Editor: Tell us about your journey. How did it all start?
I started my career as a Chef in La Paz Gardens after graduating from IHM, Goa in 1991. Eventually I joined as the Food & Beverage Manager at Majorda Beach Resort.
Post the birth of my son, I decided to take up a sales profile to balance both professional and personal spheres. I joined Cidade de Goa in 2004 as the head of Sales and Revenues. It was a very satisfying role in terms of learning and professional growth.
In 2008, I was made the General Manager of the resort, which is my current role. I am responsible for the operations, revenues, contributions and marketing of the resort.
Editor: What do you think it takes to succeed in this industry?
There are no "shortcuts" to success. Hard work, honesty, integrity and the passion to remain on a learning curve at all times is the key to success. Changing with the current times and being updated is an important factor.
Editor: What makes running a hotel in Goa unique / different from any other experience?
As we all know, "Goa" as a destination is not only a hot spot in the domestic market but it is popular on the international front too. The market trend and growth trends in Goa with respect to occupancies, ADRs and RevPARs is ever growing steadily year after year.
This is not the case in any other region in India. It is tremendously motivating to work in a destination like Goa, a 365 days tourism destination for all segments, viz: FITs, Groups, Corporate, weddings, etc. This gives hoteliers an edge to show case their potential in terms of bringing healthy contributions, training the associates, adapting to the dynamic forces of the market and of course not to forget the charm of living and making a home in Goa for people like me. It is an absolute win win situation.
Editor: What are the attributes you look for while selecting or hiring?
Culture fit is very important. We ensure that our team members are handpicked and that they blend into our work culture and atmosphere smoothly. Cidade de Goa is a 30 year old proud resort and an institution in itself. The millennials and the not so millennials have to work in tandem to ensure efficiency and productivity are maintained and balanced.
Longevity, aptitude, attitude and competencies are certainly requisites to maintain highest levels of professionalism.
Editor: What according to you can trainees do while they are training at hotels to make it a win-win for them & the hotel/unit?
It is very important for hotels to turn their interns into their brand ambassadors for goodwill and future career prospects. A good reputation can go far and wide for the image of the hotel. Today's interns are tomorrow's associates/executives/managers. It is our responsibility to mentor them and channelize their training time in a respectable and productive manner. They are educated, smart and can perform most tasks under supervision.
At Cidade, we ensure that they are given adequate exposure and learning. On a regular basis we recognize their efforts, reward them as and when guests appreciate them on their attendance and any such criteria that is worth the acknowledgement.
Editor: Tell us a little about your average day
I start my day early at 5:30 am. Exercise is an important part of my regime. I stick to a disciplined schedule and indulge in running, swimming and fitness training. Family time is the essence of my being and I ensure quality time spent with my husband Nikheel and my teen-aged son Sahil. I love cooking meals for my family. It is very satisfying.
I start my work with the morning meeting at 9:15 am, thereafter it is a pretty much well charted out and a planned day with corporate meetings, HOD meetings, VIP guests meetings, etc. A hotelier's average day is never a dull day. One phone call can change the proceedings of the day. I totally love this industry and the excitement quotient it carries. It is never monotonous.
Editor: Two things you would like to change about the industry.
This is a tough question. But if I have to answer this one, then perhaps we have to enlighten and guide the youngsters on how the hotel industry is growing rapidly and has a very healthy employment rate.
Editor: Your message for girls who would like to enter the industry or to the ones who have just joined in.
There are equal opportunities for both men and women in this industry. This is a secure industry which teaches us life in the best possible manner.