Business Spotlight

Fostering A Culture Of Immersive Hospitality And Offering A Distinctive Yet Consistent Guest Experience In The City Of Temples, Bhubaneshwar

In conversation with Sonal Sahoo, Director and Promoter, The World Hotels and Resorts who is committed to redefining luxury hospitality in Bhubaneshwar.

Sonal Sahoo
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  1. Tell us about the World Group and its inception.

World Group was founded by Mr Srinibash Sahoo in 1983 and has been active for more than 4 decades. The group has been involved in mining, manufacturing, logistics, export, real estate, and hospitality over the years and presently employs more than 2500 people in its various verticals. The group since 2007 has been actively expanding in the hospitality sector and presently owns 4 properties in Kerala and two in Odisha.

  1. Please share details about the different verticals under the World Group.

The group has interests in multiple businesses - iron ore mining being the primary vertical. The group operates iron ore mines in the state of Odisha and has a sponge iron manufacturing unit. It also has a dedicated wing which looks after logistic management. Since 2007, the group has had vested interests in the hospitality sector and presently owns 4 properties in Kerala and two in Odisha. The World Group is also looking at coming up with luxury properties under its newly established brand, Lyfe Hotels at Puri, Darjeeling and Koraput soon.

  1. Throw light on the inception of The World Hotels and Resorts. When was it founded?

‘The World Hotels and Resorts’ was founded in 2007 and was planned as a testament to our commitment to redefining luxury hospitality. Our aim was to curate a collection of upscale properties that offer guests a harmonious blend of comfort, elegance, and cultural immersion redefining luxury hospitality parallelly.

  1. Explain the different verticals under The World Hotels and Resorts

Lyfe Hotels was launched under The World Hotels and Resorts. The aim is to curate and operate properties across India. The aim is to create an experience for our guests where they enjoy world class hospitality with a tinge of the local culture. The properties are known for their distinctive architecture, immersive experiences, and meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that every guest feels indulged and rejuvenated.

  1. Importance of Bhubaneswar as a hospitality/travel market

Bhubaneswar, with its rich cultural heritage and growing economic significance, has become a dynamic hospitality and travel market. The state of Odisha is blessed with natural resources and pristine locations making it the next thing to look out for. Bhubaneswar being the capital city is well-connected by air, road and railways making it a key city for our brand's expansion and development. Odisha nicely termed as ‘India’s best kept secret’ has a plethora of places to visit from the beaches of Puri to the coffee estates of Koraput, from the temples of Bhubaneswar to the forests of Simlipal – the state has something in reserve for the travel enthusiasts.

  1. How did the concept of Lyfe Hotels evolve? Why did you choose to debut Lyfe Hotels in Bhubaneswar and what are your future plans?

The concept of Lyfe Hotels evolved from our desire to offer contemporary travellers a seamless blend of modern comfort and local cultural experiences. We chose to debut Lyfe Hotels in Bhubaneswar due to its promising market potential and cultural vibrancy. Looking ahead, our vision for Lyfe Hotels involves expanding across key cities, fostering a culture of immersive hospitality, and offering a distinctive yet consistent guest experience.

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  1. Any key learnings or challenges while setting up the brand?

The journey of establishing the Lyfe Hotels brand presented us with valuable insights and challenges. Understanding and integrating the local cultural nuances and aligning our offerings with the evolving needs of modern travelers were some of the key learnings that have shaped the brand's identity. We wanted Lyfe Hotels to not just be the next 5-star property you stay at, we wanted our guests to feel welcomed and look forward to visiting again and to ensure that we have designed holistic experiences for the guests that prioritize not just comfort but also curated experiences.

  1. Where do you see the brand in the next 3-5 years?

We are new in the block and have a lot of work to do. The next couple of years are going to be crucial to building ourselves as a luxury brand trusted by our guests because of our service and culinary offerings. We also have projects in the pipeline and are working to expand the footprints across the Eastern India market namely in Puri, Darjeeling, Paradeep and Koraput.

  1. Do you have any plans to expand in the global markets?

Yes, expanding into global markets remains an integral part of our growth strategy. We are actively exploring opportunities to introduce our brand to discerning travellers worldwide, aiming to create a global network of immersive hospitality experiences that showcase the essence of different cultures and destinations.

  1. What are the trends according to you that will shape the hospitality and travel industry in the year 2024?
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In 2024, I anticipate the hospitality and travel industry to be shaped by a heightened emphasis on sustainability, technology integration, and personalized experiences. The focus on eco-conscious practices, the adoption of advanced digital solutions for guest convenience, and the customization of offerings to cater to individual preferences are trends that will likely define the industry's trajectory. Our brand remains committed to embracing these trends and consistently exceeding the evolving expectations of our guests.

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