Prashant Mehrotra: Leading Royal Orchid & Regentahotels Through Its Digital Voyage

Prashant Mehrotra: Leading Royal Orchid & Regentahotels Through Its Digital Voyage

Prashant Mehrotra, Chief Operating Officer

Prashant Mehrotra

Chief Operating Officer

Being one of the largest sectors across the country, the hospitality sector in India resembles our traditions, rich culture as well as way of living. However, the sector is still way be-hind when it comes to embracing technology and going digital. Using his extensive experience as well as leadership skillsets in the hospitality sector, Prashant Mehrotra is working on creating a tech-savvy environ-ment at Royal Orchid Hotels as its Chief Operating Officer. Under his able guidance, the hotel chain has already overcome the pandemic-induced low-business phase and has started earning profits for its stakeholders. In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights Asia, Prashant shares his early experience, his leadership skill-sets, future roadmaps for the hotel chain, and much more.

Shed some light on your professional back-ground and experiences. What inspired you to take up the role of COO at Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels?

I started my career at Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and later on, went on to work with various other companies such as Radisson Hotels, and Lemon Tree Hotels. I also worked with OYO for a short while. What inspired me to take up the role of COO at Royal Orchid Hotels is the management's clear vision to expand the chain. I joined the firm during the pandemic, which was not one of the best times for the industry. I also realized that if we can survive through this pandemic, then we can come out strong, which also pushed me to take up this role. Even though the pandemic did hit us with waves after waves, we were agile enough to come to terms with it. We looked at different buckets of revenue that we could generate some money from while going into an extra overdrive of controlling our costs. Even though a lot of us had to go through salary cuts, we still ensured that nobody is laid off and that's something that charged me up for this role.

What is the impact you have been making in your current role? What would you say is the uniqueness in your style of leadership?

In terms of larger impacts, we've been able to be tighter with the prices, and even though not by a huge margin, the firm has been in the profit zone despite the pandemic. From an implementation point of view, we changed the entire customer segmentation that we were focusing on earlier to the new age profiles that were staying with us. A lot of promotions and marketing were done to push hard for people to come and stay/dine at the hotels as zero travel was happening during the pandemic and new segments started get-ting us revenues. From a technology perspective, we have already automated our HR system with a lot of other technological interventions are underway. We are trying to create the best futuristic tech-savvy environment for our guests to have an immersive digital experience during their stay with us.

I have a very involved leadership style, where I try to keep all the stakeholders together. Once you have an immersive atmosphere as well as a common goal, reaching the goal becomes far easier and that's something I have always believed in and have learned from my seniors in the industry as well.

Define Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels as an organization and its products/service port-folio that keep it afloat in the industry.

The tagline of Royal Orchid Hotels mentions distinct, Indian hospitality and that is something we are proud of and always stand by. One of India's foremost 4-5 star hotel chains, we have a healthy mix of leisure and business hotels where around 47 percent of our inventory lies in leisure, and the rest in corporate city hotels. These city hotels are great destinations for weddings, dining out, meetings, and so on.  We have a large presence in tier-two and tier-3 cities in India and we are still expanding.

Hire people who are better than yourself and build a high delivery team as it helps organizations as well as individuals to perform

What has been the success mantra that constantly helps you arrive at positive outcomes? What are your goals for the future and how do you strive to achieve them?

Having a positive attitude is one of my success mantras. The initial positive outcomes can only come from a positive attitude. I also believe in hiring people who are better than myself and building a high delivery team as it helps organizations as well as individuals to perform. Keeping a very open environment where people can work as well as discuss their personal and professional life is very important as these are the people who spent maximum time of their life in the office and are like an extended family. You also need to be quick while making a decision.

Coming to short-term goals, we want to touch a target of opening 100 Hotels by end of this financial year and are very much on the track regarding the same. Regarding the long-term goals, we want to keep on evolving with the changing trends and regulations. Another goal of mine is to help the firm go fully digital and become extremely technology-dependent. As the hospitality sector is more about the service offered to the customers, we constantly aim for providing the best experience to our customers.

Prashant Mehrotra, Chief Operating Officer, Royal Orchid Hotels

Using his extensive experience in the hospitality industry, as the COO of Royal Orchid Hotels, Prashant is pushing the firm to go fully digital while expanding nationally.


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