On the shores of Varanasi

With less than a month to go for the HPMF Convention and Awards 2018 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Nitin Nagrale, Founder, Hospitality Purchasing Managers’ Forum (HPMF), provides a sneak peek into all the fun, frolic, and engagement that the Forum has in store for the attending delegates.

Give us an insight into the upcoming HPMF event in Varanasi.

HPMF is a consortium of purchasing managers from the hospitality industry, representing star hotels, catering companies, stand-alone restaurant chains, and airlines. HPMF will be celebrating its eighth anniversary along with the convention and awards from October 25-27, at The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi. The HPMF fraternity pulls out all stops to put up an event worthy of its large fraternity. The ceremony last year was the talk of the town, with over 250 members and other delegates gracing the occasion.
This year, delegates will get a chance to explore life along the holy River Ganges and experience the holiest, oldest, and by far one of the most fascinating destinations in the world – Varanasi. Visiting the narrow old lanes and alleys, as well as ancient ghats that line the holy river will be a memorable experience.

How will this year’s edition be different from the previous ones?

After its inception in 2010, HPMF underwent many changes, yet remained the same in many ways. Our events are known for their quality and content. We execute them differently, giving due importance to all guests and looking after them like family. This has given us great reputation in the industry and people look forward to attending the HPMF Convention and Awards every year. This year, we are concentrating on showcasing the culture of India. It will have the following elements which were never part of the event before:
• Participation of delegates from the Middle East and Sri Lanka. HPMF members from new cities like Bhopal, Srinagar, Dehradun, and Coimbatore are joining for the first time.
• Delegates from airlines, restaurant chains, and retail companies are also joining for the first time.
• Support from Ministry of Tourism and the Incredible India project takes this year’s convention to the next level.
• Vegetarian food will be served on all three days. The menu has been created after detailed research of over eight months on the cuisine of Varanasi. Delegates will be able to experience the forgotten recipes of Varanasi.
• Focus on artisans of Varanasi and Bhadohi to showcase their products.
• Artists showcasing historical Ram-Leela with Ravan dahan, celebration of Diwali, origin of Ganga Aarti, tips on Kushti, Ganga Snan, etc., are some new attractions this year.

Other new initiatives will include:
• New speakers on latest SCM trends
• Launch of book on Basics of Hospitality Procurement
• Launch of HPMF interactive website
• Felicitation of some delegates

How does HPMF help the hospitality purchasing fraternity?

Training and development of procurement professionals, consolidated procurement, industry product standardisation, volume discounts, improved professionalism in purchasing processes, development of potential vendors, green initiatives, and corporate social responsibility are some of the key elements of HPMF. The Forum has already started linking procurement and supply, the vital ends of the procurement chain. It is looking forward to creating a better purchasing environment by developing knowledge and expertise of hospitality purchasing professionals through education, guidance, and use of latest techniques. HPMF intends to set up best practices in the industry and channelise the wealth of expertise in the subjects of logistics as well as purchase and supply chain management. With the implementation of best practices, HPMF wants to ensure overall long-term benefits for the hospitality industry.
One of the core objectives of HPMF is to encourage procurement of high-quality products to upgrade the overall standard of the industry. HPMF is also committed to sustainable development and green initiatives. This forum is already acting as an information gateway for developments taking place in the procurement industry. It provides inputs and recommendations relating to relevant law commissions, government departments, and existing or proposed legislations, to its members. It also acts as a reference point for the government, law commission and others, on compulsory purchase issues and proposals.

HPMF encourages free exchange of views, experience, and advice amongst its members. It provides a networking base for professionals in the materials management industry, through participation in several trade exhibitions like AAHAR (New Delhi and Chennai), Food Hospitality World (Mumbai, Goa and Bengaluru), HOSTS (Mumbai and Milan), Index (Mumbai), HOTEC (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Projects Prestige (Doha), CPO Forum (New Delhi and Mumbai), Hotelier India Summit (Mumbai), IHS (Mumbai), Messe Frankfurt Abiente (New Delhi), Acetech (Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Delhi), Connect (Mumbai and Delhi), Purchase Connect (Chennai), etc.
HPMF sees itself playing a crucial role in shaping hospitality procurement by making it more organised and technically equipped through training initiatives, lectures and seminars on hospitality purchase topics. HPMF feels that through these measures it will organise and streamline the Indian hospitality procurement industry, which will at the same time correspond into a halo effect on the domestic and international vendors dealing with hospitality requirements. HPMF plans to affiliate with reputed universities and institutes for special courses on the subject and provide them with assistance on purchasing management.
The initiative started with one member as Founder and has grown to over 2100 members. Today, HPMF has members from cities like Colombo, Doha, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi as well.
HPMF is anticipating a surge in the number of memberships in coming days, as there is an overwhelming response to this initiative across the industry. HPMF will utilise this collective procurement power which would result in increased profits for members and suppliers, overall benefitting the Indian economy.