"Rasagula" from the streets of Calcutta, a "chatt" from the beach of Mumbai, spicy fish curry from the backwaters of Kerala; our country has always amazed the global as well as domestic travelers with its diverse culture and cuisines. However, much of these services are still provided by untrained professionals. As the world continues to become highly professional in every sector, the hospitality and tourism sector of India which is considered as the economic strength of the country is threatened by a huge gap between demand and supply of workforce. With a rise in tourist traffic in the country it is expected that the industry may fall back by 40 percent in terms of man power in the time ahead. The country is in dire need of some excellent centers that can provide quality education to narrow this gap as it is one of the few sectors which can cater lower end to higher end of the population.
Upon understanding the needs of industry, Gesto, Culinary and Hospitality Academy came up with an exclusive network of educational institutions dedicated to develop quality manpower and finest leaders with the means of best standard operating practices. The academy currently has presence in 11 states with six campuses and 40 partner campuses across the country and trains over 3000 students every year. "The own centers with state of art campus and well equipped labs will be the hub for all other partner centers that will concentrate on the geo specific training," says Kannan, Managing Director, Gesto Culinary and Hospitality Academy.
Hospitality and Tourism is distinguished for its diverse customer base, and the need of training to cater this diversity is quite evident in the education sector pertaining to this industry. The Gesto academy provides local trainers in its partner campuses to train the students in regional languages so that they can get a better understanding about the hospitality and tourism sector. However, the importance of global communication in the sector is not ignored and the students are endowed with necessary training from the first year of the course.
The academy also ensures that their local faculties posses enough quality to train the students and give training to them with ï¿½Train the trainerï¿½ program before they get into the kitchen. The campuses of Gesto are virtually connected through a live interactive platform where students and faculties can experience the modern aspects of hospitality sector from the workshops of global experts. The mix up of global concepts with localization will pull the students to a desired job in the hospitality industry and a range of domestic and international short term as well as regular courses at Gesto ensures that their students can reach out to various parts of the globe.
International Chef Training Program and AHA Diploma in International Hospitality Management are two flagship programs of this Academy. The chef training programs, which is partnered with International Center for Culinary Arts, Dubai, a reputed global training center that supplies excellent man power to top class hotels chains across the world, gives the student the guarantee of a well paid job. The students can study in the Goa campus for the first three months about the basics of hospitality and then they are sent to Dubai where they are given advanced learning experiences. Goa campus is one of the hub centers of Gesto academy network where they have replicated a cruise line kitchen to train the students in a realistic atmosphere. The efforts made by the management are the reason for the figure of 100 percent placement of this academy.
Experiencing the liberty from classroom
Technology innovations are influencing every sphere of the industry, as a result of which, concepts in education are also changing. With the prevalence of the Internet, everything has moved online now. However, the hospitality management requires extensive practical exposure and online education may not be the proper channel for a student to pursue a course in this sector. Gesto academy has managed to break all paradigms and has come up with various online programs in hospitality management. Student can experience the lectures in chef training and other hospitality skills from the global trainers just by sitting at a place of their convenience. It is the first of its kind in India. "The program is called learner pushed model. Only if the learners are interested, can they utilize this program. Most of the candidates are working professionals from the industry and it is more like up-skilling rather than gaining the basic knowledge," says Kannan.
With overall efforts, the academy won "International Star Award" for quality commitment in the Gold category, by Business Initiative Directions, Spain. GESTO is the Portuguese word for 'Gesture', signifies not only physical actions but also strength of character, the zest of life, respect for work and the personal satisfaction that comes from the performance on the job as well as classroom. The deep beliefs of these concepts are also reflected in the quality of global leaders in the academy's kitchen.