Located in Silvassa, known for the renowned Warli culture and its connection with the Portuguese, the Khanvel Resort is spread over 15-acre picturesque landscapes. Khanvel is most preferred to have a perfect wedding, against the backdrop of the lush, hilly terrain. With 9 halls, designed with a variety of seating formats it can host events that have anywhere between 20 to 350 attendees. The Resort provides a delicious assortment of cuisines ranging from Gujarati, Marwari, Kathiawadi, and Punjabi to Chinese and Continental cuisines. IE&M Team met the man behind it, Mr. Nirmal Jain.
Please tell us about the journey so far?
I came to Mumbai after my 11th exam from Kishangarh in Rajasthan. My brother Prem Godha, now CMD of IPCA Lab, guided me here. I started as a part-time accountant in a shop at Linking Road, Khar for a salary of Rs.100. It was a 10 to 6 job. After that, I used to attend college till 9 pm. I also used to do extra account work for others making around 700/- per month. After two years, I joined Amitabh Bachchan for his account work in 1976 at a salary of Rs.1000/- and stayed there for 3 years. I left in 1979 when my brother asked me to set up a unit of IPCA at Silvassa in the name of Mexin Medicaments. I was able to set up the Pharma unit in Pipariya at Silvassa. In 1984 I opted out and went into the Real Estate business. I also set up a Drum manufacturing unit. On the suggestion of a forest officer KD Singh, I bought a huge chunk of land near Van Vihar where Khanvel Resort with initially 36 rooms started functioning. I eventually turned it into a Destination Weddings Venue. Today we’ve 200 rooms.
What is the current status of the Indian hospitality sector?
With increasing disposable income Indians have started traveling and spend on holidays. We’re almost equidistant from Mumbai, Surat, and Nasik. Tourists from all these places opt for the holiday of two nights on weekends. Due to Covid, we had no bookings at all last year but now people have started coming and business is slowly picking up. Still, it’s very less. As the trend of a destination wedding is fast catching up we’ll get good business from weddings from November to March.
What strategy you’ll adopt after the Covid?
Weekday’s business is very low as corporates are not moving out. In April-May, we got good bookings from the TV Industry since they were not permitted to shoot in Mumbai. With our size, we could allow about six units to stay and shoot here. Serials of topmost rankings like Anupama on Star Plus, Pratigya 2 & Prem Bandhan on Star Bharat, Aai Kuthe Kai Karte, and two more Marathi serials were shot at our resort.
Any expansion plan?
We are not planning for any expansion. We already have 200 rooms. We’re concentrating to add additional facilities to attract more crowds.
What makes Khanvel Resorts different?
We are till now targeting medium class people, as in our country the major crowd is of medium-class tourists. As we are a Vegetarian Resort we find Gujarati’s and Marwadi’s coming more frequently. They are high spenders and prefer going to a Vegetarian Resort for weddings and events. We have tried to provide all types of facilities like – we have two swimming pools, one small water park, and a discotheque which weekend tourists enjoy the most. We believe in serving a variety of good food keeping in mind all age groups with different tastes. Our package includes all meals which are affordable. We provide a home away from home with personalized services. Our staff has been trained to Never Say No to any guest.
What is the secret behind your sustainability?
We concentrate on the general needs of a tourist who books to enjoy a holiday getaway. We also have a reasonably priced tariff. I personally meet guests at Resort when I am there and ask for their suggestions and complaints which help us to improvise and upgrade our property and services. When a Guest gets a special personal touch service he praises our resort and staff which encourages us to do better and better, which in turn helps us grow more. Repeat business is good. We keep in mind that guests keep coming and also recommend their friends and relatives to spend the holiday at our resort.