Rajesh Kumar Saraf : Pioneering Leadership & Future Aspirations In Hospitality Through Inspirational Pathways | CEOInsights Vendor
Rajesh Kumar Saraf : Pioneering Leadership & Future Aspirations In Hospitality Through Inspirational Pathways

Rajesh Kumar Saraf : Pioneering Leadership & Future Aspirations In Hospitality Through Inspirational Pathways

Rajesh Kumar Saraf ,  Managing Director

Rajesh Kumar Saraf

Managing Director

The hospitality industry is a major global employer that fosters a sense of global community and is experiencing substantial transformations due to expansions into thriving international markets and the emergence of digital or technological disruptions. This shift is reshaping the expectations placed on industry leaders, necessitating individuals with strategic thinking, adaptability, robust leadership qualities, and financial acumen. Chas Hotels, a prominent budget hotel chain in North Bengal and Sikkim, is renowned for its resolute commitment to meeting customer requirements and providing topnotch quality and services. With an extensive tenure in the industry, Rajesh Kumar Saraf, the Managing Director of Chas Hotels, serves as a perceptive leader, contributing daily to the generation of fresh and innovative hospitality concepts for the organization.

In a candid interview, Rajesh shared insights into the hospitality industry and provided illumination on the inner workings of the organization where he currently works.

Can you provide a concise overview of your professional history and experiences? Additionally, what drives your daily routines and keeps you motivated?

Embarking on my professional journey in 1995 as a front office executive, I've accumulated 29 years of experience in the dynamic hotel and hospitality industry. Climbing the career ladder, I transitioned through various roles, including restaurant captain, housekeeping in-charge, kitchen supervisor, and banquet executive, and ultimately achieved the status of general manager. Despite starting with a modest salary of 500, the guidance of mentors, Binimoy Moulik and Raj Basu proved instrumental in helping me realize my goals.

Overcoming financial challenges, I successfully managed eight hotels before the onset of COVID-19, and I currently oversee four with expansion plans this year. Grateful for the unwavering support of my wife and inspired by a passion for the industry, I aim to venture into consultancy and entrepreneurship. My daily motivation stems from the
pursuit of excellence in service and innovation, driving my commitment to the industry.

Can you share the significant milestones in your professional journey thus far and elaborate on the key principles that have contributed to your success?

My success is rooted in a focused approach to achieving my goals. Each night, I formulate a strategic plan for the following day, ensuring that I proactively set myself up for success. I am committed to continuous learning, regularly updating my skills and knowledge through attending programs and embracing new technologies. Reading insightful books has played a crucial role in refining my achievements and guiding me towards my objectives. Embracing the philosophy of smart work over hard work, I believe in efficiency and effectiveness in my endeavours. Even when my salary was a mere 500 rupees, my ambitious dreams of becoming a hotelier with 50 hotels and motels fueled my determination.

Embrace challenges, stay adaptable, & invest in continuous learning

Despite financial constraints, my internal strength, along with the positive support from my wife and mentor, Binimoy Moulik, propelled me toward my goals. Learning from Moulik, I acquired skills in company management, sales, marketing, reservations, and overall hotel operations, always focusing on meeting the specific needs of clients. This client-centric approach motivates me daily, driving me towards my goal, which extends to 2025, as I meticulously plan and document my activities each day.

Could you describe Chas Hotels as a company and outline its present standing within the market?

Chas Hotels has established itself as a distinguished entity within the hospitality landscape, renowned for its luxurious offerings and personalized services. We proudly hold a prominent position as a market leader, driven by a steadfast commitment to redefine and elevate hospitality standards. With a focus on luxury and tailored service experiences, Chas Hotels stands as a beacon in the industry, setting a high benchmark for excellence and continuously striving to exceed expectations.

Share insights into your leadership approach. Describe the principles or methods that guide your role as a leader.

At the core of my leadership philosophy is the establishment of a
collaborative environment, where effective communication takes precedence, and personal example serves as a guiding light. Within this well-defined framework, I prioritize principles such as adaptability to navigate change seamlessly, strategic thinking to overcome challenges, and a steadfast commitment to fostering the growth and development of talent within the team. This multifaceted approach not only ensures a harmonious work environment but also contributes to the organization's resilience and success in the face of dynamic challenges in today's ever-evolving business landscape.

How do you stay current with the latest industry trends to guide your organization towards the future?

Remaining attuned to industry dynamics is paramount to me. I actively involve myself in networking initiatives, participate in conferences, and harness the power of technology to guarantee that Chas Hotels not only stays current but leads in innovation. By consistently engaging in networking opportunities, attending conferences, and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, I am committed to positioning Chas Hotels as a frontrunner in embracing and driving forward industry trends. This proactive approach ensures that our organization not only adapts to changes but actively shapes the future landscape of the hospitality sector.

What is the ultimate goal or desti-nation you are aiming to achieve in the future?

Our future involves global expansion with a focus on sustainability and technology in hospitality. Recently appointed as an advisor to the Association of Buddhist Tour Operators (ABTO) in West Bengal and serving as treasurer for the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), I contribute to these portfolios. Additionally, I advise a travel venture in Bangladesh. Aspiring to collaborate with the Government of India, I aim to contribute to the country's broader goals. Success, to me, is an ongoing journey, and I aspire to gain more recognition in the hospitality industry.

Rajesh Kumar Saraf, Managing Director, Chas Hotels

Embarking on a distinguished 29-year career in the hotel and hospitality industry, Rajesh Kumar Saraf commenced as a front office executive, progressing through roles such as Restaurant Captain, Housekeeping Charge, Kitchen Supervisor, and Banquet Executive, to eventually becoming a General Manager.

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