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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Sonia Bharwani and David Mathews

The hospitality industry the world over is transforming from a product-focused, physical-asset-intensive business to a customer-focused, experience-centric one. This…

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Abstract

Purpose

The hospitality industry the world over is transforming from a product-focused, physical-asset-intensive business to a customer-focused, experience-centric one. This research aims at evolving a typology of customer-centric hospitality innovations. It attempts to explicitly capture the intrinsic DNA of hospitality innovations in the Indian context by exemplifying the typology posited with customer service innovations adopted by contemporary hoteliers that provide new ways of managing and enhancing customer experience.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on primary research through qualitative interviews conducted with select hospitality professionals, supplemented by secondary research in the form of a review of academic literature, as well as other secondary data sources such as company websites and travel websites which shed light on customer service innovations in the Indian context.

Findings

To develop and sustain competitive advantage, hospitality businesses are increasingly channelizing their efforts to provide innovative and holistic experiential service offerings. Service innovations are being tailored to cater to the unique personal tastes and requirements of hotel guests to connect with individual guests on a personal and emotional level to create memorable hospitality experiences.

Research limitations/implications

Practitioners, researchers and educationists in the hospitality industry would find the implications of this study useful in the context of the present customer-centric business environment where hotels are constantly striving to meet the exponentially rising bar of guest expectations.

Originality/value

The research highlights that it is critical to keep the customers’ perspectives central while designing innovative hospitality products. Further, it is important to create a cadre of innovation champions and service enthusiasts who can engender a culture of service innovation within the organisation.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Sonia Bharwani and Parvaiz Talib

It is crucial for hospitality organisations to develop sustainable leadership by regularly re-evaluating the competencies and skills required by their senior managers and…

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Abstract

Purpose

It is crucial for hospitality organisations to develop sustainable leadership by regularly re-evaluating the competencies and skills required by their senior managers and leaders. In the context of this strategic talent management imperative, this paper aims to identify and map competencies required for the pivotal position of a hotel general manager to develop a holistic and relevant leadership competency framework.

Design/methodology/approach

Through secondary research, this study undertakes a detailed literature review of competency and leadership studies in the context of the hospitality industry to distil the essential competencies and skills required by a general manager.

Findings

This study proposes a leadership competency model for hospitality organisations in the form of a 43-item competency framework for hotel general managers categorised into four broad dimensions – cognitive competencies (knowledge), functional competencies (skills), social competencies (attitudes and behaviours) and meta competencies (motives and traits).

Practical implications

The proposed competency model, once empirically tested for robustness, could serve as a blueprint for hospitality organisations to develop their own organisation-specific competency framework for senior leadership that could prove to be a keystone for integrated talent management practices. Further, educationists and trainers could use the findings of this study as inputs in designing curricula and pedagogical interventions to meet the industry’s future needs and expectations with regards to competencies of senior managers.

Originality/value

By aggregating competencies from earlier studies and synthesising and categorising them in accordance with a contemporary, hospitality industry-relevant typology, a comprehensive competency model specific for hotel general managers has been proposed.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 1 July 2011

Sonia Bharwani

Tourism and hospitality.

Abstract

Subject area

Tourism and hospitality.

Study level/applicability

This case has been developed to suit the pedagogical needs of undergraduate and post-graduate students of management in the area of strategic marketing management in the service industry.

Case overview

The case describes the challenge faced by Gautam Raj, Executive Vice President, Strategic Development, The Oberoi Group, in making submissions to the Chairman, P.R.S. Oberoi for giving shape to the company's future strategic plans and developing the blueprint for further growth. The Oberoi Group is a leading India-based hospitality company, which was looking at selective expansion in the five-star deluxe segments by seeking new opportunities for its luxury leisure business in order to achieve a greater geographic spread. The case gives detailed information related to “The Oberoi” resorts ranging from their genesis to their branding and marketing strategies to put into perspective the challenge faced by the protagonist in making appropriate recommendations regarding the optimal choice of location for new-luxury leisure resorts.

Expected learning outcomes

The case is designed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate understanding of generic strategies for sustaining competitive advantage and market selection strategies and to analyse prospective location choices for making recommendations regarding appropriate markets to enter.

Supplementary materials

Teaching note.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2021

Sonia Bharwani and David Mathews

This research aims at understanding techno-based strategies deployed by the hospitality industry by exploring the emerging technological product and process innovations…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims at understanding techno-based strategies deployed by the hospitality industry by exploring the emerging technological product and process innovations that are actively being used in the hospitality space to deliver enhanced guest experiences. It also aims at gaining perspective about the challenges of technology adoption faced by the Indian luxury hotels that have traditionally been driven by high-touch, unscripted and personalised service.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopted a two-pronged methodology for data collection – in-depth semi-structured interviews with General Managers of Luxury Hotels in India and literature-based innovation output (LBIO). NVivo12 software was used to carry out a qualitative thematic analysis of the data. The primary data collected was then triangulated with secondary data gathered through literature review of academic papers, industry reports and studies on the use of technology for enhancing and co-creating customer experience in luxury hotels.

