More than just forks and spoons
Vying for a job in the hospitality industry seems to be catching on faster than the flu. What can we attribute this ‘calling’ to? What is so fascinating about chopping veggies or for that matter being a receptionist at some fancy hotel? Read on to find out!
Well, first things first, hotel management isn’t just about changing sheets or serving up nuts in cut glass bowls. There’s much more!
Hotel Management (HM) encompasses a whole gamut of opportunities including cruise ship hotel management, airline catering, industrial catering, restaurants and bars and lots more…
Consists of core activities like taking care of check-ins, providing information, making room reservations etc.
Food & Beverage Dept:
Is responsible for all the food that is prepared and the overall servicing of the kitchen
Work includes the supervision of the domestic staff, room service, making sure the rooms are kept in order etc.
Sales & Marketing Dept:
Sells the hotel facilities to potential clients and handles advertising/Public Relations.
The main responsibilities include supervision, co-ordination and administration of all other departments as well as overall financial control.
Usually MBAs are preferred for Sales and General Operations but Hotel Management grads with sufficient experience do manage to wriggle their way in. The going is tough but not impossible.
The hospitality industry works all 24 hours of the day so you’ve gotta be ready for late hours, unearthly hours, obnoxious clients and worse! If you really think you can ‘service with a smile’ despite the odds, then go ahead.
The best instis are the IHMs affiliated to the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) which is under the Ministry of Tourism. IHM Mumbai (Popularly known as Dadar Catering College and Delhi’s Institute of Hotel Management (Popularly known as Pusa Institute) are just some of the institutes that come under the NCHMCT banner.
In a survey conduct ed amongst IHM students from all over India, we discovered IHM Mumbai is most sought after, followed by IHM Goa.
“I feel IHMs have a better planned course and the industrial training is good what with the latest equipment and advancements etc. The last but most important is the campus interviews conducted at the end of the third year which not only involves hotels but even cruise companies abroad like P&O etc.”
– Shawn Creado (currently in 2nd year, IHM, Goa)
“Being a degree course, and government run the IHM student definitely has an edge. Plus the instis are recognized all over India and abroad too! All the top hotels come here for on-campus interviews.”
– Mellita Coutinho (passed out from IHM, Dadar and worked in Hyatt Regency, Mumbai – Food and Beverage Service Department)
The NCHMCT has a combined entrance exam sometime in the month of April (Check newspapers for the exact date). This is for under-grads with the minimum eligibility factor being a Class XIIth pass and the age limit is 22 years. The written exam is of the objective type and test your reasoning ability, basic math, GK and English language. This is followed by the G.D. and an interview. Log on to http://www.ihmctan.edu or http://www.natlcouncilforhotelmgt.comfor more info.
The training institutes run by hotel chains like Oberoi, Taj and WelcomGroup, are also very popular among aspirants. A little more dope on them: The ITC group of Hotels manages the WelcomGroup Graduate School of Hotel Management at Manipal.
The course is a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree Program In Hotel Management (BHM)- Affiliated to Mangalore University. ITC also has an in-house learning centre WelcomGroup Management Institute (at Gurgoan in New Delhi) that takes in students from recognized universities and trains them from 12 months to 24 months. They do not charge any fees but pay a fixed stipend during the training period.
The Taj Group has the Indian Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) at Aurangabad and boasts of 95% placements for the batches that have graduated. (Hmm… most of course intern at the Taj and eventually get absorbed). Courses include a 3 year BA in association with the Univ of Huddersfield (UK) that costs a bomb…almost 4 lakhs! IIHM also offers a 3 year diploma in Culinary Arts And Kitchen Administration that will set you back by about Rs 3 lakhs. For more info log on to http://www.tajhotels.com/iihm/courses.htmor contact Indian Institute of Hotel Management (Taj Group), Rauza Bagh, Aurangabad – 431001. They usually recruit in Feb/ March every year.
The Oberoi Center for Learning and Development (OCLD) in Delhi offers three executive programs (kitchen management, housekeeping management and guest services management). OCLD recruits hotel management graduates usually around October – speak to your Princi if you are interested! The selection process usually consists of a round of interviews. For more info log on to http://www.oberoihotels.com/careers/html/build_career/index.htm or contact – Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development, 1, Sham Nath Marg, Delhi 110054.
