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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW | Gaurav Shiva, Award Winning General Manager, Grand Mercure Bangalore

Congratulations on winning the India Hospitality Awards' Best Hotel in Extended Stay. How does it feel? 

It feels great to be a winner especially when the hotel has delivered a consistent performance since its inception.

What would you ascribe this success to?

I dedicate this to all the staff who have worked very hard to meet and exceed the expectations of our discerning travellers.

Tell us about your journey. How did it all start? 

I started my career two decades ago after graduating from IIHM Aurangabad and have worked in many departments like culinary, F & B service, Sales and Marketing and operations to hone my skills.
I was also a part of IHMP Asia in 2013- a tailor made program by AccorHotels for high performing managers to transition into successful General Managers.

What are the attributes you look for while selecting or hiring? 

I look for attitude, fire in the belly and willingness to learn and walk that extra mile for a superlative guest experience.

Tell us a little about your average day 

My day starts at 8 AM with walking the hotel and public areas and meeting the guests in the lobby and all day diner. Thereafter a quick revenue and sales meeting followed by operations meeting. I then check and respond to my mails, guest feedback and every single review on and then again walk the hotel in the evening and check few arrival rooms to ensure our standards are met. Evening is also a time to meet few guests and oversee any event in F & B and a quick look into restaurants. I usually end my day by 9 PM.

 How do keep abreast of all that is happening in hospitality? 

In the afternoon I spend time in updating myself by reading online magazines and articles and share the important information with my team.

Two reasons why this industry is awesome! 

There is never a dull moment and there are always new revenue streams to augment your business.

Two things you would like to change about the industry.

I would like to see an improvement in quality of manpower and I am of the opinion that we the hoteliers need to visit hotel management colleges and interact with the students and impart knowledge that we have gained in the hospitality industry over the years -we really owe this to our industry. Secondly, making workplaces more fun places to work with an aim to achieve work-life balance.