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It’s been nearly eight months since the pandemic situation put our lives on hold – and every week has been a test of our patience and survival skills. While this can be testing for individuals, AIRDA’s member resorts faced the never-before experience of coping with lockdowns.

Current efforts look to consolidation, and exploring ways to bring back member guests and customers – with all precautions taken to ensure safety protocols and best practices outlined for the hospitality industry.

In the last months of 2020, people will view 2021 as the forward-looking year for business and enterprise, a year of turnarounds. The world as we knew it has probably changed forever – but there’s always hope for survival, growth and consolidation.

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Views & Interviews / November 2020 / Young professionals look back at 2020

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Lalit Roy is the Founder Director of Raj & Roy Associates – a consultancy that sources and integrates kitchen equipment and restaurant accessories for 5-star kitchens, restaurant chains, and individual theme restaurants. According to Lalit, sourcing for the hospitality world calls for travel outreach to get the best value and pricing for customers – and can get complex when you’re dealing with hundreds of products, across individual service areas and unique verticals.

And travel for Lalit means exploring evolved markets in Europe, the US, and South East Asia. “Our aim here is to seek and source new product lines, concepts, and better ways of doing things,” says Lalit. “In the process we also want to build a network of reliable equipment suppliers.”

With all this overseas travel, does he have the time to take a break for a vacation? Yes, he does, because his wife Manisha takes over that responsibility and ensures that the family has the right work-life balance.

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Message of the Month / November 2020 / Conversations with Lalit Roy

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Ami Bhat is a post graduate in marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, she enjoys photography, and if you don’t find Ami at her desk, she would be out playing badminton, or swimming, or just plain running – something that is required for her restless soul.

Besides her blog – www.thrillingtravel.in – Ami has been published in several websites and publications – including the Lonely Planet India, Huffington Post India and the Travel Café of Money Control. Her travel blog has been widely acclaimed as one of the top travel blogs in India, as well as internationally.

In this interview we chat with Ami about that certain thrill that she associates with travelling – whether it is real, or virtual. We also chat with her about her invitation by RCI to stay over at Sterling Holidays, Wayanad.

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Views & Interviews / October 2020 / Ami Bhat

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Armed with a diploma in hotel management, catering technology and applied nutrition, Suresh Babu started his career in the corporate kitchens of two star hotels – The Oberoi Hotel and Taj West End in Bangalore. The bottom rung when you start is hard, he says – but that’s the best way to make an entry into this wonderful world.

Suresh’s hard work took him right up the ladder – to the position of Corporate Executive Chef at Aloft Hotels belonging to Starwood Hotels & Resorts – the group has five properties – in Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. Other names in his work profile include Goldfinch Retreat, The Windflower Prakruthi Resort & Spa, Clarks Exotica Resort & Spa and Oakwood Premier Prestige in Bangalore. Suresh has also worked overseas, at the Grange Manor Hotel in Scotland. His most recent work position was General Manager at the Tamara Coorg, where he has done a long stint.

Going up the culinary ladder happened at the right times for Suresh, and he soon found himself at the crossroads of career advancement. Should he stay within the four walls of a corporate kitchen, or cross over to sales, marketing and management? Coincidentally, an opportunity came his way and made the decision for him.

There’s more on this story at this link >
Message of the Month / October 2020 / Suresh Babu

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Abhijit’s first job was with Hindustan Unilever Limited and it was a job that became long relationship with the organization. Very few people left Levers those days, he says – because you didn’t need to. So after a really long stint of 26 years, he joined Duncans for a change of pace and did a short stint with them.

In 2007, Abhijit decided to switch lanes from the corporate world, to actively dedicate time and energy to the social sector. He joined The Association of People with Disability in Bangalore, and stayed with this NGO till he retired in 2015. Post retirement, he was inducted into their Board for three years. He is currently a Trustee at Biswa Gouri Charitable Trust (BGCT) – another NGO that runs a school for children within the autism spectrum.

