Dinaz Madhukar is a name that the Indian luxury sector admires and respects. She started her career at Indian Hotels Company Limited, went on to become the Senior Vice President of DLF Luxury (DLF Emporio, DLF Promenade, Chanakya Luxury Project and Lodhi Hotel). After a decade with DLF, she has recently taken on the role of Chief Commercial Service Officer at Adani Airports.
From hospitality to retail and now airports, Madhukar, who does not believe in short stints, takes us through her illustrious career and talks about her favourite books.
Why did you decide to end your stint at DLF?
It has been an enriching experience for me working with DLF. The switch from hospitality to luxury retail was, both, exhilarating and a learning experience. I had the unique opportunity to handle, both, hospitality and the best luxury destinations in the country. The most exciting part was seeing The Chanakya coming alive and being involved with the project right from the bhoomi puja stage.
It is always good to leave when you are on top of your game. I did that with Taj too.
What career/business lessons, insight into consumer behaviour, did you learn/understand while at DLF?
With a background of 25 years in hospitality, the only knowledge I had of luxury retail was as a customer, until I ventured into this stream as a career move. Hence, the entire journey was a learning experience. Understanding the brands, the consumers, the seasons, luxury marketing, and the unique aspect of each brand was integral to the job. Balancing the needs of each stakeholder is key.
What is it that you will miss the most about your job at DLF?
First and foremost, my relationships. Whether it is with the promoters, my colleagues, the entire DLF Emporio and The Chanakya family of designers and tenants, the Lodhi team and our food & beverage team. Setting up MKT and opening The Chanakya were high points that I will miss and the easy camaraderie with everyone and also the creative energy in each event and fashion shows.
Why did you decide to join Adani Group?
As you know, the Adani Group has won the bid for six airports currently (Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore). We are planning something exciting and unique at each destination across retail, food, entertainment and curating experiences. This excites me as I will be involved in creating something long-term from inception.
From hospitality to retail and now airports, how do you acquaint yourself with different businesses and what do you do to learn new skills?
Definitely spending time with stalwarts from the industry is the best learning ground. Besides that, I browse the net and read a lot. When you have a keen and inquisitive mind, learning comes easy.
Which books/films inspire you?
Whilst I read a lot of fiction, 2 non-fiction books that inspire me are Jim Collins’ Good to Great and Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning always inspire me.
If you were to write a business book, what would it be on?
I would love to write a light-hearted book on The Luxury Industry, as, over time, I humbly feel that I have understood the subtle nuances of being successful in a difficult country like India. It would be useful for international brands wanting to enter India and for Indian brands to navigate the stumbling blocks. It would also have a humourous representation of luxury customers across cities. Its title would be pretty straightforward: The Luxury of Success, an insider’s guide.