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In Conversation with Sachin Didolkar

Sachin Didolkar is the Director of Sales and Marketing of The Ritz-Carlton, Pune. His journey in hospitality management started at Merit Swiss Asian School of Hotel Management. With a career spanning over 16 years with leading hospitality brands including Jumeirah, Emirates Palace, Kempinski, One&Only and Marriott International, he has held a number of leadership roles overseeing strategic management of key revenue streams for the hotel.

Prior to his appointment at The Ritz-Carlton, Pune in 2019, Sachin previously held the role of Complex Director of Sales and Marketing with Sheraton Grand Pune and Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar. Following this, he joined the Hilton Hotels in 2017 as Director of Business Development at Conrad Pune. In his free time, Sachin enjoys swimming and spending time with his family.

Afternoon Tea Setup

2020 and 2021 were challenging years for the hospitality industry. In your opinion, how will travel trends change in 2022?

With uncertainty in the air, there will be an influx of spontaneous weekend trips. These trips will embrace wellness and travelers will seek new and exciting experiences. Supporting local businesses and artisans shall play a key factor when undertaking trips to new destinations. With a new sense of urgency to hit the road, 2022 may be the year of the bucket-list trip. People are desperate to get away. They have been waiting to get back out there and are not shying away from destinations and once-in-a-lifetime adventures !

Spa bathroom

Building the right team is crucial for a property’s success. What are the key skills you look for when hiring new employees?

The pandemic has required us all to adapt and be resilient in the face of constant change. Problem-solving skills have become essential in a work environment where communication and collaboration can feel fragmented. The right attitude and mindset to quickly adapt to any situation along with excellent communications skills are key skills that all Ladies and Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Pune showcase.

Three-Kitchens-Restaurant-and-Bar-Asian-Kitchen

How important is it for a hotel to have a solid gastronomic offering?

Having distinct gastronomic offerings plays a larger role that most hotels realize. A hotel has the ability to attract local guests who are looking for post-work gatherings, celebratory experiences or even a romantic dinner for two. Guests staying on-property can be indulged in a culinary journey that makes for a memorable stay which in turn causes the intent to return to increase. We hope that guests will continue to be curious and enjoy precious time with family and friends this year whilst enjoying our innovating culinary and beverage offerings.

Presidential Suite Delux Bed

Was a career in hospitality something you always dreamt of?  What is your advice to aspiring hoteliers?

A successful career in hospitality has always been a passion as far as i am concerned. My advice to aspiring hoteliers would be that guest satisfaction and loyalty are key factors to a successful career.

Which cities are your favorites for: 1) food 2) history 3) fashion?

Food – Hyderabad due to their usage of ingredients and a long and rich food history.

History – Cairo, i have always been fascinated with pyramids – how they were made, the life of pharaohs in ancient Egypt and the religious aspects such as life after death etc.

Fashion – Definitely Milan, the fashion capital of the world. I love collecting unique key-chains during my travels for which I have a prominent display collection. I enjoy colognes and have built up an interesting perfume collection over the years.

Vida

What are some of the new measures your team has put into place to deal with the post-COVID-19 situation?

At The Ritz-Carlton, Pune, we take standards for hygiene and cleanliness very seriously. Our hotel’s health and safety measures are designed to address a broad spectrum of viruses, including COVID-19, and include everything from thorough hand-washing hygiene and cleaning product specifications throughout the hotel alongside heightened and more frequent guest room and public area cleaning procedures. Guests can enjoy contact-free stays whilst we take care of the rest.

Presidential Suite Living

What would you do if you weren’t a hotelier? 

 I would have pursued a career in political science if not a career in hospitality.

When are you happiest? At work, which is your most challenging activity and why? 

As a sales-focused person, closing a business deal continues to provide an adrenaline-rush. I love challenging myself each and every day to find new ways to close lucrative business deals and to raise the bar when it comes to guest satisfaction.

Spa Reception

What makes The Ritz-Carlton Pune stand out from other brands you’ve worked with?

The Ritz-Carlton Gold Standards are what elevates the brand far above the rest. It encompasses the philosophy and values by which we operate by and includes the Motto, the Credo, the Three Steps of Service, the Service Values and the Employee Promise.

Aasmana

You’ve had such a successful career – what would you say has been your career highlight? 

Having working with several luxury brands over the years (Jumeirah, Emirates Palace, One&Only), opening and launching the iconic The Ritz-Carlton, Pune has certainly been a career-defining moment for me.

 

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