Conclave on ‘Empowering Hospitality’ by HRAWI concludes successfully in Ahmedabad

The Hotel And Restaurant Association (Western India) – HRAWI successfully convened a transformative conclave titled ‘Empowering Hospitality’ on Thursday, June 21, 2024. Held at The Grand Bhagwati in Ahmedabad, the event saw industry stalwarts gather to explore critical facets of hospitality excellence. The event delved into the heart of hospitality excellence and featured discussions on the opportunities and challenges in FSSAI compliance, pest management in the food industry and, fire safety for the hospitality industry. The conclave hosted  Nalinkumar Chaudhary, Director, Gujarat State Fire Prevention Services, Gandhinagar as the Chief Guest for the occasion. Distinguished speakers, Mr Hemant Khadse, CEO of East Corp Group; Dr V. Pasupathy, Food Safety Expert & Founder, Parikshan FSS Pvt Ltd., and Mr M. Arunkumar, Managing Director, Envu India shared valuable insights on the topics for the day.

“As we embark on this journey of empowering hospitality, it is crucial to reaffirm our commitment to safe and honourable tourism. Our industry has pledged to ensure that our offerings align with the mission of providing the safest experiences to our guests, demonstrating to the Government that we operate in an organized and secure environment. This event is a testament to our dedication to advancing industry standards and ensuring the highest levels of safety and quality for our guests. Today, we stand on the cusp of phenomenal growth, fuelled by a surge in domestic travel and the Government’s renewed focus on tourism. Our mission aligns with the Honourable Prime Minister’s vision of welcoming 100 million foreign tourists and achieving a USD 3 trillion tourism economy by 2047. To meet these ambitious goals, we must ensure that our growth is accompanied by stringent safety measures, particularly in food and fire safety,” says Pradeep Shetty, President, HRAWI.

Addressing critical aspects of fire safety strategies for hospitality, Mr Nalinkumar Chaudhary accompanied by Mr Hemant Khadse, delved into multifaceted dimensions including fire safety risk assessments, the ramifications of codes and compliances, implementation of passive fire safety measures, meticulous egress planning and the imperative of Fire & Life Safety audits and preventive strategies.

“Fire safety in hotels and restaurants is of paramount importance today. It is my prime duty to inform you about the sensitivity and importance of fire safety within the hospitality industry. We discuss critical aspects and requirements, including an overview of hazards, the fire safety approval process and the importance of verification, certification and renewal by the fire department. Effective fire prevention and protection involve education, code enforcement, and engineering. Adhering to safety codes and maintaining compliance through regular training and equipment updates are essential. Our streamlined process for obtaining and renewing fire safety certificates ensures continuous safety and compliance, ultimately saving time and money while enhancing the safety of guests and staff,” says Nalinkumar Chaudhary, Director, Gujarat State Fire Prevention Services, Gandhinagar.

“I commend HRAWI for prioritizing fire safety education and empowering members with on-going awareness. Hotel owners must focus on strategic preparation, including robust guest evacuation plans. Fire safety isn’t just about compliance; it involves understanding risks and going beyond minimal standards. It’s crucial to ensure that all materials meet safety requirements and to test and maintain fire safety systems regularly. Clear and accessible exits, proper signage and regular audits are vital. Ultimately, hotel owners must take charge of life safety, ensuring their properties are safe for guests, staff and visitors,” adds Hemant Khadse, CEO of East Corp Group.

Dr V. Pasupathy navigated participants through the opportunities and challenges in FSSAI Compliance while Arun Kumar raised awareness and shared information on the science of pest management at hospitality establishments.

“FSSAI has evolved from an enforcer to an enabler through initiatives like Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS), Food Import Clearing System (FICS) which handles food import clearance and Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet), significantly improving food safety standards. The data indicates that food safety concerns can severely impact hotel bookings, making compliance essential. With the industry’s projected growth, we cannot afford to neglect these standards. Through FSSAI’s FoSTaC, HRAWI has been instrumental in training over 3,000 professionals across the Western region of India, ensuring high compliance and knowledge penetration. Although challenges remain, such as managing street food vendors and water quality, the progress made in food safety compliance has been remarkable, contributing to the global confidence in India’s food processing and hospitality industries,” says Dr V. Pasupathy, Food Safety Expert & Founder, Parikshan FSS Pvt Ltd.

“Pests rank among the top challenges in the industry’s daily operations. Pests pose serious threats, especially in urban settings where standards are lacking. In most cases, the hospitality establishment is not fully aware of what to expect from pest management professionals. Similarly, pest management professionals struggle to scientifically treat food handling spaces, leading to a trust deficit. It’s crucial for the hospitality industry to understand scientific pest management to prevent illness and social media backlash. Envu aims to bridge this gap by creating standards, structured programs and auditing systems more compliant with FSSAI requirements. I appreciate the HRAWI for creating a platform to provide pest management training to hospitality professionals in every city, involving pest management staff, housekeeping and management teams. Together, we can elevate the standards and safety of our industry,” adds Arun Kumar, Managing Director, Envu India.

“I am confident that today’s discussions will pave the way for new ideas, strategies and collaborations. The sessions are designed to impart valuable knowledge and insights. I thank all of you for being here and contributing to the success of this event. Additionally, I encourage everyone to participate in FHRAI’s National Convention in Goa later this year. The event is being organized to drive growth while promoting best practices across the nation, aligning with the Prime Minister’s vision of tourism and Viksit Bharat @ 2047 and our goal of welcoming 100 million tourists by 2047 and achieving a USD 3 trillion tourism economy. Your involvement will be instrumental in driving our industry forward,” concludes  Shetty.




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