Dr Madhu Chandhok, beautifying Hospitality since 12 years


Congratulations on receiving Doctor of Excellence Degree from CIAC please tell us in terms of design, planning and construction development where Indian Hospitality sector is outstanding and one area where Indian Hospitality sector is lacking?

Dr Madhu Chandhok: Thanks for the kind words, with regards to your question on the Subject of Hospitality Design Planning and Construction, if I was to list the strengths they would be, a good understanding of the regional cultures &factors influencing Design inspiration by the Architects and Designers. A collaborative approach of the various stakeholders (Subject Specialists) to work on Design Functionality.  Understanding the need for preparing a coordinated Master Construction schedule

Design and project management and Construction associates have a good understanding of Project Lifecycle and the processes. Embracing technology and Design innovations are also key strengths. 

One major factor that I feel which is a Hole to be bridged, is lack of complete understanding of the various Brands, their Narratives, Standards, Performance criteria’s and also the Swim lanes of various Local and International Brands. This has a huge implication on Project Budgeting and also Brand Positioning. It is very important to understand and a detailed Brief is shared with the Designers at the inception stage by the developers. Sharing the Project Budget by developers can help the Designers to Propose a Design which is Brand Compliant and also meeting with the Developers Budget.

You are a champion of mock-up rooms so please tell us one thing that hotels should be very careful while getting the rooms designed?

Dr Madhu Chandhok: I have always considered a Mockup Room as one of the most important aspects of a Hotel Design. Designing of a Brand Compliant and Functional Guestroom is the Key. A Designer Needs to think of the functionality part and also the long-term maintenance of the materials specified. The New Normal approaching these will become even more important. Another factor which is more of an aesthetics or Design part is that the Design should be regionally relevant. In the room, Products may also need to be redefined post the current Covid scenario.

You have been a part of the Procurement process for over 12 Full Service & Luxury Hotels across India so please tell us how important is the appropriate procurement of a hotel and what measure should the hotels take during procurement?

Dr Madhu Chandhok: The Role of a Procurement Process is the key to taking quality and responsible buying decisions.
The Procurement team needs to always educate themselves with the technical specifications and product offering to ensure fit for a purpose buying decision. The Procurement is also of various types of Capital / Construction / Operational, therefore keeping yourself updated is the key. With today’s Tech World this process is also simplified and Knowledge is available online too.
Some Important Aspects to be always kept in mind:

  • Understanding of the Product Specifications. (Life Cycle analysis very important)
  • Evaluating alternatives by Comparing the Performance criteria’s (an apple to an apple).
  • Keep the Environmental and Sustainability aspect in mind in discussion with Vendor associates.
  • Develop Good relationships with Vendor associates, they are also our Product Specific Knowledge Banks.

The ambience and the interior of the hotel or restaurant property play a vital role in the guest’s experience, is it true that post lockdown all the real estate development will be little slow due to constraining in the budget?
How the interior designing industry is looking forward to overcoming this slowdown?

Dr Madhu Chandhok: You are very right the capital expenses and upgradation may take a back seat for at least 12-18 months, the Designers will need to revisit the Design Basis for both the Greenfield & Renovation Projects. Post-Covid a lot of emphases will be given on recycling of the existing materials FFE etc. The design will have to take another aspect by choosing Hygienic and safe Products. Decluttering of existing spaces and adding the elements with minimum touch points will have to be innovated.
Automation in Design will be another aspect that Designers will have to embrace. Embracing Change is key.

As a member of Advisory board of HPMF, how you are strategizing your post covid operational moves to bring back the industry on the track?

Dr Madhu Chandhok: As an advisory board member of HPMF and in discussion with the Complete team we are all strategizing towards a collaborative approach. No one can make the difference alone to reinfuse the energy in the entire system. All the stake Holders including our Vendor associates, Hospitality Operations Specifiers, & Owners meet up the new challenges. There may be issues of Funds, material availability, change in specifications, all will have to come together on one platform and support each other. As an HPMF Army, we need to support to get the Manufacturing Logistics & Supply chain lines ready as per the new norms. Supporting the Industry and initiating the dialogue with the authorities and Government for the necessary support is also one on top of our agenda. We as the Advisory board Body are putting together our thoughts and sure that Together we can win and move forward to our: