The Indian Hospitality Industry five years ago, we had stuck at a figure of 2.0 million tourists per year and this has gone up to 8.8 million per year. This has been possible due to strong marketing initiatives by the Government of India Tourism Department such as Incredible India 1, Incredible India 2, Athiti Devo Bhava and so on. Online visa has played a major role in easing the number of foreigners coming to our country. The fastest growing segment is the midscale segment which falls under the 3-4-star category as there is a large demand on the domestic tourists and as well as foreign tourists in these categories which are looking for clean, hygienic rooms with basic facilities at value for money proposition.
The Right Institute for Hospitality
The Indian Hotel education system can be covered under three types of institutions:
a. National Council - Central Government IHM (Institute of Hotel Management) in key cities of India.
b. Private Colleges of higher standards such as Taj Aurangabad, OCLD (Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development), Manipal College, and many more affiliated to International Hotel Schools.
c. Private Colleges of low and medium standards affiliated to Indian Universities.
In the Hotel Industry, aptitude and the personality along with ability of pleasing guests will always go a long way in differentiating between a good and average Hotelier
The standards of these colleges like syllabus, curriculum, infrastructure, faculty and so on varies and therefore, the quality of students who are graduates varies a lot too. We need to ensure that the students apart from being given theoretical and practical training in the colleges are sent for at least 2 Semesters of Industrial training to Star Hotels.
The students need to be given projects on various strategies and operating issues of the Hotels and these need to be minutely assessed and students need to be advised on the corrective steps that we need to be taken. The students also need to be given training on reading balance sheets, making budgets, understanding ROI, ROCE, revenue management, yield management, social networking, OTAs, website, loyalty program and many more.
Choosing Area of Interest in Hospitality
The Hospitality Industry students really need to make up their mind and chose the area of core competence between the following:
a.Food & Beverage Service
b.Food & Beverage Production
e.Sales & Marketing
After selecting the core competence, they need to concentrate in the final year in this area but sometimes they need guidance from their teachers/guardian. The college needs to offer at least one month in the 3rd year- specialized training for the core area to the student so that they may enhance their skills and be better prepared for their interviews in the industry.
Every graduate must do a small research on the Company that he applies for a job and then be prepared for his interview accordingly. He/she must also study the Hotel's journals and be aware of the latest happenings and trends in the Hotel industry, general knowledge, politics and hobbies are always subjects which the interviewer also dwells in. They should not boost of any of these subjects unless he/she is fully aware of them. In the Hotel Industry, aptitude and the personality along with ability of pleasing guests will always go a long way in differentiating between a good and average Hotelier.
My advice to the students who want to be successful in the Hotel Industry is as follows:
1.Choose this Industry provided you have the right aptitude for meeting and dealing with people.
2.The Hospitality Industry demands that you give in long hours of work on holidays and even though slowly this is changing as Hotels are also getting aware of "Work-life-balance", however, be prepared for the same.
3.There are fast changes happening in the Industry like revenue management, new software's like Opera, Oracle, Micros, IDS and booking channels are changing from the normal Travel Agents to OTAs, websites, and many more, and therefore, one must be good in these IT areas.
4.If you have the skill for culinary then hone them and opt for this professional area as it is highly rewarding and respected.
5.Be ready to move from one city to the other as it will give you a lot more learning and confidence.
6.Always take care of yourself and be smartly groomed.
7.Always be aware of the happenings in the world and be a good conversationalist.
8.Time management - this is the only asset which is equal to all, please respect your time and this will go a long way in making you successful.
Veer Vijay Singh, CEO & MD
A hotel industry stalwart, Veer Vijay Singh is currently the CEO and MD of the Trance Hotels. He has more than 40 years of experience working with the Taj Group of Hotels from the mid-70s, where he started his career as a trainee chef. Under his guidance Vivanta opened 17 new properties, making it an independent division of the Taj with over 40 hotels spread across 7 different countries. Through his leadership, Vivanta was declared the 'Third Best Hotel Brand' in the world by Cond, Nast Traveler USA in its Annual Business Travel Awards, 2013. An international hotelier, Veer Vijay has overseen operations of hotels in Australia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bhutan, Egypt, Dubai and Africa.