When we talk about hotel management what we start to imagine is 5 star, 7 star hotels, posh lobbies, grand entrances etc. We always dream of these luxuries that are related to this field.
The hospitality industry in India has been evolving over the last several years, and today, a career in hospitality is among the more sought after ones for many youngsters. Hotel Management involves work in different aspects of the hotel industry such as administration, front office or reception, sales and marketing, food and beverage, housekeeping and so forth. This field comes under the umbrella of service industries.
Kitchen: This specialization focuses on catering and related activities. A fresher starts at the level of an apprentice, where he is apprenticed with a chef or his assistants. One can gradually move up the ladder, by becoming a commi, demi chef, su chef, chef the cuisine, assistant chef and finally, executive chef.
Front Office: As the name suggests, this specialisation trains students for direct interface with customers. Work can range from handling customer queries and phone calls, making reservations, addressing complaints, and so forth. This department consists of guest service agents, front office supervisors, lobby managers, assistant front office managers and the front office manager.
Housekeeping: This department is responsible for the smooth running of the hotel. It takes care of hygiene, maintenance, aesthetics, laundry and countless other things. The hierarchy here begins from room attendants to housekeeping supervisors, assistant managers, deputy managers to executive housekeeper.
Food and Beverages: This is the food department, or the restaurants and coffee shops. Everything to do with menu planning, selection of spirits, presentation of food, garnishing and so on is taken care of my this department. An apprentice can gradually become a steward, move up to me a maitre de and then to manage specific departments (banquet manager, food and beverage manager, and so on) and finally become a general manager.
Courses can range in diverse areas such as food production management, dietetics and nutrition, front office and tourism management, accommodation operations and management and so forth.
HSC from any stream is the basic requirement for entry into a hotel management course. The National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology is the premier institute that offers courses in hotel management. Students have to appear for an all-India level joint entrance exam (JEE), on the basis of which they are admitted into this 3 year programme. Candidates have to submit a physical fitness certificate.
Many private institutes and hotels also offer diploma programmes. Some hotels also take candidates as apprentices after their XIIth standard, plus some experience in the hotel industry or after their graduation. After a period of training, the candidate is absorbed into any of the hotel's departments.
The three-year diploma Course in Hotel Management is a Full-time Programme. In the first year, the subjects taught are Food Production, Food Beverage Service, Front Office Operation, Accommodation Operation, Hotel Maintenance, Nutrition, Communications and Accountancy. The second year will focus on diverse subjects like Law, Management and Computers. In the final year, the subjects to study are Hotel management, Marketing & Sales and Food & Beverage for early assumption of high-level responsibilities in a rapidly changing business environment. Besides, there is also in-depth research projects that a student is expected to produce which is relevant to the hotel industry, which enhances your knowledge, imagination and creativity.
The NCHMCT’s JEE is the most important entrance exam for entry into one of the council recognized institutes offering degrees in hotel management. It selects students for admissions into its 28 institutes across the country.
The Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad (IHM-A) conducts an all India entrance exam to select students for its 4-year bachelor’s programme in Hotel Management.
Different states also have their own entrance exams for selection into state institutes of hotel management. Private institutes and hotels have their own selection procedures and exams for accepting students into their course.
After completing their degree or diploma, students can also consider specializing in one of the many areas of hotel management such as:
The Oberoi Group of Hotels runs a training programme called the Systematic Training and Education Programme (STEP). It is a 3-year comprehensive training programme. Students having cleared their HSC exam are eligible to apply for the same. STEP graduates can then go on to apply for the one-year accelerated postgraduate-level programme conducted by the Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD). It also offers programmes in Kitchen and Housekeeping.
The Taj Group of Hotels conducts a 2-year Graduate Management Training Programme for undergraduate students. Following the course, candidates are absorbed in the hotel group.
Another option is also a management degree in hospitality management, which is what many students now prefer to opt for.
Areas of employment in hotel management are in restaurant management, club management, tourism associations, catering departments of railways, armed forces, hotel and catering institutes, service sector industries and so forth. Hotel management graduates can work as customer relations executives, kitchen managers, flight kitchen managers, executives in food chains, hospital catering departments, ships and cruise lines and resorts.
After completing the diploma or the bachelor's course, a graduate is usually taken as a trainee. After successful completion of training, they may be absorbed in positions with salaries range between Rs 4,000 to Rs 7,500. In public sector organization salary is lower than from industrial houses, private airlines, shipping companies etc. Self employment in this sector is always highly remunerative.
The National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology is an autonomous body under Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Its key responsibility is to regulate the curriculum for hospitality and hotel administration and other structured courses offered by the 28 Institutes of Hotel Management and 10 Food Craft Institutes located in different parts of the country. It is mandatory for all institutes to follow standardized course curricula prescribed by the Council. For details, see http://www.datamationfoundation.org/nchmct/index.html
• Many hotel management students today prefer to go abroad in order to pursue post graduate or post diploma studies. This not only adds depth and value to their resume, but also exposes them to international practices in the hospitality industry and provides them with increased chances of seeking jobs abroad.