The percentage of wedding revenues pre covid was 30-40% which has now reached a level of 50-60%: Keshari Ranjan

Radisson Blu Faridabad was one out of the first batch of hotels that opened post lockdown and so they could consolidate their wedding business being early starters. In an interview, Keshari Ranjan, Director of Sales, Radisson Blu Faridabad shares more

Tell us briefly about the market response to the reopening of hotels in the city?

The market response has been volatile. This in turn has created a lot of price challenges, we have looked at this as long term values rather than short term gains in order to sustain the demand. Radisson Blu Faridabad was one out of the first batch of hotels that opened post lockdown and we could consolidate our wedding business being early starters. We have seen a better response altogether as compared to the Delhi hotels. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and local travellers have also been key drivers.

MICE has been one of the major revenue generators for hotels in Delhi-NCR region. With the current scenario, what market segments are going to drive the performance of hotels in this region?

MICE is taking time in regrowth because of the social distancing and wait and watch mode of the companies however MLM organisations and Realty Sector have broken the ice for us. MICE has become smaller and local with changes in F and B: like there being no buffet biodegradable service ware have come in, cost effectiveness, regular training on sanitisation and hygiene are a norm.

F&B has been another significant contributor for a hotel. What creative initiatives have been taken by you to maximise your F&B business?

Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol is a new program of in-depth cleanliness and disinfection procedures; in partnership with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and Certification Company. This has given a confidence to external and internal customers both. Food promotions, ‘Meetha By Radisson’ - a new concept of timeless and traditional Indian sweets from Radisson Hotels, Beverages special packages, Take Home a Chef, Food Deliveries, Our Signature Dishes and F and B Concierge Services are set to take F and B to its earlier glory.

What was the percentage of revenue that you used to generate from Weddings market in the pre-covid times? What are the latest developments in this market?

The percentage of wedding revenues pre covid was 30-40 per cent which has now reached a level of 50-60 per cent. Post lockdown there has been an upsurge in residential and non-residential well-knit family weddings and short wedding -related events. Since gathering is limited whereas area requirement has doubled we have created wedding packages which take care of end-to-end requirements as well as fulfil the minimum revenue requirement of the hotel.

Shortage of skilled manpower was one of the major issues that the hospitality industry was facing in the pre-Covid times. What is the current situation?

The current situation is tough, and times are testing us. We have focussed on job enrichment, rotation, and cross departmental trainings. Multitasking is need of the hour. Staff development and train the trainers program is on top priority. Preserving key assets and talent to survive the crisis and at the same time effectively fulfilling demand from the local market is need of the hour.

Housekeeping has a leading role to play in the new normal. What is your take?

We are following norms as per the SGS Global and local govt. notifications. Guests and employees safety are at the topmost priority. Housekeeping`s role is the most significant at the grassroots levels. Staff have been rigorously trained and a lot of investment has been made on the infrastructure for cleanliness, hygiene and sanitization. Housekeeping is leading the show and have risen up to the expectation.

With the increased focus on domestic tourism, what is your take on the revival of the industry?

Tourism is looking more inward i.e. domestic directed; revenge tourism preferring nature and wildlife including near and within city travel is being preferred. Such vacationers are not high ticket, they are more likely budget travellers looking for cleanliness, comfort and hygiene rather than luxury.

What would be your message for the guests who may be making their travel plans for the near future?

Take care of your immunity, strengthen it; Covid-19 is going to stay for a while, use face masks, maintain social distancing, wash your hand frequently, carry pocket sanitizer. Before choosing a hotel for stay check what preventive SOPs they are following and which certified agency has a check on it.


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