Using the Power of Passion and Perseverance in Building a Leading Hospitality Platform!
Have you ever walked into a hotel or restaurant and felt instantly transported to a world of luxury and sophistication? The world of hospitality is one that captures the imagination and leaves a lasting impression on those who experience it. For Raj, the allure of hospitality began at a young age and has driven his career for over three decades.
Starting as a junior executive in 1992, Raj spent years honing his skills in some of the most distinguished companies across India and Kenya. But it wasn’t until he arrived in Dubai that he knew it was time to take a bold step and create something of his own. Starting from scratch in a new country, the author had only his passion for hospitality to rely on. But that passion proved to be enough, as he built his brand, Hozpitality.com, from the ground up.
Today, Raj has grown Hozpitality.com into a premier global resource for hospitality professionals via dedication, perseverance, and an unrelenting devotion to his clients and the business. Even though the voyage had its share of difficulties, he came out on top, building a name and network that are still expanding.
Join us as we delve into the world of hospitality and explore the power of passion and perseverance with the inspiring story of Raj Bhatt, the founder of Hozpitality.com!
Please brief us about yourself and tell us your source of inspiration for venturing into this niche.
From a young age, I was captivated by the world of hospitality. In 1992, I took my first steps in the industry as a junior executive and never looked back. For the next 31 years, I honed my skills in distinguished companies across India and Kenya, constantly learning and growing. When I moved to Dubai, I knew it was time to take a bold step and make my mark. Moving to Dubai was a challenge. I didn’t know anyone and had to start from scratch. But I had something that caught people’s attention – my passion for hospitality. It was this passion that resonated with my clients and helped me build my brand, Hozpitality.com, from the ground up. Even when times were tough, and obstacles seemed insurmountable, my unwavering commitment to the industry and my clients kept me going. With time, my network grew, and so did my reputation. With the unwavering support of my friends and colleagues in the hospitality industry, we overcame all obstacles and emerged triumphant. Today, Hozpitality.com is a thriving platform that connects hospitality professionals from all over the world. Today, I’m proud to say that Hozpitality.com is recognized as a leading platform for hospitality professionals worldwide – a testament to the power of passion and perseverance.
Please brief our audience about your company and its inception story.
Hozpitality.com was founded in 2008 to connect hospitality professionals around the world. As someone who had spent over two decades in the industry, I understood the challenges faced by professionals seeking new opportunities or trying to build their networks. I saw an opportunity to bridge this gap by creating a platform that would bring together job seekers, employers, and service providers in the hospitality industry. With this vision in mind, I set out to create a website that would serve as a one-stop shop for all things hospitality. It wasn’t easy—starting from scratch never is—but with the support of my colleagues and friends in the industry, we were able to build a thriving community of professionals. Today, Hozpitality.com is recognized as a leading platform for hospitality professionals, with over a million registered users and partnerships with some of the biggest names in the industry. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far, but we’re always looking for ways to improve and serve our community better.
My background is in hotel management, which I studied in India. I got my first international job with the Metropolitan Hotel in Dubai in 1995, which was a part of Habtoor Hotels, now known as Al Habtoor City. It was an exciting time to be in Dubai, as the city was undergoing a major transformation, with the Burj Khalifa and other iconic buildings rising up around us. After a few years in the hospitality industry, in 2007, I decided to pivot to executive search consulting, which gave me a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by both job seekers and employers in the industry.
However, I always felt that there was something missing—a platform that could connect hospitality professionals in a more meaningful way. That’s when I decided to start Hozpitality.com in 2008. As the founder and CEO of the company, I had the freedom to create something that reflected my values and vision. It wasn’t easy, but the journey has been immensely rewarding. Today, Hozpitality.com is recognized as a leading platform for hospitality professionals worldwide, and I’m proud to be part of a community that is passionate about what they do. One of the perks of being the CEO is the freedom to work from anywhere in the world with just a laptop, something I never imagined possible when I first started my career.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing businesses in the Middle East today?
