‘A career in hospitality puts you on the frontline to take care of people’
Arjun Kaggallu, General Manager, Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa, talks about the brand’s operations in Goa along with sharing valuable insights on growth in the hospitality industry
Goa, with its scenic beaches and rich culture, not only serves as the perfect destination for tourists from around the world, but also provides a pool of opportunities for the hospitality industry to operate and grow. One of the most ideal launch pads for tourists wanting to explore the best of entertainment, culinary delights and hospitality of Goa is Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa. Located on the Main Candolim Road, it is a few steps from all the main attractions of the city. At the helm of all the operations at Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa is Arjun Kaggallu, General Manager.
In a conversation with BW HOTELIER, Kaggallu talks about the brand’s operations in Goa along with sharing valuable insights on growth in the hospitality industry. Excerpts from an interview:
Care is at the core of everything we do at Hyatt. This is not just our purpose but our way of living.
The key differentiators that make us distinct from all other honourable hospitality companies are a number of initiatives at all levels.
Empathy Maintaining transparency and conducting frequent rap session, Hyatt Talk, with teams with associates on a regular basis and a clear line of communication across the level of colleagues. This has been our biggest strength and practice for surviving through the pandemic together.
Wellbeing A major key focus area. I’ve made sure to incorporate the same in my teams to help them achieve professional and personal goals.
Inclusion Our focus is to have a 30 per cent women workforce by 2021. We, at Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa, have two female HODs and aim at recruiting female associates going forward.
Experimentation Team is empowered and encouraged to take risks, bold decisions and experiment, unlearn and relearn.
For business and leisure travellers
Centric is a different game with our brand promise – The experiences we create. We ensure our guests never miss out on a moment of adventure. Hyatt Centric has a specific DNA that revolves around a moment of adventure and lives IN-THE-NOW which is exclusive and unique. Our teams provide local expertise to guests who are savvy explorers.
Key experiences @ the property
The property offers a modern yet playful vibe in sync to the city’s vibe, designed tastefully combined with exclusively curated experiences that enables a traveller to explore unmarked trails and create socially sharable moments. We stand out in delivering positive experiences consistently. This is backed by a team that excels at service standards which, in turn, creates a launchpad for a traveller to #GetLostInGoa and explore the unexplored.
We recommend a walking/ jogging route or an e-bike tour till Fort Aguada. This is followed by an exclusively packed breakfast at Candolim beach. During the day, we suggest a guided tour of the 18th century Latin square, Fontainhas. Not-to-miss is a visit to one of the oldest bakeries of Goa and the city’s first licenced bar. If interested in history and architecture, a visit to the Goa museum is a must else one can indulge in a scuba dive experience as we have tied up with a company that trains our guests and provides state-of-the-art diving gear. The guests can call it a day and enjoy sundowner cocktails at our open-air terrace bar, Sky Pod, followed by a scrumptious dinner. The guests have the option of visiting night markets for shopping or various clubs and casinos at a short distance from the hotel.
Strategy to retain loyal guests
My strategy is to make them a part of the Centric family without being intrusive or crossing the line of personal space. We have many guests who have moved from high-end villas to our hotel as long-stayer guests, purely owing to the connection they have with our team. They are willing to let go off the fancy beach front accommodations over a friendly breakfast with our colleagues who genuinely care about them.
Enhancing guests’ dining experiences
The food in Goa has a strong incline towards two culinary influenced flavours – Saraswat and Portuguese, thus one must plan on retreating to the hotel for a lunch influenced by local and vibrant flavours at our signature restaurant, GROK. We offer local food with a very modern and chic touch with flavours that will sweep you away! Innovation is the principle of the food we offer. The culinary team goes above and beyond to create palatable experiences that woo a guest beyond imagination. Next time you stop by at Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa, do not forget to ask for the coconut and live seed pudding!
Most rewarding about working in the hospitality industry
The hospitality industry allows you to develop yourself professionally and personally. Not only do you improve on professional skills you already possess, you learn life skills owing to the interaction with colleagues, guests and situations with time and commitment. A career in hospitality puts you on the frontline to take care of people. My experience tells me it takes empathy and commitment to put another person’s needs and desires ahead of your own while keeping a smile on your face. Most importantly, it’s fun. Every day is different in itself with a new set of challenges and a new set of achievements!
Least rewarding about working in the hospitality industry
Every career boils down to the bottom line and how much money you make. One needs to be patient for this profession to pay you back, especially in the initial stages of your career where one’s focus should be more on the learning and development front, monetary achievements always follow and grow with time. Initial days in a hospitality career may be tough with the pay scale charts compared to all other numerous industries.
Advice to budding hoteliers
In the current scenario, many in-the-making hoteliers have a different outlook towards a career in hospitality surviving through a pandemic. I would like all of the young talents out there to know that there is nothing more motivating and rewarding than a career in hospitality. Times might be tough right now, but when all of the gloom gets over, which it will, the world of hospitality will bounce back like never before. So, stay focussed, passionate and determined. There is nothing you cannot achieve with hard work and a plan! I strongly believe on focussing on genuine relationships over transactional dealings for a long-term success mantra. Always pays off!
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