‘Embracing the city’s vibrant cultural heritage’

We are committed to deliver dynamic, spirited and unique experiences, says Jayanta Das, GM, Vivanta Guwahati and Area Director - North East, Darjeeling, Bhutan and Nepal, IHCL

Nestled along the bustling Guwahati-Shillong highway, in the vibrant heart of Assam’s capital, lies Vivanta Guwahati - an urban oasis tailored for discerning global travellers, adventurers and aficionados of refined living. At the helm of affairs of this beautiful property, which draws inspiration from the architectural marvels of Assam, elements such as the domed cupola of the Kamakhya Temple, the intricate gamocha handloom interwoven with modern bamboo, and the traditional Xingkhap patterns embellishing the rooms reflecting the region’s rich heritage, is General Manager Jayanta Das.

“The hotel spans five acres of meticulously landscaped gardens and is adorned with betel nut groves and tranquil water features. The grand entrance to our main building, housing 150 contemporary rooms and suites, pays homage to the majestic Rang Ghar, the iconic amphitheatre of the formidable Ahom dynasty,” shares a proud Das who is also the Area Director - North East, Darjeeling, Bhutan and Nepal at IHCL. The other properties under his purview include Vivanta Guwahati, Taj Chia Kutir Resort & Spa Kurseong, Taj Guras Kutir Resort & Spa Gangtok, Vivanta Sikkim, Pakyong, Vivanta Meghalaya Shillong, Vivanta Arunachal Pradesh Tawang, Vivanta Kathmandu, Ginger at Agartala, Guwahati and Gangtok and three amã Stays & Trails around Darjeeling.  

JOURNEY IN HOSPITALITY WORLD

Reminiscing his journey in the hospitality industry, Das says, “It began with a degree in hospitality management and then an entry-level position in the F&B service at Taj Bengal Kolkata. During my formative years, I had the opportunity to work with iconic properties like the Taj Bengal Kolkata, Rambagh Palace Jaipur and Taj Malabar Cochin at different work levels of F&B service. These experiences and exposures provided a strong understanding of the operational aspects of the hospitality sector.” Over time, Das progressed to mid-level management roles within individual hotels and held positions like Restaurant Manager and Department Head that he says allowed him to hone his leadership skills, manage teams and contribute directly to the daily operations. “During this phase, I became adept at understanding guest expectations, ensuring quality service delivery, and handling day-to-day challenges,” he adds. 

The transition to more significant responsibilities came as he stepped into roles like Executive Assistant Manager at Taj Malabar, Resident Manager for the pre-opening Vivanta Surya at Coimbatore and thereafter as General Manager of Taj Kumarakom and Vivanta Pune. The pinnacle of his career arrived with his appointment as an Area Director. “This role encompasses strategic leadership on a larger scale. My responsibilities extended to managing the performance of several hotels within a designated geographic area. This involved setting performance targets, devising and implementing business strategies, and maintaining a delicate balance between corporate directives and the unique characteristics of each property,” Das says, adding he plays a pivotal role in developing and executing business strategies for the region including marketing initiatives to boost brand visibility, implementing revenue management practices to enhance profitability, and ensuring that each property met and expected brand standards, ensuring customer satisfaction and overall wellbeing of colleagues.

As an Area Director of the region, the most fulfilling aspect of his role, feels Das, lies in the ability to make a meaningful impact on all the stakeholders associated with the individual properties under his purview aligning to the overall success of the organisational purpose and goals. “In essence, the most fulfilling aspect of being the Area Director of a leading hospitality organisation is the opportunity to shape the future of the properties under my leadership, impact the experiences of guests and witness the growth of colleagues for the overall success and reputation of the firm. It’s a multifaceted role that combines strategic thinking, leadership and a genuine passion for hospitality,” he opines. 

Das enlists a few key elements that contribute to the fulfilment he derives from his position. These include strategic leadership, team development, guest satisfaction, financial performance, innovation and adaptability, building strong relationships and community impact.

