Manoj Kumar, in conversation with Kamlesh Talera, Co-Founder of Melange Group of Apartment Hotels
In conversation with Kamlesh Talera, Co-Founder of Melange Group of Apartment Hotels On what has paved a way forward for this family-run apartment hotel based in the heart of Bangalore.
"This has taken me back to the 1971 war as a kid when there used to be a 6pm lockdown and lights out. I must admit, it feels much worse because we don’t know when this uncertainty will end'', says Kamlesh,
"The hospitality industry has faced a severe brunt of this storm – people have lost jobs, many hotels and restaurants have closed shop and there has been a prolonged feeling of despair and anxiety."
3 ways in which Kamlesh leaned on his instinct and his family to tide over these challenging times.
Fear of the unknown in this storm has been too strong a feeling to ignore no matter who you are. "The intensity of this pandemic amidst uncertainty has left people feel helpless and so alleviating these fears have been my first priority. What I have learned over the years is that as the head of a family, a leader, an employer you have to remove fear from people – fear of losing their jobs, fear of keeping themselves and their families safe. Our team members knew we were always there for them, they need not worry. Once the fear is removed, people give their best. They feel part of a large family and think of the business as their own. For our employees who have families to take care of, even showing up to work every single day, is a big step."
I’m only giving back a small part to the community of people who have made it happen for the past 4 decades. "Right from the start, we decided that we will not fire any of our employees or back off from the commitments we have made to our vendors. We have earned from the business for 38 years, and we decided that if need, we will plough back 2 years of our profits to pay salaries and vendors to continue to operate our properties."
Letting the young eagles fly, and take the lead. Isn’t that what India is seeing on a large scale!? "During a crisis, we tend to lean on more experienced people. However, my brother, Dinesh and I thought that this was the right time to empower our children with more responsibilities. What better time to learn than when it is at the worst? Our youngsters have learnt about compassion when handling people challenges, and coming up with new ideas when pushed to the wall on business. I was pleasantly surprised when we stopped losing money after 6 months of the start of the crisis, and delivered some profits by the end of the year."
Eagles In The Storm: About the Series
India’s Resilience amidst adversity. We know that while all the other birds fly away from a storm, eagle is the only one that actually flies into the storm. In these testing times, there is a large community full of samaritans, businesses, frontline workers and more who have inspired us and taught us different ways in combatting this storm. This series invites the stories, journeys and lessons from these very eagles in the storm. Everyone is welcome to contribute!