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Navigating Success: A Journey in Hospitality with the Chairman and MD of Radisson Blu Palace Resort & Spa, Udaipur



In the heart of Udaipur, amidst the enchanting views of Fateh Sagar Lake, stands the Radisson Blu Palace Resort & Spa, a testament to entrepreneurial vision and unwavering commitment. We had the privilege of sitting down with the Chairman and Managing Director of this prestigious establishment, who not only shared insights into the intricacies of the hospitality industry but also provided a glimpse into the challenges, triumphs, and future endeavors of both himself and the renowned resort.

 

Q1: Tell me about yourself.


As the Chairman and MD of Radisson Blu Palace Resort & Spa, Udaipur, I am responsible for spearheading the hotel chain brand, managing the overall operations, and focusing on critical functions, including business growth and strategy.


I come from a business background in the chemical industry. However, establishing a business of my own has been my dream for a long time, and I eventually ventured into the hospitality industry in 2010. At the time, Udaipur was the only choice to build the property, as I could foresee the city’s growth. My vision of building a one-of-a-kind hotel in the city of lakes with an inventory of 240 rooms was transformed into reality with the Radisson Blu Palace Resort & Spa’s establishment. But in a desire to achieve more and diversify my business, I eventually went on to establish ventures in the marble and granite processing and real estate industries. By God’s grace, all the businesses are running successfully today.


In addition to running businesses, I believe in giving back to society. I feel the development of the areas, people, and communities in the property’s close proximity should happen actively so that everyone can coexist peacefully and progress together. This is why I have adopted a school nearby, and I am trying my best to fulfill the educational dreams of thousands of underprivileged children. Additionally, I have also built modern toilets for young girls to promote safe sanitation. I am also an avid supporter of the forest plantation movement; hence, I am actively involved in various initiatives for forest conservation and afforestation as well.

 

Q2: What’s special about Raddison Blu Palace Resort & Spa, Udaipur?


Our property, Radisson Blu Palace Resort, Udaipur, is special in various ways. To start with, its strategic location, amidst the alluring views of Fateh Sagar Lake, is certainly breathtaking. Additionally, we boast of having one of the largest pillarless ballrooms in the region, and this makes the palace the ideal destination for wedding-related ceremonies. Additionally, our property offers capacious multipurpose event indoor and outdoor spaces with mesmerizing views that add much-needed piousness and glamour to wedding shenanigans.


Our motto is to provide our guests with exceptional experiences, luxurious stays, and top-notch hospitality. We make all ends meet to transform their D-days into memories they can cherish for a lifetime. When it comes to weddings and other related ceremonies, we offer all kinds of services, ranging from opulent décor and authentic local and global cuisines to royal welcome arrangements, butler services, an array of entertainment options, romantic set-ups, customized welcome notes, hampers, souvenirs, etc.


Today, modern customers demand tailored services. This is why we offer the option of customization and personalization of our services, catering to their expectations and preferences. Whether it is arranging for a specific color of flowers, ensuring a special thematic décor, serving local delicacies, curating gourmet hampers, arranging celebrity artists’ performances, or incorporating grand-scale activities, our guests’ wishes are our command, and we bring their dreams to life.


Whether it is corporate offsite, leisure travel, weddings, and other related ceremonies, or MICE, we are there for our guests to curate exquisite events with memorable experiences that they will remember for a lifetime!

 

Q3: What were the most significant or successful moments for the resort and for you?


I have to say that it is because of the hard-working team that the property has grown significantly and has become an established brand in the hospitality industry. Today, we enjoy the reputation of being the ultimate wedding destination. Having said that, customers like and prefer us equally for their weddings and other related ceremonies, leisure travel, weekend getaways, corporate offsites, and MICE.


Going back in time, I have to say, it was an honor to host high-end events, including Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal’s pre-wedding ceremony and Neil Nitin Mukesh and Rukmani’s wedding. Additionally, we have also organized several prestigious awards nights, elite talk shows, and GST conferences. Another milestone in our journey would be when we were recognized for our exceptional services and felicitated with awards, including the Best Wedding Hotel in Udaipur by Today’s Traveler (2023), Best Wedding Hotel, Ravishing Awards, Summit Awards (2018), and Best Venue Outdoor (2019).

 

Q4: What are the challenges you faced on your journey till now?


