Dear Reader, 

Let me begin by saying how truly wonderful it is to be able to talk to you online, on Zestlounge. While there is a time and place for business, I am glad to say that this is not it. This is where we get a moment’s respite to reflect, converse and connect.

I have been blogging for a while now and I must say, it is a wonderful way to stay connected with family and friends. In fact, that’s what prompted me to start this little corner here on Zestlounge. 

Why not hear from you and share thoughts on this wonderful world of hospitality? After all, this is what we strive at doing always: anticipating your needs, pampering you and making you feel at home, wherever you go. 

I’ve had the privilege of being part of the hospitality industry for over three decades, now. And through these years, the most enthralling changes I have witnessed are the changes brought about by technology. It is truly wonderful what technology affords us today – the ability to touch lives in the remotest corners of the world, intimately, in the here and now. 

And yet, I find the one thing that remains unchanged, inimitable in the spirit of hospitality is something that is timeless; timeless and intangible, and yet with the power to transform any interaction, instantly. 

I am speaking of warmth. The warmth of a heartfelt smile. The warmth of genuine concern for another’s wellbeing. The warmth of extending one’s horizons to meet another’s need. It is this indescribable yet potently palpable emotion that binds us together, as families, as communities and is perhaps what defines our humanity. 

It is both a response and a responsibility. Not only to our guests, but also to the long and ancient legacy we have inherited, as Indians. And when I speak of this inheritance and a deep connection with a long and eventful past, I do not only refer to the fact that each one of our luxury properties takes inspiration in architecture, décor and spirit from a grand period of Indian history; I do not only speak of what is possibly the largest private collection of Indian art in the world, or our commitment to Indian music, theatre, regional craft or even the immensely successful and uniquely Indian cuisines that are the pride of ITC Hotels

I speak of an attitude that has remained integral to our identity. An attitude that encompasses all these efforts and yet means so much more, for at its heart, it is an attitude that honours the true meaning of Indian hospitality: humility in our welcome, pride in our rich history and a healthy respect for the values that have endured. 

Often in our definition of luxury, we as hoteliers find the need to construct a sense of unending abundance and accessibility: a sense of possibility that exists beyond the realities of available resources. But isn’t there more to luxury than untrammelled consumption? Isn’t there a way of not compromising the quality of a bespoke,luxurious experience, without incurring irrevocable costs that we can ill afford: those that are borne by Nature? 

Where does lavishness end and wastefulness begin? 

This is where I find that the sense of respect, of balance, and the deep harmony with nature that have defined our culture shape the ways in which we create business models, facilities, services and experiences. But more importantly, they define the technologies we employ in creating these experiences. 

Recently, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton announced to the press that the ITC Green Centre, the headquarters of the ITC Hotels division is a "monument to the future". 

This made me reflect on the nature of how we view ourselves in this ever unfolding miracle of human history. Do we choose to be myopic in our understanding of achievement? Or, do we choose to pay heed to the learning that has brought us this far, and will undoubtedly hold us in good stead far into the future – the learning that urges us to be mindful towards every little thing that plays a part in our very existence? 

I‘ll leave you with this thought until my next post. 

Thank you, dear reader, for your time and indulgence; for allowing me to express the warmth of ITC Hotels

Nakul Anand