Hotel Management Professional Career Information
What a Hotel Management Professional does
Hoteliering is basically a service industry. A catering graduate can either work for a star-rated hotel, restaurant, club, resort, motel, catering department, cruise-liners or airlines.
The different departments in a hotel are:
General Operations: Main responsibilities of this department are supervision, co-ordination and administration of all other departments as well as overall financial control. Positions include General Manager, Operations Manager, Finance Manager and Human Resource Manager.
Front Office: As the Front Office Manager, you will be at the centre of all activities. Major tasks performed are providing information; making reservations and handling check-ins and checkouts. Positions include Front Office Executive, Shift Supervisor, Front Office Manager, Lobby Manager, Guest Relations Executive, etc.
Food And Beverage: This is the hub of the hotel industry and is responsible for all the food prepared and served in the hotel. Positions include that of Executive Chef, Chef de Cuisine, Chef de Parties, Ballroom Manager, Bar Manager, Catering Manager, Food & Beverage Supervisor, etc.. Food production as a career is booming at the moment.
Housekeeping: Functions include making sure that the rooms are kept in order and all the needs of the guests are met. Positions include that of Assistant Housekeeper, Floor Supervisor, Laundry Executive, Housekeeper, etc.
Sales And Marketing: As a Business Development Manager, you will interact with travel agents, tour operators as well as corporate clients to promote the hotel. You will also be involved in advertising and public relations. Positions include that of Marketing Manager, Marketing Executive, etc.
Apart from the above-mentioned departments, other areas such as engineering, security, finance and personnel are also very essential for the smooth operation of a hotel.
Opportunities in this field are a goldmine. Apart from working in hotels, restaurants, cafés, resorts, guesthouses and casinos, you could also be employed in the tourism industry, conference centers and large companies in various industries.
Check Out These Options As Well: • Industrial canteens and corporate guesthouses
• Airlines as cabin crew and customer service executives at airports
• Flight kitchens
• Merchant Navy and luxury ships in their catering departments
• Catering companies
• Luxury cruise liners
• Research openings, particularly in the area of genetic engineering
• You could also work as a Quality Inspector for commercial canning in quick-freezing stations or packaging for the domestic and export market
• There are even some industrial houses, which handle large-scale scientific cultivation of fruits and vegetables. Opportunities exist here too
Government owned catering departments like the railways; armed forces, ministerial conventions, etc. are some other options. You can also seek employment in guesthouses and forest lodges.
Celebrity chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor and Jiggs Kalra have brought visibility to the profession and today almost every entertainment channel has a cookery show on air. Tarla Dalal and Karen Anand have made a name by writing cookery books, and thus opened new vistas.
The hotel industry falls under the hospitality industry. Tourism is another part of the hospitality industry. India is poised for a 100 per cent growth in the next three years. Simply put, it means the demand for trained professionals has multiplied in the country.
There are several reasons behind the demand for trained professionals in the hospitality industry; the main ones are the growth in the tourism industry, the upcoming Commonwealth games in 2010, and an increase in the number of people who eat out on a daily basis.
Also with the government encouraging its employees to travel and private companies offering paid holidays to their executives, there is a huge demand for good lodging facilities, five-star hotels, resorts, catering establishments and recreational facilities.
There are a number of related career options opening up, food styling for instance. Food stylists are basically designers who specialize in food, preparing it for commercials, movies and photographs. One could also consider a career in Confectionery making to taste sweet success.
Abilities & Traits Required
Does the following describe you?
• Love to meet people and talk to them
• A presentable personality
• Very organized
• Good at communicating with people
• Cool under pressure
• Armed with a good sense of humor
A diploma or degree in Hotel Management will get you a job as an Executive/Management Trainee in a hotel. This can be done after HSC. Institutes under the National Council offer a three-year diploma while private institutes offer a four-year Bachelor’s programme.
There is a two- hour entrance test consisting of English, reasoning, general science & general knowledge, held around April every year. The test is followed by a group discussion and interview. Academic sessions usually start by July/August.
A diploma after SSC (in Housekeeping/Food craft/Front office) will place you as an Operational Trainee in a hotel.
Alternatively, you can also join a hotel as an apprentice directly after your HSc in any stream.
Some hotels even take graduates in any subject as Executive Trainees. There is scope for MBAs in the marketing, finance and human resources departments.
Just out of college, no experience? You could approach a hotel for a job as Executive Trainee or Management Trainee. After successful completion of training you’ll be absorbed in positions with salaries in the range of Rs 20000-30000 plus perks.
