We are Working Around Bringing Better Efficiencies: Raoof Razak Dhanani, MD, Sayaji Hotels

The luxury hotel chain, Sayaji has been redefining hospitality since its inception in Vadodara 20 years ago. For them, hospitality is about making people comfortable even though they are far away from their comfort zone.

NOTHING EXPLAINS Sayaji’s way of life like the Banyan tree. The Banyan plays many roles during its long life. It epitomises and defines relationships we know of, and bonds that are yet to be made. In some ways, it is like the matriarch, depicting the lineage, strong roots, and an undying will of an ever-growing family. For travellers from far and wide, it provides comfort and peace in its never-ending shade, and care that only a mother can provide. Like a good old friend, it keeps your secret, protects you, and brings you solace in times of need. Just like the Banyan tree, Sayaji strives to be the heaven that every global traveller deserves. They have been redefining hospitality since its inception in Vadodara 20 years ago. For them, hospitality is about making people comfortable even though they are far away from their comfort zone. From comfortable stays and sumptuous dining options to expansive event spaces and more complemented by heartfelt hospitality and personalised care, Sayaji focuses on making your priorities theirs.

They are now operating in 8 different cities comprising of 11 properties. Their presence is seen in Vadodara, Rajkot, Indore, Gurugram, Pune, Kolhapur, Bhopal and Raipur. In an exclusive interaction with BW Hotelier, Raoof Razak Dhanani, Managing Director, Sayaji Hotels Ltd. speaks about the growth of hospitality sector and their expansion plans.

Your take on the current scenario in the Indian hospitality markets?

I believe we are seeing a mixed bag in Indian hospitality market scenario. Though the economy has slowed there are still many market for hotels where a decent growth is still taking place. Certainly many markets where dependency is on a particular segment has witnessed negligible growth.


What has been your biggest challenges in the recent times?

As I said, current market scenarios have been good for some, however, not for all. We too are seeing some of our hotels doing great however, at a few locations, markets have hit a roadblock and so have we. This surely has resulted in paralleling previous years for these units however we are working around bringing better efficiencies and countering the odds.


In your view who are the new disruptors in the hospitality industry and their impact?

Well, the disruptors have been same as previous years, the only difference is that they have presented themselves even more strongly as they have worked around technology, community, loyalty and strengthening their services. We believe there will always be disruptors however, it is for us to decide how soon can we adapt to change and without compromising the goods that we already have.   


What do you see is the role of smart technologies in the new market?

Smart Technology is about comprehending data. Data is prevalent with almost all but it was the AI which helped us understand data better and this seems to be growing even more deeper. Hence not only new markets geographically but even existing ones are taking advantage of growing technology. It is adaptability of these smart technologies which is helping in growth of Pie share which comes to you. 


In your view how is the industry going to perform over next five years?

Hospitality in India still has huge opportunities. Just about 10 years back we were speaking of only metropolitan cities and today Tier 2 markets are growing, we still have a lot more markets prevalent and to capitalise on. Hence, the next five years surely seems promising.


How do you intend to re-energise Sayaji Hotels in the next five years?

At Sayaji we understand what it takes to be a success in tier-two markets or even deeper and today the hospitality is looking to grow in this direction. We feel to re-energise further and to be future-ready we would need to further adapt to these markets and so we are here to offer a range of services and products like that of Effotel and Enrise other than that of Sayaji. Surely, with Sayaji experience and varied product and offerings in the next five years, we will be a major growth story across smaller cities.

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