The most influential Hotel Investment Conference in South Asia
4th to 5th April 2018
Grand Hyatt Mumbai, India
The 14th edition of the Hotel Investment Conference – South Asia (HICSA), held at Grand Hyatt Mumbai on 4 and 5 April, 2018, was hosted for the first time under the Hotelivate banner, a new-age hospitality consulting firm in the Asia Pacific region. A day prior to the conference, Manav Thadani, Founder Chairman, Hotelivate announced the opening of the firm’s first overseas office in Singapore as well as its strategic alliance with LW Hospitality Advisors to market, promote and collaborate in the North America and Asia Pacific regions.
Over the course of the two days, HICSA, in its new avatar, disrupted the events and conferences space by introducing numerous interviews, keynote addresses and more than ever before Ted-styled masterclasses.
Day 1 saw Manav speaking positively of the investment climate in India during his candid interview with Kapil Chopra, Chairman of the Board, EazyDiner, forecasting 2018 to be a promising year for the hospitality sector. Keeping up the same tone, Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and CEO, Invest India, the official Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of Government of India, shared his optimistic views on the country’s prospects and lent a voice to the government’s perspective on the tourism industry. Mr. Bagla’s speech touched some key points that included government initiatives on Startup India, Tech India and GST; geographically emerging small markets in the Indian Ecosystem; and how the current demographics of the nation are going to affect the future of businesses in the country. He represented a strong voice on behalf of the Indian government and infused a sense of positivity among all present at the conference. Another keynote address on Day 1, which was very well received was by Roshan Abbas, Managing Director, Geometry Global Encompass. Roshan has clearly established himself as the one to speak his mind, and this event was no different. Daringly titled as ‘Clean up your Mess!’, his keynote focused on four main aspects – M for Millennials, E for Events and Experience, S for Service and S for Social Media. He urged hotels to provide experiences rather than buffet options for events and hire experienced managers to cater to a changing and more discerning clientele. Having said that, the interviews of Arne M Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International and Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation clearly stole the show on the first day of the event. Interviewed by Manav Thadani and Vir Sanghvi, respectively, both Arne and Mark spoke highly about India and South East Asia and what sets the region apart from the rest of the world in terms of its culture and people. Arne also spoke at some length on the Marriott-Starwood merger sharing, ‘‘With each passing day, we are more and more convinced that the deal made sense to do.” Mark spoke candidly on the future plans of Hyatt Hotels in India and threw some light on the prospect of newer and more innovative projects such as Andaz in the coming years.
From the Trailblazers to the rule breakers sharing their two cents, Day 2 of HICSA, had a fast-paced, content-rich agenda with an aim to offer something for everyone. From special owner-oriented segments like ‘Milking the Asset’ and ‘The Rise of the Secondary Markets in India’ to having dedicated hour-long sessions on Technology in Hospitality and Select-Service Hotels, HICSA increased the knowledge quotient more than ever before. All aspects of hospitality ranging from Vacation Ownership, Mixed-use Projects, Room Aggregation, Consumer Engagement, Legal Issues to Architecture and Design were presented by the respective experts in the form of Master Classes.
Additionally, the most outstanding new hotels in South Asia were honored with the HICSA Hotels of the Year Awards. The finalists were shortlisted by an independent panel of judges and included all hotels that commenced operations in the past one year. The winners were: Andaz Delhi, New Delhi in the Luxury & Upper Upscale Segment; Le Méridien Goa, Calangute, Goa in the Upscale Segment; Hyatt Place Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu in the Upper Mid-Market Segment; Hotel Mercure Dwarka, Gujarat in the Mid-Market Segment and Ginger Mumbai (Andheri East), Maharashtra, in the Budget & Economy Segment. The winners in each of the categories were determined by HICSA 2018 delegates via an online voting process.
We would like to offer our sincere gratitude to all the sponsors, speakers and delegates who helped us to organize yet another successful event and look forward to welcoming all at the 15th edition of the conference that would be held on 3rd and 4th of April, 2019.
Grand Hyatt Mumbai
Bandra Kurla Complex
Off Western Express Highway
Santacruz (East), Mumbai 400055
Grand Hyatt Mumbai has been chosen as the host hotel for HICSA 2018. Situated very close to the business hub of the city - Bandra Kurla complex (BKC), the hotel is seamlessly connected to both the International as well as the Domestic airports in Mumbai, and is also easily accessible from the southern and northern ends of the city. This contemporary lifestyle destination features 547 luxurious guest rooms & suites and 110 serviced apartments along with best-in-class service and hospitality.