Swadha Kuthiala was working with Saint Regis Mumbai as an assistant restaurant manager. She would be joining a restaurant as manager in Doha very soon. In this exclusive interview with acadman.in she has shared his experiences. Enjoy Reading!
How your interest came into hotel management?
Being very honest I was never really interested in hotel management. My family saw hospitality industry as a grooming and booming industry. So they convinced me to go for it. That was just a random pick.
How was your experience at IHM Hyderabad?
I joined IHM Hyderabad in 2011. The IHM gave me a good experience in terms of learning, good faculty, and good alumni and also because of the college, I got a good placement. I joined the industry as a management trainee for Starwood Hotel and Resort.
Which things did you like most at IHM Hyderabad?
The massive workshops which we had for the personality development of students.
Certain people claim that what is being taught in colleges is totally different from what people actually have to do in the industry. What is your take on this.
Yes, what I learned in the college was completely different from what I had to do in the hotel.
Especially when it comes to operation. I work for restaurants and bars. What I learned in the college was technical knowledge but what I did in the hotel was the operational knowledge. I would say knowledge of both the aspects is necessary.
Why did you choose food and beverage as your specialization?
In food and beverage, there was something very different because I got to know about the food and cuisine as well as the beverage pairing with it.
Front office or housekeeping was never so interesting for me because I can not stand all those 10-11 hours just smiling at the guest.
What I loved about restaurant and bar is that when you move into the department and experience the operation, you learn so much about the cuisine, flavor, and the beverages. That is why I choose Food & Beverages.
What are the attributes you look for in a student before hiring him/her?
I would not consider technical knowledge that much because I think Being a bookworm is not very good. I would definitely look for the right attitude. When it comes to working in operations- one needs to be really patient, convincing, and sober. Another thing that matters is good communication skill.
What are the challenges you faced till now in your journey in the hospitality industry?
There was a time when I had to face biases for being a girl. For instance, when I was working as management trainee there were people around, elder to me, and they didn’t want me to rise in my career. So, I think one should have a very strong set of self-motivation to move ahead in the career.
For me, the motivation in F&B is the sex ratio in the department. If you look at the international brands, you will find that there are very few female managers. So I want to prove this trend wrong by setting up an example to all the other girls out there.
What are your opinions regarding the working hours in the hotel industry?
There are times when you have to work for more than 12 hours a day because that is the demand of the organization at that point of time. I won’t say that the job in the hotel industry is same as other jobs, like – corporate jobs. If you are stepping in the hotel industry and that too in operations, you are supposed to work more than 9 hours a day. It can extend up to 12 to 13 hours a day.
What would be your advice to the students of hotel management?
Choose wisely – whatever subject you are choosing, take advice from people who currently working in the industry, have the passion for the department which you are choosing, because you will face a lot of pressure and your passion will make sure that you won’t buckle up to pressure.