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7HR011 HRM

University of Wolverhampton

Group D Taj Hotels

/ / Nov 2015


1328240 Obaid Almutairi (016)

9125571 Michael Horton (019)
1432534 Shiroman Emmanuel (020)
9151176 Peter Longman (022)

Tutor Dr Paschal

evalution theritical kumar keker


1. (9151176 Peter Longman 022). Evaluate (i.e. compare

and contrast) the performance management system
at TAJ under Kerkar and Kumar
Ajit Kurkar was the Leader of the Taj Hotel group between 1970 and
1997. He operated a successful and growing business in this period but
the structure suffered limitations, particularly in the area of developing a
team. Kerkars methods were unorthodox, primarily believing in his
innate skills to identify potential leaders and then force them through
programs to enhance their skills. This lead to positives and negative
Staff at the Taj hotels who were working under Kurkar generally felt a
sense of ownership about the growth plans and were attached to the
development program that was being driven by Kurkar. Some likening it
to an internal MBA. Kurkar preferred to highlight talent and promote it
from within. There were no structured systems and training was mostly
done on the job, which provided good repeatable process within the
hotel, but lacked in cross fertilisation of new ideas from the outside
world of best practice. This was an internal view of the company and
lacking in external perspective. This lead to concerns that Kurkars
approach did not meet the ethical guidelines of the TATA group and calls
were made to introduce a new leader to make a change.
R K Krishna Kumar joined the Taj Hotel group in 1997 and took a
different approach to performance management in the organisation. His
approach was one of best practice, bringing modern unbiased
performance management techniques such as 360, which allowed
employees to evaluate and govern their own progress within the
company. Promotion was no longer achieved by who you know but by

What you knew and could offer the company. Kumar also migrated
the company to take an external view, looking outwards at what the
world thought about it, and hired managers who could bring merit and
strength in this area. The result was growth outside of the normal
domestic Indian Market.

2. (1432534 Shiroman Emmanuel 020) - What are the

strengths and weaknesses of each system? Why
would Kumar launch such an extensive reform?
The Taj hotel group adopted the new performance management system
after Krishna Kumar replaced Ajit kerkar. Kumar introduce the new
system because there is no system in place to track and monitor the
performance of the employees. The central problem for the Taj hotel
group seems to be whether their current methods of producing mangers
is the most effective, also delivering quality service to each and every
guest is the major focus for Taj.

First luxury hotel in India

Krishna Kumar is unifying the company
Krishna Kumar transferred successful mangers to other locations
Taj brand is synonymous with Indian culture and excellence
Taj doesnt hire mangers it develop them
New performance appraisal system given every one equal

Potential assessment centres MBA programmes
Taj using the best graduates to train and rotate at their locations

Aggressive expansion under kerker lead to a decline in quality

Salaries are 15%-20% lower than market average
Hotel is over staffed
The Indian brand doesnt yet mean quality
Bhowmick didnt want to go in to the hotel industry
New system for analysing managers still needed adjusting

Managers didnt like switching properties

New approach lack personal guidance

Creating new markets from purchasing multiple properties

Kumar is improving employee production
Sending experience mangers to new location
Selling properties allowed Kumar to focus internally
Combination of western technology and Indian service philosophy


Protecting Indian heritage through overseas expansion

Hiring Kumar resulted in the loss of senior executives
Bad relationship with labour unions ,result in stabbing
Mangers focused too much on star employees

A company that is this concerned with promoting within the company

and personally making efforts to educate their current staff has very
positive outlook, programs such as performance appraisal system,
employee satisfaction tracking system, Taj focused training
interventions, career development committee. This shows employees
with good work ethic and motivation the will be promoted from within by
the company to strengthen their employees, with driven employees the
Taj will be stronger internally and have committed work force. For these
reasons Kumar made the extensive reform in the organisation

3. (1328240 Obaid Almutairi 016) What should Kumar do

about Bhowmicks request? Justify your position?
The major issue between the two organizational leaders is that their
forms of leadership tend to differ. Kumar seems to have an insight of a
new form of organizational leadership, which is based on performance
management systems. In this system, payments and promotions are
based on the outcomes of the evaluation and review process in the
organization. For Bhowmick, it is not necessary to use systemized
methods to assess the activities of members of the organization. It is

important to focus on using traditional methods to site the most

appropriate person to take up certain roles in the society.
The managing director, Kumar, should reconsider some of his new
changes in the organization. Performance Management Systems may
not be the best means to determine the suitable people to serve as
managers and as other top officials. In as much as it is a more
modernized approach to organizational management and assessment,
sometimes it is important to choose people based on personal
experiences, rather than what information systems display about them.
Kumar should also use Bhowmicks suggestions since he has been in the
hotel industry for a larger part of his life. Thus, Bhowmick would be the
right person from whom Kumar should seek advice regarding employees
who should take up certain posts within the organization.
In general, handpicking employees for the various posts within the
organization would be a better strategy for the achievement of the
managerial roles of the two leaders. The essence of handpicking
managers is that it gives room for the formation of personal relations
between the people involved (Armstrong & Angela 2000, p. 73). Kumar
should reconsider his decision to use systemized methods to determine
various issues within the organization and stick to the traditional method
that Bhowmick suggests.
Armstrong, Michael, and Angela Baron, 2000. "Performance
Management" Human resource management: 69-84.????

4. (9125571 Michael Horton 019) How would the new

system affect A or star employees? Would the new
system have a different effect on the motivation of
solid B players? How will you keep everyone on

board? Justify your choices

For a number of years there was no formal process for evaluating the
the performance of staff at the Taj. The hotel had been established for
over a hundred years and has evolved over time on a long family
tradition. A lot of the members of staff had been there all their working
There was no formal way of evaluating their performance and reward.
Newly appointed managing director Krishna Kumar introduced a
radically new system of performance mangagement. However, Subir
Bhowmick a long established employee was not convinced the system
would work, also not happy with the choice of manager Krishna was
about to appoint.
The need for change at the Taj was in response to the threats posed by
the competitor, Oberoi, who had commandeered their market sector and
also from the global markets of other luxury hoteliers such as the Ritz
and the Carlton. A lot had also been invested in new
technology,although implemented the workforce needed to be
attributed to it.
There were two methods of selecting managers at the Taj; the first, the
old prove yourself method where a manager would be applied and
developed through the ranks and second, where managers were
appointed using the the newly implemented performance management
system. Information was obtained from one to one feedback or from
interaction with manager. The older method to appoint managers was by
the career development committee. Members would be involved in
evaluating and deciding on the placing standard performer in positions
with elements of risk or appoint a star performer and place them the
same position eliminating the risk. However this would not be with out
another risk, with the problem of compatibility of deep thinkers in open
non-restrictive positions.

There needs to be a compromised between the conflicting systems. With

the performance management system there should be a balance
between numbers and judgement and vice versa for the old system.