Raj Garry, born and brought up in Bhutan, is working as Assistant Food and Beverage Manager in Four Seasons Hotel. In this exclusive interview with acadman.in he has shared his experiences. Enjoy Reading!
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Can you please tell us something about your family background?
My father is the director in one of the schools in Bhutan and my mother was a teacher but she passed away when I was in class 10th. My sister is a home-maker and my brother is working with the cruise liner.
From where have you done your schooling?
I did my schooling till class 10th from Bhutan itself and then I went to Odisha and did my intermediate. I did my hotel management from IIAS Siliguri. In Bhutan, there was no subject as Hindi so I had to come to India and learn Hindi. I had to take tuitions to learn this language.
How was your childhood in Bhutan?
It was nice, it was fun. I think it was the best place I could have born in. It is a very beautiful place and I was involved in various sports during my childhood. It was the best experience of my life actually.
How did you get motivated to join the hospitality industry?
My cousin brother was working in a foreign country as a chef; I too aspired to become a chef. He told me after 12th one can join Hotel Management College. I did my industrial training from Taj Ambassador and had the worst experience in the kitchen department where all I did was chopping onions and I did not learn anything in that department. After a month I was transferred to the ‘Insomnia’ the bar, where I got to interact with people, learn about the bar operations and got influenced to become a bartender.
How was your experience during your industrial training?
My first month of industrial training was in the kitchen which was very tedious. All I did in the kitchen was to chop onions and tomatoes. Later on, I was shifted to the bar where I got to interact with people. Bartenders there helped me to know about bar operations and that influenced me to focus on becoming a bartender.
Tell us about your initial days in the industry?
I finished my hotel management in 2009 and started my career with Trident BKC and was told that I could not become a bartender without any experience. That was very disheartening. I worked for two years as a server in the In Room Dining before being transferred to the bar although I did not learn much there. I joined Four Seasons where I actually became a bartender.
What attracts you towards this industry?
I think for me it was bartending. The lifestyle of the bar tender, talking to people and playing with the ingredients attracts me towards this industry.
How is your experience at Four Seasons?
Four Seasons is one the best property to work with. We have recreational rooms where we can play video games and table tennis. We have staff gym and the staff food is also very good. However, I believe that working hours should never be a constraint for young employees.
Tell us about the bar at Four Seasons?
The four season’s bar is the only bar in India which has been declared as the best bar in Asia. It is an achievement in itself as no Indian bar has achieved this till now.
What was the most memorable incident you came across while working at the bar?
Once, a Japanese guest came to the bar and she was already drunk. She was not good in English and her accent made it more difficult to understand what she meant to say. Her bill was around 2500 Rupees, but she paid only 500. When I told her that she need to pay 2000 more, she started fighting and I had to leave the bar to explain her about the currency exchange rate. I think that was the incident that I shall never forget.
Can you tell us something from your life which may inspire the students?
I think being in the hotel industry, one has to be very passionate about your work and be hardworking. If you have to grow in this industry, you should not think about the working hours and money. When you start your career, your priority should be to join a good property. Everything else is secondary. You should love your job and not treat it as a burden. Learn and grow.
How much marks is required to secure a job in bar?
Marks are not important but one has to pass each subject with good score. However, the main thing required for a job in a bar is passion and hard work.
What are the qualities you look for in aspirants when you hire for the bar?
The qualities that I look for is knowledge, his body language, his communication skills and must possess a positive attitude.
What is your message for the hotel management students?
I will tell them to be hardworking, passionate, love your work and enjoy what you do. Nobody can stop you from reaching great heights if you love your job.