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 September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.