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‘Leadership Next 100’ column of ITNext Sept 2012 issue

Posted by on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Mr. Vijay Choudhary, DGM-IT, HRH Group Of Hotels talks about his Dream Project, Dream Industry, Dream Courses and Dream Role in the ‘Leadership Next 100′ Column of ITNext, September 2012 Issue.

You can also read the article here:

“My dream role would be that of a ‘CIO’ sitting in the co-driver’s seat, helping the CEO to drive business agility and transformation”

Your Dream Project

I have always aspired to lead a dream project whenever I notice business problems and then tried my best to apply technology to fix it. Being in the hospitality industry and management of IT infrastructure, my dream project is something which can be a BI tool, where in the system draws up the future strategies, while taking inputs from the environment, industry, research organisations, in-house data. It will be about coping with Big Data advantage and its analytical capabilities.

Your Dream industry

The service industry accounts for the maximum in our GDP growth. Hospitality and tourism is one of the prime drivers of this segment, and I have been working in this segment for the past 13 plus years, it’s my favorite as technology is always at the forefront playing a big role. The reasons I love to be part of the hospitality industry are:

Exposure:
 Being in the hospitality industry, we face/learn about varied processes/people/technology stakeholders.

Unique Work flow integration:
 The IT department is like an organisation in itself,running within an organisation. Even the smallest department is integrated with the main core application/platform because the most important factor is uninterrupted guest services.

Respect given to IT:
 High and deserving.

Team work:
 In this sector, the team’s work is immediately reflected in quick ‘guest/client feedback.’ It’s required as a strong KPI measuring business insight.

Dream Courses\Certifications

I have enrolled myself for research, for a Ph.D. I also plan to do ITIL, CISM and PMP, the globally accredited and accepted certifications. To achieve academic excellence and to acquire a research mindset, I am pursuing my dream course – a Ph.D. and getting into intricacies of how research work is done. The aim is to cover various methodologies, report writing, study statistics and analytics, mentor the next generation of IT leaders and beneficiary communities. The Ph.D. is already under way. I will start on other professional certifications from January 2013 onwards.

Your Dream Role

My dream role would be that of a ‘CIO’ sitting in the co-driver’s seat helping the CEO towards complete business agility/transformation/innovation. I’ll look forward to wearing a business cap in addition to technology responsibility. It is indeed my favorite, as it offers greater space for innovation. ITNext has already geared me up by bestowing the ITnext100 award in 2011. As a Next100 winner. I was able to recognize my potential and I am now putting in more efforts to understand what inventory of skills really matters to reach a CIO’s position

Vijay Choudhary, GM-IT, HRH Group of Hotels, writes for ‘Hotelier India’ !

Posted by on Friday, September 14th, 2012

Vijay Choudhary, General Manager – Information Technology, I.T. Department, HRH Group of Hotels, Eternal Mewar, pens down an article for ‘Hotelier India’ September 2012 Issue.

He talks about ‘How heritage hotels provide the perfect blend of old-world and new-age experiences’ in the article, “Exploring Heritage, Hospitality and High-tech environments”

You can also read the content of the entire article below:

Exploring Heritage, Hospitality and High-tech environments

How heritage hotels provide the perfect blend of old-world and new-age experiences.

  – By Vijay Choudhary, Head IT, HRH Group of Hotels

Blending tradition with innovation, technol¬ogy is a must-have for resource optimisation, monitoring, customer acquisition and guest-feedback processing for the heritage hotel industry. It finds applications in this sector for man, machine and materials. In heritage hotels, we need to continuously look for av¬enues to fulfill our promises of delivering perfectly gracious In¬dian hospitality, in part through high-tech technology.

Travellers’ needs do not begin or end with the amenities like room, food, laundry or spa, but with technology like high-speed wi-fi to experience better info¬tainment and luxury. At heritage properties, mostly located in remote areas, providing uninter¬rupted technology is a big chal¬lenge. The connectivity technol¬ogy in the hospitality industry, including VSAT and high-speed broadband using radio frequen¬cies, are preferred in these areas.
Technologies that are being implemented among heritage brands tend to be dependent on the a number of key initiatives and areas, that I list below.
INFRASTRUCTURE BACKBONE
It is always a big challenge to install and deploy necessary IT infrastruc¬ture, especially when it comes to laying and connecting cables for various services, and keep the prop¬erty’s architecture undamaged. the physical-layer infrastructure are basically consist of a number of technological components.
WORKFLOW INTEGRATION
All guest services start process¬ing from the first point of demand generation, such as from the heri¬tage hotel’s website. Prospective visitors look for value in terms of both a heritage experience and the availability of technology-driven services.
Similarly, back-end services, which guests may not experience directly, are prime factors for effi¬cient operations. These include an automated process flow for service delivery using integrated software that covers eCRM, cen¬tral reservations systems, front-office management, point of sales, housekeeping, laundry, back-end accounting and finance, material management and HRM. This workflow is automated keeping in mind the three As: accessibil¬ity, accountability and authorisa¬tion, and is accelerated towards quick and efficient service to heri¬tage hotel guests. It also delivers a way to monitor various KPIs in terms of RevPAR, ADRs, future projections and occupancy, cost and consumption per unit of efficiency.

CORE COMMUNICATION
Across heritage properties, there is major communication deploy¬ment which takes place: IP phones, high-speed wi-fi, voice¬mail and social-platform enabled HDTVs.
Surveillance enabled by tech¬nology through CCTV moni¬toring systems is necessary for properties that have guests, in-room guests, staff and service-providers constantly coming in. Digital security policies are being implemented and infrastructure is building up to keep the delicate nature of the architecture of heri¬tage properties in mind.
Also being considered steadily are P2P videoconferencing solu¬tions, audio-video infrastruc¬ture, modern BMS comprising of fire alarms, energy monitoring, access control, biometric finger print machines for monitoring, control and compliance for the ultimate benefit of guests. HI
The writer is deputy general man¬ager – information technology at the IT department of HRH Group of Hotels.

