Editorial Board   

Mr. Narasimhan

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

Founder, Ignite Insight LLC

S Lakshmi Narasimhan is the Founder of Ignite Insight LLC a New York City based consultancy, which specializes in Group Executive Training, Coaching and Consulting.

Prior to founding his company, Mr. Narasimhan was the Vice President Finance of an award winning Hong Kong headquartered luxury hotel chain - Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. He has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry (14 of them in a senior corporate level) and has held diverse portfolios from a hotel Financial Controller to a group level Human Resources position, head of Corporate Internal Audit and head of Corporate Financial Systems. His career is epitomized by new and challenging roles.

Mr. Narasimhan has designed and developed a series of 2-Day Finance Courses amongst which the two signature offerings are titled “Optimizing Hotel Profits” for senior Hotel and Resident Managers and “Restaurant Profits A la Carte” for Food and Beverage Directors and Executive Chefs in the hospitality industry, which he delivers personally. The unique aspects of the course presentations are: jargon free, simplified financial concepts, use of visual teaching methods through color, shapes and movement to reinforce and cement learning, practical exercises in budgeting and financial analysis and many more.

Mr. Narasimhan teaches graduate as well as undergraduate courses during the Spring and Fall semesters as an adjunct faculty member at the New York University, Tisch Center for Hospitality & Tourism. Courses include hospitality finance, financial management, business development, rooms division management and investment analysis and financing.

Mr. Narasimhan is a prolific writer having his own blog while also contributing to prestigious third party blogs. He published his first book: "Discover the Genius in the Mirror - You are an Einstein waiting to be discovered" - an exercise book on how to discover your own genius through introspection. It is available online on Amazon and other literary outlets.

Please visit http://www.ignite-insight.biz for more information.

Mr. Narasimhan can be contacted at 201-253-5000 or narasimhan@ignite-insight.biz

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.