Tag Archives: Founder

Social media is the biggest source for international wedding business

According to a Travel Wedding Show survey on how to generate business for weddings, 43 per cent of the business gets generated through social media; so the more one is on social media, he will get enquiries for international weddings, 25 per cent is by search engines. 13 per cent by referrals and rest is by other sources. In India, 50 per cent of the business gets generated through referrals; 20 per cent from social media; 15 per cent through search engine and 15 per cent from other sources. “Destination wedding for the next five years will be the biggest thing. Weddings are big business, and everyone wants a piece of the pie. If as wedding planners we have to survive, we need to go out, to different cities and destinations and procure more business. Indian and international destination weddings will remain, the next business thing,” says Rajeev Jain, Founder and Director, Rashi Entertainment.

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Hotelivate hosts 6th Hotel Operations Summit India at Taj Palace, New Delhi

Hotelivate has kicked off its 6th Hotel Operations Summit India (HOSI) at Taj Palace, New Delhi with stimulating discussions on topics pertaining to the hospitality industry. HOSI, the only dedicated forum for hotel professionals in the region, aims to empower today’s hospitality leaders through enabling conversations on management and operations-related issues, the rapidly evolving marketplace, latest industry trends, benchmarking and best practices. With the focus on increasing the diaspora of the speaker by bringing in leaders from businesses that are intricately tied up with the hospitality industry, the programme encompassed a series of keynote addresses by distinguished speakers and thought-provoking group discussions. Notable speakers included industry leaders such as Anshuman Bapna, Chief Product Officer, Goibibo; Dilip Puri, Founder and CEO, Indian School of Hospitality; Jiggs Kalra, Mentor and Culinary Director, Massive Restaurants; Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer – South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group; Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels; Navjit Ahluwalia, Senior Vice President and Country Head – India, Hilton; Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Rooms; Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and CEO, Indian Hotels Company, to name a few.

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40-room Cygnett Inn Duvvada opens doors in Vizag

Cygnett Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Cygnett Inn Duvvada. The budget hotel features 40 guest rooms and suites with modern interiors, stylish furnishings and spacious event and banquet space. The hotel also adds ease to those travelling to the city as it is conveniently located close to the airport, railway station, and famous tourist attractions. As one steps outside, there is a fitness centre, a business centre and one of three banquet halls to choose from which are segregated among the lobby and the first floors. Pavilion is a one-stop destination to relish in the hotel’s delicacies. Sarbendra Sarkar, Founder and Managing Director, Cygnett Hotels and Resorts, said, “While it cannot be ignored that finances, proper pricing and timed positioning of one’s brand are important aspects for any business to cater to, it is essential that we, at Cygnett always prioritises on giving our guests an experience which hopefully they will remember for life!”

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Private Safaris Southern Africa appoints representation agency in India

Private Safaris Southern Africa, a leading destination management company based in South Africa and Namibia, has recently appointed The Strategy Store as its representative in India. Talking about the appointment, Monika Iuel, CEO, Private Safaris Southern Africa says, “The Private Safaris brand has always enjoyed a healthy support from the Indian market. By partnering with The Strategy Store, and through their excellent relationships and reputation, we will no doubt improve our footprint even further. We look forward to the presence our new partnership with The Strategy Store will bring us.” Commenting on the development, Sherry Varma, Founder, The Strategy Store said, “We have a very emotional connection to South Africa, and we are extremely happy to be assigned the task of handling marketing and sales for Private Safaris Southern Africa in India. Private Safaris’ competitive packages and quality of services will help us to develop and multiply their market share in India. We are very thankful to Private Safaris for this opportunity and are very excited to be part of the team.” Private Safaris arranges all aspects of destination management services in Southern Africa for FITs, groups, business and leisure.

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OYO, Motherland partner to co-develop a series of new hotel formats

OYO has formed a strategic partnership with Motherland Joint Ventures, the group that has helped build India’s global brands, including Incredible India, Royal Enfield, Make in India and IndiGo. This partnership will enable OYO and Motherland to co-develop a series of exciting new hotel formats and enhance various aspects of customer experience – including key touch points such as Interiors and ergonomics – all of which will offer guests an unprecedented combination of style, efficiency and affordability. This category transformation process began in 2017 with the launch of OYO Townhouse, the ‘friendly neighbourhood  hotel’ that is receiving rave reviews as it rapidly expands across the country. This alliance will facilitate and strengthen OYO’s mission of creating beautiful living spaces via its innovative approach to brand strategy, product definition and customer experience design. As part of this strategic partnership, OYO and Motherland will be launching a massive new retail collaboration that will feature a mix of original products specially designed for new age brands such as OYO Townhouse. Initially available exclusively at OYO Townhouses, Motherland products will soon be available at other OYO spaces, including online channels. Commenting on the partnership, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO said, “In our pursuit of creating beautiful living spaces, the partnership with Motherland will enable us to co-develop new, exciting hotel formats and enhance guest experiences – including Interiors and ergonomics – offering guests an unprecedented mix of style, efficiency and affordability. We are confident the Motherland alliance will augment OYO’s overall value propositions through their skills in brand strategy, marketing and designing.”  

