Ultimately it is service delivery that makes a difference between a good and a great experience: Hemant Mediratta
One Rep Global is a company of hoteliers, by hoteliers and for hoteliers. In an interview Hemant Mediratta, Founder - One Rep Global and COO Antara Luxury River Cruises shares more.
Kindly share your journey so far in the hotel hospitality vertical.
It has been an extremely rewarding and enriching journey in the hospitality business. This industry has given me so much – mentors, friends, experiences, education, lifestyle and a sense of purpose.
It all began 28 years ago when I joined The Park hotels as a management trainee straight out hotel school – IHM Pusa. At that time the Management Trainee program was evolving so you were literally in the deep waters and had to self-learn through experience. I was fortunate to have my first boss as Rohit Arora (current General Manager of The Park New Delhi) who taught me the value of deep-rooted relationships in business. After almost 4.5 years of being at The Park I was picked up for sales by Rakesh Mathur who has then MD of IHG in India. The organisation was expanding rapidly under his leadership and I had the privilege to learn the power of human connection. After a tenure at Hyatt Regency Kolkata where I had the opportunity to work closely with Sunjae Sharma (current Head of Hyatt in India) who taught me how to be unruffled by any situation and that a calm and happy mind can achieve the unthinkable. The past one and half decade which is the dominant part of my career has been spent at one of the best global hospitality brand – The Oberoi Group of Hotels.
How did your experience with The Oberoi Group, help you to think of and reach your current dream venture, One Rep Global?
I have been fortunate and blessed that I have worked with great leaders over my 16 years with the Oberoi Hotels, which shaped me as a professional. I had the privilege of handling international sales for one of the best hotel brands in the world which meant interacting with people from different cultures, nationalities and thought processes. This enhances your learning immensely, your adaptability to situations and most importantly makes you humble as you realise you are a tiny speck in the larger scheme of things. I also had the fortune of working with a legend – PRS Oberoi. The clarity of vision, relentless obsession with quality and decisiveness are some of the many things I have learnt from him which has made me the professional I am today.
Sales and Marketing is a skill that I have developed over the last two decades and consistently keep innovating upon, and One Rep Global is a natural progression of that.
Tell us more about your company One Rep Global and team?
One Rep Global is a company of hoteliers, by hoteliers and for hoteliers. Driven by a team of experienced, pedigreed travel professionals and hoteliers from Oberoi Hotels, Four Seasons, Leading Hotels of the World, Ananda in the Himalayas, Taj Hotels, Shangrila and Small Luxury Hotels of the World who are passionate, possess in depth relationships and most importantly are result oriented.
In this short time One Rep Global has become a XO Private and Traveller Made Partner – the only organisation to be recognised in this part of the world. An organisation is only as good as its people and we are blessed to have a stellar team of successful individuals who wake up every day to make a difference.
How many global luxury clients do you currently have?
This is a fast-evolving list and the trust and love we have received from hotels worldwide has been really gratifying. As of date we have 10 clients on board with some iconic hotels in Switzerland – Waldhuas Flims and Carlton St Moritz . These are complimented with a private Jet company – Air Dynamics that have a fleet of jets and helicopters. We have a good portfolio in Japan with Palace Hotel Tokyo and Zentis Osaka along with a dynamic travel tech partner Bear Luxe that has the most exquisite collection of Ryokans and luxury service providers.
Our latest addition to the collection has been closer home – Gangtey Lodge Bhutan which rates amongst the top hotels in Asia by Travel and Leisure. There are several clients in the pipeline who are only waiting for international flights to resume operations.
What are your future plans? Are you looking at any domestic clients?
I have always been a firm believer of the fact that in collaboration there is strength, we are open to collaborating and even acquisition of luxury representation companies in India and abroad. The intent is that like-minded professionals should work together to grow the market.
In the next 12 -24 months we will expand in Europe and North America with our own offices promoting outbound from these geographies.
We are a bit cautious who we take on as client as our personal brand equity is also at stake, hence we in the past few months we have said more nos than yes to clients. This only reiterates our penchant for taking clients that we will be able to do a great job for. We have a niche, and our connections are in that segment, whether with direct consumers, corporates or luxury travel agents. The product fit must be perfect with our capability level – whether the client is domestic or international is immaterial.
What kind of tie-ups do you have for sales B2B or B2C? who are your partners and stakeholders?
We are the only company in this part of the world that is a Traveller Made Representation partner. This is like a seal of approval by a third party that One Rep Global is the best of the best in luxury and ultra-luxury segment. Our clients range from a private jet company to exquisite and most scenic hotels in Switzerland. Clearly the clientele for this is ultra HNIs and top the line travel agents who book travel to such destinations. We have alliance partners like Credit Card Companies, Banks, Designers and Luxury Automobiles which help us reach the target market for our clients.
What as per you is the success mantra for sales and marketing in hospitality as well as travel?
Sales is not about selling anymore, it’s about education and building customers trust in you and your brand. It also needs high level of empathy and ability to listen as it is about having conversations with people. If you look at it that way Sales is an admirable vocation.
Hospitality is at the base of any travel project; how does it apply to cruise tourism?
Hospitality is an integral and most pivotal part of a lodging experience. It’s all about service and more particularly on a cruise.
A higher length of stay and more free time on board gives an opportunity for the guest to experience every service on board with many more touch points than a traditional hotel. To add to this the guests, interact with the same set of staff - day in day out. This puts a lot of pressure on the hospitality staff to constantly deliver superlative service. Hence it becomes more critical to have a stringent level of screening for hiring the right team members. Ultimately it is service delivery that makes a difference between a good and a great experience.
What advice would you offer to new entrepreneurs?
I believe entrepreneurship is a state of mind, which stems from a very high degree of ownership. You don’t need a designation of a business owner to be running any business. In every assignment or a job one can operate like an entrepreneur.
It is a very gratifying and fulfilling experience, but you should only get into it if you have the attitude and the spirit of adventure to create something. Surround yourself with positive like-minded people who share the same dream and goal as you, the rest becomes easier. Aim for the stars and believe in yourself, anything is possible.
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