The hospitality industry is one of the key sectors across the world. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the hospitality sector in a massive way. But, it’s not all dark and gloomy. Earlier, we have covered how the travel, tourism & hospitality sector can make a comeback after the COVID situation. In this article, Kunal Vasudeva, COO, Indian School of Hospitality writes about the careers in hospitality post-COVID.
Careers in Hospitality Industry Post-COVID
By Kunal Vasudeva
The very sentiment of the hospitality industry is aligned with the innate Indian philosophy of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ – to welcome and serve guests generously. The current COVID-19 scenario has presented us quite an extraordinary approach to this through social distancing andcontact-less servicing. As a norm, social distancing will be diligently implemented, and using technology to make guests feel safer and comfortable will be in demand. The industry will recover and come back stronger than before, with a few new tweaks hospitality graduates will soon adapt to.
The need for skilled hospitality personnel remains
This means that the industry is still functional and will require even more manpower to support the recovery process. Furthermore, the introduction of technology to the hotel operations will play a huge factor in creating many new dynamic positions for those who are willing to join the industry and contribute to the new normal.
Currently, a hospitality graduate is embedded with learning to adapt new scenarios, active planning, and contingencies with crisis and disaster management as a crucial part of their curriculum. This crisis will only add on to such adaptability skills of new aspirants it will also prepare them for any unforeseen situations like these.
Hospitality graduates are not – and will not- be limited to working in just hotels. As the world is recovering, there will be even more work opportunities in food services, arts, entertainment, recreation, banking & finance, travel & tourism, beauty & wellness, consulting, private equity, automobiles, aviation, luxury &retail, restaurants, and even entrepreneurship.
The industry has always had a lot to offer to those who wish to pursue services, and as rebuilding efforts get well underway, graduates will find more opportunities and potential for career growth than ever before.
Hospitality and soft skills will be more in demand across all industries
Now, is actually the time to think differently and play up applicable skills. Students should look at this as an opportunity to think about innovation and new offerings that will emerge from COVID-19 that will reshape the future.
A positive to the current global standstill is that it gives students and professionals the chance to opt for further education and gain an additional qualification which will amplify their knowledge and skill set.
The hospitality industry is evolving and will soon emerge in a completely new form, with new skills required that may not have been taught before. Traditionally, hospitality education has always been known to consist of disciplines that equip graduates with a valuable, flexible skillset. This often gives graduates a rich platform of career opportunities to choose from straight after graduation – now, soft skills, attention to customer needs, and service provided by hospitality will be more in demand than ever before.
Moreover, transferable and soft skills such as leadership, listening, prioritization, research and analysis, time management, and delegation are the need of the hour which makes hospitality grads a valuable contribution to any team and workplace. More importantly, cross-disciplinary education and training are now more important after the announcement of the new National Education Policy 2020.
Going forward, things are going to be very different in restaurants, hotels, stores, and offices for the near future – and employees who can adapt fast, listen well, and think critically will be more imperative than ever before.
The future of the hospitality industry will include even more focus on workplace sanitation, new protocols of health, safety, and hygiene of spaces. With the industry taking on new challenges, the opportunities for graduates to learn new skills will be increased.
The new parameters for hiring will include communication, entrepreneurial skills, understanding concepts like responsible travel, sustainability skills, etc. The freshers will not only have a chance to learn in these extraordinary situations but also to contribute to this changing lifestyle and setting new industry trends. Once the sector recuperates and the operations resume, the industry will be ready with new policies and operations to reboot its services giving priority to health and hygiene.
Kunal Vasudeva is the Chief Operating Officer at the Indian School of Hospitality. With over 25 years of work experience, Kunal has been at the forefront of some of India’s leading hospitality and hospitality education ventures.
An immersive specialist, Kunal identified opportunities, implemented plans for accelerated growth, and has led the overarching strategy and execution of business on behalf of premier education brands including the Kingfisher Training Academy, The Chopras, and the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne network of certified schools in India.
Featured Image Source: The Hindu Business Line