Considering the rich cultural and historical heritage, variety in ecology, terrains and places of natural beauty spread across the country, tourism in India has significant potential. In this thriving industry, Central Government's decision to offer e-visas to citizens of 186 countries was a game changer. Since its launch, from 1, 10, 657 e-visa arrivals in 2015, the number has risen to 4, 34, 927 in 2016, a whopping 293 per cent spike. In addition to that, India's rising middle class and increasing disposable incomes have continued to support the growth of domestic and outbound tourism. Today, the travel and tourism sector in India estimated to contribute 9 per cent of total employment, generating 37.4 million jobs and the number is expected to rise by 2 per cent per annum to 45.56 million jobs in 2025.
While hospitality and tourism has traditionally been an industry that emphasized hands-on experience, Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa has set a goal to give the country some of the best professionals in the country. Nathan Andrews, Director, Ecole Hoteliere says, "Uniquely, Ecole has all the different hospitality models at its door step, from different category of hotels to restaurants, clubs, convention centre, and a hospital. No other institute in India and perhaps in the world has such immediate and seamless access." He claims that Ecole Holteliere is the only institute in India where from graduates joins the industry at an executive level. "All our students have been placed with the best hotels and we are known for outstripping supply over demand," he adds.
The institute takes pride in shaping some of the most promising young talent; who have gone on to build illustrious careers in the field of hospitality. Tahrana Pirozmand, alumni of Ecole shares her delighted experience at the institute saying, "Ecole for me is a roller coaster ride, it takes one places professionally by transforming from what one were before joining to what one becomes graduating from here. All I did was buckled up and enjoyed the ride. Ecole is what it is because of the amazing unique faculty, diverse students and serene environment. Emotions are bittersweet now as I part with Ecole towards my future endeavors but couldn't be more fortunate to have been here; as it not only channelized my potential towards my career but also transformed me into a mature and better self."
Like Tahrana, almost all the alumni members share the similar thoughts about their alma mater. Over the past eight years, the three batches of students who have graduated from Ecole are working with industries in India as well as abroad. "Our mission is to provide the industry with readily employable junior executives and to provide a learning opportunity for the student that results in him or her entering the industry as an executive. Eighty percent of graduates are unemployable that is not the case with Ecole," claims Andrews. After a global search with the assistance of Deloitte and the eventual signing of a collaborative agreement with the famed Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne to develop the first sister-school in India, Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa came into existence.
The entire process and learning experience are regularly audited by Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne as part of the certification process. They undergo learn-to-learn method using the unique pedagogy and andragogy of Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne. This creates independent thought and the ability to think holistically when faced with a challenge. Not only do students learn in what is unequivocally the best facility in the country, the facilitators also come from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne Qualified Learning team.
Ecole believes that students need to have a blend of industry experience and an affinity for assisting learning. "Our model is to help the student learn, not to teach him or her. We have begun to take on research projects, as historically research has been ignored in the Indian undergraduate education. However, to be a global institute and to prepare our students for the world outside we need to do much more," opines Andrews. Ecole has MOU with IUBH, a German University, which allows students to receive an additional year in Germany and obtain a second German degree.
The institute believes in being an agent of change rather than reacts to change and claims that by setting the pace they would remain ahead of the curve. As a result, Ecole is looking forward with strong determination to provide the industry with readily employable junior executives and a learning opportunity for the student that would result in fresh graduates entering the industry as an executive.
Nathan Andrews, Director
Alumni of the Said Business School, Oxford University and the Oberoi School, Andrews, the former President of Lavasa was instrumental in setting up Ecole Hoteliere at Lavasa. With over 35 years of experience across three continents, he is known to set up training offices for Oberoi Hotels in Egypt and Iraq, opening of Regent in Mumbai and opening CEO of Crossroads.