Prof. Irfan Mirza, Director, V.M. Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education based in Raia, Goa.
Hospitality is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. The World Travel & Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated 8.31 lakh crore (US$120 billion) or 6.3% of the nation's GDP in 2015 and supported 37.315 million jobs, 8.7% of its total employment. The sector is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 7.5% to 18.36 lakh crore (US$270 billion) by 2025 (7.2% of GDP). This makes India, one of the fastest growing tourism industries over the next decade.
With the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Govt. of India, targeting over 12% growth rate in inbound as well as domestic tourists, it has been projected that the tourism sector will generate additional jobs for about 2.5 crore persons, both direct and indirectly, during the period 2010-16 (12thPlan). And this number is going to increase with new hotels and resorts cropping up every year as a result of India creating more of a name for itself on the tourism map. It’s no wonder that enterprising youngsters have been lining up for hospitality and hotel management related courses at institutes across the country. And the need fora world-class institute in India has never been stronger. Trained professionals, of course, have an advantage over untrained graduates, as hotels would rather not invest in training of new recruits.
The hospitality arena in India is not only growing rapidly, but it has developed into a multi-faceted industry. In terms of human resources, this industry experiences a high turnover of skilled people. Moreover, trained hospitality professionals are absorbed by many multi-national companies including banks and IT firms.
Embarking on a career in hospitality can be hugely rewarding. Since it is a service-based industry, in order to have a successful career, one needs to possess great people skills and the willingness to work hard. The hospitality industry is a people intensive sector, and is in constant need of people. However, candidates opting for this sector have to go through a rigorous training program to be able to cope with the exacting standards and its growing demands.
While the opportunities are ample, students need to evaluate their aptitude for a career in hospitality before jumping right in. If a candidate is not willing to work in various areas of operation, he or she may not be suited for the job, as the profession may require that an employee be asked to work in management, food and beverage service, housekeeping, front office operation, sales and marketing, accounting or any other department, depending upon the specific requirement.
Depending on their areas of interest and training, students can work in the areas of hotel and restaurant management, airline catering and cabin service, club management, cruise ship hotel management, hotel and tourism associations, forest lodges and guest houses, catering institutes and even set up an entrepreneurial venture of their own. With ample opportunities for advancement in this field, students that start careers in cafes, bars and lounges will soon find themselves on the fast track towards managerial levels, which include taking up the position of a General Manager, Rooms Division Manager, Food & Beverage Manager, Sales & Marketing Manager, Chef and Restaurant Manager. Hospitality students also have an opportunity to build careers in various other sectors including the banking industry, IT industry, food chains, institutions, hospitals and industries that have their own cafeteria facilities and require hospitality professionals.
The hospitality industry overall provides a diverse range of experiences. It is often considered as one of the most exciting careers, but there is a lot of work and effort involved behind the scenes. However, with the positive growth of this industry, students with an inclination towards this career have a bright future ahead.