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SaffronStays empowers rural India through training centre

Micro-hospitality brand SaffronStays has launched its first-ever training centre to facilitate 360-degree training locals who can be employed as cooks and caretakers in vacation homes across the country. The brand will teach, train and empower 1500 individuals in skills ranging from hygiene to health-care, and cooking to concierge. Tejas Parulekar, Founder, SaffronStays, says, “We are an inclusive brand. Our caretakers are our ‘Moment of Truth’ since they are first recall points of brand experience, and hence training them was a priority. The training centre in Panvel is our first giant step towards skills development, and would over time, become a part of our CSR activity. We would eventually look at top hospitality brands to collaborate and co-create the modules to train the staff”. The first successful test run involved caretakers from SaffronStays 9 Palms, Alibaug, SaffronStays Sanskriti, Kashi, and SaffronStays Little Paradise, Murud. The caretakers were imparted in-depth knowledge of local dishes that covered over 25 recipes for breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner. Various types of service-enhancing modules were taught during the three-day session. This included styling and setting up of community tables, table decoration and flower arrangement using locally-grown flaura. The aim is to cater to the larger goal of running 500 homes and providing a parallel support of skilled caretakers.

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Flipkart partners with MakeMyTrip

Indian e-tail major Flipkart announced its tie-up with MakeMyTrip for travel bookings. “Through the partnership, users can now make travel bookings through MakeMyTrip’s services using Flipkart’s mobile application,” an official from MakeMyTrip said. The partnership will be rolled out with domestic flight bookings in the next few weeks, followed by hotels, bus and holiday bookings. The companies, however, did not specify the exact time frame for the rollout. “The partnership will help us reach out to an even wider consumer base through MakeMyTrip’s multiple travel booking sites — MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus — and open up the online travel market significantly,” said Deep Kalra, Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, MakeMyTrip. The tie-up also helps in furthering Flipkart’s goal of being a “one-stop destination” for all digital transactions, added Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart. The companies did not disclose the financial details of the partnership. Founded in 2007, Bengaluru-based e-commerce platform Flipkart claims to have a customer base of over 100 million in the country.

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Cygnett Hotels & Resorts launches Cygnett Lite Ramachandra in Vizag

Cygnett Hotels & Resorts has recently launched Cygnett Lite Ramachandra at Visakhapatnam, adding 42 keys to its repertoire. The hotel is strategically located at a distance of just 30 minutes’ drive from Visakhapatnam International Airport. The hotel emphasises on approachable design, has spacious and modern rooms and offers an all-day dining service. With its latest addition, the chain will now have a total of 15 operating hotels under its wings. Moreover, nine new properties are scheduled to open by December 2018, including Vishakhapatnam. Another seven to eight hotels will be lined up for opening by this financial year. “Our vision is to reinvent the definition of leisure and business travel, transforming the hotel into a preferred choice for guests. We are committed to creating memorable guest experiences by combining the Cygnetture brand experience and the city’s local attractions. Cygnett hotels are further expanding its brand portfolio, across the growing Tier-I and II cities in India and we foresee a great potential in becoming the favourite hospitality brand for travellers in the city,” said Sarbendra Sarkar, Founder & Managing Director, Cygnett Hotels & Resorts. “Reflecting the brand’s promise to provide what matters most to today’s independent travellers, the hotel offers the brand’s defining touches, including the Cygnett Comfort Bed, complimentary bottled water, free Wi-Fi and Cygnetture breakfast,” said Alok Verma, CEO, Cygnett Hotels & Resorts.

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OYO acquires Chennai-based Novascotia Boutique Homes

Having inked its first business acquisition, OYO has entered into an agreement with Chennai-based service apartment company, Novascotia Boutique Homes. The acquisition will add to the company’s existing portfolio and reiterate its focus on corporate service. Commenting on the development, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO said, “The acquisition forms an integral part of our inorganic growth plan, in line with our ambition to create quality living spaces and add value to every form of real estate. OYO is poised to deliver 180,000 keys by the end of 2018 and with Novascotia’s strength, we will be adding service apartments to our existing portfolio.” With this acquisition, OYO will bring its distribution, operational, transformational and technological capabilities on board for offering corporate travellers accommodation options. The acquisition will boost OYO’s portfolio by 350 rooms across locations where Novascotia has its footprints. Novascotia has built a portfolio in locations including Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kochi and Trivandrum. OYO plans to expand these offerings to 12 cities by the end of 2018. These serviced apartments are located in the heart of business hubs equipped with spacious rooms, upscale interiors, meals, gym and dining area to cater all the requirements of business travellers.  

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Travel Duet moves HO, opens office in Mumbai

In an effort to expand its reach further in the market, Kolkata-based ‘A Travel Duet’ has moved its head office to Mumbai. Pritish Shah, Founder, A Travel Duet, who has also moved to Mumbai, says, “We had a branch office in Mumbai while being headquartered in Kolkata. But we soon realised that if we want to expand, Mumbai is the place to be, specially with the kind of products we offer. Mumbai is also a trendsetter in many ways. We also have a huge emphasis on having Preferred Partners such as Relaix & Chateau, Four Seasons, and Luxury Lodges of New Zealand and we are keen to expand that portfolio from about 10 brands right now to 100 this year. That is also one of the reasons why we wanted to move to Mumbai.” The Mumbai office will have a staff strength of about 15-20 people and will be located in Khar West. The company offers high-end, exclusive leisure holidays to couples. Speaking more about expansion plans for this year, Shah adds, “We want to make the company the best luxury travel brand for couples in India. At a later stage, we will also open an office in Delhi which will purely have a sales and operations team.”    

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