Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common” –is a quote that I believe perfectly encapsulates not just the world we live in, but also the world of hospitality we’re currently experiencing. We’re all living in a hospitable world – and hospitality, throughout my career, has become my entire world. It’s taken me across continents, cultures, and companies, and given me opportunities to experience things that I believe no other career path would have allowed me to. I’ve helped open resorts in the bustling African Savannah while being overlooked by wild elephants and lions, and I’ve been part of teams that transformed unusable land into properties that give back to nature and the local community. During every step, I’ve had the chance to learn from people from all walks of life, cultures and backgrounds. It’s been a journey that’s shaped me into who I am today and given me a platform I am incredibly grateful to have. It’s a journey that had me learning something new every day and adapting to new scenarios and environments at lightning speed. It’s an industry like no other – and it wouldn’t be the way it is if it wasn’t filled with some of the most creative and innovative minds out there.
In an industry that’s based on providing exceptional customer service and satisfaction, many might wonder what part creativity and innovation have to play in the big picture. The short and simple answer is that without either, we most definitely wouldn’t have the industry we have today. Let’s take, for example, the excitement of experiencing something new. A new restaurant, a new city, or even a new pair of shoes – the process of experiencing something for the first time is almost always accompanied by a natural rush of excitement and endorphins. The absolute same principle applies to hospitality. Our world is driven by the constant pursuit of “newness” – and in an industry as competitive as hospitality, new is always better. And that’s exactly where creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship come in to play.
Technology evolves. Trends change. Patterns emerge. Brands adapt. Those who don’t, die. In the world we’re living in today, consumer expectations are higher than ever. The rise of technology and social media means we’re more connected than ever before – and a positive consumer response can spread like wildfire across the internet – as can a negative one. Both leading and indie hospitality brands alike are brewing up new ways to impress their guests and take the art of customer service to the next level. With the exposure to information and experiences we have today, it’s too easy to tire too soon of something we would have otherwise enjoyed for much longer just a few decades ago. For brands that don’t innovate, this can often lead to losing consumers to a more “happening”, youthful brand, or one that puts a new twist on luxury, to use one example. It’s a world fueled by the need to adapt to expectations – and for those who don’t, it often spells the end of an era.
Dilip Puri, Founder & CEO, ISH