Meet Saurabh Khanna, The Man of All Seasons!

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When in Goa, Saurabh Khanna, the name, and the person need no introduction. His extremely warm personality & social presence at most events in Goa, and his love for sports & physical fitness have all made him a part of the larger circle and most people know him. On a professional front, he is the GM of The Park Hotel and a very popular one indeed. But let’s try and know the man a little more, so here is Saurabh Khanna unfiltered.

Tell us about your early days.

I was born in Muzaffarpur which is a town famous for lychees. After a few years there I moved out to study in Nainital and Delhi. Being in a hostel, I was very active in sports and that probably led me to be a little disciplined in life too!!

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I was always an all-rounder doing well in both academics and sports.

How did you choose hospitality as a line, was it intentional or happened by chance?

Since my childhood, I wanted to be an Air Force Pilot. However, destiny had some other plans as I didn’t receive my SSC interview letter on time and missed the interview date. Coincidentally the Hotel Management exam was also on the same date for which I had appeared as one of my senior friends was doing hotel management. When I got through the choice of my institute – IHM Mumbai, I decided to join the course.

How has living in Goa been for you, was it easy or did you face any challenges initially?

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Goa has been very good to me. When I moved here a senior hotelier had advised me that the first 2 years in Goa are going to be very difficult but once you complete 2 seasons then you wouldn’t like to move out of Goa and that’s exactly what has happened.

It was initially more difficult for the family as we had moved with a 6-month-old baby but once the family settled down this has been home.

The Park Sea

What do you think is your greatest strength and your biggest weakness?

I feel my greatest strength is my ability to stay calm and composed most times and sometimes even smile when things are difficult.

My biggest weakness might be that I trust people a lot and sometimes I get taken for granted due to that.

As a team leader, how do you cope with bad business days and keep your team motivated?

I play a lot of sports and follow those principles in my work and personal life too. There will be bad days, but you cannot let them affect your life. Sometimes people will make mistakes and sometimes situations may be against a person but as a leader, it is our responsibility to nurture them by focusing on the good and sieving the bad. And the next day always must start as a new day.

What are the key USPs of The Park as a hotel and how have you nurtured the one top tourist destination in India? Its culture, beaches, the old architecture etc?

Our location and the chic contemporary design are our key USPs. Being right on the beach we have a stunning view of the sea and the sunset. Also being a small boutique property the level of personalization that we can offer and create is far higher compared to a huge resort.

The Park Pool

How do you think Goa’s tourism business is different from other parts of the country?

Goa is. make it a great place to explore. It was always known for its nightlife and now with the variety of restaurants that have opened, it has also become the culinary capital of India. The casinos also help in bringing a section of the tourists here.

Which other hotels apart from The Park do you personally appreciate?

I often go out for a staycation with my family, and I like a lot of hotels in Goa. There are some great branded hotels and some outstanding stand-alone properties in Goa which have helped make Goa the tourist spot it is.

What events/activities are you planning for the season to keep The Park always buzzing with people?

The Park Hotels has always been known for its events and activities and we strive to offer our guests some good entertainment. We do have live music on most days of the week and a DJ on weekends. Our Sunday Brunch is very popular with the locals and the live singing, the ambience, beach views and food and drinks along with the pool make it a perfect day out for the family.

The Park Dusk

How much do you think social media and influencers help in spreading the word for businesses these days?

Social media has become one of the most important pillars of marketing these days and is very necessary for all businesses. The right influencers can help in enhancing the brand value of a product/place and it is important for the business to ensure that they prove authenticity to the buzz.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I hope to have a bigger role in managing a cluster of hotels and a larger team.

AditI Malhotra
AditI Malhotrahttps://foodandhospitality.incrediblegoa.org/
Having covered more than 1000 restaurants and hotels across the country and globe, Aditi found her passion for food and travelling right in her childhood. At a later stage, travelling for work only fuelled this passion further and she started documenting her experiences as a food and lifestyle blogger 12 years ago and since then there has been no looking back! A woman who wears many hats, she holds a dual MBA degree in Mass Communications & Event Management from NIM and has 22+ years’ experience in marketing. She specialises in designing and executing marketing campaigns for brands, content management and digital media. Aditi moved to Goa 5 years ago after quitting her high profile job as AVP Client Servicing with Candid Marketing & DGM Strategy with Percept before that. Today she successfully manages social media and marketing for a handful of brands and enjoys planning events & weddings too. Experimenting in the kitchen and trying her hand at mixology is what she loves and in fact, it’s the combination of both that made her win the title of Mahou Maestra Chef in 2019 where she had to prepare a dish using beer. Single mother to a smart 18-year-old boy, you will either find her at home in pyjamas, working on her laptop and spending time with her family or all decked up to check out the new restaurant in town!

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