The Classic Hotel – A Harbinger of Tourism Industry in Manipur – Part 2

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Upcoming Four Star Hotel

“We are targeting to achieve a hotel accommodation with 200 rooms in the upcoming 4 star hotel at Chingmeirong. This time the planning is focused more on a personalised facility. Hopefully within a couple of years the hotel should be completed as the construction is in full swing”, says Naoba. The Classic Grande is most likely to be fully operational by the middle of next year. This dream project is going to offer job opportunity for a lot of young people. However, the first preference would be given to those trainees who are currently undergoing 3 months course in Hotel Management at the Classic Hospitality Training Institute. The management is taking up the challenge to train 35 people (already chosen for a 1 year diploma program) to be absorbed at the new facility.

In the meantime the state of affairs in the original hotel is running smoothly with the entire team pitching in from all front. In terms of the performance and measure of the efficiency and effectiveness of the front line operation staff and the managerial staff, the director of The Classic Hotel seems content. This is obvious in the light of what he expressed recently,

“We are getting good feedback from the visitors. They find our staff to be friendly and appreciate their efforts. We have well qualified managers who have worked outside the State but chose to come back to serve in the State”, observes Naoba.

Attractive Tourists Package

The onset of The Classic Aradura Inn at Kohima and the existing Uyok Hotel at Kakching could become important transit points en-route to the tourist destinations. In order to upgrade the existing travel help desk and concierge the team is on the verge of opening a travel agency as well. The yearly visits of Indo-Japan war group in the State is an eye-opener. Sensible organisation to connect tourism hot spots, combined with indelible marks left behind by the then Japanese soldiers of the World War II is already becoming a lucrative package for the tourism industry. Similar packages could be presented to foreigners visiting the two war memorial cemeteries, located in the city, to honour their heroes.

The strategic location of The Classic Hotel serves as a significant nodal point in Manipur and the entire North East India. The prospect of increase border trade at Moreh, establishment of immigration office and the up gradation of the Imphal Tulihal Airport to International Status augur well for the hotel.

Man of the hour

Naoba Thangjam, a protégé and the director of The Classic Hotel, a unit of BABINA Healthcare and Hospitality Industries Pvt. Ltd., perhaps inherited his entrepreneurial skill from his father, Dr. Th. Dhabali Singh, who is the Managing Director of the BABINA Group.

Naoba earned his management degree from the reputed Institute of Hotel Management at Kolkata. In fact his love for cooking is his motivation. The conspicuous progression and expansion of The Classic Hotel testifies that his passion has become a boon for all the stakeholders in the organisation.

24/7 Service

“Although the restaurant remain closed at times, some of the basic services and food are provided round the clock”, reiterates Naoba. The word ‘no’ does not exist in the service vocabulary. For instance, there are cases when the visitors are taken ill and they have not had their meal on time; later when they order food, in spite of lateness of the hour they are still being served. “Our guest can expect homely atmosphere and hospitality unequivocally from us”, adds the director.

Perhaps most of the foreigners are not a fan of spicy food and their preference and happiness are inclined towards Continental food. However, some of the more adventurous guests from outside the state enjoy all kinds of food prepared from local as well as multi-cuisine. The bottom line is that the hotel is prepared and committed to provide uninterrupted service and quality food as per the requirement of the guests.

Bandh, Protest and Blockade

Bandh, protest and blockade have a tremendous impact on the overall economy of the state. To put things into perspective, during these lean periods even the local household fish out the triple amount – from the original price – to purchase a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for domestic purpose. This is a classic example of hyper inflation caused by the culture of bandh, protest and blockade.

Under these circumstances the day to day business of the hotel is carried out diligently and consistently. Notwithstanding the scarcity of commodities and essential raw materials, the quality and service is never compromised. The challenges thrown at the hotel perhaps give the opportunity to use creativity and ingenuity to deliver the promise made by The Classic Hotel to its loyal customers.

The buildings and facilities do help the hotel up to a certain extent to promote the brand. But at the end of the day, the core competency and value lies with the dedicated employees. Without the whole hearted support from the workforce, the infrastructure and the material resources become a facade of inanimate and brainless structure of the organisation.

“We have 59 rooms in the Classic Hotel.  Hiking the price of items in the menu during the time of blockade or bandh is the easiest option but our hotel neither encourages nor practices such short term measure. We try our level best to prevent our guests to feel a pinch in their wallets. At times the raw materials become quite scarce though. However with the support of our local suppliers and the stakeholders, we will continue to overcome and share the fruits of labour – against all odds”, states Naoba.

Photo Credit : Courtesy of The Classic Hotel

Expansion of the Hotel

The expansion of the hotel is the talk of the town. The outlets are set up at Uyok Ching, Kakching and High Court Complex, Chingmeirong and BABINA Diagnostics at Porompat. And of course The Classic Grande is expected to be completed by the middle of next year (2014). The fact is the services and facilities offered at these outlets are well received and acknowledged by the customers. A world class food and accommodation provided by The Classic Hotel is a huge relief and a great advantage for most the visitors from outside the state of Manipur.

The Classic Aradura Inn at Kohima is based on an innovative business model initiated by The Classic Hotel group. The idea of cross cultural partnership regardless of communal background and ethnic origin is in vogue. Several other similar projects are in the pipeline and they are in fact ready to be launched with likeminded partners. In retrospection, within a short span of time the team has excelled in making it a habit to turn dream projects into a reality.

The proactive approach of the group is adopted in eager anticipation for the growth and development of the tourism industry of the region. However, The Classic Group is aware that this is not a one man show. Any tangible progress is achievable only with the all round support from politicians, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs and the influential organisations of the state.

Link to Part 1.

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