Taj is serving its customers to its best and it is able to achieve 5-star ratings from a long period. But in this era all have to apply marketing strategies to attract customers otherwise the competitors will not leave a single chance to grab market share. The strategies used by taj as explained above are successful in attracting customers as well as positioning it as a high class service delivering brand with luxury. Taj is good in all fields such as finance, marketing, HR but it has to improve its system to gain an edge over its competitors.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is a worldwide chain of hotels and resorts and the best hotels. The Indian Hotels Company Limited and its subsidiaries are collectively known as Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. A part of the Tata Group, one of India’s largest business conglomerates, Taj Hotels Resort and Palaces own and operate 76 hotels, 7 palaces, 6 private islands and 12 resorts and spas, spanning 52 destinations in 12 countries across 5 continents and employ over 13000 people  . Besides India, Taj Hotels Resort and Palaces are located in the United States of America, England, Africa, the Middle East, Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Australia.
Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata, founder of the Tata Group, opened the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the first Taj property, on December 16, 1903. He was inspired to open the grand luxury hotel after an incident involving racial discrimination at the Watson’s Hotel in Mumbai, where he was refused entry as the hotel did not permit Indians. Hotels which accepted only European guests were common across British India. Jamsetji Tata traveled to London, Paris, Berlin and Dusseldorf to get the best materials and pieces of art, furniture and interior artifacts for his hotel. Due to its prime location, traditional architecture and massive size, this hotel soon gained the status of the most iconic hotel in India.
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Case Study
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai is the oldest, single-owner-over-the-years hotel in India, originally constructed in 1903. Over the 103 years that the hotel has been in existence, a central air conditioning system has been used for almost 60 plus years. Over these long years the engineering management of the hotel has developed its own time-tested maintenance schedules, equipment standards and design philosophy which is widely applied today in its 50-hotel chain all over India and 12 hotels outside the country.
The engineers at the hotel have learnt to meet a wide variety of demands imposed on the air conditioning systems, 24×7, summer or winter, by its guests from all over the country and different parts of the world. Whether they are sleeping in the bedrooms, eating in the restaurants, drinking in the bar, attending a conference or wedding reception in the banquet hall or partying at the night club, the air around them must be crisp and fresh, odorless, without any obtrusive noise. At the same time, the hotel’s senior management expects the running costs comprising energy bills and water bills to be within reasonable limits.
There is a preference for screw chillers upto 300 ton capacity and centrifugal chillers 350 ton and above. Modular capacities help to achieve flexibility in operation depending on the internal load and the season. Thus, the Taj Mahal in Mumbai with 585 rooms in both the old and new wings combined has seven chillers totaling 2700 tons (2 × 600 ton plus 5 × 300 ton).
A minimum capacity standby unit takes care of any outage due to maintenance or breakdown. At least two screw chillers are factory fitted with desuperheaters for the hot water requirements of the hotel.
Since the HVAC system consumes 38% to 42% of the electrical energy of the hotel, and chillers are the major power guzzlers, they are selected with the lowest IkW per ton in the region of 0.56 – 0.58.
All chillers used are water-cooled and since municipal water supply is expensive and can be in short supply during times when the monsoon rains are below normal, water treated from a sewage treatment plant (STP) is the answer.
Treated water from the STP is then fed to the cooling tower and the condenser water cooling circuit. To protect the condenser from any adverse effects of water from the STP, 90:10 cupronickel tubes and 20% extra tube surface are always specified and supplied by the chiller manufacturer.
Chilled Water Distribution Systems
A well-designed water distribution system using both primary and secondary circuits with variable speed drive on all secondary pumps is essential to maintain comfortable temperature conditions in all areas and conserve energy.
All the loads comprising air handling units and fan coil units are provided with temperature controls and modulating valves to obtain the required cooling without unnecessary flow of chilled water. Hence to obtain full advantage of an efficient water distribution system, the control system must be fully supportive.
AHUs and FCUs
All air handling units are double skin construction to international design standards with reputable centrifugal fans mounted on vibration isolators and well designed condensate drain arrangements. Noise level is not to exceed 45 dbs. Cooling coils for lobby and large public areas where the fresh air requirement is high are all 6 row deep.
Fan coil unit noise level is not to exceed 40 dbs and condensate trays installed are stainless steel.
Both the AHUs and FCUs are fitted with flow control valves and temperature controllers.