JAM: Any course that you do will initially make you eligible only for entry-level positions or hotel operations trainees. If you can get an opportunity to go abroad and work, nothing like it! Whether you do a diploma or a degree course you still start out as a trainee. Trainees undergoing industrial training get peanuts! But once you complete your education, you can expect a start of about Rs 5,000 – that varies from chain to chain and the department you work for. The sky is really the limit and it depends on how quick you are on the job. You can expect regular promotions provided you are willing to slog. A chef, for one, gets paid very very well!
“Fresh grads get around 5,500 while trainees get a stipend of about Rs 300-Rs 450 in hotels like Taj and Oberoi. As a trainee I have been to both and trust me Oberoi is much better!!
– Tinaz Sarkari (Currently doing the HAFT course from Sophia Polytechnic)
“I did a stint of training in Taj. All they ever made me do was cut vegetables and more vegetables. The logic being: we have come up the hard way, so should you. What’s the use of that kind of experience? It’s ok for me, as I have my own restaurant to run. But what about others who don’t? They will have to slog for quite some time, before they reach a respectable position.”
– Hoshang Yazdegerdi (who is a Sophia grad and is currently running Café Mondegar in Colaba, Mumbai)
Best Departments To Work For
“I think Food Production is most sought after. One has a bright future as in involves a lot of creativity; it is an open area for endless innovation.
– A Prof in Rizvi College Of Hotel Management, Mumbai.
“The scope for growth is maximum in the kitchen, chefs are paid very well! I would advise people not to the Taj as a fresher. I joined their kitchen straight from Sophia’s and all I did for 4 months was clean dishes! Had I joined Marriott I would’ve been on the flames and on my way up. Also Taj kitchen staff has very long shifts.”
– Rajeev Sagar (HAFT)
How Important Is A Degree?
The degree course is not such a big deal, ‘cept for the fact they have a few more courses as compared to a diploma, but unfortunately a degree holds a lot of value in the market. Hotels get swamped by applicants and that is there way of streamlining. Another rather silly aspect is many hotels conduct GDs…so even if you are a whiz in the kitchen you lose out ’cause you cannot out-talk your opponent at the GD! Almost all the big hotels use this process for selection, so no matter how talented you are you you cannot get in!!!!
“What matters is not the institute the candidate has passed out from but the ability of the candidate. We are not biased about only taking students from the good institutes nor do we differentiate between degree and diploma holders. But of course the best institute would definitely be the IHMs. It is the ultimate package deal when it comes to money and even the course is very good. A degree is useful if you are looking at higher studies.”
– Mrs. Roli Singh (Training Manager, Oberoi Hotels, Mumbai)
Note: Hotels like Taj also recruit fresh graduates for functions other than kitchen. Watch out for the ads !
“As of now everyone is flocking to either Food Production or Front Office. Front Office gets you a lot of moolah and no you are not restricted to wait at a desk, as a receptionist, you can even branch out into the airlines. Food Production has many branches too like Bakery, Cold Kitchen, Indian Kitchen, Continental etc, so you have a wide range to choose from. The best hotel to work in as of now is JW Mariott, the Taj and Oberoi are good too but tend to exploit trainees!”
– Michelle Rodrigues (currently a student in Sophia Polytechnic- HAFT)
“Mostly people prefer the Food and Beverage Dept. because growth is faster and the tips are phenomenal. This year the placement scene at Dadar Catering was far from good. As far as I know only 55% of the students got placed this year.”
– Vijayita Panjwani (Passed out from IHM, Dadar)
“The most popular department in the hotel is the kitchen when people are new in college but once they realise what kind of work it involves they shift to Front Office or Food and Beverage Service.”
Suvrata Bandekar (Currently in 3rd year, IHM Mumbai)
While those run by NCHMCT are recognized all over, there are a few that are recognized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) but are not affiliated to any University which could greatly narrow down your employment options. Psst..another thing Govt aided institutes cost much less as compared to private institutes.
JAM: Of late a lot of institutes offering hotel management courses have sprung up all over the country. Do check the credentials of the place before joining – the facilities, the faculty and their placement records too.
