Renu Basu, Global Vice President (Sales) spoke to T3 on the need of launching the mission,emerging business segments and sales strategy to tap these segments.
Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris recently organised its first Sales Mission in Delhi and Mumbai. The Taj group has 82 hotels in India and 16 internationally with the combination of resorts, palaces, hotels and safaris.
What is the objective of the sales Mission?
We have decided to have a sales mission from this year because our hotels are growing. The objective of the Mission is really to get all our customers and hotels under one roof. The hotels are represented by the General Managers and all the Directors of Sales and Marketing. This way all our valued partners like DMCs, travel agencies and event management agencies get a chance to meet the people on the property and educate themselves what the offerings are and also transact any business that they may have though we do a lot of central contracting. It is always nicer to meet, engage and build relationship for hotel managers under one roof.
Do you think that you should have started your Mission earlier?
We have not really delayed it. We have a different approach towards the business. This is just reinforcing our existing process. So, in our sales and marketing set up, we have a group of people who do manage very strong relationships with trade partners. They are going and visiting them in their offices. Moreover, we have our travel awards every alternate year to boost the relationship. We also participate in lot of other international trade fairs. The Sales Mission is only in Delhi and Mumbai because these are biggest source markets for the company for all segments of the business. Delhi is the biggest market for travel trade business. We also introduced some of our new properties like the recently opened Taj Amritsar and Taj Theog Resort and Spa Shimla which will be launching soon.
Which are the emerging segments and market in India for the hotel industry?
There is a huge opportunity related to domestic travel in India. While there is a large volume of business lying from all over India, there is a niche within that which is a high end market within Indians having developed great taste for high end products especially for Palaces and Safaris which is based in all cities. Other very important market for every hotel brand is the wedding market. Taj sees a great opportunity there. We are getting a big share in the wedding segment. The other huge opportunity we do see in India is the multi generational travel and milestone travel.
Pune is the very important market from corporate point because of the economic activity there. I also do see a lot of potential in Gujarat in Ahmadabad, Vadodara and other business cities.
What is the contribution of rooms and F&B in your overall business?
60 per cent of our revenue comes from rooms and 40 per cent from F&B.
What is contribution of your overseas hotels in the total revenue?
The contribution of travelers going from India to our overseas hotels is very good. There is a huge contribution from the Indian market to our overseas hotels in London, Dubai, New York and Maldives. People do find affiliation bond with the Taj group. Taj is the preferred choice for Indian outbound. We have dedicated sales team for every segments. In our leisure segments, we have two different teams – one is for international and one is for domestic. Our inbound has been from last 60 years and domestic from last 20 years. We have deicated
How would you explain trends in sales growth for Taj in last 3-4 years?
Its been atleast 8 per cent growth. Last two years is much better than 3 years prior. We had growth but industry was not growing. Industry in terms of hotel’s growth was 5 per cent and for Taj it has been 8 per cent. The industry is looking very buoyant in corporate market having a good impact on inbound as well as on domestic travel. We do see that demand is growing. Last fiscal, demand grew by 6.2 per cent and supply by 3.6 per cent.