Raman “RP” Rama is the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer/Chief Information Officer of JHM Hotels.
Born in Malawi, Africa, RP obtained his education from a few different places. While he was waiting for his U.S. Visa, he taught economics and business administration to students who are still in touch with him. Once he obtained his visa in 1981, he came to the U.S. and began working with his brothers (JP, HP, MP and DP Rama) at the family-owned business, JHM Hotels.
RP RamaFrom July until November of 1981, RP learned the hotel business from the ground up. He started out painting doors, cleaning parking lots, doing laundry and housekeeping. He moved on to engineering work, check-ins and check-outs, and expanded into payroll and money management. That November, JHM Hotels acquired 2 more hotels in Hattiesburg and Jackson (Mississippi), and RP began managing the 123 room Hattiesburg property. As the company acquired more properties in MS, RP’s role expanded to Regional Manager over 4 properties.
In 1988, RP was asked to go to their hotel in San Bernardino, California, to “clean house.” They had purchased the property a few years before, and they realized some changes needed to be made, including hiring a new manager for the hotel.
In June, 1989, RP returned to the corporate offices in Greenville, South Carolina, and began working in the accounting department. RP realized he had to scout for new technology, so he joined HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals) and attended their HITEC conference in Baltimore in 1991.
RP is one of the principal owners, Chief Technology Officer, and Chief Information Officer for JHM Hotels. He admits that there is a great deal of information coming in. What he places his best efforts in, is consolidating all that information and creating meaningful reports and insights to the operations of the business. This has enhanced productivity levels and efficiency in the decision making process. Additionally, it ensures accuracy for the time when the information is most needed so adequate action can be taken.
Hotel owners and operators who believed they could go it alone before the coronavirus pandemic devastated the hotel industry are having another think and turning to third-party managers to work their way back to profitability in the post-pandemic recovery. Another trend contributing to the growth in third-party managers’ business is more commercial real estate investors armed with cash entering the hotel sector and in need of an experienced operations team. Episode 321 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the growth of third-party management companies over the past 12 months. This report is part of Lodging Leaders’ coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
The Ever Given container ship running aground on March 23 in the Suez Canal got worldwide attention, but it is just one of many reasons for the breaks in the global supply chain that are impacting the U.S. hotel industry’s post-pandemic revival plans. Shipping companies in Asia and Europe are contending with a boatload of challenges, including a lack of containers, traffic jams at West Coast ports and increased costs. Long Live Lodging explores what the problems mean to hotel owners and developers eager to refresh their properties and welcome guests back.