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13 Oct 2021

9 People who make The Residency a Better Place

You’ve seen our seamlessly running hotels, every carefully orchestrated movement – from a successful dinner service, to top-notch security processes – everything happens like clockwork at The Residency. No chaos, only smiles and gentle bows – happiness and tranquility everywhere. Meet nine of our dedicated team members who work behind the scenes to create this serene and relaxing atmosphere #InOurSafeHaven.

Rejelesh - Security Supervisor, The Residency Towers Chennai

 

If there ever was a real-life Superman, it's Rejelesh, the Security Supervisor at The Residency Towers Chennai. Rejelesh is just the person you want around in a crisis, having received comprehensive training from the National Guardian Security Force. With over 12 years in Security, working unwaveringly to keep our guests and employees safe, he has been a knight in shining armour for many.

Recalling his most memorable experiences, he speaks of his time working the night shift in a previous role at a hotel. One night, he heard a loud bang outside, and was confronted with four passengers trapped in a burning car! Knowing full-well that there wasn’t a moment to spare, he braved the searing heat and discomfort, pulled them out, and extinguished the flames. He says the best reward he received was their parents’ relieved and grateful faces when they thanked him personally.

During the pandemic, he has continued to be an invaluable member of our team. He was instrumental in making Residency a true #SafeHaven, and helped with the vaccination program – making arrangements to ensure every team member received the vaccine. We are proud to say that we are now 100% vaccinated!

Rejelesh understands the gravity of the responsibility on his shoulders, and lucky for us, he carries it with pride. We couldn’t be more proud of this man who devotes his life to our safety every day.

Narad - Masterchef, The Residency Towers Coimbatore

 

Chef Narad, Masterchef at The Residency Towers Coimbatore has been on the food scene for the last 20 years, earning the mantle of Master of Asian cuisine. His journey spanned the halls of Taj, GRT, Accord, and popular Chinese restaurant, Cascade, before joining us. In one conversation, it is clear why his career has flourished. Even with his incredible skill, Narad’s humility shines through. He approaches every day as a student, and eagerly tries to level up his expertise at every opportunity.

Narad speaks fondly of his early years as a student of his mother’s cooking, and later, his days under the legendary Chef Shanmugan of Chin Chin at The Residency Chennai. Chef Shanmugan identified his incredible potential and recommended him as the perfect addition to The Residency Towers Coimbatore team. We think this was a brilliant call as he has continuously elevated the amazing standard of food that Chin Chin is known for.

When asked why he decided to become a chef, Narad says there’s nothing quite like satisfying a guest with tasty food. He lives for the moment when a guest’s eyes light up after tasting something he has prepared with utmost care. For him, the most exciting moments are when guests want something off the menu. It is a great opportunity for him to let his creativity run wild.

His advice to young chefs is to master the basics of cooking, and discover that seemingly elusive chef’s instinct with time and practice. Whether you call it practice, instinct, or God-given talent, Chef Narad has been delighting our palates for the last two decades and we couldn’t be happier!

Dinesh - Assistant Sales Manager, The Residency Chennai

 

Dinesh Kumar is our Assistant Sales Manager at The Residency Chennai. With over 15 years of experience in Sales in several industries, the move to the hospitality industry felt like a natural progression to him, with both Sales and Hospitality rooted in service. Dinesh says his career in sales has even done wonders in his personal life, as he is increasingly empathetic and patient with those closest to him.

