Hospitality industry is a customer-driven industry. The hotels need to offer services based on customer feedback.
Entering a sub-continental market the size of India growing at 13% per annum is a tempting prospect for any multinational hotel chain but it poses management challenges too.Therefore, the first challenge is to understand the expectations of consumers and their behavior.With 1.25 billion people united by diversity of languages, religious and social identities, Indian consumers may not appear a homogenous group.
Technology is playing a bigger role in designing a hotel. Earlier an interior decorator would never call an IT guy, but now things are different with technology in the lobby, at the reception, guestroom.
Marketing and brand building strategies for Indian markets will need to be savvy enough to capitalise on the behaviour of these digitally connected consumers. The use of SMS as a transactional instrument or viral marketing is phenomenal in India. Inevitably the hotels attract young and fresh graduates who in turn are well in tune with the modern upwardly mobile middle class business and professional consumers.
Strategic investment in branding, human capital and information systems suited to local needs and aspirations in India is an opportunity enveloped in transparent challenge.
A large number of Indian hospitality customers have an insatiable appetite for bandwidth fed by professional and social needs. They do not, therefore, like hotels without internet access and they hate when wi-fi is charged for!
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