Mr. Vineet Verma was a panelist at a virtual discussion organized by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Other panelists included – Mr. Andrew Vinton – Legal Development Vice President & Senior Counsel, Hilton Group; Mr. Sudeep Jain, Managing Director, InterContinental Hotels Group and Ms. Ila Kapoor, Partner, Dispute Resolution, SAM & Co. were the speakers. Ms. Shruti Sabharwal, Partner, Dispute Resolution, SAM & Co moderated the session.
Mr. Vineet Verma spoke about how each wave of the pandemic affected the hospitality sector. The first wave had severe impact on the industry while with subsequent waves, the industry slowly is recovering. Collaboration with operators was key to navigating this situation. Diverse businesses also could survive during these times. He shared his observation that now, banquets enquiries are increasing. He added that the pandemic has taught us to do more with less manpower as this period witnessed much layoffs and salary cuts. He said that owners should be brand agnostic while choosing operators. He also opined at these times, contracts of shorter periods are preferred.
Mr. Sudeep Jain explained how the contribution fund paid to operators by owners should be considered as a rent of the intellectual property that comes with the brand.
Mr. Ila Kapoor gave examples of disputes that could arise between owner and manager. She says that a lot of times owners took the blow. She added that risk should be evenly divided between owner and operator.
Mr. Andrew Vinton described how Hilton Group had used the Force Majeure clauses during the pandemic and described its limitations and benefits. He also gave examples of conflict resolution methods adopted between owners and operators.