GLOBAL MARKETS
Global communication and technology has transformed the way heritage hotels market themselves. More steps are bgeing taken for greater property visibility within global markets to generate customer demand. These include:
• Adopting web strategies, competing at OTA/GDS/IDS platforms, e-marketing initia¬tives, integration of online payment gateways through websites, bulk SMS campaign¬ing, eNewsletters, e-greetings and brand-building using social media platforms.
• Integrated BI tools are being used for revenue optimisation and monitoring, and building demands through technology.

Critical success factors for technology at heritage properties:
• A technology roadmap and strategy should be in complete sync with business strategies, clearly defined roles and ROI matrices.
• The CIO or technology head should directly report to the board of directors.
• Information and awareness of regulatory compliance to the technology department.
• Competency of the IT team, with domain expertise of the industry.
• A considerable stakeholder acceptance level and technological awareness.

fhrai magazine talks to Vijay Choudhary, GM-IT of HRH Hotels

Posted by on Thursday, July 26th, 2012

fhrai (Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India) magazine talks to Vijay Choudhary, General Manager – Information Technology, I.T. Department, HRH Group of Hotels, Eternal Mewar

You can also read the content of the entire article below:

“IT Department is a strong ‘Profit-CENTRE’ candidate

Bracing up for challenges

Integrated BI solutions for complete business agility and analysis on top of the PMS, RMS, CRS and MMS.
• Specialized Hospitality cloud services in the form of IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service).
• Desktop virtualisation at key Guest Service areas/Departments like Front Office, Point of Sale (F&B Services) and Housekeeping.
• Increased commoditisation of rooms requires low-cost and integrated single platform comprising of PMS, RMS, OTA inventory management tool to handle market dynamics in more automated ways.

Needs of IT in today’shospitality

The needs could be divided into three different perspectives:
• Business: IT should be completely integrated and part of the corporate strategy in the Hospitality business.
• IT Infrastructure: Has to be deployed looking into the elasticity of demand of IT services, wherein at the supply side, the perishable
IT services are available in the form of Cloud, virtualization technology, etc.
• CIO/Head IT: CIO should have a place in the boardroom to assess, suggest and implement technology keeping pace with the growth and market dynamics.

Products, Services and Trends

• Integrated BI solutions for complete business agility and analysis on top of the PMS, RMS, CRS and MMS.
• Specialised Hospitality cloud services in the form of IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service).
• Desktop virtualisation at key Guest Service areas/Departments like Front Office, Point of Sale (F&B Services) and Housekeeping.
• Increased commoditisation of rooms requires low-cost and integrated single platform comprising of PMS, RMS, OTA inventory management tool to handle market dynamics in more automated ways.

‘IT Department’ as a ‘Revenue Creation’ opportunity

It’s a common perception that the IT department is nothing but a mere cost centre. Now, with the capability of developing new customers, new markets and creating new revenue streams, the IT department can now be seen as a ‘Profit-Centre’. IT as a platform is contributing a lot to hotels getting the property made available on one click of a mouse to the entire world. The hotel website, considered as the face of property, now seems the preferred way of customer acquisition and retention. Social media presence, OTA channels, GDS/IDS all made IT a competitive advantage for greater customer reach and retention.

The IT team in synergy with ‘Revenue Department’ can bring in a big difference in terms of growth of revenue, better RevPAR and ADRs.

Viewpoint
My concern - (Alignment of business strategy with IT objectives + Incremental IT service delivery expectations) versus (availability of domain expert manpower and its recognition/retention)

Opinion - IT should be considered equal to a main hotel operational department. IT matrices and evaluation parameters should be introduced at various processes like strategic initiatives, brand representation and assessment, customer facing events, budgeting, internal audits and appraisals.

Vijay Choudhary, DY General Manager, IT, HRH Group of Hotels shares his view on Cloud Computing with magazine ITNext

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Vijay Choudhary, DY General Manager, IT, HRH Group of Hotels shares his view on Cloud Computing with magazine ITNext in their June 2012 issue

HRH Heritage Hotels sees future in mid-market segment’ says Economic Times and Times of India

Posted by on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

‘HRH Heritage Hotels sees future in mid-market segment’ says Economic Times and Times of India

IT NEXT Issue of May’2012 features DGM-IT of HRH Group of Hotels

Posted by on Monday, May 28th, 2012

IT NEXT Issue of May’2012 features Vijay Choudhary, Dy. General Manager – Information Technology, I.T. Department of HRH Group of Hotels

Annual function of Maharana Mewar Public School and Maharana Mewar Vidya Mandir

Posted by on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The two schools under Eternal Mewar umbrella, celebrated their Annual Prize Giving on 14th – 15th April 2012. Dr. (Mrs.) Shyama Chona Padam Bhushan, Padam Shree was the chief guest for celebration on 14th evening. …[Read More]

HRH Group of Hotels receives the BEST HERITAGE HOTEL AWARD by International Tourism Conclave and Travel Awards (ITCTA)

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

The Tourism department of Himachal Pradesh in association with International Tourism Conclave and Travel Awards had organized a three day international tourism conclave and travel awards starting from 6th April, 2012 till 8th April 2012, where HRH Group of Hotels, Udaipur has been awarded the Best Heritage Hotel award recognising the contributions made by HRH Group of Hotels to the industry. This glorious award has been bestowed by The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal to the Executive Director of HRH Group of Hotels, Mr. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar.

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