While larger hospitality chains claim they are unaffected by North-Easterners leaving Bangalore in droves, the smaller chains are feeling the pinch.

One of the hotels that have largely escaped the brunt is Ibis, a part of the international company Accor hotels. “We have only five or six employees from the North-East and all of them are here. We are supporting them,” said Ajay Sampige, general manager, Ibis Bengaluru Hosur Road.

Hotels with more North-Easterners as a part of their staff are more perturbed. S.V. Bhagwat, associate director - human resources, The Park, Bangalore, said, “We have around 18 to 20 employees and around 50 per cent of them have left.”

When asked if this was worrying, he said, “It depends on how soon it will be sorted out. If the situation continues, they may not come back.”

But by far the most affected ones are smaller brands, which have a high percentage of North-Easterners among employees.

One such company is Orange Tomato Pvt Ltd, which owns brands such as Shitakke and Twenty.21. Shibu Thomas, a director with this company, said, “We have a staff strength of 250 out of which 30 per cent are from the North East.”

As on August 16, 2012, he said, around 5 per cent left. “If all the 30 per cent leave, we will have to shut down the restaurant,” he said.

Thomas said that the government was unnecessarily exacerbating the situation by providing free trains to people who want to go back to their home towns in the North-East.

“They have introduced five new trains. Now, even people who were not interested in moving out are moving out,” he said.

In order to allay the fears of North-Easterners, Thomas said, his company had started arranging taxis to drop employees back to their homes.

balaji.n@thehindu.co.in


‘The government is unnecessarily exacerbating the situation by providing free trains to people who want to go back.’


(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 18, 2012)
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