The Ingenious Hotelier – N.Shivakumar , Coimbatore
Coimbatore is home to a number of home grown businesses and entrepreneurship is a part of the local culture here. Outside of economic growth in the textile, jewellery, retail, engineering and education sectors, the hospitality industry in Coimbatore has also been growing by leaps and bounds in the recent years. One such entrepreneur in the field of hospitality – N.Shivakumar – has added much lustre to the already burgeoning economic growth spate the city has seen recently.RITZ catches up with the enterprising hotelier.
The hospitality industry is the latest facet that has begun to add brilliance to the enterprising structure of Coimbatore’s economy. N Shivakumar, the 36-year-old Managing Director of the Vijay Group of Hotels is one such entrepreneur who has done his part in contributing to this growth spurt in his home town.
“We are from a family of retailers and my father J.Nagendran was smart enough to identify the demand for rooms in the Gandhipuram business district and therefore launched the business with Hotel Vijay – a budget business hotel during the year 1990, which was a big success. Buoyed by this he built our next successful model – a business hotel called Vijay Paradise located on N.S.R. Road in 2003. The performance of both these ventures motivated us to go in for the third project – a luxury business hotel – Vijay Elanza,” tells Shivakumar, explaining how the business took off for them.
The young hotelier completed his engineering from the prestigious Kumaraguru College of Technology at Coimbatore and also secured a place for himself at the North Carolina State University in the US. He explains, “Since we have have grown with the economy of the city over the past 25 years we were able to understand the potential and have now come up with the Vijay Elanza – a hotel with a number of facilities that will attract all the segments of the business community. “
The young businessman is a hands on boss and he makes it a point to meet each and every service provider, vendor and works with his team at all times. He shares his success formula, “In any hotel 20% of the infrastructure is blocked for F&B and rooms take up 80% of the area. However Coimbatore is a business city with a large floating crowd and therefore we have allotted 50% for F&B and 50 % for rooms. Our approach is unique and requires a lot of attention. We may hold several banquets on an everyday basis but it is our duty to make each one of them memorable for our guests as each banquet is a part of their lives. I share the excitement of my clients and take care of their needs with the maturity of our collective experience.”
His eyes brighten further while he talks about his latest project – Vijay Elanza, “Our banquet hall is the only one in Coimbatore where one can celebrate an occasion with rituals for our suction engineered system will ensure that the guests are comfortable throughout even when there is a holy fire burning in the hall. Ours is the only banquet space where you could drive in conveniently in your luxury vehicle and drive out effortlessly. The hotel is eco-friendly as we have let in more of natural light and have taken care to fix the best water purifying plant, sewage treatment system and rain water harvesting structures. In the long run we wish to create an in-house facility to reuse bio degradable garbage generated by us. After all, Coimbatore is the ecological capital of Tamil Nadu and we intend to keep it that way,” he explains with pride.
One cannot but appreciate the entrepreneurial acumen of Shivakumar as he serves one more ace, “We are living in a competitive world and have to realise that commerce is global and therefore capital is mobile. Our policy is to make all our assets lean and mean in order to ensure that they yield good returns. Therefore our group understands the importance of people and we want our team to grow with us. We belong to the’ Make in India’ times and I fully understand that vitality is the vitamin of life,” he signs off with flourish.