Building a Legacy for her Hotel

Kanika Hasrat, General Manager of Vivanta Dwarka stands tall and strong to lead her Hotel ahead of the competition


A PERFECTIONIST and a hard-task master, Kanika Hasrat likes to delegate work and expects 100% results. “I am exceptional with follow-ups and hate shoddy jobs. I demand and don’t command. It’s about guiding, mentoring people and not about hand holding every moment. People grow best when they accomplish and achieve on their own. So if one delivers, the results will automatically show,” says the versatile General Manager of one of the most opulent business hotels in Delhi, Vivanta Dwarka that aims to change the face of business in a space where you can work and play seamlessly.

“In the next one year, the idea is to establish the property into a family destination also,” said Hasrat. So when you walk around the lawns you see an extensive green patch especially built to promote kids zone - swings, paintball and team building activities, party zone and more. “By March 2019, this business hotel will also fit well as a family destination and this is part of our agenda for the coming months,” she said.

Having worked across verticals with over 24 years of experience, Hasrat has the expertise in improving standards, bringing innovation in day to day tasks and driving overall performance of the hotel. “I have been fortunate enough to have a support system in life. Coming to this position at 50 was very deserving and getting the right accolades at the right time from veterans in the industry like Mr PRS Oberoi and Mr Marriott was the best blessing and satisfaction in life,” she explained.

Meeting Challenges Driving hotels’ performance and business growth as well as guest satisfaction, Hasrat is committed to work closely with her team and drives performance across verticals. What is challenging is the team spirit that makes or breaks the brand! “If the team is aligned then you can drive both business and customer. Today, finding the right team and to keep them motivated is the biggest challenge. With tough work life and intermittent work hours, it is important to be self-motivated and my job as a leader in the organisation is to get as many people interested in our jobs, to keep the future of the industry alive. So getting people with the right kind of mind set and attitude is important when hiring. And I feel, if you have the heart to serve then you are in the right place,” she revealed.

A dynamic brand wagon Vivanta Dwarka, under the Taj portfolio, has been able to find its niche in the sub city. “We are close to the airport but never promote it as an airport hotel. It is an entry point to Delhi and Gurgaon and the positioning brilliantly works as it can be defined as the modern day urban retreat – green expanse, lovely architecture and a story to tell,” she feels.

Under the new brand architecture of the Taj, all Vivanta hotels have a story to tell. This one retains its Indian folklore through the dohas of Kabir Das. “Some are inscribed on the walls and some can be heard in an audio arena and today, these make management sense,” she said.

As you walk around, the décor inside the hotel is fun and vibrant exuding the young character of the hotel alongside the legacy of IHCL. “It’s got the service of the Taj, legacy of the IHCL, and the vivacity of Vivanta,” she remarked. Yes it’s tough to differentiate from other properties and that’s where the Taj legacy comes in the picture. “In a leadership role, it’s very easy to disengage from a lot of small things. But in an upcoming hotel like ours, where the team is learning and evolving, it is important to have your involvement at the right place and time. It could be one sentence you put into the conversation or highlighting an issue or attending one briefing but the fact that people see you’re involved means a lot. It’s on us to build the legacy of the hotel today, and not a hotel with the legacy of the past. So we build the legacy as we go today because that is what will remain in the future,” she said.

The staff at Vivanta Dwarka is a combination of the young and the old—average age varies from 26 years to professionals who have served in the industry for 30 years. So to keep every level engaged and going is where the skills of the General Manager comes in.

Market Dynamics This hotel opened for less than four years has seen sudden rise in the ADRs in the past two years. “In 2017, the hotel grew 23% in total revenues and 12% came from ADR. Last year, we had an occupancy of 73%. Our aim is to stabilise occupancy and drive rates, so we have been fortunate enough to see the rise of the brand in just a matter of time,” she feels.

Plans ahead As a MICE property, Vivanta Dwarka is an apt location with metro, airport and road connectivity. The many open areas in the hotel along with the configuration of the rooms work beautifully for the premise. And no other hotel can offer you these configurations of spaces. Right from a meeting of five pax to outdoor hanger which can accommodate 3000 in theatre style, this is an ideal hotel to host team building activities, gala dinners, weddings in the three sprawling green lawns.

Smart Sustainability is the key to prosper Having its own composter which recycles waste material, further used for gardening and other purposes, the hotel also has its own greenhouse wherein the team grows herbs and other produce, helping chefs to deliver fresh and flavoursome dishes. Of course LED, energy saving initiatives, heat exchangers, helps to reduce energy consumption and Hasrat aims to reduce it by 25% in the next four years. A huge challenge for a large footprint – 250 rooms on 7acres.

Matching the aesthetics, Vivanta uses superior technology and is already ahead of the competition. “Since there is luxury of space, we have utilised our basements as electric charging station for E-vehicles; the in-house TV use Cat 6 to stream wireless music from phones or ipods; our meeting rooms are 27 feet high with concealed projectors, surround sound systems. The latest experiment is the remote managed floor cleaners using technology to improve productivity.”

Future is fantastic Speaking about Dwarka as a planned sub city, Hasrat is optimistic about the immense possibilities. “The area is symmetrically laid with trees and can be developed into an eco-friendly zone. Being the closest hotel to the events and exhibitions zone, which will be established by 2022, help us take a lead on some of the biggest projects that will come to this area. So the future is definitely very bright,” she said. With the wedding segment growing by 12% in the last year, Hasrat wants to tap this sector through their special theme-specific events that work exclusively in setups like Vivanta.  

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'The Food & Beverage Issue '

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