KATHMANDU: There is nothing more challenging than naming a brand after your own family name for any entrepreneur. It is clearly a make or break business decision and relies very heavily on the ability of the entrepreneur to stand by the brand and let the brand personify the personality. However, it is fascinating that some of the top global hospitality brands are actual family names! The ability to brand a service
sensitive industry after your own name speaks of the level of belief these hoteliers have in their product and represents the true spirit of hospitality.
Today, the Oberoi brand is synonymous with luxury and a benchmark level of service. With some of the most iconic properties in its portfolio, the Oberoi is certainly a globally recognised brand. For the past few decades, it has shaped and moulded the definition of innovation in hospitality, luxury standards and impeccable service standards. What began as one man’s dream to dare has over the years grown into an epitome of luxury branding.
Brand Oberoi draws its equity from two elements — service and physical property. Both these elements blend together to create
a concoction that makes the brand desirable.
The Oberoi brand is based on simple and clear understanding of what a customer — in this case a guest — needs, wants and desires when travelling, whether on business or for leisure. By following the dictum of ‘god lies in the details’ the Oberoi brand is able to deliver an experience that meets or even pleasantly surpasses the guests’ expectation. Its ability to deliver on the ‘value satisfaction’ parameter has led to the creation of the brand equity.
Being a firsthand experiential product, the brand has to get all elements of expectations correct to ensure high guest turnover and enjoy premium brand equity. Apart from service, the other value add-ition force is the iconic buildings. With some of the most awarded global properties like the UdaiVillas in Udaipur, AmarVilas in Agra and VanVillas in Rajasthan, brand Oberoi is able to position itself as an aspiration product. The effect these glamorous and luxury properties have on the brand are truly unfathomable and every viewer is drawn instantly to their charms!The foundations of the Oberoi Group date back to 1934 when Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, the founder, bought two properties — The Clarke’s in Delhi and The Clarke’s in Shimla — from an Englishman. Ironically he had begun his career as a junior staff in the Shimla Hotel. From the beginning, Rai Bahadur realised the importance of a smile and personal service. Very often he sat in the lobby of one of his hotels observing his staff and guests interact.
Value satisfaction of the guest was his priority and the biggest brand building activity. Today the group has about 30 hotels and
resorts globally and still continues with the ‘smile’ DNA. Looking at the progress, it is evident that by using their own family name as
the brand name and delivering the value satisfaction parameter, the Oberoi family has been able to infuse confidence into the consumer’s mind which has had a spiral effect on its brand.
(The author is associated with the Chaudhary Group and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)