VIVANTA’s UNIQUE OFFERINGS

On the unique characteristics and offerings that make Vivanta Guwahati stand out among other hotels in the region, the GM says, “Vivanta as a brand represents a collection of sophisticated upscale hotels. Adhering to the brand promise, Vivanta Guwahati is committed to deliver experiences that are dynamic, spirited and unique with a dash of uniqueness and unexpected twist. The hotel offers a more relaxed form of luxury which is more contemporary and vibrant. There is a distinctive Vivanta music, the signature Vivanta fragrance, food, drinks and cocktails contributing to the unique experiences.”

Vivanta Guwahati evidently embraces the city’s vibrant cultural heritage through several avenues, feels Das. “The traditional welcome experience sets the tone, providing guests with an authentic introduction to the local customs. The inclusion of local cuisine in both al a carte and buffet menus allow guests to savour the flavours unique to Guwahati. The ethnic breakfast prepared by a local woman at the live station not only adds a personal touch but also showcases the richness of local culinary traditions. Additionally, promoting the local dance form for guests and dignitaries visiting the hotel contributes to a holistic cultural immersion, making their stay a memorable and culturally enriching experience,” he shares.

The hotel also contributes to the local community and supports overall regional development through various initiatives. “We create livelihood through hospitality skill centre in Sonapur, a joint collaboration with Indian Hotels Company (Taj), Tata Strive, Assam Tourism Development Corporation and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt of India. As for local employment, we prioritise hiring local residents, provide job opportunities and invest in employee training and development programmes,” informs Das. Then, the hotel supports local businesses and farmers by sourcing goods and services locally and establishes partnerships with local organisations, schools and charities to contribute to community development through volunteer programmes. “By integrating these initiatives, Vivanta Guwahati is playing a vital role in the sustainable development of the region, creating a positive impact on both the local community and the broader destination,” he says.

TRAVELLERS’ HAVEN

All the hotels under the charge of Das have adapted to the evolving needs and preferences of discerning travellers in several ways. “These include embracing technology for seamless check-ins and check-outs, in-room automation to enhance convenience and efficiency; offering personalised services based on guest preferences such as room customisation, tailored amenities, personalised F&B offerings and concierge services,” he shares. Then the hotels offer wellness amenities like fitness facilities, spa services, and promoting sustainable practices to cater to health-conscious and environmentally-aware travellers. It also elevates dining options with diverse and high-quality menus, accommodating dietary preferences and providing unique culinary experiences. 

“We have also introduced flexible booking policies, loyalty programmes and exclusive perks to attract and retain guests; designed communal spaces that encourage social interaction and networking; created dedicated spaces for remote work with reliable wi-fi, ergonomic furniture and business services and actively seek feedback from guests, using reviews and surveys to identify areas for improvement and adapting services accordingly,” informs Das.

SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES AND ECO-FRIENDLY PRACTICES 

As per the part of IHCL Paathya initiatives, Vivanta Guwahati prioritises and reduces its environmental impact through various sustainable practices including energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction and environmental education. “Vivanta Guwahati has received EarthCheck Silver Certification to demonstrate commitment towards sustainable practices,” says Das proudly.

FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE

The qualities essential for a leader to ensure the success and reputation of a hotel or the region, feels the seasoned hotelier, include prioritising guest satisfaction through personalised service, maintaining high standards in cleanliness, comfort, and aesthetics to ensure a positive guest experience, investing in staff training, creating a motivated team that contributes to a welcoming atmosphere, upholding integrity, transparency, and ethical business practices to build trust with guests and the community and staying current with industry trends, adopt new technologies, and adapt to changing guest expectations. 

“Then, one needs to be a responsible corporate citizen by actively participating in and contributing to the local community; developing a strong brand identity and utilise effective marketing strategies to attract and retain guests; implementing robust quality control measures to ensure consistency in service and amenities; adopting sustainable practices to minimise environmental impact, aligning with growing eco-conscious consumer preferences and having a comprehensive crisis management plan in place to address unforeseen challenges and emergencies effectively. 

As Area Director of North-East for IHCL, Das says his future plans are to develop and expand the services in unexplored destinations across the region, embrace sustainable practices, adopt technology for enhancing guest experiences, stay competitive and retain market leadership in the region with a strong commitment of giving back to the community. 


This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER INVESTMENT & DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL'



Advertisement

Around The World

Advertisement