Eating and drinking never goes out of fashion – so the hospitality industry just keeps on growing, says Patricia Mascarenhas.
Do you enjoy interacting with new and exciting people on a daily basis? Do you love good food and want to work in a thriving service industry that offers ample opportunities for career advancement? If so, then a career in hotel management is probably right down your alley. The hotel industry is unique as if offers different career paths to choose from. Leaping into the hotel industry does not mean that you’re stuck forever in your first role. “This industry is constantly evolving with new services. It covers a wide range of fields from technical aspects of kitchen management to housekeeping to front office,” says Anila Verghese, principal, Sophia- Smt Manoramadevi Somani College.
The hospitality industry is a rapidly expanding part of the service sector, and one which provides significant employment opportunities. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the total market size of the tourism and hospitality industry in India stood at 117.7 billion dollars in 2011 and is expected to touch 418.9 billion dollars by 2022. “The scope is widening with the economy booming and multinational players entering the Indian market,” says Verghese adding, “Therefore, there is a need for all types of hotels, including budget hotels, business hotels and luxury hotels for different segments of society,” she adds.
While some regular hotel owners may gladly employ any individual willing to be trained, the bigger and better star hotels only consider those who already have specialised training in a particular hotel management related field. “The hospitality management colleges play a vital role in providing trained manpower which is the most important resource for the industry,” says Verghese. Kashmira Umrigar, former principal, Rizvi College of Hotel Management and Don Bosco College of Hotel Management agrees, “People looking to break into the hospitality industry could start with entry level craft and vocational courses or move straight to degree programmes in hospitality management,” she says adding that there are also a number of post graduation programmes including MBAs in hospitality courses that students opt for to avail more job options.
In addition to academics, it also helps if students take part in workshops that focus on soft skills, grooming standards, techniques for acing group discussions, interviews as an add on to their knowledge bank. “The aim is to create a finished product (student) ready to be absorbed by a luxury hotel and these add ons give students an edge,” says Umrigar.
A career in the hospitality business can be rewarding. The companies that provide amazing guest service are willing to pay top dollar for well performing hospitality staff. Such companies offer competitive starting wages, regularly scheduled pay raises, bonuses and other financial rewards to employees. Additionally, many resort and hotel jobs derive a significant portion of their salary from sales commissions and service tips.
Hospitality doesn’t limit itself to only resorts and hotels. “The best part is choosing where to work. We can either start a new restaurant or work in cafeterias, catering in office complexes, schools, colleges, health care sector, transport sector, oil rigs and drilling platforms, amusements parks, theatres, cruise liners etc. The list just goes on,” says Akshat Agarwal, student. Prashant Saldanha, sales manager, Wine Park also agrees, “Between great pay, amazing benefits, opportunities for career advancement, and a fun and enjoyable work environment there also exists long working hours, high stress levels and keeping your calm during pressure. However, with the growth and excitement that promises to accompany the ever changing vacation and lodging industry, fun and rewarding opportunities are sure to follow,” he concludes.