When Nitin Shankar Nagrale, Mohan Deshpande and Sanjay Goyal together conceived and conceptualized Hospitality Purchasing Manager Forum (HPMF) way back in year 2010, they were just three people. Nobody could imagine that it would become a mammoth movement over a period of time. HPMF is growing gradually and celebrated its 7th Anniversary along with the Convention and Awards event amidst the rustic tranquil of Rajasthan from 14th to 16th September 2017 at Indana Palace, Jodhpur.
His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singhji of Jodhpur inaugurated the event. As a tradition, His Highness always wears a “Safa” (Turban) whenever he attends prestigious or official events within Jodhpur. But this time, underestimating strength and clout of HPMF delegates, he skipped wearing safa. The moment he alighted from his car in the porch of Indana hotel, he was stunned to see the customary welcome bestowed to him with band baja and traditional Rajsthani dance.
One more shock was waiting for His Highness. No sooner he entered the hotel lobby, right from the main gate to the arena in the ball room of hotel, total delegates, men and women wearing colorful safa welcomed him by showering rose petals on him. The traditional welcome was so grandeur that he must have thought he is attending his own “Rajyabhishek” (Coronation ceremony).
His Highness was so impressed with entire happening of his traditional welcome. While delivering his inaugural speech, he admitted publicly that “In my entire life I have not seen this kind of welcoming gesture, where men and even women were wearing safa and welcoming King with traditional Mujra. It gives me immense pleasure to see this kind of event which has gone way beyond anybody’s imagination. I am sure HPMF will surely touch the sky”.
It is worth mentioning here that HPMF 7th convention was a turning point for them. It entered in Asia Book of Records for largest number of Men and Women, wearing safa in single event. The Asia Book of Records mentioned that 311 people, men and women wearing safa were physically present at the venue. The tally was done by head counts of every individual, of which I was also the part.
As a journalist I am writing a factual sheet of real happenings which took place at Indana Palace hotel in Jodhpur. Everyone knows growth of HPMF but I am sharing my feelings, which I was an eyewitness too, and thoughts of other delegates who were the part of event. As a journalist one has to keep their eyes and ears open to take first hand call on happenings. In HPMF event at Jodhpur, everyone was admiring arrangements and made them feel part of royal family too. There were none, who spoke negative about the event.
Nitin said “HPMF is my heart and soul; I drink, eat and sleep HPMF. It has become an integral part of my life and I cherish every single moment of it. When we three started HPMF, I could not imagine that it will become such a mass movement. Initially, there were few who discouraged us to begin with, but we were strong-minded and confident that we can make it gigantic. Now the result is noticeable. He says “We have bigger plans for HPMF. We have envisaged starting diverse chapters in each state of India.
Nitin says “Recently Telangana and Kerala chapters were launched with much fanfare. We have also decided to take HPMF on foreign soils too. The extension on global chapter is on advanced stage and soon be inaugurated in Dubai in the beginning of 2018. HPMF core team have envisaged further expansion over a period of time and in its eighth year few more International and local destinations are targeted to tap”.
The beauty of HPMF’s event is that, we are not restricted to one city or state. Every year we organize annual convention in different cities. 2016 and 2017 convention was held at Bubaneshwar and Jodhpur respectively. We have planned 2018 convention at Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India.
The HPMF has grown manifold in past seven years of its inception. Now it has over 1600 members from the hospitality purchasing fraternity. Some of the key elements of HPMF are training and development of procurement professionals, consolidated procurement, industry product standardization, volume discounts, improved professionalism in purchasing process, development of potential vendors and last but not least green initiatives and corporate social responsibilities.
Author: Sitaram Mewati
Award winning journalist