It is easier to express creativity in a greenfield property: Rizwan Ali

In the second show ‘Creating Sustained Values’, of the weBBlast series, ‘Design – Innovation to Conservation’, Mohammed Rizwan Ali, VP – Projects, IHCL (Taj) discusses washroom design, use of biogas and timber for energy consumption across Taj properties and much more.

Answering the moderator’s question on new product concepts for different projects, Ali started off by saying he agreed with the moderators view that bathrooms have become as important as bedrooms in today’s world. He added, “A good bed and a well-appointed bathroom are the two key elements that you expect when you walk into a hotel room today. Products do differ from property- to- property and category of hotel to another category”

Sharing his views on the moderators question on balancing the creative process at design stage and project execution in delivery, Ali explained, “A design brief is very clearly spelt out to the designer when he/she is on board to take care of new trends, technologies and guest expectations. At the same time, it is also stressed upon that you are not overdoing it, as it becomes cumbersome for usage. Ultimately what you want is the guest finding it user friendly without any confusion or complication. In terms of creativity, we have worked with designers, some of them are here in this panel. So, the point is allowing the designers to express themselves without overdoing it.”

Ali also spoke about what new things they’ve been doing in the bathrooms, saying, “We’re using a smart seat cover, which is a way to save water but is high on technology. We’re doing away with tubs in most of our city hotels and providing shower cubicles which is giving a better shower experience”. Talking about project execution, he added, “It all depends on the category of hotel and the guest its catering to. A palace property will have traditional fixtures that do not alter with the original fabric of the palace while in a new luxury property like a Taj or a Vivanta you would go with contemporary designs. It is definitely easier to express creativity in a greenfield property than a place where you need to balance with the original structure.”

Responding to the question on the initiatives undertaken by IHCL for the efficient use of energy, water and material whilst providing quality services, Rizwan Ali said, “Solar energy is one of the initiatives we have been using as a mandate. And we have switched to it for all our lighting across all our properties. We have also been using energy efficient chillers. In terms of water we have been using low flow fixtures. So, these are some of the methods that we have been using. In the property we opened in Andaman a couple of years ago it’s zero plastic, the first property we’ve done that for. We’ve reduced the use of civil materials and constructed all rooms with timber and used biogas.”


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