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ITC Hotels has intrinsic faith in the potential of tourism. Tourism plays a vital role in the economy of the nation, as a contributor to GDP, as an employment generator and as a foreign exchange earner
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For the fourth time in a row, ITC Hotels has emerged as the winner in the BW Most Respected Company survey in the hospitality sector. “We are extremely honoured to be getting this accolade consistently. To a great extent, it stems from the ITC core value of developing a customer-focus, high-performance organisation, which creates value for its stakeholders,” says Dipak Haksar, Chief Executive Officer, ITC Hotels.
The hospitality chain that is divided into four distinct brands — ITC Hotels catering to the luxury segment, upper-upscale five star under the WelcomHotel brand, Fortune Hotels catering to the upscale and mid-market segment and leisure and heritage under WelcomHeritage — has always celebrated the history of the region, bringing alive the traditions and culture of the location they were in. “ITC brought in heritage cuisines at a time when there was little emphasis by other hospitality companies on India and ‘Indianness’,” adds Haksar.
Pre-empting customer needs, ITC Hotels have continuously innovated and developed landmark hospitality initiatives such as introducing the first ever floor “Eva” for single lady travellers. Other pioneering initiatives include signature branded cuisine, presidential floors, loyalty programmes, a Welcomlab that ensures high levels of hygiene and the Leed Platinum rating that now makes ITC Hotels the greenest luxury hotel chain.
Says Haksar, “We draw inspiration from ITC’s triple bottom line philosophy. Economic performance, Environmental performance and Social performance.”
Sustainability is embedded in the company’s business practices. “We look at eco-embedded products, eco-easy service design and most importantly eco-sensitising associates because without people change is not possible. People play a very important role in building the experiences that differentiates us,” says Haksar.
“Each one of us feels that we are custodians. There is distributed leadership. There is empowerment. That makes you feel that much more connected to both the strategy as well as the service excellence that we embody within the organisation,” he adds.
This ethos, culture and the philosophy of ITC, permeates every cell of the hotel division. All divisions of ITC have deep synergy and interplay of manpower and resources. “This allows us to leverage some of the institutional strengths,” says Haksar.
Mentoring is a key component of the hospitality company’s ethos. It has one of the largest training centres in the country, training almost 150 managers at the ITC Hotels Management Institute annually, which enables it to develop a talent pool for the future.
ITC Hotels has intrinsic faith in the potential of tourism. Tourism plays a vital role in the economy of the nation, as a contributor to GDP, as an employment generator and as a foreign exchange earner.
The company is invested and committed through their own hotels, which are coming up in the luxury space — the ITC Kohinoor in Hyderabad and the ITC Royal Bengal in Kolkata as well as the ITC Narmada in Ahmedabad. In the upper-upscale Welcomhotel brand, the company is actively pursuing an asset right strategy. The company is also opening up hotels in Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar and Amritsar in this segment, which they believe adds to their overall strength in the region.
“By the time ITC Kohinoor opens up in Hyderabad at the end of the year, we will be the largest single luxury player in the country,” concludes Haksar.