Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President (South-west Asia), InterContinental Hotels Group, has spearheaded the group's strategic growth as well as the operational performance of 39 hotels across four brands. Last year, IHG launched 11 hotels in the region, including 10 properties under the Holiday Inn Express brand in India. The company is planning to open 150 properties within the next two-three years.
Q. The biggest challenge in your career
A. Given my long journey in the hospitality sector, I can list many. However, helping people understand the need to evolve in a constantly changing business context and adapt to disruptions has always been the biggest challenge. In a fast-paced and highly competitive industry like ours, one should closely follow emerging trends, adapt quickly to break through the clutter and stay ahead of the curve.
Q. Your best teacher in business
A. Over the past 20 years, I have had the privilege to meet and interact with great business leaders in the hospitality industry. So, naming only one would not be fair. Here is my key learning from them: In a constantly shifting and volatile world, you must stick to your values, do the right thing and make a difference with what you do.
Q. Key lessons for young people
A. You should focus on three areas. Keep learning and developing yourself. Invest time in building and growing a strong team around you. Finally, be adaptable and resilient. These three lessons will help you grow, innovate and succeed.
Q. Two essential qualities of a leader
A. In my opinion, honesty and integrity are the two most essential qualities a leader should have. It is also imperative to have a clear vision of where your workforce is heading. You must tell them what is expected from them and what is in it for them and be honest about both.