Jaikant Shroff on how Taj MG Road thrives even when times are tough

The pandemic made brand Taj reimagine and redesign some of its products.

Nestled in the heart of Garden City, Taj MG Road Bengaluru isn’t just a hotel; it’s an iconic landmark. With its signature accommodation and vibrant dining choices, the hotel remains a firm favourite among both business and leisure travellers.

In an interaction with TravelDine, Jaikant Shroff, General Manager, Taj MG Road, Bengaluru, sheds light on how the brand innovates and thrives even when times are tough.

Jaikant Shroff, General Manager, Taj MG Road, Bengaluru

“The pandemic has compelled us to change our thought processes and reimagine the way we do business. Our biggest learning was to be extremely open to changing scenarios and do course corrections on the fly, as what you would plan a week in advance could completely change at a very short notice. This was enabled by a greater understanding within and by the team members. We also learnt the importance of prudent cost management as all the hitherto norms of business have changed completely,” says Shroff.

In 2021, amidst the pandemic, when most hotels were struggling to make ends meet, Taj properties recognised the significant rise in domestic travel and introduced staycations and new brunch concepts.

In 2019, Taj MG Road, Bengaluru, unveiled its all-new look after a major renovation to represent a reimagined, redesigned and renewed hotel.

“Taj MG road has always enjoyed the privilege of being located right in the heart of the city, with proximity to both centres of culture and hubs of technology. However, owing to the pandemic, priorities shifted when we started receiving demands from more business-suited needs to one that is of leisure. In our endeavour to meet the needs of our guests, we have customized our offerings and produced more leisure products. Guests today prefer to have unhurried breakfast with preference for an elaborate spread. They are more open to experimentation, have higher focus on safety and hygiene, and are very discerning in nature – all of which we can understand as the pandemic has created doubts and fears,” he says.

Keeping in line with consumer trends, the brand introduced new F&B concepts, including 7 Rivers, a brewpub at Taj MG Road. This is the first-of-its-kind brewpub with an onsite micro-brewery at the hotel in exclusive partnership with AB InBev, which offers dining menu featuring a mix of Indian cuisine and ‘glocal’ food that pairs perfectly well with the unique flavours of the craft beers.

Shroff added that the pandemic has also revealed a change in consumer’s purchase pattern when it comes to food and beverage.

The pandemic made Taj reimagine and redesign some of its products. The brand launched Qmin, Taj’s repertoire of culinary experiences commencing with delivering dishes from their award-winning restaurants to the comfort of people’s homes. The Qmin app brings signature dishes from iconic restaurants like Trinity Square and Memories of China right at guests’ fingertips, offering them an opportunity to enjoy Taj@Home. Since its launch, Qmin as a brand has seen a consistent growth, with an expanding presence in over 16 cities, delivering favourites from over 65 IHCL restaurants.

New technologies

Taj MG Road has implemented heightened safety, hygiene, and physical distancing protocols.

“Created in accordance with the norms laid down by the World Health Organization (WHO), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Government of India, Tajness – A Commitment Restrengthened is reflective of our assurance of safety and comfort for our guests and is ingrained in our associates,” says Shroff.

With IHCL being pioneers in industry-first initiatives, the brand also incorporated new technologies to ensure seamless yet personalized services across all its hotels.

Mandatory temperature checks, contactless check-in and check-out processes, non-invasive thermal screening, QR menus at restaurants, wellness centres, digital payments, and reengineered guest areas and layout enabled physical distancing. The hotel also significantly reduced human touchpoints to provide safer environment for guests.

“The pandemic surely taught us to manage our costs more efficiently. It has also reemphasized the need to be more agile and dynamic to changing consumer demands,” says Shroff.

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