Hotelier India

Interview with Ranju Alex

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Ranju Alex, Area vice president, Marriott International Inc. South Asia is leading several initiatives including women empowerment, diversity inclusion, sustainability and new business models.

With a career that spans over 28 years in the hospitality industry, Ranju Alex is a name to reckon with and as she takes over her most senior role, she knows there are challenges and how she can overcome them. She oversees operations across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan.

In her close to three-decade career she has worked with the Oberoi group for 17 years and then with the Marriott Group.

After taking over as Area Vice President in the post pandemic world, she admits that the previous three years had prepared her for this role.

The current growth patterns at Marriott are extremely robust with a portfolio of 144 hotels, 109 that are managed and 35 are franchised. About 67 hotels are under construction and several others are being signed. Both tier two and tier three cities are also being focused on.

Women empowerment and diversity inclusion are aspects that have found new meaning today and is something that Alex holds close to her heart.

Working in hotels comes with its own challenges as the job is physically demanding and has long hours. However, it is something that needs perseverance and patience. For someone who has seen the industry grow into a larger-than-life segment, Alex knows the industry is vulnerable yet resistant.

When hiring new employees, the skillset is not necessarily on the top of the list but the attitude and the value system of the person. Food and Beverage has changed its form quite a bit after COVID and being in tune with changed times, the company is focusing heavily on sustainability.

Taking a holistic approach to sustainability, the group believes it is the way they do business. The corporate office level has been extremely focused on sustainability and guests are also aware and ask for the same. Marriott was the first company to announce its partnership on EV chargers in the country. They also have bottling plants and offer water as per the guidelines set out by the government.

Read the full story that first appeared in Hotelier India’s November 2022 issue here:

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