Azure And Max Team Acquire Sanjeev Nanda’s Dhaba Restaurant

The iconic dhaba which has been taking the charm of Claridges to a newer height is no more associated with its promoter Sanjeev Nanda – A brain child of Mr. Sanjeev Nanda who is also a co-owner of this property. In a recent update, the market is abuzz with news that Sanjeev Nanda the restaurateur has sold its lovely Indian cuisine restaurant to Azure Hospitality.

Claridges has been considered one of the game sanjeev-nanda-dhaba-by-claridges-imagechangers in casual dining experience of common Indians. Its Dhaba was founded around 29 years ago to brining the essence of a common dhaba inside the hotel in much suave manner.

As of now, Claridges is running its Dhaba at three prime locations in Delhi & NCR. The restaurant has earned many accolades and awards over the period. The co-founder Mr. Sanjeev Nanda created a niche with this. But now, it seems the time has come to when the identity of this Dhaba is going to be alienated from the name of Mr. Nanda as well as Claridges Hospitality Private Ltd.

Talking about this recent development, Mr. Nanda quipped, “Dhaba By Claridges is a brand built out of the love it has received at The Claridges. We are excited about handing over the legacy of the brand to Azure Hospitality. Our relationship with them and its founding members goes back to The Claridges’ era and we are proud that our product will be handled by one of the best hospitality chains in the industry. Azure Hospitality has a great vision for Dhaba just like The Claridges Group.”

Well, it is an amazing grab for Azure Hospitality as is reflected in the words of Kabir Suri. Mr. Suri is the co-founder and Director of Azure Hospitality. He narrated his version, “The Indian food industry is undergoing a revolution in terms of experimentation with diverse cuisines. Azure is focused on being at the forefront of that change and acquiring ‘Dhaba By Claridges’ under Azure Hospitality is a step towards strengthening our position in the Indian food & beverage (F&B) sector. The investment from Goldman Sachs and Max Ventures for our company has further allowed us to aggressively execute our strategically planned expansion and has helped entrepreneurs like ourselves to make our most ambitious dreams match India’s massive consumer scale and tremendous market opportunity.”

Dhaba By Claridges in DLF place Saket has been a center of attraction since its launch in 2013. The restaurant is famous for its nuanced décor which creates an ambiance of true Dhaba at a plush location as well as a vivid menu. Its mouthwatering Chilli Chicken, Balti Meat and Amritsari tawa chaap has been loved by bon-vivants of Delhi which made it one of the favorite eating joints in the area and definitely a profitable one too.  If one ponders on these details, it’s certainly puzzling why Claridges Hotel Group sold such a wonderful property. Is Claridges Hotel Group hopping on some other plans? Well, the market of speculation is hot but we’ll have to wait till the clear news comes.

Sanjeev Nanda : Rewrite Story of Deprived Himachal Village

Nestled between the beautiful Himalayas, the small Himachal hamlet of Banjni is known for its slow-paced life, economic and infrastructural hardships and lack of employment opportunities. Not anymore!

Sanjeev-Nanda

Banjni today is a living example of how empowering women can bring about a remarkable transformation in the fortunes of a society. And the change was brought in after the women of the village came together to establish a self-help cooperative society to unleash their collective entrepreneurial capacity, augment their incomes and raise their standards of living.

The transformation came under the guidance of Sanjeev Nanda, who realized that this pristine habitat was virtually untouched by the development happening around them. His efforts to script a new story for this remote village helped mobilize and motivate the women, to utilize their creative skills to obtain business benefits by recognizing the benefits of a collective economic endeavor.

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The small village was inhabited by just 41 families. Amongst a total population of 190 people, there were 99 males and 91 females as per population census 2011. Not only was economic hardship a way of life, there were hardly any employment opportunities and most people had to migrate to nearby towns in search of work. Modern modes of transport were virtually non-existent here and children travelled for hours on foot to reach nearest schools.

A socially-conscious individual who strongly believes that young Indians need to take the lead in helping the benefits of growth and development trickle down to the grassroots, Sanjeev Nanda introduced a new idea to the populace of this small settlement . He mobilized the women of the village to develop a self-help entrepreneurial group along with registering a co-operative society. This turned out to be a landmark step in the lives of the village women.

