In this episode of Vietnam Innovators, Hao Tran met with Amar Lalvani, the Executive Chairman of Standard International, who shared his passion for creating unique and culturally infused hotel experiences. Standard International stands out from its competitors by empowering its team to be themselves, fostering creativity and a sense of pride.
Standard International’s uniqueness lies in empowering its team to be themselves, fostering creativity and pride. Amar believes that success in the hotel industry is all about the people you hire and how you treat them, more than just great buildings and design.
When asked about Standard’s brand in three words, Amar describes it as “bold, irreverent, and cultural.” The brand stands out from its competitors by infusing culture, style, nightlife, and fashion into its hotels’ designs.
Amar’s journey with Standard began in 2008 or 2009 when he joined the company and worked closely with its founder, Andre Balash. Inspired by Andre’s vision for a different kind of hotel experience, Amar later took over the company and strived to take Standard to new heights.
He believes hotels should be more than just a place to stay; they should be destinations themselves. Standard hotels are designed for the local community, creating spaces where people want to gather and enjoy unique experiences. In fact, about 75% of the hotel’s revenue comes from food and beverage, with most of it generated by the local community rather than hotel guests.
The challenge, however, lies in convincing real estate developers to embrace innovative concepts. While there is a growing demand for lifestyle hotels in cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Lisbon, and Mexico City, conservative views among real estate developers can hinder expansion into such markets.
Despite this, Amar remains passionate about bringing the Standard brand to more locations in Asia and beyond. He believes differentiating from the traditional cookie-cutter approach will ultimately result in greater rewards.
In his own words, Amar describes himself as someone passionate about life, always seeking to create, learn, connect, and appreciate the beauty of existence. His vision for Standard involves creating hotels that become integral parts of their communities, offering unique and culturally infused experiences to locals and travelers alike.
In summary, Amar Lavani, the Executive Chairman of Standard International, is leading the charge in redefining the hotel industry with a brand that celebrates culture, creativity, and individuality. Standard hotels are making a mark in the hospitality world with a focus on people, unique designs, and a passion for embracing local communities. Amar’s optimism and determination to expand the brand’s footprint in Asia and other regions show that there’s much more to come from Standard International.
Watch the full episode here: