Kapil Chopa, President, Oberoi Group with Gitikka Ganju Dhar, Emcee

A Glimpse Into The Night Hoteliers Were Served Awards: The Hotelier India Awards 2017

Business Events | January 9, 2018 | News

Hotelier India Awards Gitikka Ganju Dhar Blue Star Harman India

With a magnificent star-studded night, The Hotelier India Awards 2017 earned its meritorious title – A Glittering Soiree because it was indeed one! The 9th edition of the Hotelier India Awards was held on the December 20, 2017 at JW Marriott Aerocity, New Delhi. The event was presented by Blue Star, powered by Harman, in association with Schneider Electric and Hotelivate. 

Over the years, I have come to believe that I am genetically engineered to not be able to have fun at work. I had fun hosting the HI Awards, which is a rare occurrence that I take no credit for.

Maybe, an audience full of hardcore achievers gets me going like none other. It also helps that they are intellectually evolved, debonair and well-heeled and suitably mannered. It also helps when many of them are friends. I have worked with the hospitality business in India for many years, as an anchor, across a genre of events. I must state here that this was one of the best-attended events I have ever seen.

From a Rajeev Menon, COO, Asia Pacific, excluding Greater China, Marriott International Inc. to Kapil Chopra, President Oberoi Group to KB Kachru, Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Mandeep Lamba, MD, Hotels and Hospitality Group-India, JLL, Vijay Thacker, director, Crowe Horwath India and Anshu Sarin, CEO, Berggruen Hotels, the award ceremony had an audience bustling with the leading and trending stars of the Indian hospitality business. The icing on the cake was the presence of the legends. 

The proceedings began with the Indian National Anthem, post which, S. Saikumar, Executive Director and Bibhor Srivastava, Group Publishing Director of ITP Media India opened proceedings with the Welcome Address for the evening and set the stage for the 9th Hotelier India Awards. VS Ashok, VP, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Service Group, Blue Star also addressed the gathering and shed light on the brand and its offerings for the hospitality industry. Vinita Bhatia, the Editor of the Hotelier India Magazine, then, took the audience through the jury methodology and also steered the felicitation of the jurors.

The awards presentation ceremony began with the Lifetime Achievement Award honoring stalwarts.  Mr. Binod Chaudhary, Chairman, CG Corp, was named the winner of the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for 2017. The ‘Hall of Fame’ awards were then presented. to Rajeev Menon, COO, Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China) Marriott International Inc. Stalwart Mr. Dilip Puri, Founder and CEO, Indian School of Hospitality was also presented the Hall of Fame Award on the occasion. These awards were then followed by ‘The Editorial Choice – Project and Sustainability Person of the Year’ award. Amitabh Tyagi, VP, and Head, Technical Services, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, was the proud recipient of the award. For the first time, Hotelier India instituted and presented two very special awards in association with Hotelivate, CEO of the Year and COO of the Year.

The Hotelier Awards were then presented across eighteen categories, across hotel categories, across regions, across functions, and across hotel brands. From Housekeeper of the Year to Director of Rooms to Laundry Person of the Year to Chef of the year to IT Person of the Year, it was a revelation to see the faces behind the perfection that is rolled out in Indian hotels. Another important award presented was for the Green Hotelier of the Year. The winner was Vaibhav Kala from Atali Ganga. Spread over 3 acres surrounded by reserved forest, 30 kilometers from Rishikesh, over 95% of Atali Ganga’s team belongs to the local region and it is an equal opportunity employer. The property is designed and built keeping in mind use of local construction material, stone, and wood, to minimise high energy materials. It tracks consumed food costs on a daily basis in its daily reports and the waste trucked down to the closest municipal dump 30 kilometers away. It is a Zero-discharge property. Its entire sewage is treated on site and reused for manure and horticulture.

All winners were eligible for a complimentary three-day photo shoot for their properties by RHM Jindal.  The limited entertainment was provided by the choreographer of Zangoora and Jhumroo fame, Karan Achhipilya and his troupe. All in all, it was a gala night.

I told them that I was the most suited anchor for the day, by sheer virtue of the countless check-ins and check-outs I did over the last twenty years. It was payback time. I remember hosting the first edition of the awards. The baby has grown into a fine property. So has the Indian live industry grown and evolved. In this new year, let us grow further and address the human concerns of this rapidly growing industry if we wish for ourselves, a truly hospitable future.

Happy, eventful 2018 to you all!

Gitikka Ganju Dhar gives us a low-down on the 9th edition of the Hotelier India Awards.

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