A visionary leader, Samir Banerjee, Area General Manager of Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts shares a few words with Nepal Traveller
Determined and purposive, Samir Banerjee is the Area General Manager of Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts, a luxurious base to observe the vibrant city. Banerjee, a rather strongminded person, talks about his experience in the hospitality industry.
A brief on upcoming properties under Shangri-La. When will they be in operation?
Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts, Nepal has been looking forward to expand its foot prints in the domestic market. Therefore, to initiate the services, we are coming up with our Neo concept Resort ‘Lost Horizon’ at Begnas, Pokhara which is in its construction stage and surely the property will be introduced in the market shortly. Furthermore, we are also concentrating and planning to set our marks on Shivapuri and Chitwan.
What would you say is the hotel’s greatest asset?
Our greatest asset are our people, who have been with the company for many years. We have a strong team of employees here, who have understood customer values and are consistently working to provide maximum consumer satisfaction. By providing unique hospitality, Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts never fails to charm its guests with the finest of services.
A brief intro on your past experiences.
I have lived through my life in the hotel and hospitality industry. And now, being involved for many years, I’ve had a great stint in the world’s best hotels including Taj, Radisson, Banyan Tree and Asian Hotels.
Pros and cons of being the Area General Manager or some attributes you consider to be your strength in this line of work.
Being a manager comes with great responsibilities. So I would say that it needs a lot of commitment and hard work. The skill of time Management is a must. And other than that, learning new things becomes a part of daily chores, everyday there are new challenges and insights.
Elaborate on the current challenges faced.
Since our business is service related, one of the prime challenges is to set up the benchmark while considering competitive properties that are emerging now and then. And of course, standardisation of the services and products we provide is the main key to sustain. Keeping this in mind, recently, we are undergoing a major facelift for our both properties and imparting a lot of training programmes to our associates as a tool to have that competitive advantage against others.
Among numerous properties in Kathmandu, how do you intend to tackle competition?
The word ‘competition’ isn’t new to any business world. However, how everyone tackles such is the main question. For us, the key element is constant improvement, be it the products or the services that we render. The hotel’s main mantra, which we always keep on sharing with our associates in several meetings is ‘consistency’.
A strong team is the foundation of a successful business. As a team leader, what would you say are the qualities that define your team?
We share the same knowledge and beliefs equipped with technologies so if I have to be analytical about the qualities, it would be:
-Focused on end goals and results
-Diversified team members
-Honesty and Integrity
How do you handle things when it goes south?
Sometimes things can go wrong but it doesn’t mean that one has to take hasty decisions within a matter of seconds. We believe that there should be patience, and always focus on constant improvements so that there is always a scope or a way to deal with complaints.
Is Shangri-La accommodating with the concept of ecotourism? Will the new properties pursue eco-friendly services?
Our new property will be based on neo concept, such as sustainable energy, HACCP, all green globe sources that we will be incorporating. In addition, we are also now adopting various methods to promote ecotourism such as our waste recycling management, energy saving, and tree plantations.
As Visit Nepal 2020 approaches what are the goals you have in mind and how do you see them come in fruition?
Visit Nepal 2020 is certainly a huge project reflecting the tourism economy as a whole. The country will certainly rejuvenate. As for our responsibility, Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts will closely work with government bodies, private firms and travel agents to welcome tourists from all around the globe and provide premier hospitality.