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London
July 24, 2024
PI Global Investments
Real Estate

Panchshil Realty Setting Standards in Real Estate and Hospitality


RANJIT BATRA’S visionary leadership has transformed skylines through innovative and sustainable real estate projects, raising the standards of luxury and service in the hospitality sector. He excels in creating extraordinary spaces that redefine guest experiences. His commitment to excellence, combined with a deep understanding of market dynamics, has established him as a formidable presence. With a distinguished career spanning decades, Batra, as the President of Panchshil Realty’s Hospitality division, boasts a distinguished career spanning multiple decades, during which he adeptly navigated the intricacies of both the real estate and hospitality sectors. His innovative contributions have earned him acclaim in both industries. His professional journey began at The Oberoi Group of Hotels in India, where he commenced his career and underwent training in Monteux and Zurich, Switzerland. He further honed his expertise by graduating from the Institute Hotelier, Cesar Ritz, Switzerland, and the Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development in New Delhi. Following his entrepreneurial endeavours in New Zealand, he has been actively involved for the past 15 years in shaping the vision of Mr Atul Chordia, Managing Director, Panchshil Realty, within the realm of hospitality, starting from its conceptual stages. 

Amari Raaya MaldivesHis influence extends across the entire spectrum of the hospitality industry, encompassing an array of vital domains such as F&B, shopping mall F&B, IT Park food courts, engineering and rooms division. His multifaceted role includes pivotal responsibilities in asset management, strategic planning, risk management, acquisitions, hotel design, fit-outs, and the intricacies of financial planning and control processes. His comprehensive involvement underscores his expertise and leadership in steering diverse facets of the hospitality business.

Panchshil Realty, established in 2002, is one of India’s most esteemed real estate developers, leaving an indelible mark on Pune’s landscape. With a rich portfolio of diverse projects, Panchshil Realty has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence in the real estate sector. With a track record marked by innovation and quality, the company has successfully developed architectural marvels that transcend conventional boundaries. Panchshil Realty’s creations embody a philosophy of creating spaces that inspire, resonate, and redefine the essence of modern living. Its office spaces provide exceptional work environments. These integrated workspaces foster an inclusive atmosphere and promote work-life balance with cutting-edge facilities. The company has also crafted exquisite residential collaborating with renowned designers and developers from across the globe. These include iconic Trump Towers Pune, the prestigious Avant Garde in Delhi’s Friends Colony, yoopune by Phillippe Stack and luxurious YOO Villas styled by Kelly Hoppen.

Coutyard by Marriott Hinjewadi

In the realm of hospitality, Panchshil Realty has redefined luxury in Pune with renowned establishments like The Ritz Carlton Pune, JW Marriott, Marriott Suites, Courtyard By Marriott, Doubletree by Hilton and Oakwood Residences. And it has ventured into international hospitality with the magnificent Amari Raaya island resort in the Maldives. Not this alone, it has acquired Aloft Bengaluru Whitefield, a captivating addition to its portfolio. Catering to the needs of both business and leisure travellers, Panchshil Realty’s hospitality experiences offer luxurious accommodations, personalised services, exquisite dining and comprehensive facilities. Additionally, Panchshil has collaborated with the best architects to bring The Ritz Carlton Reserve to Sri Lanka, further expanding its commitment to delivering unparalleled luxury experiences. The company is working on a new hotel project in the culturally rich city of Varanasi, adding another dimension to its diverse and growing hospitality portfolio. Panchshil has played a significant role in presenting Pune on the world map and added to its growing global identity.

Panchshil Realty provides end-to-end project management, facility management services, fit-out management, architecture, and interior design services driven by technology to deliver the best user experience. Panchshil has been a pioneer in bringing technological innovations to real estate that have helped accelerate the construction speed as well as the quality of construction. Panchshil’s developments are finer in every aspect, commanding appreciation in value, and identity. They aim to maintain high-quality standards in architecture that not only adapts in harmony with its surroundings, but also promotes life, creativity, and happiness. A timeless way of building ensures that the designs endure, and the quality outlasts.

Doubletree By Hilton Chinchwad, Pune

NAVIGATING THE HOSPITALITY LANDSCAPE

Sharing his views on embarking on new projects in the ever-evolving hospitality industry, especially the creation of novel hotels, and the challenges and rewards associated with prospecting and building new hotels, Batra says, “Indeed, venturing into new hospitality projects is a delicate dance. The substantial upfront investment, including land acquisition, construction, permits and associated costs, poses a formidable challenge. Economic fluctuations, changing consumer preferences and global events add complexity. However, successful hotel projects not only yield substantial returns but also contribute to local economies and industry growth.”

The decision regarding the category of hotels plays a pivotal role in the pursuit of excellence. When considering how investment capacity, return expectations, and market trends influence the choice between luxury, upscale, or mid-scale hotels, he shares his perspective: “With the exception of a few traditional hotels, Pune presented an ideal opportunity to explore the expansive realm of hospitality. We introduced various products tailored to different market segments, including serviced apartments, convention centre’s, mid-segment offerings, and mixed-use spaces with office facilities. Choosing the appropriate class involves a careful analysis of competition, market trends and long-term evolution of the chosen segment. Investment capacity and return expectations play a defining role. Aligning these factors with the overarching business strategy becomes the compass guiding this crucial decision.” 

For hospitality at Panchshil, the focus lies on delivering distinctive F&B experiences. According to Batra, “We meticulously craft each experience with authenticity, design, and comfort, collaborating with only the finest designers and F&B concepts to offer a wide range of world-class luxury hospitality experiences. We quickly recognised that F&B has the potential to be a game changer for Pune.” Elaborating on how the commitment to nurture a thriving culture influences the choice between a single operating company or diversification across multiple brands, he says, “The decision echoes our strategic goals, risk tolerance and operational capabilities. At the core lies our unwavering commitment to company culture, prioritising continuous learning and delivering robust benefits to our employees.”