Abhijit loves travelling with his family to quiet and tranquil places where he can be at peace with nature. He also loves books, good movies and his select collection of music.

This interview features excerpts from conversations we had with him on another long association that he has really enjoyed and benefited from. His association with Orange County – now Evolve Back Resorts.

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Views & Interviews / September 2020 / Abhijit Mukherjee

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Lakshmish Gangadhar is an advocate and senior legal consultant in Bangalore. In the year 1999 he founded L.G. Associates, where he is currently the senior partner. He is also an angel investor, and is behind several new-horizon startup ventures and projects that are on that curve from product discovery to launch.

Lakshmish comes into the picture here, based on his profile and special interests. He is an adventure seeker, trekker, traveler, camper, and loves the great outdoors. He always has a travel kit in his car, and is ready to go at a moment’s notice.

For the first time in our Message of the Month series, we feature a legal professional to obtain his feedback on customer interactions, and his views on timeshare as a vacation format.

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Message of the Month / September 2020 / Lakshmish Gangadhar

 

2020-december-shashidhar-01-pShashidhar K.G. is an independent automotive professional, based in Bangalore. He has an engineering background and retired from Bosch India (MICO) as the head of their Special Purpose Machine Division. At Bosch India, Shashidhar has worked at senior technical and management positions at several locations in India and abroad.

Our conversation with Shashidhar here is about his passion for travel, enabled through his membership with Club Mahindra. In the early days of his career taking time off from work was difficult, he says – even for a well-deserved vacation. We now share excerpts from our conversations with Shashidhar, where he talks about “timeshare” redefining the concept of vacations – for him and his family.

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Views & Interviews / August 2020 / Shashidhar KG

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Khursheed Mistry is an experienced business head with extensive experience in the marketing and advertising industry. A business development professional from Xavier’s Institute of Management, Khursheed has 20+ years of experience in Luxury and Lifestyle Media. What she brings to the table is proven experience in business planning, communications strategy, budgeting & forecasting, strategic alliances, and publication sales.

Currently working for Enthralltech as a freelance consultant, she has held senior positions with Business Traveller India, India Today Group, L’Officiel India, Worldwide Media, and Motivate Media Group.

In this interview we draw from her experience when she worked at Business Traveller India, to see if there is a convergence between business travel and vacation travel. (Especially if the family can join you towards the end of your business related commitments.)

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Message of the Month / August 2020 / Khursheed Mistry

 

2020-july-shama-ahmed-pA communications professional working at an MNC, Shama Ahmed is a travel blogger and nature-lover with a voracious appetite for travel. She loves to take the road less traveled to photograph and study animal behavior in the wild. Partial to the jungles of South India, her love affair with the denizens of tiger reserves in India started ten years ago, during her first safari – when she was armed with nothing but a small camera phone and oodles of curiosity.

A good vacation rejuvenates me as nothing else does, she says. No spa, no mall can come close to the feeling of absolute contentment I feel when I am away from the city and when I am one with nature.

In this interview, we talk to Shama about being curtailed at home during the pandemic. She helps us visualize the thoughts that run through her mind during these difficult times, and how she manages to cope with the situation.

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Views & Interviews / July 2020 / Shama Ahmed

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There comes a time when your core venture reaches a comfortable level of growth and is running smoothly in the desired directions. That’s when you look back and wonder if there’s something you always wanted to do – something different and meaningful. For me it was going back to my roots to explore opportunities.

And that is how Anamala Homestays was conceived in my mind and soon took shape in my quaint little hometown in Thiruvilwamala – in Kerala’s Thrissur District.

Over the last two years we have had guests from different backgrounds, places and countries – and each of them has taken back impressions of our culture, our traditions, our ancestral values, and our warm hospitality. We present a beautiful melting pot of heritage and history at our homestay.

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Message of the Month / July 2020 / Noufel Anamala