"There exists a myth that people who pursue a hospitality course will always go and work in the Hotel Industry; but this is not true anymore," says Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Singh, COO, Amrapali Institute of Hospitality Management. Bringing this change that will enhance the job opportunities for Hotel Management students is Amrapali Institute of Hospitality Management located in Haldwani, Uttarakhand. In the past couple of years, students in the hospitality segment have been able to get jobs in diverse fields such as- Healthcare, Banking, Insurance services and also in various Travel agencies and Tour operators. "Some of our alumni have been doing wonders in the event management segment as well," claims Prof. Singh. He further mentions that the hospitality management students have been able to get jobs in segments such as airlines, cruise lines, armed forces and even as Management officers in government jobs.
Prioritizing Technical Skill Learning
At the Institute students are taught the trade and technical skills such as culinary, pastry, restaurant operations and management, hotel operations, sales and marketing from the very beginning of the course by utilizing its several modern kitchens, restaurants, model rooms, bakery, front office and house-keeping labs. By doing so the Institute has ensured that its students are able to match the skill sets that have been benchmarked in the industry. In order to do so students have to undergo a 22 week industrial training after which each student has to submit a Training Report along with a copy of their Curriculum Vitae mentioning their goals, strength and weaknesses. After an analysis of the student's strengths, and weaknesses the institute provides the students with mentors. These mentors manage 15 students each and work together with them in order to develop key skills. "After my internship at Double Tree by Hilton in Gurgaon, I was able to understand what my strengths were and how to overcome my weaknesses with the help of the faculty," says Rishab Tyagi a final year student pursuing Bachelor in Hospitality Management.
By overcoming his weaknesses Rishab has recently got placed with the Oberoi Hotel as an Assistant in the Food and Beverages Department. Also the statement as per Farhan Ansari a student of DHMCT final year, "When I joined AIHM I was sure of my Success from the very first year as I can see the pain taken by our mentors and because of same I am in the last round of prestigious OCLD Program it's a dream coming true for me". ITC, Oberoi, Taj, Sheraton, Radisson, Ramada, JW Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Le Meridian, Kenilworth, Leela Palace, The Lalit, West Inn and many other five star hotels are some of the prestigious names that Amrapali students have been recruited into.
Recruiting the Right Mentors
In order to develop the skills of the students to ensure that they are work ready it is important that all the faculty members possess the required knowledge to guide them. Therefore the Institute ensures that all the faculty members are up to date with the latest skills, techniques and knowledge. The Institute also ensures that the candidate applying for the faculty position is put through a rigorous test before facing the committee of academicians, management and industry experts review who give the final approval.
Out of the 42 faculty members at Amrapali Institute of Hospitality Management, over 32 have more than seven years of industry experience. The institute utilizing the faculty's experience conducts special practical sessions to train and improve the student's skill sets. "As we are in the e-learning generation we have installed an ERP system within the college where students can watch videos put up by the faculty to sharpen their skills," says Prof. Singh.
Communication Training Is Crucial
Amrapali Institute on realizing that it needed its students to have the right attitude targets its students right from the first year so that enough time is spent in training them. The institute ensures that all the students are also given proper communication skills. "During my first year I realized that a few of my classmates were selected for front office operations as they had excellent communication skills," says Rishab. As he possessed his communication skills were average he felt disheartened but was able to improve his communication skills by attending the routine communication trainings trough the use of latest communication Lab, group discussions and mock interviews organized by the Institute.
The institute has also setup an internal Personality Development and Training Cell (PDTC) consisting of faculty members. The PDTC has developed their own modules and thus imparts students with various skills. The PDTC also grooms the student's personalities, control the emotions, work under pressure and manage time. "We have setup a mock training restaurant and kitchen and invite various people from the town every fortnight so that our students get a general idea on the various aspects they need to work on in the real world," says Prof. Singh. During the service, the PDTC trainers observe and write down the various aspects students could improve such as behavior thus helping the students build their confidence to work in the real world.
The Institute in order to help and support the industry in terms of manpower has been organizing national and international seminars where various Human Resource people in the industry have talked. Rohit Dhar who is the Ex-Vice President of Oberoi Hotel, Mr. Abhimanu Kaystha G.M Ramada Hotels, Mr. Satish Mishra Regional Manager (HR) ITC-Hotels, Prof. Sameer Thapa from Kathmandu and Prof. P.Chomplay, Amity University are few famous personalities who have given talks at the various national and international seminars the institute has organized. The institute always ensures that there is corporate presence at all of their events. ITC, Nestle, Rich Creams, TVS, IDEA, HUL, Ramdev Masala, D.S Group are some of the corporate companies that sponsor the events. "The Institute conducts culinary, bakery and confectionery, bar-tending, room management and floral arrangement competitions every year," says Rishab. In order to allow its students develop their skills the Institute last year conducted an ethnic tandoor, a carving and flaring skills workshop.
The Amrapali Institute of Hospitality Management ensures that it provides a rich learning environment which is tailor-made to the requirements of the students as well as the changing needs of Industry. Thus, the Institute hopes to strive and become one of the best hospitality management institutes in the near future.