Thursday, June 22, 2006

Of resorts and offsites

The Indian IT sector is booming leading to a boom in all sorts of subsidiary industry. Transport companies, house work staffing contractors, drivers, maids, gardeners, eating places and so on. With the IT companies growing by leaps and bounds and with every IT project team wanting to celebrate their success with a party at an offsite resort, needless to say, the business of resorts is booming.

Come over to Bangalore to see this phenomenon in operation. Just outside the city and I mean, just outside - you will see resorts of all shapes and sizes. A little beyond the regular daily driving distance of about 60 kms are the resorts which are preferred for overnight stays and picnics or team outings.

If you have a patch of land of a little more than an acre on the outskirts of Bangalore, you can set up a resort. Heres how:

  • Dont cut your entire coconut grove down (usually thats what you would have on the outskirts). Leave a few coconut trees intact.
  • Have a few manicured lawns. A few flowering plants.
  • Create a themed restaurant with open spaces and thatched roofs. Preferably connected over a water body.
  • Create a swimming pool, complete with water slide and kiddie pool, even if its all within a few square foot. Ensure that the swimming pool is not straight and not more than 3.5 feet at its deepest. Do all you can to discourage swimming.
  • Leave a few other trees intact or plant some trees in any case, especially along the periphery.
  • Buy cheap plastic chairs and lawn umbrellas.
  • Leave some open space and cover it with grass and put a volleyball net.
  • Do have a conference room, airconditioned. Offer mineral water to drink.
  • If you have more than one conference room, connect them through grassy pathways only.
  • Ensure that you serve decent food - if not superlative- also ensure that there is no hint of any traditional food. Panner and Masala must appear in alternative dishes.
  • To create a feeling of space, have some of these facilities at different levels.
The really good resorts have a lot of space, serve good food and are pretty creative in terms of their outdoor options - like river rafting, rapelling and so on. But, there are quite a few resorts that, really, have to be your last resort.

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