The hospitality industry consists of a broad category of fields within the services industry that includes lodging, restaurant management, event planning, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry.
Major players in the Indian hospitality industry are Indian Hotels Company Limited (the Taj Group) and associate companies, EIH Limited (the Oberoi Group), ITC hotels Limited (the ITC Welcome Group), Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).While Hilton, Carlson, Marriott, Starwood and Hyatt are some global players already well established in the country.
Hospitality-related subjects offer a wide range of study options, both specialist and generalist. Depending on one’s qualification one can find jobs in the hospitality sector as Customer Relations Executive, Marketing/Sales Executive, Kitchen Management/ House Keeping Management, Catering Officer or Chefs in Hotels, Flight Kitchens and Cruises, cabin crew in Airlines, Fast Food Chains and allied industry.
The main courses offered in hospitality in India include 1-year trade Diploma Courses (Bakery & Confectionery, Hotel Reception and Book Keeping, Restaurant and Counter Service), 3-year Diploma in Hotel Management, 4-year Bachelor of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, 3-year BSc in Hotel Management, 3-year BA in Hospitality & Tourism Management, 2-year PG Diploma in International Hotels, MSc in Hospitality Administration, 6-month Certificate Course in Hotel and Catering Management.
Profiles in the hospitality industry:
A Front Office professional is responsible for the maintaining an inventory of vacancies, registration of arriving guests and assigning rooms, answering enquiries regarding hotel services by letter, telephone or in person, providing information about services available in the community and respond to guests' complaints. Compilation and checking daily record sheets, receipts and vouchers is also a part of job. A front office professional should have the following skill set:
Food & Beverage is the core area of the Hospitality industry. The job responsibilities of a professional working in food & beverage includes greeting customers, escorting them to seats, taking food and drink orders, serving food and beverages, answering questions regarding the hotel services, explaining menu items and specials, and offering personal attentive treatment. Coordinating with team workers to plan events, parties are also a part of the job.
Housekeeping is the department that deals essentially with cleanliness and all ancillary service attached to that. The standard plays an important role in the reputation of the hotels as it is responsible for maintaining the hygiene and appearance of the hotel, servicing and maintaining the guest rooms and replenishing stock as and when needed, providing service items to guest rooms upon requests from the guests.
Food Production department in the hospitality industry includes preparation of simple food items like salads, cold starters etc.working according to established health and safety guidelines. It also includes keeping the kitchen area clean and hygienic, keeping a check on stock and order for replenishments as and when necessary.
Air cabin crew: The cabin crew of a commercial airline is jointly responsible for the safety and comfort of its passengers. Their job includes greeting passengers as they board and exit the plane, showing passengers their seats and providing special attention to certain passengers, such as the elderly or disabled, serving meals and refreshments, checking the condition and provision of emergency equipment and information for passengers, dealing with emergencies, selling duty-free commercial goods and pursuing sales targets, producing written flight reports after completing a journey.
Sales: Those employed in the hospitality sales are directly responsible for the revenues of their respective organization as they are responsible for maximizing the occupancy and the average daily rate of the hotel, while upholding excellent guest service and accommodations to all guests.
Besides the core functioning departments in the Hospitality sector Marketing, Engineering & Maintenance, Finance & Accounting, Safety & Security and Administration are the support departments of the sector.
A $3.5 trillion service sector within the global economy, hospitality and tourism are the third largest net earners of foreign exchange in India and are expected to be the number one by 2012.
However the availability of trained manpower is a challenge in long-term development and sustainability of the hospitality sector. H.N. Shrinivas, Senior Vice President - Human Resources of the Indian Hotels Company Limited believes that the real issue is not the shortage of skilled manpower in India. “The actual issue is finding the right people for the right position and investing in systematic talent cultivation. As opposed to the perceived idea of talent crunch, I think the right way is to provide training assistance to new recruits and help them in finding their niche.”