NRAI hosts India’s largest Restaurant Industry Conclave in Hyderabad – Telangana

Chief guest Shri Jayesh Ranjan (4th from left), IAS, Principal Secretary – l & C & IT, Govt. of Telangana & Guest of Honour Smt. Shikha Goel (5th from left), IPS Addl. CP; seen along with Mr Mohammad Abdul Majeed (6th from left) of Pista House; Mr Ali Hemmati (7th from left) of Paradise Food Court and Mr Anumula Baburao(8th from left) of Café Niloufer; who were felicitated in recognition of their outstanding contribution in putting “Hyderabadi food” on the world map, at the India’s Largest Restaurant Industry Conclave, The NRAI Indian Restaurant Conclave 2022 at HICC, today.

The NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India) Hyderabad Chapter, hosted the largest Conclave of the Indian Restaurant Industry, Indian Restaurant Conclave 2022 (TIRC) at HICC. Hyderabad. It was attended by over a thousand delegates including all the stakeholders of the restaurant industry, prominent restaurateurs of India, Foreign Delegates, Investors and Bureaucrats from pan India. It’s the first time ever in the history of NRAI that an AGM was held outside Delhi.

The Hyderabad chapter of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), through its collaborative efforts with the Commerce & Industries Department of Telangana Government, unveiled a first of its kind in India, single-window application for the food service sector through the TS-iPASS portal. This portal will ensure streamlining licenses and faster processing through a single window and enhance the region’s ease of doing business to a window of 15 days Vis-à-vis an earlier 8-month window. The TS iPASS portal will not only be applicable to Restaurants, Bars, and Food outlets, but also to kiosks, bakeries, cafes, and cloud kitchens.

The conclave included in-person panel discussions by eminent leaders from the industry such as Rahul Agrawal, CEO-Barbeque Nation, Nishit Pandey, Senior Director – Development, McDonald’s India (South & West), AD Singh, MD, Olive Bar & Kitchen Group, Chaitanya Muppala, Almond House, amongst several others. The informative panel discussions covered diverse topics impacting the restaurant industry and targeted to meet the specific requirements of CEOs and CXOs, Chefs, Owners, and various marketing teams. In addition to the workshops, industry, and leading experts from top brands in India discussed the upcoming trends in the industry. The conclave witnessed 50-plus speakers canvassing topics such as real estate trends across India in F&B, creating a successful cloud kitchen business and the latest technologies in F&B.

Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary – l & C & IT, Govt. of Telangana; said, I am delighted that NRAI has chosen to host their annual convention in our city, I am told that this event never moved out of Delhi and to get it hosted in Hyderabad means a lot to us. I am happy that a lot of you have expressed your interest in expanding your operations in Hyderabad or setting up new hotels here. We just saw the signing of commitment letters of almost INR 500 crs., which again is a milestone for us and shows the kind of positivity, the kind of sentiments the city offers to the industry and particularly those of you who are still undecided I am sure your impression about this city, the capacity of this place to support this industry would have changed by now. Nevertheless, this is an industry which commands immense respect in the government, we value this industry quite a lot. Every time you visit this you find lots of new things happening, this is one city which doesn’t rest on its laurels. Till some years ago we used to compare ourselves with Bangalore or Pune, with whom we used to compete for investments in the IT sector, but those days are behind us. Now we compare ourselves with Singapore or Bangkok, some of the developed cities abroad. When we are comparing our city with some of the best in the world, it’s not that the government alone can ensure the transformation, transformation happens with the help of multiple stakeholders and one of the key stakeholders are the people in the F&B industry, the kind of experiential opportunities they create make the difference. Hyderabad since ages figures on the food map of the world, it has its own Nizami cuisine Telangana and Andhra cuisine, and it is also ushering in other cuisines to make the experience memorable. I am glad that we are honouring the chief stalwarts of the local food industry, Mr Ali Hemmati of Paradise Food Court; Mr Mohammad Abdul Majeed of Pista House, and Mr Anumula Baburao of Café Niloufer. These are the people who have been persistently supporting Hyderabad, even when it was a sleepy city from a non-mainstream province of the country and have been supporting the industry for five to six decades. I am very that the Hyderabad Chapter of NRAI has brought in lot of dynamism into this industry, their two initiatives Mission Khana and Mission Kaam, which are extremely well aligned with the priorities of the Government. Mission Kaam is something which governments across the world are worried about. Every government, be it state or central or even US government, is concerned about generating jobs, which is a big responsibility on the Government and for a sector to say that we will take responsibility for creating jobs, that too jobs for a section which is quite vulnerable, the bottom of the pyramid working class, if you are able to skill them, show them a path which can be absolutely transformative, not just for them but for their families and the generations to come, that is something which is really remarkable. Mission Kaam has made a very strong impact in the last few months. Mission Khana personally appeals to me quite a lot, from childhood I picked up this habit of not wasting even a grain of rice. So mission Khana is on the ethos that every grain is given to the people who need it the most and I am happy that it is creating a good impact. I urge the industry to work closely with the government, I am happy today that the long pending demand of the industry of getting all the approvals and clearances cleared in one stroke under the single window system, under our ease of doing business initiative has come into operation. Other challenges of the industry pertaining to signages, 24/7 opening hours, and extension of time for food delivery, I am very confident that the way the industry is supporting the growth of the city, many of these general demands will also be considered in due course of time. I have taken the initiative to convene other related departments to discuss the extension of opening hours. But at the same time I urge the industry to look at your responsibility very very minutely on issues like drunken driving, and underage drinking, instead of someone policing you or keeping an eye on you, it is better if the fraternity itself monitors and self regulates and whoever is the black sheep should be counselled or handed over to the law enforcement agencies. In this spirit of reciprocity, I am sure much more reforms are possible. Hopefully, Hyderabad will be the pioneer in introducing these kinds of reforms. I am glad the conclave has gone off very well. I will take the feedback on what was deliberated here and any takeaways from the local Chapter and action them as quickly as possible. If you feel this city has offered a bigger value proposition than a Delhi or a Mumbai, continue to bring this national conclave to Hyderabad as frequently as possible. On behalf of the government, we will be happy to extend all the required support for its success.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Kabir Suri, President, NRAI said, “Over the years, NRAI has been instrumental in resolving the pressing issues of the F&B Industry. It has evolved to its highest extent, and anyone involved in this business will understand that keeping up with the current trends is a key success factor.” He further added, “With changing demographics, evolving consumer behaviour and preferences, the demands have transformed the F&B industry. There is a continuous need to ensure food security with the growing population and the F&B industry is one of the vital ones, intertwined in the daily lives of people. A progressive approach by NRAI has alleviated these challenges of the changing times, poising the F&B sector to reach new heights.”

