Studies have shown that living in a chaotic city can result in increasing level of stress and high rates of mood disorders. Hence, it is definitely not a bad idea to spend one's educational life in a tranquil place away from the hustle-bustle of cities. Giving this opportunity to the students, Good Shepherd Institute of Hospitality Management (GSIHM) was commenced in the enchanting and ravishing land of Darjeeling. The first technical training institute in the hills of Darjeeling, GSIHM is owned and managed by Kalimpong Good Shepherd Educational Society, a Non-Profit Society established in 2002. Since its inception, the institute has been successfully fuelling the need of the local students for a job-oriented course at affordable cost without compromising on the quality.
Alvin Lama, Founder Director and CEO opine, "In the late 90s, reputed and modern age hospitality institutes were only based in metros and state capitals, making it an expensive affair for students of backward regions. This made us initiate GSIHM with a determined motive of rendering training in various disciplines of Hospitality and Tourism Management and eradicate the problem of lack of job opportunities in the hills of Darjeeling District and adjoining areas." The institute ensures a complete practical training to the students making it a point they evolve as the most desirable candidate in the job market. Having an in-house resort - The Club Royale Banquet & Resort - GSIHM's students get the accessibility to apply their knowledge on daily basis and become master in the subject, matching the dynamic expectations of the industry.
The institute boasts of an exclusive agreement with American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, USA, given which the students of GSIHM enjoy the reward of receiving an international level professional Certification. "We obtain the study materials from the USA and after tutorials the examination is held at GSIHM, we send the answer scripts to American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) for evaluation. Owing to this, our students are awarded their respective certificates by AHLA, which makes their qualification highly recognized and accepted by the industry worldwide," elaborates Lama. The students are welcomed to pursue Diploma courses in Hotel Management, Hotel Supervision, Hotel Operation and so on, coupled with short-term courses in Bar and Mixology, Accommodation Operations, and Food & Beverage Service.
Focus on Leadership and Practical Application
The learning environment at GSIHM is not a monotonous one; instead, students are involved in different activities through organizing regular functions and parties. Here, students are gifted with an environment where they learn by doing without spending much time pondering upon the theoretical part. "The culinary club of GSIHM arranges periodic theme parties and food fares, expecting maximum participation of our students. Recently, the club also has started a TV Cookery show, 'Cooking with Good Shepherd', which is receiving substantial appreciation within the Gourmet Circle here," pinpoints Lama. Additionally, the annual 3-days International Food Fest "Razzmatazz" renders a decent platform to the students to showcase their talents. A one-of-its-kind fest in the entire Eastern Himalayan Belt, Razzmatazz attracts several guests who can savor more than 150 delicacies in the event.
The students are encouraged by the faculty members of the institute to undergo a 6-month compulsory industrial training in numerous hotels of repute like the Oberoi Group of Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Trident Hilton Hotels, J W Marriott, The Taj and many more. "As the future of our students is in the hands of the faculty members, we are quite particular while recruiting them. We follow a rigorous process before letting any facilitator enter our institute," claims Lama. Emphasizing on imbibing the professionals with substantial knowledge and hands-on training, the institute has incorporated a good blend of theoretical and practical elements. The students of GSIHM are also the members of the Rotaract Club Social Activities account of which they get to involve in community services.
Lama adds, "These inculcate in them a sense of social corporate responsibility. One of their current projects is to set up for Home Stays. Training and implementing the standards and quality assurance of this project include marketing in the cities". Notably, the Rotaract Club of GSIHM sponsors five economically backward students with 100 percent scholarship. After the robust training of the students, the institute also takes the responsibility to groom them by strengthening their soft skills. The students obtained an education at GSIHM emerges into obedient, skilled and hardworking manpower, captivating the attention of eminent recruiters like McDonalds Dubai, Oberoi Grand, Kolkata, Taj Bengal, Kolkata, Hyatt Hotels Goa, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, JW Marriott Delhi, Mumbai and Oberoi Hotel Delhi, just to name a few.
Alvin Lama, Founder Director & CEO
Bringing with him over 22 years of experience in the hospitality field, Alvin Lama holds the chair of Founder Director & CEO of GSIHM. He is the recipient of several National and International awards including Jewel of India Award- 2009 by Indian Solidarity Council, New Delhi, International Education Award, Bangkok, Thailand, National Status Award for Social Leadership - 2006 by Economic growth Society of India, New Delhi and so on. He possesses a perfect understanding and requirement of Professional Education, Quality Hospitality & Catering, and its latest trends. The key emphasis is to imbibe in them Leadership Qualities and not just basic Skills.