Interview with Mr. Manish Nambiar manages Kempinski Gold Coast City, Hotel Accra.
- August 22, 2017
He has been here for the last nine months; he represents a company called Kempinski, which manages international luxury hotels all over the world. The company is about 120 years old and is one of the best luxury hospitality management company in the market. The hotel is owned by GCC (Gold Coast City development) and apart from the hotels there is a massive development of eight acres piece of land, which includes luxury malls and residences and a numver of office blocks in the pipeline. Mr. Manish Nambiar has been with Kempinski since the past twelve years in various sections within and outside Africa and has an experience of working in Europe and India.
Can you please tell us about the brand Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel, Accra?
It’s an investment by GCC, GCC is Gold Coast City, its conglomerate of many investors that have come together to develop this eight acres piece of lands. Kempinski is the first venture into Ghana. This is the first hotel project in Ghana and we are managing this hotel. The hotel has 269 rooms and it has largest room in the city; the rooms are 40 square meters and it is truly International luxury hotels. Multiple investors from different continents and the government of Ghana is one of the key investors in this project and we have many investors coming from different parts of the world to form this conglomerate GCC.
What is the inspiration behind the establishment of such a luxurious hotel in Ghana?
The market in Ghana and Accra is actually raising up and there was a lack for a good luxury hospitality player in the city, so we chose to take advantage of this situation. Ghana is developing very fast and Ghanaians look forward to quality and luxury experience which is missing in the market, this is exactly where we came in.
Since the inception of the hotel a few years ago, Kempinski has become a household name in Ghana, what accounted for this success?
There is a lot of marketing efforts; the brand speak for itself like I mention its 120 years old and some of our hotels are the best in the world: Çırağan Palace in Istanbul; Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi; Kempinski hotel Duke’ Palace in Belgium. We have a lot of iconic hotels. The legacy of the brand actually sets a lot of expectations for a lot of people in Ghana who uses the hotel internationally. So automatically once you have come into the market, people already have a great terms of expectations and also the fantastic products that we have here; like I said the hotel has very spacious rooms, it has a beautiful lobby, has a dedicated art program that none of the hotels in Ghana has. It has three beautiful restaurants and a nice swimming pool. The whole development itself is something that people have appreciated and taken to heart very fast. A lot of people want to associate with us; a lot of people want to use our services and facilities and we are having a very loyal following up form.
What can you say differentiate the Kempinski Hotel from itself competitors?
One it is a new product; seconds it is a very contemporary product; the look, feel, design, the feeling of the space and the sense of utilization of space; the luxury that we have in the products that we used to make this hotel, set us apart from anybody else. Like I mention also early the rooms are many and are all forty square meters which is much bigger than any of other rooms that competitors have. The restaurants, see that garden, happy hours; buffet restaurant, gallery bar; definitely set us apart from all the other competitive products in the market also the art gallery in the hotel and the art program that we have all over the hotel is something very unique because this is the hotel where very famous west Africans artists displays pieces of art. Most of the art potteries you see in the hotel are custom made pieces of art and they are not much produced out.
What are the challenges facing the hospitality industry in Ghana and what do you think can be done going forward?
I won’t say there is any challenge; definitely, a lot of areas are full of opportunities (if I can say) and I think maybe hospitality market is bombing. I think the occupancy levels are quiet good; the new government has been a blessing for us. We have seen that the last four months, the occupancy has drastically increased; we see a lot of international travelers coming here in special purpose of business; they come to do business in the country and of course definitely they are benefiting because of that. And in terms of challenges, I think we have plenty of support from the ministry of tourism and from the government; and we are quiet grateful for that the support we get from them. We don’t forget that we owned partly by the government as well; so we appreciate the fact that they have been good to support hospitality here.
In the next five years where do you see as a future of Kempinski Hotel in Ghana?
The future is very bright in my opinion. We see a lot of branches in the market; A lot of people like I mention coming in Ghana. The hospitality market is normally the first to benefit in the lit circle; so before the effect of progress or actually in any other segment; it has been analyzed that the first segment to achieve benefits from any outside thing is hospitality, and you can already see that. The street, the factory projects, the natural resources space are opened up and they are all indicators that are very important for us because they create booms and the economic people travel; then people need rooms to stay and people need the facilities that we offer. So we are very optimistic on what is happening in the market.
How has the company performed since its inception?
I wouldn’t say it exceeding expectations but we are definitely on the right track. The hotel is young. It is just about one year the hotel has been opened, so it is early to start qualify its performance. But we are happy by the way it perform. I think the market has appreciated what we are offering. I think this is an indication of appreciation in the market.
What’s the area of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
We do multiples levels of CSR. In one hand, we promote art in West Africa. This is a platform for all kinds of art in West Africa to come and we support their performance into the country. In another hand we work with “W.H.O” which is top TV Company; so we have partnership with “W.H.O.” we also support sports, because we have been part of Ghana track run and we have been part of a lot of events, when it comes to sports. We contribute in various platforms; not just one. It will be unfit to see just one of them out and say this is what our CSR is all about. Because for example we also have a lot of local ventures where we support local furniture; where we support employment for people from under published background. We also have apprentice programs where we are actually training and low-cost training to future skilled labor for hospitality industry. We try and contribute in various aspects.
Does the company has plans of opening branches in other cities in Ghana in the future?
Here is a luxury hotel. And one thing about luxury is that luxury is limited. So you really don’t spend yourself out too much. At this point of time, no we don’t. We just here to be in Accra. We have a lot of developments in Africa; in West Africa; however in Ghana and this is what it is for this period of time.
Tell us about your 20 years’ experience in International Luxury Hotel and how you intend to the experience to make Kempinski one of the top hotel in Ghana?
Well. Like I mention, we are a luxury hospitality management company that knows exactly what a luxury international traveler is looking for and they are able to create that to their needs and that create a very faithful and loyally form to the brand; which the hotel in Accra is really benefiting from.
How will you describe your stay in Ghana, in terms of the people and their culture?
Fantastic! A very welcoming, kind and friendly country. I have been travelling for the last 20 years and I will say Ghana is probably one of the nicest place we have stayed in. people are welcoming; very social. It is a beautiful country. We are enjoying our staying here.
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