What are some of the first changes you made at the hotel?
“The first policy I established is that more care had to be taken of the guests. We needed more personal interactions with the guest and each and everyone went through rigorous training to be the most accommodating and friendly. Since I am a very sociable person, I incorporated it all in the hotel. Also, because the property is more 25 years old it needed the upgradation I bestowed.”
What are the challenges you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
“Most of the challenges I’ve faced has been gender-based! I’ve noticed that if the job is on a cuckold somewhere, my husband or my father-in-law has better chances at sorting it out than I did. It took some time for people to understand that I mean business. A lot of frustrating times and you have no way to show it as vulnerability backfires on you. It was tough not to get perturbed about things and carry on with my head held high!”
What are the plans for expansion?
“Most of my ideas are born out of necessity such as O2 Fitness studio; the need to take care of health that is where the idea stems from. I love to travel so Wanderlust the travel segment of the hotel came out of it. Duchess club stemmed out of the need to make a friend (laughs). I wanted a platform wherein women can feel the need to be what they want to be and I felt like the club is the perfect place for that.
How has Chennai been to you over the years?
“This city is an opportunity to grow and it has been so welcoming to me and my family that I hardly remember the life I left behind in Hyderabad. I think the only con with the city itself is the limitations to marketing its own self. How many people are proud of the state? The language? The culture? Chennai has plenty to offer, we just have to be welcome to receive it.”
You are so well known for your sarees, tell us about your style quotient!
“You have to believe in what you wear, confidence is key to carrying off with panache. My fashion sense is basically fusion but with a lot more slant towards traditional. For accessories, I do a lot of street style shopping!
The Savera family is now into franchising with the establishment of their restaurants city-wide including Amaravathi (Andhra Cuisine), Dakshinapuram (South Indian-Veg), Karaikudi (Chettinad), Malgudi, The Brew Room (Cafe) and Go South (Veg-Tiffin).
(Photos by Rajsekar Balan)