However, in smaller hotels, catering companies, industrial canteens, resorts, guesthouses and restaurants the starting salary may not be as exciting. Just about Rs. 15000 a month.
If you know your spices you could work in the kitchen, where the growth can be very exciting. An Executive Chef in a 5-star hotel earns about Rs 80000 or more per month plus other perks.
If good money is what you are looking at, then Hotel Management is one profession you won't regret choosing. The General Manager of an average hotel earns anything between Rs 45000-65000 a month, while someone working for a five-star hotel could draw upto Rs 50000-90000 or even more.
• Food & Beverage Manager: Rs 25000-35000
• Front Office Manager: Rs 20000-40000
• Lobby managers: Rs 15000-35000
• Executive Chef: Rs 40000-70000
• Senior Chef: Rs 30000-50000
• Demi - chef - de - partie earns about Rs 15000 -20000 per month
• Executive Housekeepers: Rs 14000-40000
• Assistant Housekeeper: Rs 10000-20000
• Pantry Supervisors: Rs 10000-15000
The money in a cruise liner is even more attractive, starting salaries begin at Rs 40000 - 80000 per month, depending on the country and size of operations on the liner. Career mobility is very fast in the hotel industry for dynamic, energetic and diplomatic professionals. Movements up the organizational hierarchy are purely merit-based.
Interview with a Hotel Management Professional
Yezdi Katrak, Hotel Management Professional
Yezdi Katrak has been in the hotel industry for over 30 years. He was the Principal Coordinator of the Non Aligned Summit in 1983. He is currently the General Manager of Hotel Taj President in Mumbai.
How did you get into the hotel industry?
I had just completed my B.A from St. Xavier's College Mumbai and my friend's father suggested I enroll for the Taj Management training programme as I had the personality and aptitude for it.
As a trainee with the Taj Group I was put through an extensive two-year programme where I learnt every conceivable thing about the hotel industry.
Could you walk us through your career graph?
After completing my training, I served at the front office for two years. Then I worked in the sales and marketing department after which, I underwent intensive training in the food and beverages department and also served in various positions at intercontinental hotels all over Asia including Tokyo and Hong Kong. One of my major assignments was coordinating the Non Aligned Movement in 1983. After that there was no looking back. I was the General Manager - Taj Samudra, Colombo for five years. I was in charge of renovating the West End Hotel at Bangalore. I am currently in charge of the Taj President Hotel in Mumbai.
Tell us about a typical work day?
My day starts with a meeting with the various heads of departments like Head Office, House Keeping, Security, Administration, etc. We set the agenda for the day. I then take a round of the entire hotel to ensure that everything is ship shape. Then begins a series of meetings with people within the organisation and out of it. I usually end up combining my lunch with a meeting. Sometimes, I go out on sales calls in the afternoon. In the evenings at around 5.00 I take another round of the hotel. At around 5.30 p.m. we have a daily brief that usually lasts five minutes. The next one-hour is spent meeting outsiders. At around 7.00 p.m. I am usually in the lobby, meeting guests. My evening is spent entertaining clients which can go on till 11.00 p.m.
What are the qualities required to be a hotel manager?
What is very essential is a smart personality, reasonably good looks. You should be presentable-that is the key. You really don't need to have an Einstein intellect. You should be an outward personality. Being shy does not help in this business. You must have the ability to be calm at all times. You cannot afford to lose your temper no matter what. Remember, the guest is always, always right.
What kind of challenges do you usually face?
Well all sorts of things from mechanical problems like broken elevators to liaison with the police and other agencies. The biggest challenge however remains tackling irate guests.
What is the best part about this job?
The best part of this job is that no two days are alike. Every day is full of surprises. In a way this business is a very glamorous one too. Besides no other industry can match this one in terms of the ambiance at the workplace!
Is there anything that you do not like about this job?
Well, the extremely long hours that one has to put in can be quite a bother. Lack of social life is another issue. You will be at the beck and call of your guests at all times.
What are the general misconceptions about this industry?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that one can lead a very glamorous and easy-going life in this field. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Your job can very well become monotonous if you don't improve yourself.
What is your suggestion to young aspirants in this field?
You must concentrate hard during the initial years, as the training will hold you in good stead in the future. Patience and perseverance are key qualities that you must develop.
What do you do in your free time?
I love Jazz and Classical Music. I love watching T.V especially channels like Discovery and National Geographic. I love sports and still play club cricket.
- Siddhartha Roy