IHCL’s CEO Puneet Chhatwal predicts global hospitality trends & his vision for ’19
The hotel industry and the hospitality sector in general, is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, confirms Puneet Chhatwal, CEO, The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL).
Thanks to the large number of multi-billion-dollar companies that are opening its headquarters in locations across the globe, the number of business travellers are expected to continue rising, he feels.
Simultaneously, individual travel is slated to be on the rise. The travel and tourism market is flooded with millions of new customers from all parts of the world, many of whom have access to disposable income and are willing to spend. As millennials start to have disposable income, the demand for luxurious travel will further grow, he predicts.
Sharing his focus, Chhatwal stated that with demand outpacing supply in the hotel industry, this year they will look at increasing their market share and consolidate Average Daily Rate (ADR) in the key markets. “We will have a continued focus in executing the company’s five-year business strategy — Aspiration 2022, where we are looking at achieving 8% point EBITDA margin improvement. We are strongly committed to reducing our debt and growing the company whilst creating value for all our stakeholders.”
He further added that they will invest in their staff as it is crucial for their growth, which in turn translates into the company’s growth. “We already send high-performing general managers of our hotels on learning missions to Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel in the United Kingdom. We also have collaborations with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore; we will look at expanding our collaborations with institutes like Cornell University in New York or the University of Lausanne in Switzerland to create a next level school of general managers certification,” he added.
Caring for the local community with corporate social responsibility programmes like hospitality, skill building and entrepreneurship, preservation of traditional arts and crafts, preservation and promotion of heritage monuments and The Responsible Neighbour Programme will remain at the heart of everything we do, he shared.
Chhatwal’s New Year resolution is to invest more time daily in the four R’s — relationships, running, resting and reading.