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Surprises & Challenges Giving an Opportunity to Showcase Our Skill Sets: Kumar Manish

Out of the box thinking, commitment to perfection and pure passion for all things inclusive has helped in shaping a unique identity of Kumar Manish. He is known for his path breaking functionality of driving the hotel business. Manish comes out to be as a young, dynamic and people oriented individual who continues to make waves with his most recent movement as the General Manager at The LaLiT Mumbai wherein he is at the forefront of driving business and curating experiences which are second to none. Manish is all about investing in his team and creating leaders who churn out to be the future torch bearers in their verticals. Read out his interview with Better Kitchen
1.What reasons guided you to join the hotel industry? Kindly give a short introduction and highlights about your career background.
As an individual I have always been inclined towards the world of hospitality, primarily with the focus of learning about new cultures, meeting people from various ethnicities and my passion for food. This led me towards pursuing a professional degree in Hospitality Management which has resulted in my journey of almost two decades working with some of the world’s best hospitality groups and rising to the level of a General Manager, now with The LaLiT Mumbai.
2.What does a “typical day” look like as Director/CEO/Vice President/General Manager? 
A typical day is always unpredictable yet exciting as every new day springs up new surprises and challenges giving an opportunity to showcase our skill sets and bringing the team together to face them collectively and present ourselves with pride and positivity.
3.At work, what puts a smile on your face, and what motivates you? Can you relate a proudest moment of your career? 
The return of guests who have smiles on their faces reflecting their joy at coming back reassures us that they feel we are able to provide them with a seamless experience as a home away from home and promising to return soon is what motivates me the most. The proudest moment of my career is when I successfully completed the PDP (Personality Development Program) course from the prestigious Cornell University in 2011.
4.Brief the prominent issues facing staffing in the industry and do you see trends around wages & operational costs? 
The Hospitality Industry is ever evolving and continues to face the pertinent challenge of current hospitality professionals being more focused towards monetary benefits than job satisfaction through multiple experiences which are offered as part of the industry offerings.
5.What is the relevance of hiring Mutli-Tasking /Skilling staff? 
Given the current dynamics of the hospitality industry & being an individual who can multi-task effectively adds to the productivity of the hotel as at times when the hotel is sold out. Also, when there is an unexpected absence of team members, having a colleague who is skilled at various fronts and can multi-task greatly helps in managing adverse circumstances.
6.Your ways to best motivate staff? 
Regular interaction with team members, reaching out to them and asking about their well-being appreciating them in the presence of colleagues when they go beyond their call of duty and correcting them in person and giving them a chance to improve has always worked for me.
7.Can you share what you believe is key in leading a successful hotel today? 
The simplest success mantra is lead by example and put yourself in the shoes (and may I say stilettos as well) of the guest and deliver a seamless service experience.
8.What do you think the next few years hold for the hospitality sector and its growth? 
The Hospitality sector is and will continue to grow exponentially and technology will continue to play an integral role in tandem with human excellence to deliver the highest levels of service standards and ensure repeat guests.
9.How do you support your teams during the constant stress of workload as well as adaptations to SOPs post Covid? 
An occasional team outing, a daily meet with all Heads of Departments and a casual chat with team members is the easiest way to support teams and a brilliant de-stressing tool.
10.Which are the F&B initiatives you are devising / employing to entice & improve Non-Resident Guest Covers? 
Introducing handcrafted food and beverage experiences along with availability of personalized menus coupled with Braille menu cards for ease of access to the visually impaired. Also introducing team members who belong to the marginalized communities as a true representation of an all inclusive hospitality group providing a safe space are some of the initiatives employed which has shown encouraging and positive results.
11.Sustainability has become increasingly important in most industries today. What measures or practices do you have in place to conserve the environment?
We have been extremely conscious of ensuring that we follow the best practices of incorporating use of maximum products which are eco-friendly, zero plastic and promoting “We Serve What We Grow” are some of the measures introduced by us towards conserving the environment. We also use piped natural gas for cooking and are currently progressing towards introducing Electronic Vehicles and controlling carbon emissions. 

#Kumar Manish, General Manager-The Lalit Mumbai)

(This story has been published under arrangement from Better Kitchen magazine)

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