Pradipta Narayan Biswas General Manager – Operations Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa, Gurgaon
Hard work can do wonders. That’s what the success story of Pradipta Narayan Biswas, General Manager – Operations, Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa, Gurgaon, conveys. From the humble beginning as a hotel receptionist, he has steadily grown to reach the top in a sector, where dedicated work matters a lot. He is modest, gentle and is the one, who is fond of everything about the sector. Through 10 Questions, besides recalling the proudest and unforgettable moments in his career, he tells about his journey so far, his plans for the present hotel and his personal goals.
You have been in the hospitality sector for more than 18 years. What made you opt for a carrier in this fast growing sector and how has been the journey so far?
Way back in 1987, when the world cup cricket was happening in India, I went to Maurya Sheraton for a meal at Bukhara and then on a desire to pursue a career in hospitality sprouted in me. The initial years were very tough, as I started off as a hotel receptionist. I went up the ladder, over the years. This is all said and done, though a fascinating sector, the only way to the top is lots of hard work and dedication. One has to be a smart worker, to survive the difficult times. The journey to the top has been very exciting, so far.
After having spent so many years in the sector, what do you like and hate about it?
I essentially love everything about hotels, be it the fresh smell of a lobby, the smell of a fresh bacon at the breakfast table, the hustle and bustle when the morning shift arrives at the hotel and the noise of the wine and champagne glasses when people are toasting. Sometimes, guests take you for granted and misbehave silly..
Would you please take us through the proudest and some of the unforgettable moments in your professional life?
The proudest moment undoubtedly is when I was conferred the Hospitality Leadership Award this year, at the Orchid, Mumbai. When it comes to unforgettable moments, I would say, they are just countless. However, every time I have met ‘Big B’ (Amitabh Bachan), the experience has been unforgettable and unbelievable. I also still remember the opening of Lalit Mumbai, in trying conditions, with about 800 VIPs in the hotel lobby.
Do you mind sharing with us your plans for Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa, as its General Manager - Operations?
We are looking to reposition the hotel as a high-end boutique hotel in the Gurgaon region, with state-of-the-art facilities and enhancing various customer touch points. We are also opening a hospitality college and two new food and beverage outlets, in the hotel.
Where would you like to see yourself, say, 10 years from now?
I would like to see myself as a CEO of a chain of hotels having a global footprint, driving a seven series BMW. Do you think hotels have a role in developing a destination? If yes, please detail.
Hotels play a key role in developing a destination, as lack of proper hospitality infrastructure may act as an impediment to attract travellers for overnight stay, whether on business or leisure trip. Any new location should always have great hotels, with great infrastructure.
According to you, what makes Indian hospitality sector unique and how do you see its growth prospects?
Indian hospitality sector has shown tremendous growth in the last 10 years and it has generated a lot of employment opportunities, for a large number of youths in the country. The sector is growing at a healthy rate, but it faces a severe shortage of skilled manpower. Indian hospitality is unique in several ways, as we are really serious about the whole concept of guest being the most important person in the hotel. Today, a growing number of international chains are following the concept of ‘atithi devo bhava’, which was pioneered by the Leela, ITC, Oberoi and the Taj, in India. It just sums up everything about Indian hospitality sector.
How supportive has been your family, in building your career?
Family has stood by me though all my decisions and the relocations I have done in various cities.
Please tell us about your hobbies and other interests?
I love music - old classics and Irish ballads. I also love collecting aero models and Ganesha idols. Besides, I would, one day, like to write a book on my journey into the hotels. Which is your favourite destination? Why?
My all-time favourite destination is Ireland. I love the people there and the place has an old world charm, along with the celtic legends. In India, I love Darjeeling, a great hill station and my favourite hotel is Elgin