Encalm’s warm embrace of Atithi Daivo Bhava

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Encalm’s warm embrace of Atithi Daivo Bhava

Sunday, 12 May 2024 | Shobori Ganguli

Encalm’s warm embrace of Atithi Daivo Bhava

In an informative tête-à-tête with SHOBORI GANGULI, Encalm Hospitality CEO VIKAS SHARMA outlines his vision of revolutionising the world of airport hospitality

Possibly never before in history has the global hospitality industry and its ecosystem been as severely hit as it was during the 2021 Pandemic. Not even the two World Wars in the last century left nations gasping for breath as Covid did, with its lethal tentacles paralysing MSMEs, travel and tourism businesses, and their subsidiary industries. Unannounced lockdowns and travel restrictions drilled unparalleled fear into the human psyche, with no end in sight.

But, as Charles Dickens put it in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Clawing back for survival under such adversity, the hospitality industry was quick to innovate. Mr Vikas Sharma, the Chief Executive Officer of Encalm Hospitality, entered this volatile world as a beacon of hope in the year 2021, in a territory unexplored and uncharted and at a time when fear of human contact reigned supreme.

Armed with the vision to infuse fresh life into the business of hospitality, and, of course, with an enviable arsenal of 25 years of experience in the trade, Sharma went about restructuring the landscape of airport hospitality through an unparalleled experience — much like the American Pioneer who wanted “to go where no man has gone before.” Air travel, even for those going business class, has its attendant share of anxiety and restlessness. Seeking to ease this, Mr Sharma, through Encalm, concretised a novel definition of airport services. “Hospitality” is the key word in this endeavour, says a proud Sharma.

In a short span of two years, Sharma today heads a 1900 plus team which, according to him, is crucial in taking the organisation’s long term objectives forward through “strategic thinking and effective communication.”

At a time when most airlines provide their Business Class passengers with state of the art lounges and customized relaxation plans without overheads, what does Encalm bring to the table, especially if the passenger has to pay for it? Sharma is quick to enumerate that, “Encalm Hospitality has become synonymous with exceptional hospitality and top-of-the-line services right from Atithya to the Encalm Lounges and Spa.” Available in T3 terminal of the Delhi Airport, Encalm Lounges are also available in Hyderabad and in Goa, it is available in Mopa airport.

To ensure an “elevated airport experience” Sharma lists out the services the company has on offer. Penetrating into the luxury realm of a regular lounge and Spa, Encalm’s services and hospitality combine a range of assisted services, incorporating basic non-aviation chores such as assistance service, buggy services, and porter assistance.  The company’s offerings go beyond  the aesthetics of bespoke carved lounges and Spas with a personalised “Atithya Meet and Greet” — constructed on the foundation of Atithi Daivo Bhava (Guests are equivalent to the Almighty), taking airport experience to another level altogether.

As the Encalm CEO proudly asserts, his knowledge and experiences help synergise the operational and management foundations of the Encalm brand. Needless to add, he has an impressive portfolio having served as the General Manager of Sheraton Hotel and Resorts, Director of Operations at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the Director of F&B at Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts. Operations, sales and marketing, finance and revenue management are his core competence. He was felicitated as the General Manager of the Year 2019 award by HOSI in association with Sheraton Hotel and Resorts, and Leadership Excellence Award by Marriott Hotel, again in 2019. An MBA graduate from INSEAD, Sharma has a bachelor’s degree from IHM, Gwalior.

Interestingly, Sharma is also an avid cricket follower of cricket and badminton, the former fructifying into reality when Encalm became the Hospitality partner with the Delhi Capitals for IPL 2024.

Talking about the partnership Sharma says, “As a lifelong cricket enthusiast, the sport embodies more than mere competition — it’s a fervent passion fostering camaraderie and excitement. Partnering with Delhi Capitals underscores my enduring dedication to cricket and its profound community impact. Through Encalm Hospitality’s alliance with this dynamic IPL team, we embrace cricket’s essence, engaging with fans authentically and enriching the sport’s vibrant legacy.”

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