Tanay Prajapati, alumni of Institute of Hotel Management- Pusa, New Delhi. Currently, he is working with Fortune Park Hotels Limited as a Management Trainee. In this interview with acadman.in he has shared his experiences with us.
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How your interest came into Hotel Management?
I was raised in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho is a major tourist spot. This small town is visited by many tourists from all sides of the world every year. Therefore I grew up in such an environment where I used to meet people from a different culture very often.
My English teacher guided me while I was planning to go for Hotel Management. She was from Hospitality Background, so she was the one who inspired and motivated me to join this Industry. It was my choice at the end though. But it was impossible without her mentorship.
I love to meet people, help them and work with them. I never wanted a small office or a personal working space. I wanted a big working environment where I can face a different set of challenges every day. And I believe that hotels provide such environment. That’s why I did Hotel Management.
What was the reaction of your family and friends when you decided to pursue a career in Hotel Management?
I decided to go into hospitality and travel industry when I was in 9th standard. So, I used to meet people and research on the scope and challenges in Hospitality Industry. Therefore, it was not at all a shocking thing for my parents. They already had an idea that I will join this Industry for sure after my 12th. They never forced me to do anything else. I chose my own path.
Please give us an overview of your life at IHM Pusa?
Life at IHM Pusa is totally different. There is a complete new world inside. It depends on you if you can survive or not. Life at IHM Pusa is not only about practical sessions and theory sessions. It is also about developing your overall personality. It is about how you talk to people, how you create your own reputation and how you work with people. If you allow, this college can help you develop your overall personality.
Hotel Management is not just about four core departments (i.e. – Front Office, Housekeeping, Food Production and F&B Service), It is also about how you present yourself. How you manage people and how you get the best out of a person. IHM Pusa tries to bring out the creative person out of you so that when you land into hotels, you already know multitasking. Hospitality is all about multitasking.
Which things did you like most at your college?
EVENTS. I loved coordinating and working with my faculties in the events. IHM Pusa is one of those colleges which organizes several events throughout the year. And the faculties promote the students to take charge of managing the event. So, from bottom to the top, the responsibility of everything in any event at IHM Pusa is taken up by the students.
Please tell us about your internship experience? How many hours did you have to work in a day? Did you get any stipend?
I did my internship from The Trident, Gurugram. My choice of working with Oberoi brought a major turn in my life. People told me about their bad experiences with Oberoi. But I enjoyed working with it. Long shift hours were tiring for my body, but it made me strong. Oberoi has brought a major change in me.
In a day I had to work for minimum 12 hours. I used to get Rs. 800 per month as stipend.
Do you think interns be provided with at least the minimum wage rate?
Yes, I think that there should be a good amount decided by the management committee as a stipend to be paid to the interns. Because interns are treated as free labors in this industry. They come to the hotel to learn and experience the industry. Most of the students decide to quit the industry after their Industrial Training (Internship).
So, I believe that they should be provided with the least amount which should be enough for their survival.
How did you decide to go for a particular department to make your career?
My choice of department is Front Office. I have also worked with the Sales & Marketing team. Both the areas offer me what I want.
I feel that Front Office is a good platform for me to showcase my skills. Therefore I decided to go for it.
How much marks matters in securing a job in the Hospitality industry?
I believe that personality and skills are more important than the marks.
There are certain companies which focus more on the marks and the attendance. 75% marks in all semesters is the minimum criteria for securing a job in such companies.
But I believe that skills, personality and situation handling are more important than the marks in Hospitality Industry.
What would be your message for the students of the hospitality industry?
“Jamming up brain with facts”, and, “Creative thinking” are two different things. Hospitality industry needs more people who can think creatively. It needs people who know how to handle situations and sell things. And at the same time making a guest feel at home.
“Creative thinking is simply finding new, improved ways to do anything” – David Schwartz.
We need people who can build stories and make a guest visualize experiences so that when he spends time in the hotel, he can experience and feel what he has expected and what was promised. Hospitality is about turning visualizations into reality for a guest.