Expecting to Accelerate Growth by 8-10% in FY18: Punish B Sharma, VP Operations, The Fern Hotels & Resorts

"Social Media - Though not a new factor, social networks remain a key trend. It has become a must for many guests to share their experience on the various social network platforms," says Punish B Sharma, VP Operations, The Fern Hotels & Resorts.

PUNISH B Sharma has recently been appointed as Vice President - Operations at The Fern Hotels & Resorts. He has been there with the company for more than a decade and was previously the area general manager with Meluha, The fern and Rodas an ecotel hotel in Mumbai. BW Hotelier spoke to Sharma, to know more about his journey and future plans.

In your new role as a VP Operations, what are the new set of challenges you are facing, how is it different from handling a stand-alone five-star hotel?

Responsibilities & variety of job duties have extended towards other properties. Getting them aligned is a task that needs to be focused.

Describe the processes which you have introduced as VP

The role is more focused on implementing operational reforms, facilitating process improvements & contributing outstandingly in realizing the strategic intent of the organization.

How do you plan to create value for the brand in terms of visibility and presence? What according to you is the way forward for the brand?

With the baseline 'Leading environmentally sensitive hotels', The Fern Hotels & Resorts is amongst the fastest growing hotel brands in India. The Fern is about the right balance of hospitality luxury and environment sensitivity. We have largely focused on environmental sensitive issues & raise the standards of this globally. Bring an environment-friendly hotel encourages its guests to contribute to saving the environment with every stay. Hotels also contribute dedicatedly in its own way by stringently following procedures to adhere to the 5 Globes of Ecotel practices – Environment Commitment, Water Management, Energy Management, Waste Management & Employee Education and Community Involvement.

You have been with a company for more than a decade, how would you describe your journey?

Joined Rodas An Ecotel Hotel as F & B Manager and was elevated as EAM & General Manager of the hotel. Got involved in the process of commissioning a new property and by the year 2011 Meluha The Fern a five-star property was launched. Was promoted as Area General Manager to manage Rodas & Meluha The Fern and was involved since the pre-opening stage till its completion & launch, Since April 2018 managing the functions successfully as Vice President Operations for Western Region.

In an industry where people leave a company in 3 to 5 years, what are the reasons you have continued with the concept hospitality for so long?

I feel privileged that I got an opportunity to work with concept Hospitality. Exciting work and challenge, career growth, learning, and development were the reasons to stick; above all, working with great professional people is real gratification.

What is the growth which the company is targeting in the current financial year?

We are expecting to accelerate growth to 8-10 per cent in the current financial year. The focus is on to propose both traditional and contemporary marketing strategies that will help to attract more guests along with cross Promotion – Events, membership rewards, social media creative etc.

What are the trends in the hospitality industry you are witnessing in your market space?

The hospitality industry is ever-changing and the global scene is changing faster than ever before. As a whole, the industry continues to grow and consumers are traveling more than ever.

Social Media - Though not a new factor, social networks remain a key trend. It has become a must for many guests to share their experience on the various social network platforms.

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