HAVE STRONG MEMORIES ABOUT TAJ BANJARA"
first five star hotel of the city, Taj Banjara
has carved a niche for itself in the hospitality industry
with its quality food and warm service. With its picturesque
surroundings and delightful ambience, Taj Banjara is one
of the favourite hotels for the tourists who frequent
the most happening city of India. Satish Nambiar,
General Manager, Taj Banjara speaks to Hyderabad-best.com
in an exclusive interview.
Mr Satish Nambiar, who was born in Hyderabad is just thirty
three years old and is the youngest General Manager of
Taj Banjara. The dynamic Nambiar is fond of an easy going
lifestyle of Hyderabad and loves to enjoy his free time
by swimming, browsing the net and watching his favourite
television channel HBO.
What have been some of Taj Banjara's
main strengths that have contributed to its growth over
Taj Banjara has been the first five star hotel in the
city. It has grown along with the city's growth. Other
hotels have come up much later when the people have realised
the potential of the hotel industry in Hyderabad. In that
way, Taj Banjara is a pioneering hotel in Hyderabad. People
who have grown in the city have literally seen the hotel
from their childhood. And they have strong memories about
this hotel. For a business traveller who comes to Hyderabad,
Taj Banjara has always been a hotel with value for money.
Even though it is categorised as a five star hotel, but
the kind of value perception, which the customer gets
in this hotel, it is difficult for him to perceive in
bigger hotels. Banjara has always been known for its warm
hospitality and great courteous service. The staff of
this hotel establish a great rapport with the customers
and all the guests know the staff very well. I think this
is one of the strongest points of this hotel.
What are some of the special
features of Taj Banjara that distinguish it from the rest
of the hotels in the city?
have different categories of rooms to cater to different
segments of the market. One of the main features of our
hotel is the lake. This year we are planning to purify
the lake, which is in bad shape by cleansing it. For that
we are planning to invest close to a crore rupees. There
is no other hotel in the city with a lake attached to
it. People come to our hotel and request for the room
which is facing towards the lake. The other important
feature is that we are centrally located in the city.
We also have a beautiful driveway and I think it is one
of best long driveways and it is just like a private road,
which drives you into the hotel. One of the predominant
things about this hotel is its food and service. Everybody
knows that this restaurant serves best food. Our Kebab-e-Bahar
restaurant is a brand by itself in town. I think there
is some charm in Taj Banjara which attracts everyone.
What in your opinion are the
ingredients of a perfect ambience?
Today guests want a variety of things. They want variety
in their menus. They get bored with regular menus. We
have to change the menus faster. They need some lighter
atmosphere in the hotel, which means there should be some
kind of entertainment in the evening. Entertainment has
become an important feature of ambience today. People
like trendy things. We have a pub Under Deck, which
is quite famous in the twin cities today. People like
bright corners today and they prefer lively places. They
want places where there is lot of light. They don't want
stiff places. So your ambience has to be made lighter
and liven up the moods of the people by your staff and
also by the surroundings with the help of lighting.
Could you tell us about the scenario
of hotel industry in Hyderabad? Both past and present?
industry was going at a slow pace two years back. But
in the last two years, thanks to our dynamic Chief Minister
Chandrababu Naidu, the hotel industry has witnessed tremendous
growth. The kind of travelling which happens into the
city by Indians and foreigners, is phenomenal. I think
the growth will keep going up. Thanks to our Chief Minister
who has new focuses always. First it was software industry
and now tourism sector. Two years from now Hyderabad will
become a prominent tourist destination. Four years back
Hyderabad was not at all in the world map. Today everybody
knows about Hyderabad. Right now the travellers are mostly
business people but two years from now it could be tourists.
First the government has brought in business, which is
fundamental for growth by focusing on IT as the strong
point. Now they are concentrating on tourism sector. Because
of growth in industry, the spending capacity of the people
has increased. Tourism is the mainstay in business today.
Worldwide the focus is now shifting towards tourism. Today
the city has the right mix of tourism and business. It
is one of the unique cities where growth is happening
both ways. Growth has reached to a new height as far as
business is concerned. And I feel that Hyderabad could
see its best of times in two years from now.
What is Taj Banjara's strategy
in gaining the market share in Hyderabad?
We are only focusing on our strengths to ensure that we
gain more loyalty from our business travellers. Give more
value for the money which they pay. Look at the basic
IT requirements and have them placed in the rooms. Ensure
the good service and have proactive front-line staff who
can deal with the customers in such a way that the loyalty
builds up. The idea is that if the customer comes to us,
we want to ensure that he stays with us forever.
Can you just tell us about your
have an open-air barbecue restaurant called Kebab-e-Bahar,
Dakhni, a South Indian restaurant and a multi-cuisine
restaurant called Coffee Shop, which serves excellent
continental food. It has breakfast, lunch buffet and dinner
buffet for the weekend. And a trendy fun pub called Under
Deck, which is quite different from other pubs. People
come here to have only fun.
Who are some of your high profile
From the glamour world, almost all the film personalities
stay with us. Apart from them we also have ambassadors,
high commissioners, and leading industrialists who stay
in our hotel.
How much importance does the
hotel give to the customer service?
Our whole business revolves around the customer. Our bread
and butter is the customer. All of us work for the customer.
I would say out of my 100 per cent time 70 per cent of
the time is spent with the customers. Only 30 per cent
goes for other activities. All the activities that are
done in the hotel have some relation to the customer.
I follow a simple philosophy of keeping my staff happy
so that they keep the customers happy. When you keep the
customers happy, the business comes in and when the business
comes in, the shareholders are happy.
In what way Taj Banjara is different
from other Taj Group hotels of the city?
are three Taj hotels in Hyderabad and we have categorized
our hotels. Top of the line is Taj Krishna, which
is a luxury hotel; Taj Residency is a residency
hotel, which is a top of the line business hotel. And
Taj Banjara is a budget hotel today. Previously Taj had
only one hotel in Hyderabad so we portrayed it as a number
one hotel for Taj in the city. Now we have three hotels
so we have changed our strategy. We have clear business
and pricing strategies for each hotel. This is to ensure
that we don't encroach into our other hotels. There is
a synergy between three of them so all activities are
planned according to the three hotels. If there is a festival
in one hotel we ensure that there is no festival in other
two hotels. We draw a calendar of events for three hotels
together. It is a remarkable strategy as far as Taj is
concerned to have three hotels together. This is the only
city where Taj group has got three hotels in one-kilometer
radius. Previously the market was not going up because
there was infighting between the three. But today there
is no fighting because we are together. And at present
we garner our strengths to fight everybody else.
Can you briefly tell us about
the future plans of Taj Banjara?
Our future plan is to be the market leaders in the budget
segment. We want to be a number one hotel as far as budget
segment is concerned.
Address: Taj Banjara, Road # 1, Banjara
Hills, Hyderabad-500 034. Phone: 666 9999 Fax: