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Hospitality 2.0 Redefining careers in Hospitality

COVID is like an earthquake, filled with fear…

- Douglas Peter

A period in which uncertainty and ambiguity looms large on our planet, assuring physical existence comers up as the most important priority, taking precedence over professional or even, to a great extent, over one’s own commercial pursuits. With the businesses of almost all industries having taken a dip, hospitality reveals itself as the most severely hit sector which, due to its volatility, was the first, ruthlessly wounded victim…

The apprehension of students who aspired to make promising careers for themselves in the hospitality trade, upon seeing the hotels having to barely exist by hosting affected patients or surviving on home deliveries, grew more and more. Deemed soon-to-be the largest foreign-exchange earner, the hospitality trade now isn’t in any position to make promises of lucrative careers, of growth or even the progression for its human resources.

Be that as it may, in a Webinar titled Redefining Careers in Hospitality organized by the dean of Vatel Hotel and Tourism Business School Dr. Garima Parkash, in order to dispel the anxiety, distress and panic currently prevailing amongst the aspiring students, invited two veteran human resource Specialists Ms. Poulomi Bhattacharya, having headed the HR of a couple of international chains, is currently looking after the HR of Bestech Hospitality and Mr. Douglas Peter, a multi-faceted personality in the industry having worked as HR at international properties, with the India Skills, Government of India and now having evolved himself as a successful entrepreneur to be the guest speakers.

Both the speakers described the situation as “A passing phase like a storm” and were hopeful about this dynamic hospitality trade, upon adapting itself to new systems and procedures, would eventually bounce back into full operations. “Come, what may, the students pursuing Hotel Management, being presentable, polished and trained hard to be customer-oriented, would always be in demand” said Douglas, exuding a strong ray of hope and optimism for the hospitality trade aspirants.  

“To be strong in this trade, believe you me, a positive attitude is needed far more than one’s expertise and knowledge to handle operations” said Ms Poulomi Bhattacharya.   

“These Webinars, being participated by eminent speakers and renowned experts, create a real awakening amongst our students, reassure them, boost their morale and eventually inspire them to look for light at the end of the tunnel” Said the dean, Dr. Garima Parkash  

In our attempt to make our discussion on COVID – 19 stand out as different from the usual programmes that one gets to see these days, we made an attempt to put together in our forum a living experience of more than 500 years. Veterans who have individually spent more than 4 decades each and who have experienced and dealt with several ups and downs in this trade and have successfully managed to overcome such emergencies were, in our mind the worthiest resources to be able to put forth, on one hand, their personal assessment of the damage that this pandemic has made and on the other, paint a clear picture depicting in its true shades and colors, as to how this Sector would change the way of its functioning and what all lies in store for it.

The keynote speakers were unanimously of the opinion that this situation is not a collapse but it would definitely play its part by dramatically changing the ways of this Sector’s functioning, thereby making it necessary for the operators to bring about radical changes, not only in their systems as a whole but also in their procedures at the level of their micro, day-to-day functioning. There would be no other solution for the hoteliers but to adopt an approach towards being sharply customer-driven. The most important function, though, of the operators would be to keep their staff highly motivated and to instill in them the feeling that the industry would certainly rebound into complete action. Patience is therefore the need of the hour.

Though being skeptical about the pace of recovery with respect to the other economies of the world, it was strongly felt that the Indian economy would come back on its tracks much faster than any other economy of the world.

With the clear decline envisaged in the international inbound travel, the Indian domestic traveler would now be more inclined towards exploring the vast treasures that our own country has to offer, and will give an unprecedented indirect and indirect boost to meetings, conferences and conventions being organized within the subcontinent. The Tier-II or the mid-scale cities of India would, it was assumed, pick up much quicker than the other, bigger cities of India.

The conference was attended by the vice chancellor of Ansal University, the Vatel India team, the students, invitees and the resource persons who contributed their useful thoughts from the different parts of India, from the UAE, the UK and the USA…