Aims to promote south Mumbai as a hub for meetings and conferences
SUDIPTA DEV – Mumbai
In April 2012 The Oberoi Mumbai would be completing two years of its reopening. One of the key focus areas for Oberoi Hotels & Resorts properties in south Mumbai – The Trident and The Oberoi – has been the meetings and conferences vertical. Acknowledging that this business segment has seen an increase, Devendra Bharma, executive vice president, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Mumbai said, “The idea has always been to try and promote this part of Mumbai as a conference and meeting location compared to anywhere else. The MICE business is something that we are well geared for. We have one of the largest pillarless halls in this part of the city. We believe that south Mumbai has immense strengths – locationally we are on a very clean, nice promenade of Mumbai with a glorious view of the ocean.” He averred that for sometime people were considering the northern part of Mumbai because of difficulty in commuting however the Bandra Worli Sea Link has brought down the commute time now. “We believe that we need to enhance this part of business and that’s the way forward,” he asserted, pointing out that they work very closely with professional conference organisers (PCOs) and also engage with organisations who do training programme.
Bharma albeit believes that there is still a long way to go as there is a lot of untapped potential in the locality. “It takes time to change guest perceptions and after that if they do change their decision then it is our job and role to ensure that their conferences are successful here. Fortunately our feedback has been good, our services hold well and we take all service requirements of banqueting,” he added.
The Trident with its varied banqueting venues is well pitched for a conference hotel. The Oberoi has its own small banqueting options, which are more for board meetings, small lunches and dinners or very important breakfast meetings. Besides that The Oberoi has nine large meeting rooms – 20/ 16/ 10 seaters that are ideal for small meetings. “Should the guests need something larger then we work with the banqueting areas of The Trident. So guests have the option of staying at The Oberoi and having their conference at The Trident,” mentioned Bharma.
Regarding F&B, Bharma stated that as the reopening took place only two years back the restaurants will not see any physical change but the menus are constantly being evolved, according to international scene and what customers are experiencing all over the world. The banqueting menus range from working lunch in conferences to elaborate menus for weddings. “We are in constant dialogue with renowned chefs and are committed to offering to Mumbai new options through either international chefs or our teams who get exposed abroad. We also work with similar luxury hotels elsewhere in the world who have the same service and food philosophy as our company and bring their chefs to deliver a beautiful menu. We have done festivals with some very good hotels in Asia, with European vineyards, Michelin star chefs are constantly coming down,” stated Bharma, adding that they will continue to offer new fares through their relationship with luxury chains across the world or with individual Michelin star level chefs. The year 2012 is also planned accordingly.