Sanjeev Advani: A Hospitality Industry Veteran on a Mission to Drive Sales Growth at Kamat Hotels India Ltd
Sanjeev Advani is a name that has become synonymous with the hospitality industry. With over 25 years of experience in the field, he has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including
Sanjeev Advani is a name that has become synonymous with the hospitality industry. With over 25 years of experience in the field, he has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Sofitel, and Lemon Tree Hotels.
Currently, Advani serves as the Vice President of Sales at Orchid Hotels Group, Kamat Hotels India Ltd (KHIL). Here, he shares insights into his extensive work experience in the hospitality industry and his background as a hospitality professional.
Advani’s journey in the hospitality industry began in 2000 when he got the opportunity to work with Oberoi Hotels, where he spent a decade learning the essentials of hospitality. From there, he went on to work with other renowned brands like Hyatt and Sofitel, where he gained valuable experience in marketing and business development strategies.
One of his remarkable achievements was securing a Russian Naval tender which was a significant breakthrough for Oberoi Hotels, Mumbai, after it reopened, given the voluminous business. “During my time as the head of The Oberoi and Trident Nariman Point properties after the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, the hospitality industry in the area had taken a huge hit. With my sustainable leadership and unwavering dedication, we were able to restore the image of The Oberoi that had been forced to shut down.
By providing exceptional facilities and services, we were able to win back the trust of our customers. I implemented innovative marketing strategies and upgraded our services, which created a buzz and high demand among consumers, ultimately helping to revive the hotel.”
In 2022, Advani joined The Orchid Hotels group as the Vice President of Sales. He was drawn to the brand’s sustainability ethos, which is next level compared to any other brand. He was impressed by the warmth and belongingness of the brand, as well as the eco-friendly initiatives they take.
“I remember the time when our country was coming out of covid and Mr Vishal Kamat had himself posted the opening of Vice President Sales on his Linkedin Account. That’s how I happened to meet Mr Kamat and the only promise I made was that the hotel will never face bad days in terms of revenue and I have kept my word since the time I have joined the group.”
Advani’s primary responsibility as the Vice President Sales at The Orchid Hotels is to set the revenue targets for the entire fiscal with a proper goal sheet and plan of action in front of the management, so as to give a clear picture of the top line to the higher authorities.
In his mission to drive sales growth at The Orchid Hotels, Advani identified and implemented various measures to restructure the sales team. He ensured that the integration process was as smooth and efficient as possible, providing new joiners with an overview of the company policies, procedures, values, and expectations. He also empowered the team to achieve personal and collective success, promoting collaboration, empathy, accountability, and continuous learning.
Thanks to his efforts, The Orchid Hotels Group has achieved an average of 90% occupancy in its hotels, with the best and competitive REVPAR in the industry. His sustainable leadership and unwavering dedication have helped the brand weather the challenges of the post-covid world.
As the Vice President of Sales for Orchid Hotels Group, Advani’s primary goal is to drive competitive top-line growth across all properties. To achieve this, the group has a strong loyalty program that keeps them connected with their regular guests. “We also engage in brand recall campaigns and use WhatsApp campaigns to stay connected with our loyal customers. The sales force is well-incentivized, and we leverage influencers and social media to promote the brand.
In terms of marketing strategies, The Orchid Hotels Group recognizes that their diverse portfolio of properties requires a tailored approach. Advani and his team curates festivals, offers, and themed brunches to keep their audience engaged and attract new customers. They also highlight their unique offerings, such as their famous rooftop restaurant, ‘Mostly Grills’, and their authentic South Indian restaurant, ‘South of Vindhyas’.
He is responsible for allocating the right jobs to the team and understanding their strengths. He also makes decisions on budgeting, dealing with customers, and recruiting and retaining top performers. He is a supportive resource to the sales reps struggling to close a sale, and cultivates loyalty to the brand and company culture. His ultimate goal is to generate an impressive top-line and maintain an effective sales cycle in the competitive hospitality industry.
“So I basically follow the mantra of Sir Richard Branson – A.B.C.D, ‘Always Be Connecting The Dots’, as the way we connect life’s dots, defines how we see reality and thus, how we make decisions and reach conclusions.”
In order to destress and improve overall well-being, Advani works out every morning for an hour at 5:30 am. Believing that physical exercise is crucial for human health, he emphasizes the benefits of working out, including improved brain health, weight management, and better ability to handle daily challenges.
For spiritual nourishment, Advani practices Buddhism and chants for an hour every day. The chant “nam myoho renge kyo”, signifies devotion to the mystic law of Lotus Sutra. This practice helps him connect with the rhythm of the universe and maintain a positive outlook on life, regardless of the situation. “I strongly believe that thoughts play a critical role in shaping people’s lives and we need to be mindful of our responses and reactions to external events.”
He believes that inner happiness is within our control and not dependent on external factors. He quotes a line from famous Dev Anand movie, that resonates with his life principles: “Mein zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya, Har fikr ko dhuein mein udata chala gaya” (I kept moving forward with the support of life, letting every worry go up in smoke). Lastly, Advani emphasizes that accepting one’s mortality is a fundamental aspect of living a happy life.