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‘Customer satisfaction is important for any hotelier’

Second generation hotelier Adesh Shirodkar of Hotel Satyaheera earned his top post through years of working while still in college. His contribution to the family owned hotel is through upgrade of facilities for tech savvy tourists
How did you get into this particular business?
My father and uncle started the hotel in the year 1986 and it was understood that I join them. But very early in life when still in college I got involved with the running of the hotel and later on because the interest continued I did a food craft course from IHM, Porvorim. After passing out, joining Hotel Satyaheera was a very natural thing to do.

Your toughest task in setting it up?
In fact, the toughest task is now because of the competitive market. In the early days when our hotel started there were hardly any other players. We were the only one in this area so plenty of tourists headed to our hotel easily. But now Mapusa is choc-o-block with hotels and you can only imagine the competition considering the fact that five years back there were 1,500 hotels in this north-Goa belt. Today there are 4,000 hotels and many locals are opening hotels and renting them out to outsiders.

Have you achieved all your goals? If not what remains to be done?
To a large extent we have achieved our goals. The hotel has good market presence and considerable goodwill. On the other hand, because of shortage of space there are many things that need to be done but remain undone. For instance, we would like to have a swimming pool but it is not possible with 1,000 sq foot space. So we are improving in other ways, such as Wi-Fi, key service (card swipe) for rooms, etc.

Your best business moment.
Customer satisfaction is the most important for any hotelier and customer praises as and when it occurs which is the best business moment for me.
The future prospects for your line of work.
Future prospects are good. However, things are changing in the industry. Even Goan groups are giving out the reins of management to others and hotels like ours that are run by the family are becoming fewer. However, I would like to continue the running of this hotel by the family.

Would you encourage other youngsters to get into it?
Of course! In Goa, 80 per cent of the bread and butter comes from tourism and youth should put their best of life for this industry. There are lot of areas where youth can involve themselves as professionals in the field.

State one aspect of Goa which has changed for better or worse.
Goa is changed a lot. Each coin has two sides to it. But for me, with the new government, we are changing for the better with the ‘365 days holiday’ tag line taken seriously. I cannot think for ways in which we have changed for the worst except for the garbage problem. I believe that ‘achhe din’ will come along with all the changes taking around us.

What changes would you like to see in the business as well as social environment?
Definitely more courtesy from the locals for tourists. Goa’s 80 per cent economy is from tourism and we should be helpful to our visitors, whether its white skin or Indian. This is a key issue that we are lacking. Also, traffic policemen should change their attitude as they issue challans freely. In Kerala the traffic police are strictly against it.

If not in businessman, what would you have chosen as a profession? Why?
That is a good question. If not a businessman I would like to work as a general worker in the tourism sector. Running a hotel is physically taxing as there are so many things to look into. We have no time for ourselves and family. So if not a businessman I would like to be in service as an employee in the same industry.

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