JW Marriott Pune

STRATEGIES FOR INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION AND SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

Discussing the strategies employed to overcome challenges such as geographical constraints, environmental vulnerabilities, and regulatory frameworks, especially pertinent during Panchshil’s foray into international destinations like the Maldives, Batra shares, “It demands a profound understanding of the local landscape. Our mitigation strategies involve local partnerships, thorough due diligence, sustainable development, local hire, adaptability and strong brand positioning. By differentiating our property with unique offerings and exceptional service, we aim to stand out in competitive markets like the Maldives.”

Panchshil’s ‘one project at a time’ strategy in hospitality aligns with passion projects and our meticulous and detail-oriented approach, to deliver a high-quality outcome while ensuring efficient use of resources and sustainably focused efforts. The integration of sustainable practices in hotel investments has become increasingly crucial due to the growing emphasis on environmental responsibility, both from guests and investors. As sustainability becomes a key criterion for both guests and investors, hotels that incorporate eco-friendly initiatives not only fulfil their environmental responsibilities but also gain a competitive edge. The future of hospitality investments increasingly relies on embracing sustainable practices, as they not only attract guests but also align with the expectations of socially responsible investors seeking viable and ethical opportunities. “Amari Raaya Maldives continues to advance their commitment of purposeful travel with a hands-on, data-led approach resulting in milestones that highlight the resort’s commitment to environmentally conscious practices and business excellence that positively impacts people and place,” he shares.

Batra opines Sri Lanka’s future as a tourism destination holds promise, driven by its cultural richness, diverse landscapes, and a growing commitment to sustainable and diversified tourism offerings. “With strategic planning, infrastructure development, and a focus on sustainability, the country can position itself as a premier destination appealing to a broad spectrum of travellers,” he says.

REVOLUTIONISING OPERATIONS AND GUEST EXPERIENCES FOR FUTURE 

Technology integration stands as a beacon guiding operational efficiency and guest satisfaction, he feels. “By strategically adopting technologies aligned with our objectives, we streamline operations, enhance guest experiences, and ensure our journey towards the future reflects a commitment to innovation,” says Batra, adding, “We are working on building automated staff productivity application, thus ensuring hotel operate with clockwork precision. The app will revolutionise staff productivity by streamlining task assignment, scheduling and tracking. This technology ensures every facet of hotel operations operates with precision, enhancing efficiency and guest satisfaction.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Pune

Panchshil’s strategic approach to technological mastery involves a comprehensive tech infrastructure, staff training, cybersecurity measures and continuous upgrades. On how do these elements collectively form the blueprint for technological evolution at the organisation, Batra shares that investing in a robust tech infrastructure supports seamless integration and ensures a technological ecosystem that operates in harmony. “Staff training empowers the workforce to adapt to and effectively utilise new technologies, with cybersecurity measures safeguarding guest data. Continuous upgrades and innovation ensure Panchshil stays at the forefront of technological advancements,” he says.

ACTIVE ASSET MANAGEMENT

The guiding principle for the asset management team is to improve profitability of the hotel by prudent cost control and revenue growth, to improve and maintain the asset value of the company, to nurture professional talent and maintain a relationship of mutual trust with the operator and to enhance the goodwill and brand equity of the owners and their companies. 

The asset management team possesses a healthy mix of operations and asset management experience that empowers the hotels in macro-level strategic direction along with micro-level execution assistance, approval processes, and the ability to take calculated risks.

To be proactive and anticipate potential issues, taking corrective measures in consultation with owners, and acting as a ‘problem solving officer’ to bridge the gap between the owner and the operator, Panchshil Realty took a bold step in 2022. It reset the compensation playbook by returning 100 per cent of salary pay cuts incurred during the global pandemic. This initiative reflects Panchshil Realty’s commitment to its people and the community, demonstrating a belief in the importance of “building back better” and strengthening the social bond of reform. Panchshil’s support extended to employees by returning 100 per cent of their compensation, including pay cuts incurred during the coronavirus pandemic. By committing to total compensation for employees, the company aimed to address the financial vulnerability, hardship and social dislocation caused by the pandemic, as families faced job disruptions, school closures, and unexpected parental, childcare and medical expenses.

CRAFTING DISTINCTIVE JOURNEYS

As designing innovative hotel concepts is a meticulous process that involves collaboration with architects and designers, Panchshil approaches it by fostering creative partnerships that aim to transform properties into experiences. “Collaborating with experts ensures that each property is not just a space but a unique journey for guests, setting the stage for memorable and distinctive hospitality experiences,” avers Batra. 

Providing a recap of how Panchshil integrates sustainable practices into various aspects of its operations, Batra shares that sustainability is ingrained in every aspect of the company’s operations. “From green building designs and waste reduction to sustainable procurement, our commitment extends across the spectrum. We recognise the importance of sustainability in attracting guests, building brand loyalty, and influencing investor interest. Despite the initial challenges, the long-term benefits in cost savings and market appeal far outweigh these concerns,” he says.

In conclusion, the dynamic landscape of hospitality investments demands a proactive approach towards embracing change. Under the leadership of Ranjit Batra, the hospitality wing of Panchshil has not only demonstrated adaptability but set a standard for excellence, sustainability and delivering unparalleled guest experiences. The integration of innovative technologies, commitment to workforce excellence and the harmonious synergy between hospitality and real estate showcase the company’s position as a leader in the ever-evolving hospitality industry. As the journey continues, Panchshil remains dedicated to shaping the future of the industry and leaving a legacy that echoes its commitment to excellence. 



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