Findings

The research brings in to focus the importance of technology and high-tech, state-of-the-art tools in facilitating the co-creation and delivery of experiences in the context of luxury hospitality. However, it also emphasises that the high-touch dimension is the core of hospitality in luxury and premium hotels and should remain the primary driver of this segment. Luxury hotels will have to fine-tune and tailor their services and provide the right mix of high-tech and high-touch, depending on the micro-niche segments to which they cater.

Practical implications

Practitioners, researchers and educationists in the hospitality industry would find the implications of this study useful in context of the evolving technology imperative and the present customer-centric business environment where hotels are constantly striving to meet the exponentially rising bar of guest expectations.

Originality/value

This study is the one of the few empirical explorations of the techno-based strategies adopted by luxury hotels for co-creating enhanced and high-value experiences leading to critical implications for both hospitality and tourism theory and practice.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2021

Sonia Bharwani and David Mathews

This study is an empirical exploration of the tech-based transformation strategies being adopted by luxury hotels in India to assuage the fear psychosis and restore guest…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study is an empirical exploration of the tech-based transformation strategies being adopted by luxury hotels in India to assuage the fear psychosis and restore guest confidence in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It sheds light on the “new normal” and its overarching implications for hotel operations from the user experience perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method strategy was adopted for data collection. Qualitative data was gathered from a video analysis of two webinars with high-profile panels of thought leaders about the challenges arising from the global health crisis and related post-pandemic recovery strategies. This data has been triangulated with desk research and data collected through an online survey which sought to map guest sentiments with respect to resuming the use of hospitality services and their attitude towards the proposed tech transformation initiatives in the Indian luxury hospitality industry.

Findings

The research data indicates that despite their pandemic-related trepidations, people still have a strong urge to be social and to travel. Technology can play a pivotal role in creating safe spaces for social distancing, facilitating a contactless guest interface to alleviate guest concerns for safe hygiene and rebuilding customer confidence to address the trust deficit.

Practical implications

Hospitality organisations must be discerning in the investments they make in new technology and contactless experiences because hasty investments in extensive automation may be perceived as gimmicky by guests. Intelligent and astute use of technology tools can minimise human error, optimise service efficiency and enhance guest experience through elevated levels of personalised hospitality in luxury hotels by judiciously marrying high touch with high tech.

Originality/value

This study is the one of the first empirical explorations of the tech transformation strategies adopted by luxury hotels in the Indian context in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It explores their efforts for the continued co-creation of high value experiences based on consumer perspectives, with implications for both hospitality and tourism theory and practice.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 August 2019

Sonia Bharwani, David Mathews and Amarpreet Singh Ghura

This study aims to explore the reasons for the rise of independent, stand-alone restaurants and ascertains the benefits of outsourcing food and beverage (F&B) in luxury…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the reasons for the rise of independent, stand-alone restaurants and ascertains the benefits of outsourcing food and beverage (F&B) in luxury hotels in India from the perspectives of the strategic partners involved in such an alliance. The study also proposes different formats for F&B outsourcing in luxury hotels.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory study was carried out by collecting primary data from 16 Hotel General Managers and F&B operations experts through qualitative, semi-structured, personal and in-depth interviews. NVivo12 software was used to carry out a qualitative thematic analysis of the data. The primary data collected were triangulated with secondary data gathered through literature review of academic papers, industry reports and studies on the trends of restaurants in luxury hotels being outsourced.

Findings

The study focusses on the antecedents of the rise of stand-alone restaurants in the Indian hospitality industry. To combat the competitive disruption arising because of this trend, the study posits the business model innovation of outsourcing F&B operations in luxury hotels.

Practical implications

The benefits of a strategic alliance from the perspective of both parties – the luxury hotel and Michelin-star chef or branded/marquee restaurant – are elucidated. Further, three broad formats, which can be adopted for speciality restaurant outsourcing are also proposed. Practitioners, researchers and educationists in the hospitality industry would find the implications of this study useful in the context of the present customer-centric business environment where hotels are constantly striving to meet the exponentially rising bar of guest expectations in an increasingly globalised milieu.

