We talked to Raj Bhatt of Hozpitality Group about the hospitality industry, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Raj Bhatt: All is well; we are trying to stay afloat during these unprecedented times, especially for the Hospitality Industry.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Hozpitality Group.
Raj Bhatt: I am a Hotel Management and Business Management graduate and hands-on hospitality professional who has worked at different levels for over 25 years in India, Kenya, and Tanzania with hotel groups like The Oberoi Group, Holiday Inn, Ramada Plaza, Sun n Sand hotels, Metropolitan hotels and Neptune hotels before relocating to Dubai to recruit for the hospitality industry.
I have successfully helped hotel brands like Sofitel Dubai, Conrad Dubai, St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Hyatt Hotels, Armani Dubai, The Westin Dubai, The Address Hotels, Shangri-la, Plan Hotels, City Seasons, Flora Hotels, Aloft, Hamra Hotels, IHG group, HMH group, Ramada Hotels, Hilton Doha and many more, in Executive level hospitality recruitment and pre-opening/bulk recruitment.
I am the Founder and CEO of Hozpitality Group based in Dubai. Hozpitality group, launched in 2008 in Dubai, is emerging as one of the fastest growing online companies in the Middle East and Asian market. The group has six different ventures for the hospitality industry in UAE. We relaunched our website www.hozpitality.com in June 2020 as a startup!
How does your company innovate?
Raj Bhatt: The brand new platform on www.hozpitality.com will now offer a Dedicated Hospitality Network of Hospitality Companies, Professionals, Institutes, Students, and Suppliers around the world.
The new Hozpitality.com is a platform where Hospitality Professionals can find the best opportunities in the world. Hozpitality.com is a place where Institutes can publish their Courses and Students can connect with Alumni and other industry professionals. It’s a platform where Hospitality Industry Suppliers can share their Products and Deals in the Market Place with global Hospitality Companies and Professionals. With offices in Dubai, India, and Canada and used by leading Employers and Recruiters to broadcast Job vacancies across the globe, Hozpitality.com specializes in matching top candidates with attractive opportunities. Professionals can also use Hozpitality.com to keep up with the latest industry news and information, as well as customize their CVs with the site’s professional design services.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Raj Bhatt: Business has been very difficult since Feb 2020, but we have kept our calm. All staff have been retained and are working from home, and we are completing our website development so that we will be ready when the industry opens up again!
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Raj Bhatt: Yes, we had a choice to either let our staff go or to keep them. We closed our offices and made our teamwork from home. We reduced their salaries but made sure that no one suffers. Hopefully, the industry will rebound again soon.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Raj Bhatt: Our business works on relationships, and we have tried staying in touch with all our clients. We know we will come back soon with a bang.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Raj Bhatt: No, we have been investing our own money into the company.
Your final thoughts?
Raj Bhatt: We relaunched the platform in May 2020 with over $500k of our own investment. The new platform is similar to Linkedin, with many more opportunities. We are determined to be the next Linkedin for Hospitality Industry.