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Wednesday, 07 August, 2019, 16 : 55 PM [IST]

‘Our focus would be to introduce our brand in metro cities’

As a first mover in Nagpur, Center Point Hospitality has firmly established its footprint in the city with its flagship property, having enhanced its offerings with the changing demands. Angadh J Arora, Director, Centre Point Hospitality talks to P Krishna Kumar about the demand-supply ratio in Nagpur and their future plans of expansion.
Q As one of the first movers in Nagpur’s hospitality market, how has Centre Point as a brand evolved and established itself in the city?
Hotel Centre Point too like every other company had a modest beginning 30 years back with just 37 rooms, 1 restaurant, and 1 banquet hall. Over the years, as the city began to move towards development, we upgraded ourselves to 138 rooms, 3 F&B outlets, and 14 banquet halls. I feel the growth of the city has played a huge role in the evolvement of our company. With time and an opportunistic approach, our portfolio has expanded to divisions like restaurants, food processing, agribusiness, industrial catering, outdoor conventions, etc. Being a family managed enterprise, I believe the major factor for our steady success is the people, be it the guests or our employees and their constant feedback, which helps us introspect and adapt to the changing trends within the industry.

Q How has Nagpur’s hospitality profile transformed over the years? What are the key changes that you have witnessed in the industry over the decades?
The bridge between Tier I and Tier II cities is narrowing every year. Well, Nagpur as a city has a strategic advantage within the country with regards to its location. The guest inflow to the city has dramatically increased over the years thanks to the international airport and the multinational companies that have set up their offices in the city under the MIHAN project. This eventually created a window for international chains to set up their hotels in the city which further led to an increase in the room occupancy and ADR. The last five years have seen a major boost in the business generated, not only in the hospitality industry, but within other sectors too.

Q What is the current supply-demand scenario in the city as far as the accommodation segment is concerned?
At this moment the city is running at optimum levels of demand and supply. The city is able to provide a healthy supply to the current demand for rooms. However, this wasn’t the trend until a few years ago. The city had a surplus supply and the demand was comparatively low. This affected the occupancy percentages and the rates at which the rooms were sold. With the steady inflow of businesses and guests to the city, the supply-demand ratio stabilised and corrected itself in an organic way.

Q What are the new demand drivers expected in the city, and how Centre Point as a brand is preparing itself to meet that demand?

Looking into the coming five years, given the way things are developing within the corporate, industrial and education sectors, the current supply will fall short and there would be a need to create the quality infrastructure to compensate for the surplus. Luckily we all have acknowledged this forecast well, and there are many more hotels and convention projects in the pipeline which will take care of the growing demand for the next decade. We are exploring different avenues at the moment, especially those related to conventions and industrial catering.

Q As a stand-alone brand, how do you see the competition especially from international and domestic chains emerging in the city?
We do realise that the hospitality industry is going to be much more competitive than it is now. Yes, there will be hotels that might provide a better product, but we are confident that our personalised services will be the distinctive factor that would help us stand out from the competition. As I said earlier, our strength will and always be the people which if you ask me is the crux for creating a memorable experience. Our services have always been people-driven and not product-driven. This helps the guests connect and recall our product emotionally after all these years which is a trait missing in chain organisations.

Q What are your future plans especially about expanding the brand to other cities in the region and outside?
We have currently opened a boutique hotel in Navi Mumbai which is another city with a lot of potential. Our next project is to open up an Art Cafe Lounge at Centre Point Navi Mumbai which I am sure will become the talk of the town. These are exciting times for the company and the industry in general as there is a lot of potential and untapped revenue sources. Our focus for the coming years would be to introduce our brand to the metro cities.
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