Peddar Road, Mumbai-26.
Tel nos: 23633304/ 1642
Mumbai’s leading Institute after IHM, with very good job placements. It offers 3 courses:
(a) Hotel Administration and Food Technology (HAFT – the 2 year Certificate Course is the most wanted)
Intake: 60, 30 boys and 30 girls
Damages: About Rs 40,000/- per year
(b) Certificate Course in Craft Bakery and Confectionary (1 Year)
Damages: Rs. 33,600 (subject to change)
(c) Course: Certificate in all Round Restaurant Etiquette (CARE, it’s a one year part-time course)
Eligibility: Std X
Damages: Rs. 2,500
More dope on HAFT: The course consists of everything from Front Office, Kitchen, F&B (Food & Beverage) to House Keeping. Entrance exams are held around Mid- June, successful candidates are then called for an interview. The college has an excellent placement record.
Rizvi College Of Hotel Mgmt And Catering Technology
Rizvi Educational Complex,
Off. Carter Rd, Bandra (W)
There are 2 courses offered here one affiliated to the Maharashtra Board and the other to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH & LA) It is this firangi connection and the Twin diploma that lures students.
3 year Diploma in Hotel Management & Catering Technology (HMCT) affiliated to Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education
Eligibility: HSC with min. 50%
3 year Twin Diploma In Hospitality Management & Catering Operations. At the end of the course you are awarded 2 diplomas, which are:
a) 12- Course Hospitality Management Diploma awarded by the Educational Institute of AH & LA
b) Diploma in Hospitality Management & Catering Operations awarded by the College. Entrance tests are held around mid-June/ July after which candidates are called in for an interview. Apparently they place students not only in Mumbai’s top hotels but also in the Middle East and the US of A.
This is quite a farce ’cause almost everyone gets in and they streamline the procedure by asking for donations!!
“I completed my graduation in science, as I discovered my love for food a little late. Halfway through my second year I wanted to join catering, but folks did not allow me to dropout. In any case I guess a degree is an added advantage. The worst part about getting into Rizvi was the exorbitant donations that were taken from us. I guess in the end, it will be worth it.”
– Ashish, Currently in Rizvi HMCT.
Anjuman-I-Islam Aka Hafiza Institute Of Hmct
Badruddin Tyabji Marg,
The students of this institute have earned a reputation for themselves as being hardworking, one of the few instis offering a Degree. Courses here include:
a) 3 year Diploma in Hotel Management and Catering Technology (Mumbai University)
Intake: 60 seats
Damages: About Rs 40,000 per year
b) Management and Catering Technology (Alagappa University- Tamil Nadu)
Intake: 80 seats
Damages: About 60,000 per year
No Entrance test yippee, but you’ve got to have a minimum of 50% (H.S.C.) to apply and then candidates are short listed on the basis of a personal interview- oh and the higher your percentage the higher are your chances of getting in!
“When you enter the hospitality industry fresh out of college you realize that whatever you’ve studied is not all that beneficial. You just aren’t ready for the real world! Be prepared to listen to abusive language, then there is the pressure of seniors and guests; you have to juggle between ’em and please both. It would help a great deal if you had no ego hassles ’cause as a newbie you tend to get pushed around a bit. Never crib and always, always be punctual.”
– Vikrant Chandra (Passed out from the Institute Of Hotel Mgmt. Catering Technology And Applied Nutrition, Calcutta. He is currently a Food & Beverage Associate with Renaissance Hotel, Mumbai)
“IHM students have an edge in terms of exposure plus the faculty is real experienced and are from the industry.”
– Manu Mathew (passed out from IHM, Kovalam, currently working in Udaivilas – an Oberoi Resort)
“The most popular dept would be the kitchen. I guess this is due to the rising trend of specialty cuisine restaurants not to mention the handsome pay and publicity that an executive chef earns.”
– Mellita Coutinho (IHM, Mumbai grad currently in the Food & Beverage Service Dept, Hyatt)
Guys rarely opt for house-keeping, that is considered a girl’s domain! The good-looking girls opt for front-desk and while some do opt for kitchen, the maximum wannabe chefs are guys!
Make sure the insti you join has a hotel attached coz that is where you’ll get first hand experience.