INTERVIEW | Puneet Chhatwal Mumbai

‘It is the people who are exemplary’

Puneet Chhatwal.

Puneet Chhatwal.   | Photo Credit: Paul Noronha

As the Taj Group of Hotels is celebrating 115 years of its existence, The Hindu spoke to Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and chief executive officer of Indian Hotels Company Ltd., on what the landmark year means for the company and how the Taj is different from other hospitality groups.

What is the reason behind celebrating 115 years?

It is a significant milestone. It is 115 years of Taj and 150 years for Tata [Group]. It is the oldest hotel company in India. So we are celebrating. It is also the 10 years of 26/11. So we have lots of things planned this year. One was a horrible incident and it is 10 years. It shows how rock solid we are celebrating the 115th year.

How are you celebrating?

We will have a charity. While half of the proceeds will cover our cost, the other half will go to what we call Taj Public Welfare Trust, which not only supports Taj employees. It was founded after 26/11 to support all victims. And we actually did that. We will have something happening in every restaurant of the hotel. The moment you enter the lobby you can feel the celebration of 115 years. Celebrations are planned on December 15 and 16. After that, you have Christmas and the New Year. So there will be some celebration or the other happening.

It will be unfair to ask about the 115 years of Taj as you have joined the company only last year. Is there anything significant that you have witnessed?

I think it is the people both at the Tata Group and Indian Hotels [Taj] who are exemplary. These are the set of people whom I have definitely seen since I have joined here. They have the will to make the difference. That spirit is there. I have only seen that positive spirit. Now we are organising culture and strategy meets at IHCL. That is how we have created Aspirations 2022 which was shared with the Board and at the Capital Markets Day. Strategy is more about business, and culture is about behaviour. It is just a combination. It is just not the best business formula that ensures success. Sustainable success comes with culture. It is the culture of Tata Group and within Tata Group, specifically the Taj or IHCL that is exemplary. There have been lots of case studies. In 26/11, our employees took the bullet instead of the guests getting it. That is the culture we have. It does not happen in this industry. It happens with the Army in the front.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:19:28 AM |

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