With a relentless passion for innovation and an unwavering commitment to driving growth, Saurabh Prakash has emerged as a leading force in the realm of commercial and digital transformation within the hospitality industry. As the Group Senior Vice President at Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Saurabh brings a wealth of expertise and a visionary mindset to reshape the landscape of the global hospitality sector.
Saurabh’s journey into the business world began with a ﬁrm belief in the transformative power of technology. Armed with a solid educational foundation in digital technology & marketing from a prestigious institution, he embarked on a professional path that seamlessly merged his technological acumen with a deep understanding of business dynamics. This unique blend of skills allowed Saurabh to drive digital innovation in each of his endeavors consistently.
At Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Saurabh spearheads the Commercial and Digital Transformation division, empowering the organization to stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly digital world. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies and data-driven insights, Saurabh crafts strategic initiatives that enhance customer experiences, optimize operations, and unlock new avenues for revenue generation. By seamlessly integrating digital solutions into every facet of the business, he propels Millennium Hotels and Resorts to the forefront of the industry.
Leading by Choices
Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) is a nimble and solution-driven organization with an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit built into its DNA. This culture is what makes MHR unique and stand out from the rest of its competitors. It resonates with Saurabh and incites his motivation.
Saurabh Prakash, a ﬁrm believer in the 80/20 approach, understands the importance of identifying the most productive factors and making them the top priority. In his business endeavors, Saurabh recognizes that the key priorities revolve around customers and employees. By emphasizing these essential elements, he ensures that all areas impacting the organization and its stakeholders are given attention.
Saurabh’s customer-centric approach drives his decision-making process. He understands customer-satisfaction is paramount, and their needs and preferences should guide the organization’s actions. By leveraging the latest digital technology, Saurabh strives to enhance customer experiences, simultaneously driving satisfaction levels and boosting productivity.
Through the implementation of cutting-edge digital solutions, he ensures that MHR stays ahead of the curve, providing guests with the best offers in their desired locations worldwide.
Equally vital to Saurabh is his focus on the company’s workforce. Recognizing that dedicated and motivated employees are crucial to the success of any organization, he prioritizes initiatives that empower and engage the workforce. By creating a positive work environment, fostering professional growth opportunities, and nurturing a sense of purpose, Saurabh ensures that his team remains committed and passionate about delivering exceptional service.
Saurabh’s approach of prioritizing factors that positively impact customers and employees resonates throughout the organization. It permeates all aspects of the business, from developing innovative digital technologies to crafting effective go-to-market strategies.
Ultimately, Saurabh’s focus on prioritization creates a virtuous cycle. By consistently identifying and addressing the most productive factors, he fosters a culture of continuous improvement within Millennium Hotels and Resorts. This approach leads to happy customers who receive exceptional service and offerings, and cultivates a dedicated workforce that is passionate about contributing to the company’s success. It is through this process that all stakeholders including customers and employees thrive in an optimized business environment.
Leading from the Forefront
MHR is at the forefront of embracing new and innovative technologies. The year 2022 was a signiﬁcant milestone where MHR became the ﬁrst international hotel chain to enter the metaverse, an unchartered territory for many companies, and launched its ﬁrst virtual hotel, M Social Decentraland. In the same year, MHR partnered with Singapore Tourism Board and launched a one-of-its-kind joint campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s national monument, the Merlion.
MHR’s team built this campaign as a virtual game adventure that enabled players to create and use their avatars to enter M Social Decentraland and explore Singapore while searching for clues to ﬁnd the ‘lost’ Merlion in the metaverse.
The campaign generated over $500,000 worth of advertising mileage and revenue as it was tied to a staycation package at its physical hotel, M Social Singapore. As a result, M Social Singapore doubled its brand revenues in December of 2022, compared to pre- pandemic levels of December 2019. The ROI from the campaign was 12X. This shows the nimble and innovative nature of the MHR organization.
Like many in the hospitality industry, MHR’s key challenges are rising energy and labor costs. To manage these challenges, MHR deployed innovative digital technologies like ‘Smart Rooms” in its hotels, such as Grand Copthorne Singapore Waterfront, that automatically control room temperature when the guest is not in the room. This saves energy costs and reduces wastage by up to 20%.
On the other hand, the use of robots in crucial areas such as front desk (service robots), housekeeping (cleaning robots), and food & beverage (food delivery and clearance robots) help to address acute labor costs.
Saurabh states that the crucial role of technology is to enhance customers’ experience and increase our employees’ productivity. He says, “For example, MHR introduced service and cleaning robots to deliver room service, ﬂoor-cleaning, and assist as ushers for dish clearance after meal service. Our customers have positive feedback as it provides efﬁcient and quick service. The robots also freed up employees to do other duties while helping them complete their work faster.”
Executing Marketing Campaigns
A successful campaign begins with keeping the customer focus in mind. MHR uses this customer-centric approach to develop its marketing campaigns. MHR’s global loyalty program, My Millennium, has over
3.7 million members worldwide. More than 80% of bookings through the MHR website via the Brand.com channel are made by My Millennium members, reﬂecting the success of its marketing campaigns that resonated well with its loyal customers.
Saurabh expresses, “A recent campaign launched is the “My Millennium Winning Wheel,” which allows members to spin for rewards like room upgrades, dining, free stays, and other surprises when booking a hotel reservation via our website. This is just one of the creative ways we give our guests another reason to choose our website as their preferred booking channel while making it fun for them when they book their stay.”
Deliver Memorable Experiences
MHR is a nimble, solution-oriented organization poised to create growth and transformation through its entrepreneurial culture. Its purpose is to deliver memorable guest experiences while purposefully protecting the environment. The hotels actively participate in local communities and provide care and employment opportunities, sustainability initiatives, and deliver results for its shareholders and owners through exemplary service and digital transformation strategy.
Revenue Management Strategy
MHR uses state-of-the-art revenue management systems with the Idea Generation 3 model.
This is powered by AI-based machine learning and helps manage demand and pricing across the group. MHR is a pioneer in the space of global remote revenue management excellence. “We have the best-in-class revenue managers powering MHR’s revenue management discipline across the globe in various time zones.
With MHR’s entrepreneurial and nimble approach, MHR’s revenue management center of excellence has grown. It provides the ﬂexibility of remote work while adding continuous value to our hotels,” says Saurabh.
MHR’s people are key enablers of its journey in tech transformation. As tech transforms job tasks and responsibilities, employees need to be equipped with the necessary skills to drive transformation activities. Signiﬁcant investments are therefore made to strengthen staff capability by retraining and upskilling them for their new and redesigned roles.
Solution Oriented Approach
MHR has a pragmatic vision of being solution driven. It always tries to ﬁnd and experiment with new technologies and measure their impact. When a new technology does not provide the desired outcome, MHR quickly moves forward and sources the next solution. Incremental revenue, proﬁt, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement are some metrics that MHR uses to measure effectiveness.
Heading into the Future
MHR has an exciting suite of new tech developments in the pipeline as part of its 3- year digital roadmap. Some areas being deployed this year are robotics, digital personalization and gearing up for a cookie-less environment, a Salesforce-powered Amadeus Sales System, a cloud-based upgrade of its property management system, guest in-room voice technology, and continuing development of the metaverse space.”