Chef Shankar Krishnamurthy, Chapter Head, NRAI, Hyderabad added “NRAI Hyderabad Chapter has been at the forefront of supporting restaurants of every size in the sector. Restaurants
and food service businesses were some of the first economic activities severely impacted by the pandemic. Our chapter plays a key role in promoting skills and career opportunities for industry professionals through the ‘Hospitality Sector Skill Council.’ The launch of this portal is in the right direction towards organising this very important sector, which is in line with the Government of India’s ‘Digital India’ programme.”

The idea for the Hyderabad conclave was not only to voice the need of the restaurants but also for anybody working in the F&B space. The COVID -19 pandemic was the biggest hit to the F&B industry. To stay afloat and thrive in this dynamic and competitive market, restaurants will need to keep up with the latest F&B trends by adopting new-age technology and elevating the dining experience. Through the conclave, we aim to put Hyderabad as a significant F&B destination” said, Mr. Shaaz Mehmood, Founder of NRAI, Hyderabad Chapter & Member, MC, NRAI- National. This industry has really evolved in the last two or three decades, thanks to the legends present here. Let us now imagine how can we innovate, and how can we completely change the game of F&B having come this far. Let us understand our customers better, how can we build great teams and understand how we can ensure better work conditions for these people, how do we better their incomes, how do we make it easy to build and create a restaurant, how do we make the atmosphere of working better, so that everyone who works in this industry keeps looking for better future. At the same time let us not forget what our true Indian values are which make this industry function in a way which is particularly aligned with the famous saying Athidi Devo Bhava, which is what India is all about, Our guests are our god.

With a determined resolve of giving back to society the NRAI Hyderabad Chapter, threw light on some of its impactful CSR initiatives ‘Mission Khana’ in line with child welfare and food security, it provides 300 hot meals per day to the underprivileged children and homeless in the city and targets to scale up to a 1000 hot meals per day. The ‘Mission Kaam’ takes a critical stand to elevate the underprivileged sections in society and help create a skilled and employable workforce for the restaurant industry. As part of the initiative, twenty-two appointment letters were issued at the conclave.

In recognition of their outstanding contribution to bringing “Hyderabadi food” to the world map the Indian Restaurant Conclave 2022 felicitated Mr Ali Hemmati of Paradise Food Court, for making the traditional Biryani a global phenomenon; Mr Mohammad Abdul Majeed of Pista House, for making Haleem a global phenomenon and Mr Anumula Baburao of Café Niloufer, for popularising Hyderabadi Irani Chai, worldwide.

Mr Sampath Tummala, Co-chapter Head, NRAI Hyderabad states that “on behalf of the 250 members fraternity of NRAI Hyderabad chapter, we express immense gratitude to Dotpe, Fodxpert, Pepsi, GMR & Food Service India along with our Hospitality partner Novotel HICC for taking the time and energy to invest in our vision and sponsoring the event, without which none of this would be a reality.”

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