Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ramanathan

Akshay Ramanathan

Founder & CEO, Sukoon Travel Group

Akshay Ramanathan brings big-idea thinking alongside a passionate curiosity for marketing, technology, and all things digital to the hospitality industry. Mr. Ramanathan began his professional career working with major companies like JetBlue and T-Mobile to generate brand awareness among university students on his local college campus.

Working at global advertising agency, BBDO, on the MARs brand account, confirmed Mr. Ramanathan's fascination with helping businesses market their products and services in the online space. The specialization into telling stories and marketing specifically travel experiences came after living abroad in South America and the Middle East. Mr. Ramanathan developed a passion for the hospitality industry and soon returned to school to pursue a masters degree in the field.

Shortly after graduation he joined HeBS Digital, creating a new role for himself as Business Development Analyst. In this position he identified and helped secure international business opportunities and expand product lines to new markets. He played a key role in bridging marketing and sales efforts and streamlining internal department processes through developing a technology stack. Now as a young entrepreneur and independent consultant he relies on a combination of specialized technology applications to help him grow and scale his business.

Mr. Ramanathan is presently working with hospitality businesses to assess the overall efficacy of their digital assets and e-commerce strategy. In doing so his aim is to make technology more meaningful and accessible for his clients who seek to maximize the value of their online marketing efforts.

Outside the office Mr. Ramanathan is an active member of the community giving back through various volunteer efforts. He presently serves as the Community Service Chair for the NYU Tisch Center Alumni Society as well as plays a role in other organizations such as HSMAI Greater New York Chapter and StreetWise Partners.

Mr. Ramanathan holds a M.S. Degree in Hospitality Industries from NYU and is a regularly featured speaker and participant in university programs and events.

Please visit http://www.sukoontravelgroup.com for more information.

Mr. Ramanathan can be contacted at 347-501-0850 or ramanathan.akshay@gmail.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.