Dynamic Team, Hotel’s Location are Plus Points

Vikas Kumar, who took charge recently as Manager of Courtyard by Marriott Kochi Airport Hotel

Kochi: Vikas Kumar, who took charge recently as Manager of Courtyard by Marriott Kochi Airport Hotel, speaks to Destination Kerala about his experience in the industry and plans for the hotel

What inspired you to join the hospitality industry and what still keeps you excited?
It was by sheer chance that I became part of this pulsating industry. I was born and brought up in Jharkhand where majority of youngsters those days aspired to be engineers or doctors. However, I wanted to try something unique and eventually, my destiny made me join the Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology (IHMCT), Kovalam. Now when I look back, I feel that the decision could not have been more apt as I fully enjoy the benefits of the hospitality industry; be it meeting new people, getting opportunities to travel and understand different cultures, curating innovative F&B concepts or nurturing young talents.

Tell us about your professional journey prior to arriving in Kochi
Prior to joining Courtyard by Marriott Kochi Airport Hotel, I worked with a number of groups within India and abroad like W Retreat & Spa Maldives, Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Towers, Saudi Arabia and Novotel Hyderabad International Convention Centre. I also had the opportunity to be a part of the pre-opening team of The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Hotel at Brigade Gateway and Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park. I started my career as an F&B Supervisor at the Ananda in the Himalayas and rose to become Director, F&B and my last assignment was with JW Marriott Chandigarh as Director, Operations. I have had the opportunity to work with 11 different hotels under six different brands. Kochi is really exciting as I love being close to nature.

How do you evaluate the Hotel’s performance till now?
The biggest asset of this hotel is its people. I have got a young and dynamic team who always excelled in what they do and the hotel infrastructure is well-maintained and excellent. With the city gradually getting extended towards Aluva, the hotel’s location can be capitalised as an ideal tourist destination as it is away from the hustle and bustle of the city but still enjoys good connectivity to the city through new roads and the Metro. I would motivate my team to work towards communicating this benefit to customers.

What are your key priorities as the new Manager?
The brand is employee-driven and taking care of them is embedded in Marriott’s culture. When we look after our people well, they feel motivated to care for our guests. Guest satisfaction is our main priority. Taking feedback and improving our service each day is also important.

Please share information about new product announcements, if any.
Our tapas bar Taberna would be my focus this year. It has a lot of scope to attract guests. We are working on a new concept for refreshing the layout and the design. Curating Spa offerings will also be a focus point.
For reservations, log on to: www.marriott.com or contact, ph: +91 484 6693333.