Two years ago, Bobby Kamani, dreamed a dream – that of making the hotel a force to reckon with in the Indian hospitality industry.
A couple of awards later (The Zuri Kumarakom, Kerala Resort and Spa, Asia Spa Award – Best Resort Spa in India, 2007 and Carlson President’s Award for Operational Excellence 2007 and Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa — ‘Service Excellence Award’ at the Amarula Best Retreats in Africa Awards 2009), Kamani’s dreams have not only been realised but has gone beyond his expectations. “The momentum and the respect that the brand has gained in the last two years have exceeded our expectations by miles. In a short span, we have received positive responses from a majority of hoteliers for their hotels to be run under management contracts with us.
The encouragement has motivated us to drive towards a better hospitality experience and constantly enhance our services,” said Kamani. The USP of Zuri, he believes, is the hotel’s approach to hospitality. “Zuri’s primary offering is its unique brand of hospitality that is warm, attentive and mindful of the special profile of the guests it serves. “Welcome back to hospitality the way it’s meant to be” is our tag line. The very essence of brand Zuri remains inherently different from the usual experiences that guests are used to, in the hospitality sector. We take that extra effort and go that extra mile to make the hospitality experience special for each customer. We ensure that each customer’s need is tailor-made making each customer’s experience unique. This, we are proud to say, is the USP of brand Zuri!,” he explains.
With the spurt of business and budget hotels across cities, Zuri remains focussed on “affordable luxury”. Kamani is not bothered by the competition. “Budget hotels and luxury resorts serve separate needs and hence function on different revenue principles. There will always be a market for both because utilitarian and luxury needs are ever-present. Our target customer is the upmarket and well-travelled urbanite who understands world-class hospitality and is growing in numbers. We are investing in him and we know that it can only give us positive and growing results,” he said.
However “The Retreat, By Zuri” (in Goa and Sikkim) is part of the mid-segment space. “For The Retreat, we have introduced some very exciting packages for all our properties in which the price is affordable to the mid segment and also gives a lot more value additions. However, our future expansion plans are primarily geared towards luxury hotels that we fondly call “Affordable Luxury,” Kamani pointed out.
The Zuri Hotels and Resorts has already forayed into international markets especially the African continent. A number of projects are in various stages of development such as – high-end malls with attached service apartments in every city of Africa, a lot of villa projects and numerous rose farms. While the major focus is on international markets, they are looking forward to suitable opportunities in the Indian market. The project in Devanhalli is awaiting the feasibility study report.
As part of CSR initiatives, the hotel group has adopted a number of green measures. “As part of our CSR initiatives in Kumarakom, we planted trees on the newly paved roads. We have replaced all bulbs to CFL bulbs and practice rainwater harvesting at all our properties. Every stove in our kitchens has individual knobs so that only the required burners are used. Apart from these measures , the Zuri Group Global has forayed into green energy as well with the tag – “Empowering Today Preserving Tomorrow”. We have windmills in India that produce energy and in Kenya we are very active in the production of geo thermal projects, energy and solar energy,” he explained.