Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport marks 20 scintillating years of its grand existence in serving guests from the world over this year. The luxury hotel completes an epic 20 years later this year (August 2018). Breaking this news to Blackboard, the hotel’s newly appointed General Manager, Ashwani Goela speaks about this milestone and much more in an exclusive interview.

Ashwani Goela brings with him 19 years of experience in hospitality. After graduating from New Port University California in hospitality in 1999, he did Diploma in hotel Management and started his career instantaneously with Hotel Intercontinental, New Delhi. He then, kept moving on and with great expertise and several stint across in various hotel companies like RHG, The Imperial and the last stint was with IHG, where he was heading Crowne Plaza Jaipur as Cluster General Manager, handling three properties. He was instrumental in setting up the Crowne Plaza Jaipur from Pre-opening and successfully stabilizing the hotel. During his tenure, the hotel was awarded with 21 industry awards. He was instrumental in setting high standards in leading significant initiatives in different hotels and achieving guest satisfaction and profitability for his unit.

Exclusive Interview with GM, Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport

Ashwani has extensive experience in the hospitality sector including his ability to drive performance, turn around assets and building great team. In his current role, he oversees the complete operations of Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport.

Excerpts from a tete-a-tete with Co-Founder of Blackboard, Amit Sengupta:

You have embarked on a new journey as the General Manager of Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport. What were your initial thoughts before joining this property?

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport has a strong legacy of two decades. This hotel is very close to my heart since i started my career by joining in the position of management trainee from this hotel, 18 years ago. This property had given me the platform to move on the corporate ladder and hence, when i was given an opportunity to lead the dynamic team, i was very excited to be a part of this journey.

As the new GM of this property, what will be the new benchmarks you want this property to set?

A presidential suite. Photo credits: Amit Sengupta
Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport
The lounge of the suite. Photo credits: Amit Sengupta

I would like to leverage on the positioning of the hotel and would steer the hotel towards excellence in enhancing our guest experiences. This would be achieved by using the digital platforms and ensuring a better connects with guest on a real time basis.

How do you plan to improve the award winning F&B services in the coming years?

Radisson Blu Delhi
The hotel’s flagship NYC restaurant is a hit among its guests. Photo credits: Amit Sengupta

Our food and beverages offerings are award winning and are something that guests love to come back. Despite increase in competition, we have 65% of our guests who are repeated clientele. I would work upon improving our F&B services and organising more food festivals in the restaurants to showcase the cuisines that are yet not explored.

In this digital age, how much does Radisson rely on digital platforms to create its brand identity and revenue generation?

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi
Artefacts inside the hotel’s restaurant – The Great Kebab Factory. Photo credits: Amit Sengupta
Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi
A thai dish at its award winning restaurant Neung Roi. Photo credits: Amit Sengupta

As i mentioned before, we rely quiet a lot on delighted platforms due to the compounding reach the social media is able to provide. We are able to reach lot many of our guests due to the same. We are presently trending on all OTA (online travel agencies); our own website generates 40% of total revenue. Guests that dine into our restaurants also use the digital platforms to give feedback.

What role do you think OTAs will play in generating bookings for hotels in the coming years?

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi
A mocktail. Photo credits: Amit Sengupta

OTA is an integral part of online bookings.  In today’s dynamic environment, and with so many hotel options to choose from, it will remain a very crucial platform in the near future as well.