The business landscape in Dubai and the wider Middle East region is constantly evolving, presenting both opportunities and challenges for businesses. One of the main advantages of doing business in Dubai is its strategic location, which provides access to major markets in Asia, Africa, and Europe. The city has a well-developed infrastructure, including world-class airports, seaports, and logistics hubs that facilitate trade and commerce. In addition, Dubai has a diverse and multicultural workforce, with highly skilled professionals from around the world.
The government of Dubai has been proactive in supporting businesses through a range of initiatives, such as offering tax incentives, reducing bureaucracy, and investing in key sectors such as tourism, finance, and technology. While the COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges for businesses globally, Dubai has been quick to adopt measures to ensure the safety of residents and visitors while also mitigating the economic impact.
For example, the Dubai government has launched stimulus packages to support businesses, introduced flexible work arrangements, and facilitated remote work. In summary, while there are challenges facing businesses in the Middle East, Dubai has demonstrated resilience and adaptability and remains a key destination for companies looking to expand their operations in the region.
How does your company approach diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, and how do you prioritize and approach decision-making in your role as CEO?
At Hozpitality, we believe that diversity and inclusivity are essential components of a successful and thriving workplace. We are committed to creating a culture of respect, openness, and inclusivity where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas. Our team is made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including Indian, Filipino, and Arabic team members.
Can you speak to any successful initiatives or projects your company has undertaken in the past year, and how do you see the technology landscape in the Middle East evolving in the coming years?
Over the last two years, our company has undertaken a major project to revamp our technology platform with the goal of improving the user experience for both professionals and students in the hospitality industry. We have developed a new system that enables easy registration and also provides advanced search filters for job and course listings. In addition, we have updated our supplier marketplace, allowing industry suppliers to easily post their products on our Hozpitality marketplace. These initiatives have helped us better serve our clients and users, and we are proud of the positive feedback we have received.
Looking ahead, we believe that the technology landscape in the Middle East will continue to evolve rapidly, and we are committed to staying ahead of the curve by exploring new technologies and innovations that can help us improve our offerings and deliver even greater value to our customers.
What are your thoughts on the current economic climate in the region, and how does your company balance profitability and social responsibility?
The UAE is home to numerous visionary leaders who work tirelessly to create an environment where businesses can flourish. Their efforts have resulted in the country becoming a hub for international trade and commerce. We remain optimistic about the future and are committed to serving our clients and users to the best of our ability.
As for balancing profitability and social responsibility, we believe that the two are not mutually exclusive, and we strive to achieve both. Our company has a strong commitment to ethical business practices and social responsibility, and we believe that these values contribute to our long-term success and profitability.
Can you speak to any specific initiatives your company has implemented to support sustainability and environmental responsibility?
At Hozpitality, we take sustainability and environmental responsibility seriously. To support these initiatives, we have implemented various measures, such as reducing paper usage and moving towards digital communication. We also encourage our team members to adopt eco-friendly practices in their daily activities, such as using reusable water bottles and reducing plastic waste. Furthermore, we collaborate with partners who share our values of sustainability and actively support environmentally responsible practices.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Middle East?
As an experienced entrepreneur and business leader in the Middle East, my advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders is to focus on your passion and strive for excellence in everything you do. Be open to learning from others, take calculated risks, and stay persistent even in the face of challenges. Building strong relationships with your customers, employees, and industry peers is also crucial to success. And always remember to give back to your community by supporting local initiatives and social responsibility programs. With dedication, hard work, and a positive mindset, you can achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the region.
Please give us a few testimonials from your clients and awards or recognition that accurately highlight your achievements in the corporate niche.
We are grateful to have received numerous awards and recognitions over the years that highlight our achievements in the corporate niche. For example, we have been honored with the Lux Lifestyle Award from the UK Magazine for eight consecutive years for being the Best Hospitality and Recruitment Portal. We also received the Best Hospitality HR & PR Platform 2023 award from the UAE Business Awards. Additionally, our CEO, Raj Bhatt, was recognized as the Hospitality Leader of the Year at the India-UAE Business Summit and Awards. These awards and recognitions serve as a testament to our commitment to excellence and innovation in the hospitality industry.