The women of Banjni gained adequate support from a local lawyer, M Thakur, as he acquainted them with the functioning and procedures of forming a co-operative society. He also lent complete support in helping the women review the documentation of the memorandum of their registration. Upon completion of the legal formalities, the committee members were provided with their license. The Mahila Ekta Group then conducted research on product development.

Himachal, the beautiful Himalayan state had banned plastic bags in order to protect their fragile environment. Thus, the Mahila Ekta Group used innovative means to prepare paper/cloth bags as an alternative and successfully sold them to traders in Dharmpur.

“The Mahila Ekta Group completely revolutionized the lives of women. It brought together their scattered acumen and energies towards a larger business goal. Realizing that environmental concerns had raised the demand for eco-friendly bags in the state, the women decided to take this up as their business idea. They established a mini home-based industry of paper and cloth bags in the village, and started selling to nearby markets. Slowly as their business improved, and demand increased, the women started earning good incomes from this endeavor,” said Sanjeev Nanda.

Realizing that starting such a venture will need a lot of initial thrust and support, Sanjeev provided all logistic and material support to the group till it became self sufficient.

In a bid to inspire the women of the village, in 2014, Sanjeev and his wife, Medha Nanda, organized a visit of the self-help group members to Himachal Pradesh’s famous Bhuira Jam factory, where the members of Mahila Ekta Group had an inspiring interaction with Bhuira Jams founder, Linnet Mushran, a treasure trove of knowledge on entrepreneurship and self-help concept. The legendary lady also offered some useful tips to the women for a profitable business.

The remote village had other concerns too. Owing to the absence of a proper road, a traditional school bus service was not available in Banjni whose children travelled to Chamian School daily on foot.

“As part of our regular trips to the village to help the Group, we noticed that in absence of transportation or a bus service, the village children had to walk long distances to and fro from school every day. We organized two jeeps to transport children to school and this small intervention has completely changed their lives. They save a lot of time and energy every day that they now spend on studies and extra-curricular activities. An unlikely outcome of this step was the boost it gave to social inclusion indirectly when kids from different castes started travelling together and develop friendly relations for the first time,” added Sanjeev Nanda.

Why Priceline’s booker-in-chief Darren Huston is spending big?

Darren Huston was trying to watch a hockey game; half-listening to a headhunter talk about a company he had never heard of before. But as the headhunter went on, the then 45years old executive in charge of Microsoft’s global consumer and online businesses tuned out the arena noise and began listening to what he thought was an impossible story.

“I said, ‘There’s nothing that big in Europe on the Internet,”’ Darren Huston recalled, laughing.

The 2011 call was from Booking.com, the Amsterdam-based unit of Priceline Group that dominates the European online travel market. By last year, Darren Huston became President and CEO of Priceline Group itself, which has come from dot-com laughingstock to the fifth most-valuable U.S. Internet company—if one still really considers it a U.S. company, because 90 percent of its profits come from overseas, most of them from Booking.com.

Everyone knows Booking and Priceline now. Continue reading “Why Priceline’s booker-in-chief Darren Huston is spending big?”

Darren Huston Priceline CEO to buy OpenTable for $2.6B

Extending its reach into restaurant reservations, online travel giant Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston is buying OpenTable for $2.6 billion.

Priceline will pay $103 per share in cash, which is a 46% premium over OpenTable’s Thursday closing price of $70.43.

OpenTable’s stock soared 48% to $104.48 Friday. Shares of Priceline were down 3% to $1,189.

OpenTable charges restaurants monthly fees to seat diners who book their reservations online. It has an inventory of more than 31,000 restaurants, and seats more than 15 million diners a month.

“Travelers are diners,” Priceline CEO and President Darren Huston said in a conference call with analysts and reporters. It’s the same customers. There’s opportunity to cross-promote brands.

“We spent a long time looking at OpenTable. It’s been on our radar for a long time. We felt now was a good time,” Darren Huston said.

Darren Huston said Priceline’s first goal is to expand OpenTable internationally. Users can already book restaurants through OpenTable in London, Berlin, Hong Kong and other cities, but Darren Huston said he wanted to bring it to more cities. Since Priceline already has “offices in every major city in the world,” doing so should be seamless, Huston said. Continue reading “Darren Huston Priceline CEO to buy OpenTable for $2.6B”