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What India Seeks From Chinese Hoteliers?

The conclave theme is - 'Learning from China as we face the Future

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At Day 2 of the BW Hotelier Indian Hospitality Awards & Summit 2017, the first panel discussion opened with eminent panelists like Jasmita Banga, Business Development Manager, STR Global; Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group; Rahul Pandit, CEO, Ginger Hotels; Michel Koopman, General Manager, The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel and the session was moderated by Bikramjit Ray, Executive Editor, BW Hotelier at The Leela Ambience Gurugram on 24th March 2017.

The conclave theme was - 'Learning from China as we face the Future.' Bikramjit started off by asking the panelists to share their experiences in the Chinese hospitality industry and their take backs for the Indian hoteliers.

Rahul Pandit took his turn to answer with due numbers and stats, he said, "India stands at a '$2.1 trillion economy whereas China is a $10.9 trillion economy; the populations are relatively close with a 1.2 billion in India and a 1.4 billion in China; it is clear that the opportunities are almost equal but the later wins with a number of its resources, the government's support and settled demographics. By settled demographics I mean in China the hotels are consumed by medium and budget conscious individuals but in India, the top line and high society people (1% of the whole economy) are our customers."

Rana also spoke about how there is a whole lot of opportunity in the relatively unstructured hotelier market, the big question is: "Where are people staying, since they are traveling much more now?" He also rightly pointed out, "We have all the American brands with Chinese operators but I hope there are learnings too. I see India's hotelier's space growing but we need to speed up as a single hotel takes 3-5 years to establish and in China, it takes around 12-18 months to build."

Michel, on the other hand, put forth a different point of view, he said, "We can't be comparing these two countries as they have completely different pros and cons, demographics, languages, tastes and spending propensities and values. I would like to focus that there are far too many differentiators which cannot be ignored such as policy transparency and gender equality in the workforce which are the biggest pain points for business in India.

Well on the bright side of India, I see great drive or zeal in the service industry and a plus point of getting things done without any language barrier because everyone seems to know English. If at all we can learn something from the Chinese it is discipline and work ethics."

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