"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux

Views & Interviews

Q&A: Talking to providers of timeshare products and services

October 09, 2009

In conversation with Mr Sudhanshu Kumar Singh, Group General Manager
of Ramee Holidays & Resorts.

Q: How and when did you start Ramee Holidays & Resorts Pvt Ltd?

A: Our first hotel seems like a long, long time ago. And as we look back, we see the vision, direction and foresight of Mr Vardaraj Shetty, who took his very first step in the hospitality business and turned it into a chain of hotels and resorts.

As Chairman & Managing Worker of Ramee Holidays & Resorts, Mr Shetty was really the moving force behind the setting up of a 33-hotel network in India and the Middle East. I personally found Mr Shetty’s “value-through-innovation” guideline useful, helping us innovate and deliver a unique customer experience. Ramee Holidays is a recent launch – a resort that’s just 100 days old.

Q: Did you always want to be in the “holiday” business?

A: While hospitality is an industry that provides abundant opportunities to build as you grow, hotels and resorts the world over are facing the biggest challenge of the decade. The downturn has to a large extent slowed down customer traffic, leading to a freeze in project investments.

For us, getting into the hospitality business was a planned move with a long-term perspective. Our experience and domain knowledge of the industry has almost always helped us ramp up or stabilize during difficult times. We now hope that the worst is over and the upturn is a near reality.

Q: What are the challenges to promoting a new property in India?

A: While we highlight domain experience in the answer to the previous question, this alone is not the magic formula. Like all businesses the challenge lies in meeting and exceeding customer expectations at all levels, which is also about translating vision into action.  Another challenge is in ensuring the same standard of service across our entire chain of hotels and resorts – calling for an enterprise-wide commitment to standardize customer experience.

Q: Have you done anything “creative” to promote your company in the marketplace

A: As we have said earlier, the operating guideline is “innovate and add value” – creativity is a key trigger in the process, right across product delivery, customer experience and marketing functions. It is also about innovating and adapting to changing scenarios and market environments. The benefits as we see it are not just for the company – we see value and service returns for end-users as well. And that’s a good playing field to be in, with all round benefits. 

We are also happy to say that there is a conscious effort within to inspire employees to do things differently and creatively.

Q: What did your initial market research for setting up resorts in India tell you?

A: It told us that the pie is growing bigger, with several entry level opportunities. The picture we saw, was of a healthy demographic – a dynamic young population, a visible shift towards nuclear families and arrival of the upwardly mobile professional. This alone has redefined long-standing concepts of holidays and vacations. Today’s holiday seeker will look for plans that are unique, different and away from the beaten path. And that is very good news for this industry.

Q: How are things at this initial start-phase?

A: Any project in the start-phase needs nurturing and support through careful planning, monitoring and resourcing. It is also a time to watch initial steps to review and course correct rollout plans if necessary. The prime objective here is to attract new customers and align business offerings with customer expectations.  From a communications point of view, we need to be more visible in the marketplace.

Q: Some of your resorts may not be timeshare properties; what is your own experience of timeshare vs. open-plan resorts?

A: There is so much being said and written about regular hotels looking at timeshare as a market extension, we see a whole new horizon. In today’s marketplace the emphasis is on anticipating new customer needs, adapting existing business models to meet those needs and minimizing low season dips during the year. Timeshare gives us the opportunity to mix and match our offerings in alignment with market conditions.

Q: Will you have more timeshare resorts in the future?

A: Even though we have a long chain of hotels and resorts, ours is still a young enterprise. We have many milestones to cross and peaks to climb – if that means starting new hotels and resorts, it will happen as a natural process of growth.

Q: How do you see the role played by AIRDA in the timeshare industry?

A: Very, very positive. AIRDA has worked hard at building an image of professionalism and credibility for the timeshare industry. We see AIRDA’s role as “supporter and catalyst” – especially in terms of an organized evolution of the timeshare industry.

Q: Is there something you want us to do that we’re not doing now?

A: AIRDA could help in further increasing the visibility of “timeshare” as a good holiday proposition. Now that you have re-designed your website this may become easier. It will be nice if AIRDA can help attract relevant prospects and give them an overview of timeshare opportunities in India.

If you’d like to know more about Ramee Holidays & Resorts, do check out their website - www.rameehotels.com

Virtual Tours

Welcome to AIRDA's virtual tours gallery - an initiative to provide an enhanced visual experience of our member properties.

If you would like to see how 360-degree panorama can work for you and give your customers an enhanced visual experience, please get in touch. Write to us at info@airda.org for more information.


Benefits for Resort Owners

What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.

Benefits for Consumers

What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.

Get in Touch

Email: info@airda.org
Phone: 080 41255007 / 08


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