Sagar Pawar spearheads the Housekeeping Department at Renaissance Ahmedabad Hotel. He has been with the hotel since 2017, providing exceptional service and ensuring a memorable stay for all the guests. Sagar Pawar comes with more than 10 years of experience in Marriott and knows the company and the job inside and out. His motto is to uphold all the brand standards while reaching the highest guest satisfaction levels at all times.
2020 and 2021 were challenging years for the hospitality industry. In your opinion, how will travel trends change in 2022?
2020 and 21 were indeed challenging years in the history of the hotel industry. Having said that, hotels are slowly and gradually recovering from the impact of the pandemic. Post pandemic, people have become a lot more cautious about hygiene and our efforts have always been to ensure hygiene and safety for guests. Travel trends will be focused towards clean and hygienic hotels and will gravitate towards trusted brands.
Building the right team is crucial for a property’s success. What are the key skills you look for when hiring new employees?
I personally believe that a skill can be acquired, a task can be taught and procedures can be learnt given that a person has the right intent to do it. So I always hire a candidate based on their willingness to learn. everything else can be taught and acquired over a period of time and training.
Was a career in hospitality something you always dreamt of? What is your advice to aspiring hoteliers?
As a child, I was very intrigued about different people and cultures across the world. It always amazes me how different people behave and function differently, in the same set of circumstances. I feel that a hotel gives you that platform and opportunity to meet new people every day and get a glimpse of various cultures and trends across the globe.
To all the aspiring hoteliers, my only advise would be that – hang in there, all the long hours and extra work which might feel tough right now is going to make sense in the long term and is going to help you become a successful hotelier.
Which cities are your favorites for: 1) food 2) history 3) fashion?
As someone who has spent a major part of his life in Pune and currently working in Ahmedabad, I feel both these cities have a fine blend of food, history and fashion.
What are some of the new measures your team has put into place to deal with the post-COVID-19 situation?
Post pandemic, cleanliness and hygiene standards have become extremely important. We have implemented all the necessary protocols to make our guest’s stay comfortable and hassle-free. All our team members wear precautionary gears such as masks and gloves, as prescribed by the organizational standards. The hotel has also invested in tools such as electrostatic sprayers for sanitizing surfaces and sanitizing booths across the hotel building.
What would you do if you weren’t a hotelier?
I enjoy coming to work every day, interacting with guests, catering to their needs, motivating my team. I do not think I would fit so perfectly in any other field than hotels.
When are you happiest at work, which is your most challenging activity and why?
As a housekeeper, majority of my job involves coordinating and communicating with guests to make their stay more comfortable and content. I would say I’m the happiest when guests appreciate mine or my team’s work and say that their stay in the hotel just felt like their home. I think that would be a greatest compliment for any housekeeper. The most challenging part or activity, which is also the most fun and creative part at work is anticipating guest’s needs and providing them with amenities and facilities to the best of our capabilities.
What makes Renaissance Hotel Ahmedabad stand out from other brands you’ve worked with?
Renaissance Hotel Ahmedabad is a premium brand of Marriott International and more so it is a lifestyle brand that vows to create a cultural impact on the society with a dash of heritage flavors. The brands gives you a slightly wider bandwidth to experiment and deliver services. The brand is not stiff and allows you to incorporate a lot of local culture in the hotel offerings and designs.
You’ve had such a successful career – what would you say has been your career highlight?
During the unfortunate period of the global pandemic, the role of housekeeping department went from being the back-end support to being the focused department as all the hygiene standards and protocols, in-rooms sanitization, amenities, hotel sanitization, high touch areas’ cleaning are under the housekeeping department. By looking at all the efforts and contribution that my team and I were putting in this fight against the pandemic, and in contrast to the unfortunate scenario of job losses, my management recognized my efforts and decided to reward me by promoting me to the head of the department. I would always be grateful for that and would say that my recent promotion would be the highlight of my career so far.