It goes without saying that the entrepreneurial journey is satisfying but equally challenging. The hospitality industry in our country is strong, but the competition is fierce. And it’s imperative for industry players to be agile and flexible in their approach so as to adapt to evolving times and changing customers’ needs. This is what I had understood early on through my failures. This is why Atithi Devo Bhava is engraved in our hearts, and innovation and customization continue to be the core ethos. This ideology helps us serve our customers in the best possible manner. Moreover, establishing a premium property in Udaipur was a risk in 2005.


However, the city has always had a special place in my heart, and I was confident that it would offer abundant growth opportunities. Years later, I am happy I followed my instinct. We have successfully navigated all the challenges to build a brand that has grown exponentially over the course of time and has emerged as a renowned player in the hospitality industry, placing Udaipur on the global tourism map.

 

5: What does the future for you and Raddison Blu Palace Resort & Spa, Udaipur, look like? Are there any new exciting events or projects coming up for the resort in 2024?


As an entrepreneur, I truly believe that learning should be a continuous process. Hence, this year, I am looking forward to learning and growing as an individual in both the professional and personal arenas of my life. As far as the property is concerned, Udaipur is close to my heart, and I treasure everything about the place: the pristine lakes, diverse cultural heritage, picturesque landscapes, folklore, delicacies, etc. My short-term goal is to scale my business further in the state of Rajasthan.


I wish to see Radisson Blu Palace Resort & Spa, Udaipur, become synonymous with weddings, MICE, and other prominent industry events in the times to come. My long-term growth plan is to expand the hotel chain in India while building a sustainable growth model. We have already taken the first step in this process and are bracing ahead for the launch of Fairmont Palace in Udaipur. Additionally, hotel launches in Jaipur and Mumbai are also in the pipeline. Additionally, I intend to contribute to upscaling the hospitality sector through my expertise.

 

6: What are your success mantras and ideologies that help you to keep going?


I think there is no shortcut to success. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and consistent and persistent efforts to reach your goals. And when it comes to walking on the entrepreneurial pathway, grit, commitment, and passion are what you require. Whenever there is a low phase, I remind myself that ups and downs are a part of life, and there is always bright light at the end of the tunnel. This gives me the motivation to put in my best efforts in the present moment and leave the outcome to the future.

 

7: What advice would you like to give to your viewers and young entrepreneurs?


Everyone out there is doing the best they can. But if I had to give one piece of advice to young entrepreneurs, I would say to never be afraid of failure. It's part and parcel of the entrepreneurial journey. You made the courageous move of building a business, and this covers half of the journey. The other half can be covered with unwavering commitment and passion. But remember to learn from your mistakes and make a conscious choice to think of innovative solutions to deal with challenges instead of worrying about issues. And most importantly, always have the zeal to learn from situations, mistakes, people around you, the industry, and even domain experts. This ‘never give up’ approach will take you places.

 

8: You said the resort has hosted many celebrity weddings; what are the most extravagant requests you’ve received from grooms?


We have witnessed a shift from simple arrangements to opulent décor and lavish experiences. India has always been a big, fat wedding market, and weddings and related events enjoy the status of festivals. And in today’s social media-driven world, we receive unique and, at times, even bizarre requests from both the bride and groom that are capable of garnering engagement and going viral.


Curating weddings as proper events with an itinerary continues to be the trend even today. In addition to ensuring unique themed décor and organizing thematic bachelor and bachelorette parties, we have received requests like flying exquisite birds from overseas for a function, arranging the highest quality Inwhite horse for the groom’s entry, or a specific breed and color of flowers from continents for aesthetics, and novel ideas for couple entries like hot air balloons, harnesses, etc. We have also been requested to arrange a celebrity’s performance as a surprise for their respective partner, create customized scrapbooks with Polaroid pictures for guests, or onsite souvenirs for the couple with the guest's involvement, organize a fun games night or recreational activities for a traditional function like Sangeet or Mehendi, arrange live wedding painting, or get the couple married in the most authentic royal style, complete with a traditional backdrop, folk performances, and even traditions.


Aligned with the ongoing sustainable trend, we have also been requested to organize eco-friendly weddings whenever possible with minimal waste of resources. While we try our best to cater to the requests, some are too bizarre and require permissions or come with legal implications. In this case, we provide them with the best possible alternatives so that they do not have to compromise.

 

 

In conclusion, the journey of the Chairman and MD of Radisson Blu Palace Resort & Spa, Udaipur, is a tale of entrepreneurial resilience, commitment to excellence, and a vision that extends beyond business into community development and environmental stewardship. As the resort continues to make its mark on the hospitality landscape, the chairman's commitment to learning, innovation, and sustainable growth remains unwavering.




Interviewer: Puneet Kapani

Edited by: Aniket Joshi

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