The Grand New Delhi is a property by Saraf Hotel Enterprises. The company operates luxury hotels in various parts of the nation. The company was established by Mr. Radhe Shyam Sara, Group Chairman. The first hotel of the Saraf Group, Yak and Yeti, was opened in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1977.
As the world goes through difficult times due to COVID-19 outbreak, medicircle.in catches up with the General Manager of the Grand New Delhi, Mr. Pradipta N. Biswas on the measures taken by the property as well as his expectations from the government. So, read on to understand circumstances and means taken by The Grand New Delhi.
What are the steps taken by the hotel to combat the present pandemic?
We are focusing on the things that are in our control and the things that we can do and
the things that we have control over. We have set up stringent Health checks as per
WHO guidelines for our hotel colleagues and as well as our guests.
For the colleagues who have lent their support, we have developed activities that will
keep them motivated, and healthy and boost their immunity.
From our end we are focussing on a positive speech – an approach that looks forward
and beyond the dark times. Ensuring that food and supplies have been provided for us
guests and colleagues, the families have been reached out too – and the closest to
normal that they would have known.
It is all new and a massive reharl, but we are in it to win it.
What do you think will be the fallout of pandemic in the hospitality industry?
The pandemic hit the industries in ways that have been unprecedented and
unexpected. Being a hotelier I have been exposed to unusual circumstances – but this
is war. It hit the hotel industry in every area possible. Travel canceled, FnB took a hit
banquets down and with no clear horizon on when things will reboot.
In my career spanning 25 years, in hospitality, nothing prepared me for something of
this magnitude. I’ve lived through Swine Flu, SARS, 26/11 and the economic crash of
But this – it has wiped out a major chunk of hospitality business in the global
Of course we have to be patient and brace ourselves for a long and prolonged haul
which is fraught with uncertainties. What faces us are the repercussions - massive job
loss tied up with the loss of business and revenue.
The way that business operates will essentially change. Non-existent international
business travel, socializing will take a hit for sure, we see a world more insular. People
uncertain of what lies ahead, maybe scared, and may want to stay in the confines of
their homes. What follows naturally is that how we look at business may change for
We as a hotel, are living for the day and micro-planning ahead but what may happen
tomorrow stays uncertain, most, unfortunately. Uncertainty is the new reality. Till there is
a breakthrough in the medical and health sector, a vaccine for the cure, the chances of
recovery are bleak. A cure ensures that both Humanity and then Economy will survive.
How much time do you see till everything gets back to normal?
In terms of revenue, new avenues will have to be created and somewhere I have a
strong feeling that social media and digital marketing will play a big role in generating
revenue. The face of the client along with the needs are bound to change. So the teams
that have run sales will look and function differently.
With a lot of business being transferred online – online and internet services will be
huge. So where webinars and meeting rooms were a small part of the hotels, they may
be used very differently now. The management will go under an overhaul to cope with
People need to be prepared that when a business starts there will be a new normal. A
world that will be run on social distancing. Where people have been encouraged to work
together – the incentives are to be working from afar and creating and maximizing
opportunities from afar.
Obviously – tolerance will run low and fear will run high. This is the run-up till the
vaccine/cure – but even so – the memory of what happened is bound to alter any
movement and exchange.
What happened to the foreign visitors stuck at the hotel is the hotel doing
anything special for them?
We took care of all the guests who have been stuck in our hotel. We gave them a lot of
personal attention and empathy in meal choice since things were tough.
Also, we have briefed our team members on this situation to ensure a secure
environment for guests and employees.
When the government and the high commission were able to arrange the special flights
for our guests, we arranged a secure airport drop for them with passes and packed
If you had to ask GOI for relief what would be the major areas?
I think there are the following areas for GOI (Gross Operating Income)
Reduction in fixed cost Analysis of the resources and its optimal utilization. Analysis the new business segment Major focus on PR activities