Dinesh is also living proof that any dream can come true with a strong work ethic! As a motorcycle enthusiast, his latest adventure was a bike trip to Leh, Ladakh and back, from Chennai with his brothers riding alongside him. He completed 8,200 kms in 22 days and visited 14 states on his daring journey. Dinesh describes this trip as a once in a lifetime experience as he checked several things off his bucket list. And having always been obsessed with Royal Enfields, he was thrilled to take his Bullet Electra BS6 on this journey. His bike was also the first belt-drive to enter Leh, and he proudly declares that he worked on it himself. He then had the opportunity to ride it on the world’s largest and second largest motorable roads at elevations of around 18,000 feet each. A moment that caught him and his fellow riders by surprise, was when they experienced snowfall...in August! It felt like a slice of heaven, laid out just for them. For a glimpse of his journey, tune into his YouTube channel, Dinesh Life Trip. Next on his agenda is a journey to the North East. His biggest dream however, is a trip from Chennai to London by bike. With his determination, we have no doubt he will achieve it.

As someone brimming with passion and creative energy, he dabbles in photography. And in true Dinesh fashion, he has thrown himself into this passion head-first and picked up all the photography skills he needs on YouTube. He beams as he talks about his biggest project – a vibrant photoshoot featuring the Chin Chin sushi menu! Be on the lookout for these photos the next time you’re on our Instagram page.

Geetha - Senior HR Associate, The Residency Towers Puducherry

 

To find someone who's turned her people skills into a successful career, look no further than Geetha, our Senior HR Associate at The Residency Towers Puducherry. You can hear the excitement build in Geetha's voice as she speaks of her job organising staff engagement activities, and brainstorming ideas to make work life truly fulfilling. And what a privilege for us to have someone who’s this passionate about making work a better place! Some of her highlights are the team outings she helped organise for Pongal and Women's Day; outings that have brought the team closer.

Her desire to serve people has also manifested as another dream – to become a police officer! She attends regular coaching classes to achieve this noble dream, while being skilled at her job, and a devoted mother to her 5 year old son. And when she has some time off, she revisits her passion for sports from her earlier years as a national-level soft tennis player. Geetha really can do it all!

She leaves us with this – "A woman can achieve anything as long as she learns to depend on only herself, and stand on her own two feet." We are glad to have Geetha to mentor other young women at the hotel with big dreams.

Indira - Front Office Associate, The Residency Karur

 

Indira's journey to the world of hospitality is not your typical one. With a background in Computer Science, the industry was a new and unfamiliar world when she first joined The Residency Karur team six years ago.

A polite and social person, she impressed with her thoughtful responses during the interview and was a natural choice to be our Front Office Associate.

Indira tells us about the personal growth she has experienced over the years, as her confidence in herself and her skills skyrocketed. While earlier she considered speaking to guests as simply a part of her job, she now takes great interest in getting to know every guest personally. Returning guests adore Indira, and are surprised to know she remembers details they’ve mentioned about their families, work, and more on previous trips. With her deep understanding of each guest’s preferences, she is perfectly suited to tailor their stay. Her favourite part is when she gets to create personalised itineraries. As such a beloved part of our team, Indira also trains new Front Office Associates during the day shift.

When she’s off the clock, she loves to cook. While she is well versed with biryani and fried rice dishes, she is currently working on mastering South Indian cuisine. Indira is also the nightingale of our hotel and has lent her beautiful voice at all our major events for the last 6 years. We are extremely happy we didn’t miss out on this brilliant addition to our team!

Shiamnath - Security Manager, The Residency Towers Coimbatore

 

Shiamnath has been a part of the Residency team for a whopping 22 years and has grown to become a pillar of our Secuity department during this time. As our ever-dependable Security Manager at The Residency Towers Coimbatore, he is responsible for looking after the safety of our guests and employees. He also maintains a good relationship with the local police and fire departments to ensure help is always just a call away. When we embarked on one of our biggest projects, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, we knew we had to have him on the pre-opening team!

During the pandemic, his responsibilities have grown exponentially, and over the last two years he has successfully ensured 100% vaccination of our employees by coordinating with the government on vaccine drives, ensuring compliance with the highest safety protocols, and also successfully securing the hotel from any pandemic-related incidents. Shiamnath tells us with pride about how he fulfils the duties of his monumental job to the best of his abilities each day, and how he is always on time.

