Have laid down the future role of KTDC

In an interview with Mr.Rahul. R. Managing Director, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) talks about his time at the helm of affairs in the corporation

Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) has entered into destination management and this will form a major part of the corporation’s role in future. This move has been a game-changer for KTDC.
In fact, Mr Rahul R Pillai, Managing Director of KTDC, believes that the corporation had always played the pivotal role of destination development in Kerala. The corporation has been at the forefront of identifying locations and building infrastructure where private players feared to tread and risk investment.
Mr Rahul believes that he had laid a base for his successor to take over. “Heading KTDC was a big task and I believe it was a success. The revenue of the corporation has increased from Rs.3.14 crores in 2016-17 to Rs. 6.03 crores in 2017-18,” Mr Rahul said.

The year 2018 was a challenging period for KTDC with the breakout of Nipah virus threat and later the biggest floods in recent memory playing havoc with revenue. These two incidents had led to fall in footfalls and to add to the woes some of KTDC properties were physically affected. “We were involved in rescuing our stranded employees and also extending a helping hand in the rescue efforts of the Government of Kerala. It was a learning experience. As we don’t depend on funds from the government, these twin disasters had affected our revenues but were still able to pay our employees.

In Mascot Hotel, which is one of KTDC’s oldest and prime properties, we were able to add 56 rooms and the property was able to get a five-star classification. The old building is now being renovated and it would have a pride of place as a heritage hotel, perhaps the only such five star property in this part of the state.
In Ponmudi, where you can reach from a beach resort within one and a half hours, we were able to add more facilities and rooms. Chaitram in Trivandrum has been renovated and is today a 52-room property.

As you drive through Kerala, you are never far from a KTDC amenity, be it a five star one or a wayside amenity. In Parasala, there is a Motel Arram and there is another one in Neelashwaram. There is a KTDC nearby From 12 beer parlours to 53 at present, our beer parlours are located in marketable and ideal places. This has helped in boosting the revenue of the corporation. We have been able to bring in branding and uniformity across all KTDC beer parlours which are no longer the rundown shacks but come with air conditioning and good ambience.

In Trivandrum, the construction of a woman only hotel is underway. Two other niche products we have introduced are the premium life membership and institutional membership cards for individuals and institutions
Acquisition of land in Kerala is always a problem but despite that, we have acquired new properties and construction for a four-start property and other development is underway in Muzhappilangad, the longest drive-in beach in India. In July 2017, the KTDC had sought administrative sanction and mooted a project for Rs 40 crore to boost tourism at the beach.

Another major achievement that Mr Rahul was able to institutionalise is auditing of KTDC. This being a commercial company it was quite alarming to see that there was no timely auditing. It is important to know that we are aware of where the money comes and where it goes. We were able to get our auditor changed and we are nearing completion with auditing. “We were able to reduce revenue leakages. We are on the last leg of introducing an ERP solution for KTDC. Regarding online channel managers, the work was tendered and work order has been issued.”

Rahul proudly said that the President of India, during his visit to Kochi in August 2018 had expressed his Appreciation of the service of KTDC to the Department of Tourism through Honourable Governor of Kerala. “I have been lucky with our team here and I congratulate the team whose efforts have helped to move KTDC a notch up,” the Managing director said.

Kerala Tourism was able to build up a symbiotic relationship with the private sector. This is something that all the other government departments should try to emulate, Mr. Rahul said.



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