August 01: Biswajit Chakraborty, has taken over as the new General Manager Delegate (Area General Manager) of Pullman-Novotel Hotels in New Delhi Aerocity and with the intricate understanding of the luxe segment he plans to make a remarkable transformation for the dual properties, creating finer experiences for the luxury and upscale travel and business market in the country, writes Subhash Arora who met him at Hotel Pullman a couple of days ago
As I walk in the Hotel lobby at 1 PM to meet and greet the new General Manager Delegate (Area General Manager) Biswajit Chakraborty, I notice a little freshness with the hotel smelling roses. A young girl I have never met before greets me warmly and pointing me to an empty sofa offers a glass of water before asking who I would like to meet, as my eyes are fixated at the beautiful flower arrangement of roses and carnations in tall, cylindrical vases behind the Reception Desk and the centre of the lobby. As I engage her in conversation about her job, I see the gentleman walking towards me at the appointed time.
Meet Biswajit Chakraborty, General Manager Delegate, who I have known for a few years and have met him a few times as the General Manager of Sofitel BKC in Mumbai and who is bubbling with fresh, new ideas to take one of the best Pullman properties in the world to newer heights.
A complete turnaround specialist, he has transformed several properties in his past associations. In his last assignment, he was the man behind the successful elevation of the Sofitel Mumbai BKC that has grown and even made an impact on the development of the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). He is a pedigreed hotelier with 30 years experience of assignments in top quality hotels that included the Leela Kempiski Mumbai, Taj Bangalore, the Oberoi Group, Movenpick Hotels and Resorts (now a jewel in the Accor necklace) and Yak and Yeti.
It is not an easy job opening a luxury hotel in Delhi (Pullman was one of the hotels that could not start its operations for almost a year as the license was withheld till special anti-terrorist bullet proof windows were installed on the top floor since it faced the international airport) and Tristan de Lomenie did a good job as an operations man. I have been always been a sales and marketing man along with managing operations in my career so I plan to bring my experience to not only bring the allure and grandeur to one of the best Pullman Hotels and one of the biggest Novotel Hotels in the world but to take them to a new standard of chic hospitality which has not been witnessed so far by guests in Delhi.’ He believes that the time for Aerocity has come to become a vibrant hub for activities and celebrations, along with the finer things in life and Pullman-Novotel is ready to share its success.
During a quick lunch at Pluck, the chat shifts to the name Pullman which is not French whereas Accor is a fast expanding but French group. Referring to the history of the brand which was the top brand until Sofitel was created (and of course the group has since bought hotel chains like Raffles, Fairmont, Swissôtel and Movenpick), the name ‘Pullman’ was inspired by George Pullman, founder of the Pullman Company in the US. During the 19th century, it was created as a railroad manufacturing Business Company in Chicago, known for the launch of the first ever sleeping train in the United States and developed upscale services for railroad travellers.
'I will soon unfold my vision for the hotel complex ans shares his plan of creating experiences that will become commensurate with elite events, art, theatre, literature and style,' he says. Most of all he aims to present the hotel as a gastronomy trendsetter in the city. With an on-going change in client needs and an upsurge in demand for innovative services from the hospitality industry, he believes, to drive the room revenues through unique F&B offerings at the six outlets of the dual properties.
‘For instance, Honk, the bistro-style specialty restaurant featuring the contemporary Asian inspired street food cuisine, will now be open for lunches (In fact, starting from today, 1 August!). Keeping in mind the corporates located in the Aerocity Complex, the restaurant will offer quick and easy lunch meals for corporates including a set menu with bento box and unlimited dim sums this month. Pullman will also have an eminent Executive Chef joining us soon to curate more such F&B experiences,’ he says.
The introduction of ‘Vinoteca by Pullman’ is a good example of how Pullman New Delhi Aerocity aims to meet the needs of the modern traveller. At Vinoteca by Pullman, a minimum selection of ten wines and two Champagnes is available to be served by the glass. The selection changes regularly to vary the offering as Pullman encourages guests to try as many wines as possible.
A Sale and Marketing man to the core, he has found a residence in Gurgaon where ‘I can network with the residents and attract them to the property. I am a simple man with very limited requirements. My only passion is cars and if I can take my Jaguar for an occasional spin (the dark blue shining car adorns the outside of the hotel in a corner) I am a happy man,’ says the soft-spoken workaholic.
Biswajit strongly believes that the hospitality trend in India is changing rapidly and the players who will succeed eventually will be the ones who manage to sufficiently differentiate themselves with unique experiences and who manage to touch the hearts of the guests by exceeding their expectations in terms of personalization and memorability.
If you are a regular visitor to the hotel, you would have already noticed the small changes by the man who believes strongly in detailing (the signature Oberoi style). There is already a signage in the lobby which details the Mohammad Ali Road Food Festival at Novotel from August 2-11, 2019.
And yes, if you are from the wine or hospitality industry you will again have an opportunity to attend the delWine Excellence Awards on April 30 next year at your favourite wine destination- Pullman New Delhi Aerocity which has already been the venue partner for the past two editions, for an event that is aiming to become bigger and better for the wine and hospitality awards.
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