Air Distribution System
As a good practice to follow, ducted return air systems are now standard. This practice not only helps to reduce the cooling load on the air handling unit but also avoids mixing of return air with other air, dust and moisture through openings in partitions above false ceilings. Both supply and return air ducts are insulated to reduce heat pick up from the surrounding air.
While in new installations, installing return air ducts is fairly simple, the same cannot be said about existing old installations and on such projects “ducted return air” is adopted whenever renovation of false ceilings is carried out. No doubt the initial cost of additional sheet metal return air ductwork with insulation does increase but this increase can be justified by the saving in running costs of the chiller.
Supply air grilles are carefully checked for size to avoid noise due to high velocity and return air duct area is twice the cross sectional area of the supply air duct.
Most guests are now more aware of objectionable noise levels in bed rooms as well as public areas and insist on silent performance. Proper selection of the right make and model of FCU and AHU and a well installed system with vibration isolators and flexible canvass connections are both essential.
Providing the Right Indoor Air Quality
All guest rooms and public areas are fed with cool, dehumidified fresh air, which is passed through treated fresh air (TFA) AHUs with 8-row deep cooling coil, reheat coil and high quality air filters.
Guest rooms receive 50 cfm fresh air each while the corridors outside such rooms receive 0.5 cfm per square foot floor area. Toilets attached to guest rooms are exhausted at the rate of 60 cfm per toilet, thus maintaining a slight negative pressure in each guest room.
Fresh air intakes are so located as to avoid bringing in kitchen exhaust, toilet exhaust and humid air around cooling towers. Hotel lobbies are pressurized to avoid dust entering through the entrance door, which during wedding receptions and large conferences tend to remain open for long periods.
Care is taken to ensure that condensate drain pans below AHUs and FCUs are kept dry to prevent breeding of microbes and consequent generation of odors.
Ozonisers are installed in all bars where smoking is permitted as well as in restaurants with open kitchens to eliminate cooking odors and at the same time fresh air quantities are maintained at recommended levels for proper health.
With a 7000 km coastline and many of the group’s hotels located in coastal cities such as Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Chennai and Kolkata, high ambient humidity is a source of concern. Also whenever a guest opens a window he allows humid air to gush in and condense on the chilled walls and grilles inside the room, which quite often are below the ambient air dew-point level. This condensate encourages fungus growth and discoloration of the walls besides causing unpleasant odors and in some cases allergy attacks on unsuspecting guests. All windows are therefore locked and can only be key operated by authorized hotel personnel.
Controls for AC Systems
A modern Building Automation System (BMS) is installed in every hotel simplifying the work of the maintenance staff. The fan coil units in guest rooms are operated by a stand-alone key switch and temperature control is by means of a dual temperature setting thermostat. One setting is for the guest at 22°C ± 1°C while the second setting at 24°C maintains the room at a slightly higher temperature when the room is unoccupied.
All equipment including pumps, AHUs and cooling towers are connected to the automation system. The BAS helps not only to operate the AHUs but also to automatically maintain the proper temperature, humidity, air flow, cooling tower, water temperature and pressures. Such control systems have improved the operational standards, offered flexibility and promptness in operation, resulting in energy savings.
The kitchen areas are ventilated with 45–50 air changes per hour and exhaust systems are installed to maintain these areas at a slight negative pressure, thus preventing kitchen odors from polluting the dining areas, banquet halls and the lobby.
The room service, vegetable preparation, fish and meat preparation, pastry and confectionery making areas in the kitchen are air conditioned using fan coil units with chilled water circulation.
Cold Storage Rooms
These have been modified over the years as technology has improved and today all hotels install prefabricated, polyurethane-foam insulated coolers and freezers with stainless steel outer as well as inner skins. The standard floor panel inner skin is replaced with natural stone (Kota) which is easier to maintain and clean.
All refrigeration equipment is of a reputable make and condensing units used are water-cooled with semi-hermetic compressors.
In cold areas where the ambient temperature drops after the hot summer months, to around 15°C to 18°C, air distribution ductwork and suitable dampers are designed and installed to use outdoor air directly for cooling the internal areas thus saving considerable energy.
Standard Manuals for Chief Engineers
To ensure compliance with our engineering standards developed over the years, standard guidelines and manuals have been prepared for all chief engineers that they must refer to and follow in case of doubt. A central purchase office coordinates all purchase requests with the chief engineer of the hotel concerned to ensure that the item purchased meets the standards laid down in the manual.