Originality/value

The study proposes a preliminary road map for internationalisation of F&B operations through the business model innovation of outsourcing operations of in-house specialty restaurants by luxury hotels in the Indian context.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 April 2012

Sonia Bharwani and Neetu Butt

This research aims at evaluating and discussing developments and key challenges for the hospitality industry in an emerging global context and the impact of these changes…

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Abstract

Purpose

This research aims at evaluating and discussing developments and key challenges for the hospitality industry in an emerging global context and the impact of these changes on human resource development and management.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses qualitative primary research through semi‐structured interviews conducted with select hospitality practitioners in India, supplemented by secondary research and triangulated with inputs from an HR round table of experts from the field of hospitality.

Findings

It has become imperative for hospitality organisations to consider the implications of the global context in which they operate and respond appropriately to meet the change‐induced challenges. This can be done by ramping up the quality and the quantity of manpower employed through training and development interventions and by adopting suitable employee engagement and motivation initiatives.

Practical implications

Researchers, practitioners and educationists in the hospitality industry will find the implications of this study useful.

Originality/value

This paper amalgamates industry viewpoints with the perspective of academia, providing a holistic picture of the impact of the global changes on talent management and development in the hospitality industry. It further endeavours to prescribe a panacea to provide a long‐term solution to the HR issues faced by this sector.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Sonia Bharwani and David Mathews

This paper aims to identify the key risks which are endemic to the hospitality industry and considered as important by hoteliers in today's growing global context, with…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the key risks which are endemic to the hospitality industry and considered as important by hoteliers in today's growing global context, with particular reference to the Indian context. It also seeks to propose a generic model for risk management.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data collection using questionnaires and semi‐structured qualitative interviews with hospitality professionals was supplemented by secondary research in the field of risk and uncertainty management.

Findings

To secure competitive advantage and develop business resilience, it is becoming increasingly important for hospitality organisations to shift their focus from merely responding and reacting to crises and emergency situations, to proactively identifying, analysing and assessing risks while formulating their business strategies. The paper identifies the most commonly addressed areas of risk in the Indian hospitality industry, which include competition, seasonality of business and changes in customer preferences and demand.

Practical implications

Practitioners, researchers and educationists in the hospitality industry will find the implications of this study useful in the context of the present complex business environment which is fraught with risks.

Originality/value

Given the dearth of research in the field of risk and uncertainty management in the hospitality industry, especially in the Indian context, the paper explores various aspects of hospitality operations prone to risk and proposes a framework for identifying the key risks in hospitality organisations. It also puts forward a generic model of the process of risk management.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 4 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Sonia Bharwani and Vinnie Jauhari

The purpose of this paper is to identify and map competencies required by frontline employees to enhance guest experience in the hospitality industry, in the context of an…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and map competencies required by frontline employees to enhance guest experience in the hospitality industry, in the context of an emerging experience economy.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary research through extensive review of relevant literature in the area of experience economy and hospitality management.

Findings

This study proposes a new construct of “Hospitality Intelligence” (HI) encompassing mainly Emotional Intelligence (comprising Interpersonal Intelligence and Intrapersonal Intelligence), Cultural Intelligence and Hospitality Experiential Intelligence dimensions.

Practical implications

Practitioners and HR professionals in the field of hospitality would find the Hospitality Intelligence construct useful in recruiting and training frontline employees, while educationists could use the findings of this study in designing curricula and pedagogical interventions for developing the right skill set for the hospitality industry.

Originality/value

This study proposes a competencies framework and develops a construct of Hospitality Intelligence required by frontline employees in the hospitality industry to elevate guest experience from a simple interaction to a memorable experience.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Gunjan M. Sanjeev

This paper aims to summarize and review the key innovations that have taken place in the Indian Hospitality Industry in recent times.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to summarize and review the key innovations that have taken place in the Indian Hospitality Industry in recent times.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the findings and managerial implications as outlined by the contributors to this theme issue: “How is the need for innovation being addressed by the Indian Hospitality Industry?”

Findings

The paper highlights some of the recent innovations that have taken place in the Indian Hospitality Industry, especially in the areas of customer service, cost competitiveness, culinary management, revenue management and technology. It also highlights some of the key challenges faced by senior management of selected hotels in implementing innovative ideas and related processes.

Practical implications

With domestic hoteliers continuously expanding and foreign players’ intent on investing in India, it will be of interest to hoteliers and policymakers to know about the recent innovative measures adopted by the Indian Hospitality Industry. The innovations will aid hoteliers as they seek to create differentiation for their products and services.

Originality/value

There is limited literature on innovation in the Indian Hospitality Industry, especially with a focus on practitioner perspectives. This issue offers a significant contribution in the field of research in the Indian Hospitality Industry.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

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