Rajat is Head-Operations & Business Development at OMA and previously he was with Dusit Hotels & Resorts.
www.hospemag.com caught up with him for an exclusive interview Editor : Tell us about your journey. how did it all start?
Rajat : I studied Hospitality Management, both at a graduate &
specialization levels. At that time, it made good sense for me to
initiate my career in hotel operations. I have enjoyed every moment working in operations for close to 8 years.
What has continued to strike me is the lack of follow thru that occurs,
even in the largest hotel brands, between customer needs & facility planning.
More often than not we in operations deal with the customer problems
more to placate them rather than to pass on the lessons to higher
management for future decisions
In view I had decided to switch towards project development & brand
guideline implementation. I do not regret this decision one bit. I am
now starting to specialize in pre opening projects.
Editor : What do you think it takes to succeed in this industry?
Rajat : Hospitality is all about understanding and anticipating customer
needs. This requires patience, perseverance, organizing and delegating
tasks. You have to be open to learn new things. Taking advantage of
this to constantly strive to be better will help you to attain greater
achievements as well and help you to truly develop into a successful
Editor : What are the attributes you look for while selecting or hiring?
Rajat : Technical Know How for the job, positive attitude, ability to
learn, hands on and should definitely be open to accept and bring new ideas on table.
Editor: Tell us a little about your average day.
Rajat : The thing I enjoy most working in this business is your days are
never the same. My first half is generally packed with meetings and
emails. Second half is more of site visit. Review project status and
plan for the days coming ahead.
Editor: How do keep abreast of all that is happening in hospitality?
Rajat : I have subscriptions to various hospitality publishing available
freely online. Apart from this, social networking sites such as
LinkedIn, Facebook keep me updated on all happenings around the
Editor : Finally, tell us about this fascinating new concept, OMA cafe!
Rajat: Oma Cafe is all about new dimensions in hospitality. The first
cafe is soon to be open at DLF Emporio, New Delhi. It is a luxury
lifestyle cafe and is being developed by Hero Motors
(www.heromotors.com). We have already successfully established chain of
luxury lifestyle stores under the brand name
of Oma (www.omaliving.com). The project is due to open in Early June
2011. More of these cafe's will follow thereafter across major
metropolitan cities of India.
We have with us on board the Chef Kuntal Kumar. Chef Kuntal has just
returned from an overseas assignment. He has worked with various
international hospitality brands that include Ananda at Himalayas,
Shillim Hilton & Gibbs Farm, Tanzania. We are confident that he will add tremendous value to the F&B offering of the cafe.