Lying defunct: Baithak and Drop In symbols of what is wrong with CITCO

Hoping for turnaround: The two outlets are lying defunct over the past many months, even as the corporation MD says it has floated the tenders and waiting for positive outcome

punjab Updated: Sep 16, 2017 16:05 IST
Hillary Victor 
Hillary Victor 
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Baithak,Drop In,CITCO
Baithak in Kalagram. (HT Photo)

In a callous attitude of the management of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), two of its prime outlets are rotting for the past 10 months with not only huge income loss to the corporation, but also throwing its urban prime properties in a shambles.

The two outlets - Baithak at Kalagram and Drop In at Sector 34 - are wearing a deserted look. Baithak is non-functional since November last year, while Sector 34 outlet is vacant since seven months. CITCO, already reeling under the losses, has suffered a loss of nearly Rs 80 lakh since last November on the account of these two outlets.

The mismanagement of the these two outlets has also raised questions on CITCO’s ability to manage its business and functions. A prime tourism corporation in the region is unable to process the tenders in time and also not having a right approach to have good business partners as associations for these two outlets.

Drop In in Sector 34. (HT Photo)

The CITCO managing director, Kavita Singh, said, “Last week we floated the tenders for both the outlets and are hoping for a positive outcome.” When asked on the delay, she said, “Since there was ban on liquor, we could not finalise the same.”

Baithak, a Punjabi restaurant, is non-functional for the past eight months as the firm Sunrise Integrated Facility Private Limited, which had taken the outlet on Rs 6.05 lakh rent could not manage it properly. It didn’t have the requisite experience and expertise in food and beverages area. The firm left.

Similarly, Drop In could not get offers due to untimely decision of the management. Started in 2002, the outlet few years back was earning a lot of reputation as it used to serve coffee and other eatables.

Speaking to HT, Arun Mahajan former director of CITCO said, “The result is due to the failure of the management and its wrong policies. Had CITCO taken timely action, this situation would not have prevailed.”

New marketing policy in limbo

On June 20, the board of directors of CITCO framed a new marketing policy to improve the guests’ experience and satisfaction by looking at the services offered at its hotels and guests’ ratings on social media platforms. It was said, “the control on distribution of rates and discounts should be given to the sales team so that rates can be quoted to the clients not on the basis of past discounts but on the basis of season.” But nothing has been done so far to implement this policy.

Admits to its weaknesses in running hotels

During the meeting, CITCO listed its weaknesses in administering of its hotels. It included old structure of the property as compared to its competitors, heavy expenses on renovation, untrained staff, small indoor space for events and parties.

Other points were 52% of revenue being accounted only for salary of employees, being a government set up, people have an impression of lethargic service and guest handling, technologically weak process like no employee has e-mail ids for efficient and fast communication, no set standard operating processes for any department, lack of trained and young staff, lack of proper sales team that can efficiently cover the prospective accounts and limited funding for marketing or promotional activities.

First Published: Sep 16, 2017 13:27 IST