International Hotel Brands Bring Advantage to Indian Market: Harjeet Wasan
Newly Appointed GM of Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow, Harjeet Wasan spoke to BW Hotelier who believes in Indian hospitality.
IN THE time of 1980s, when everyone desired to be an engineer or a doctor, Harjeet Wasan was very sure about his passion towards hospitality industry. With a keen interest to do something different, he joined IHM Pusa to pursue his Diploma in Hotel Management. There was no looking back since then, and today with an experience of 27 years he is spearheading the team of Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow as the General Manager of the hotel.
Starting his career in the year 1991 with the Imperial Hotel in New Delhi as a Management Trainee, Wasan has worked with numerous hospitality chains, including Carlson Rezidor, Sarovar Hotels and JHM Interstate India. Apart from India, he has a global exposure of 12 years working in various countries like Singapore, Mongolia, Dubai and Russia. BW Hotelier met Wasan at the recently launched Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow where he spoke to us about his journey so far.
“Indians in the whole world is the most hospitable people. If we go back to any other country, our people are doing a lot of good work in this sector. While working abroad, I have used my Indian hospitality skills to have the regular and faithful guest,” Wasan said. Speaking about the Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow, Wasan senses a great opportunity in the city. “In two to three, there is a lot of supply that has come in Lucknow. In our industry when there is a lot of supply the demand is generated automatically. For this property, I am expecting more MICE to come in. Airtel, Ericson, TVS are the some of the dedicated corporate clients for us,” he told us.
Having worked with many international brands so far, Wasan appreciates the brand values of Hilton. Adding more to this he stated, “Hilton in 2019 will complete 100 years of being in hospitality and the best part of it that I witness is its employee retaining power. Hilton, unlike other brands, is very choosy about picking and signing up a hotel. We recently got our new India Head and for the first time in Hilton’s history, an Indian would be running the business in India. With our CEO’s vision of adding numbers to India, Hilton is looking at the figure of 100 hotels in the coming years.”
Speaking about the staffs of the hotel, each of one of them is hand-picked by Wasan. He stated, “I have opened the hotel with 35 percent female ratio. For this 125 room hotel, we have 75 staff to run the whole property.” He believes that every day is a different work profile and hence it is exciting for him.
According to Wasan, when the international brands come into the Indian market, they bring in higher technology which ultimately serves as an advantage for the local brands to learn. For all the hotels, infrastructure and the hardware are almost the same, what create a difference is soft skills that make an everlasting impression. I have a very clear vision of interacting with guest and making them feel comfortable,” he concluded with a smile.
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