When asked what made him choose the hospitality industry, Shiamnath shares how he has been drawn to 5 star hotels from a young age, and always dreamt of a job that would allow him to spend his days in one. His favourite part of his day is walking around the property on his rounds. We rest easy knowing that Shiamnath is on the job!

Sathish - Housekeeping Supervisor, The Residency Towers Chennai

 

A good housekeeping department is the backbone of a hotel, especially during a pandemic. With Sathish, our Housekeeping Supervisor at The Residency Towers Chennai, we can rest easy that nothing is left to chance. With a father who works as a Security Officer, and a brother who works in Defence, service is in his blood. Sathish humbly says, "For me, it is about providing quality service to guests, and making them feel safe in the hotel."

Sathish has worked hard to ensure the highest level of safety for our guests and staff by implementing our ResiSafe hygiene and safety protocols hotel-wide. From the sanitisation of common areas like the lobby and elevators, to thorough and regular disinfection of rooms, Sathish is the person who makes our haven truly safe. And having spent several years with top hotels in the city, and the last 7 years with us, he has seen just how essential his role is in the smooth running of a hotel, pandemic or not.

Raja - Purchase Manager, The Residency Towers Puducherry

 

Purchase teams are the unsung heroes of the hospitality industry. After all, most don’t see the well-stocked kitchen, and quality materials behind the scenes of their hotel experience. Raja has been Purchase Associate at The Residency Towers Puducherry since the pre-opening stage, and helped get us ready for our grand opening. Previously, he was part of our Chennai team for 5 years.

Raja has a keen understanding of just what the team requires, and handles material management, purchase, store, imports and exports, etc. His role has evolved to include ensuring temperature screening and fully vaccinated status of any visiting vendors. He also ensures that new materials are stored in a separate room for 24 hours for an added level of safety. Raja can’t contain his excitement as he shares all the new things about his job he is learning during his free time. It inspires us to see his commitment to become more knowledgeable about his domain. How lucky are we to have someone who is not only skilled at their job, but who also has an infectious passion for it?

And what inspired him to join the hospitality industry? Like many dreams, it all started with a Vijay film he saw as a child, where the grandeur of hotels was highlighted. And while Raja intended to become a chef, he chuckles and tells us he is simply not skilled at cooking though he loves to eat. Another motivation to join hospitality was the infectious joy that those in the industry seem to cherish. If you meet Raja, you’ll agree that he’s the embodiment of what it means to be jolly!

Chef Ajmal - GNC Masterchef

 

There’s no chef quite like Chef Ajmal, Masterchef of The Residency Chennai, who has been with us for the last 27 years. While our restaurants have won several accolades for having some of the best food in the city, for Chef Ajmal, it is not just his lifelong passion for food, but his undeniable work ethic that has led to his flourishing career. When speaking about his experience as a chef, he doesn’t list the cuisines he specialises in, his food philosophy, or his favourite dish, like most chefs tend to. He instead talks about how he is the first to arrive each day, and prides himself on being an extremely dependable member of the team. Even during the pandemic, when most returned to their hometowns, Chef Ajmal decided that the call of duty was louder, with the kitchen being short-staffed. “Three Ramzans have passed,” he says, with pride in knowing that his personal sacrifice has counted at a time when the industry was struggling. Over his almost 3 decade-long career, he has had the opportunity to work with other brilliant minds like Chef Babu, Chef Uday, and his beloved mentor, Chef Ganesh.

To a chef who says, "It is our work that defines us," a cherished memory is when our Chairman, the late Mr. Appaswamy presented him with a token of appreciation for his devoted service. We are deeply appreciative of Chef Ajmal’s service, and look forward to many more years learning from this person whom we admire very much.

We are proud to put the spotlight on our nine shining stars, and hope you got to know the people behind your Residency experiences a little better. The next time you visit, why not talk to our associates about their journeys? You never know what you might find out.

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