemon Tree Hotels about his new role in the company as well as his thoughts about their newest offering at Gurgaon Sector 60.

With eight hotels reporting to Rocha at present. “I give them full liberty to do however they want to function, I don’t interfere,” he began by telling us, adding that there are however four things that he insists from the core team of each hotel.

“First, I need a guest report, everybody will meet the guest. When I first started this at DIAL (Delhi International Airport Limited) I realised that interaction with the guest, whether they are the chef going from table to table finding out whether the food was okay, or the housekeeper who would greet you and ask whether he or she could do something for you, the reaction and feedback was amazing.

“Number two, I said I need a closing report at night. We have hotel manager covering the first half and we have EAM or Assistant hotel manager and staff coming in around 12 in noon and then they are till 11-12 at night, since operations are more vulnerable at night. So, when he leaves I need to see a closing report.

“Number three, I wanted everyone in the core team to do rounds of the hotel every day. The manager must see a couple of rooms every day and get to know what is your product fault.

“Fourthly, I want all my GMs and EAMs to be more business analytical. In today's world you want be cut off from the market. I said it’s important for you to step out to know and participate, you should know your competitor.

Rocha was very excited about the new hotel which had the most expansive banquet and conference facility ever seen at a Lemon Tree property (he had previously worked at the unit at East Delhi Mall which did have some conference facilities).

Speaking on his current inventory in Gurgaon, the city's largest inventory held by a single hospitality company, according to sources, Rocha was very enthusiastic, “Gurgaon is the key corporate hub, a lot of expectations in terms of both financial as well as performance. In Sector 29, we have 50 percent inventory. All the hotels are doing well in the first half of April.”.

When the sales teams go out and speak about the 20,000 square feet of convention space, most of the customers are amazed and slightly disbelieving that so much space is available, he confessed.

“To sell rooms you can't be corporate only, you have to have a base of MICE and a base of Social. I think it’s not a dilution, but a learning from the business that going forward any inventory of around 250 room should have a decent size banquet and meeting facility,” he added.

“It will make financial sense. It will give me more leeway to tie up with associations and industries and get huge banqueting conventions which is an untapped market for us. Defence will also have its own space. Once we have our liquor license, I have designed six IPs who will be hosted by us so that they can come and experience the place. People are already coming to us. I am speaking to an event management company to tap the wedding market as well,” Rocha concluded.


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