So, we made it to a new decade. In the past few decades, especially from 2000 – 2019, we witnessed multiple innovations in communication technology, shopping, payments, entertainment, transportations, and hospitality. The hospitality sector has always been an exciting career path for the millennials. In fact, hospitality & tourism is one of the best degrees to study for getting jobs overseas. But, the hospitality industry has evolved a lot in the past two decades. In this article, we will start with the evolution of the hospitality sector in the past few decades and the growing demand for trained hospitality professionals in India. However, before getting into the nitty-gritty of the growth and evolution of the hospitality industry, let’s discuss exactly what hospitality is. What do you study in hospitality management? Where can you work? What kinds of jobs can you do? Let’s begin with the basics.
Evolution of the Hospitality Sector and The Demand for Trained Professionals in India
Co-authored by Dilip Puri, CEO & Founder, Indian School of Hospitality
What is Hospitality and Why is it Important in Today’s Business?
Hospitality covers a broad range of verticals that include accommodation, restaurants, cafes, bars, theme parks, airlines (and aviation), cruise ships, and tourist attractions. At the core, the hospitality sector is all about the business of greeting people and helping them have a good time.
Related Article: Travel & Tourism Careers and Jobs in India
Hospitality is a factor you’ll find almost everywhere in today’s business landscape. It’s the interactions you have in a shop. It’s the way you get taken care of on a flight. It’s the way you are received and treated at a restaurant. It’s the nice feeling you get when you have a really great experience. Great hospitality is what makes customers loyal to a brand for years.
Great hospitality is what gets companies glowing reviews and amazing word of mouth recommendations. Great hospitality is what makes companies into market leaders. You can be the best at what you do, but if you’re unable to provide a good experience to your client, you’ll find they won’t be coming back to do business with you again.
That’s why in today’s world, there’s such a high demand for hospitality professionals. These are people who have a strong grasp of the business and also have the people skills to ensure exceptional customer service. Hospitality professionals understand how to grow and expand a business and have the knowledge on how to make people happy and excited to ensure they remain loyal to a brand and keep providing business to it.
Evolution of the Hospitality Sector in the Past Decades
Of late, the hospitality sector has evolved a lot; largely to cater to the millennials. Millennials account for 27% of the global population or about 2 billion people making them the largest living generation by population size. Raised in a technologically advanced era, millennials are currently in their young adulthood (between 20 and 37 years of age). Hence, new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics are re-shaping the hospitality sector and the hospitality job market.
The hospitality sector has also become more experiential than transactional. In the hospitality industry, the millennial consumer expectations of guest experience are driving leading brands to take on new technology, to implement new processes to manage it, and to foster new ways to engage and to serve guests better in the present as well as in the future. Read more about the major trends that are changing the hospitality industry.
With all these evolutions in the hospitality sector, the employers are seeing a huge talent shortage and skill gap.
Shortage of Trained Professionals in the Hospitality Industry in India
The Indian hospitality industry hasn’t had it easy in a while. There was a robust job growth at the start of 2019. Overall, the year 2019 witnessed a serious talent shortage in the hospitality sector throughout India. Read Travel & Hospitality Witnesses Highest Growth In Talent Demand in 2019.
Here are a few statements from the Experts in Academia and Industry
“In India, the shortage of skilled manpower poses a major threat to the overall development of tourism. In particular, the rapid expansion of hotels of an international standard in India is creating a high level of demand for skilled and trained human resources, which will ensure the delivery of efficient, high-quality service. High standards of service are particularly important in sustaining long-term growth.” – P. Srinivas Subbarao, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
“With expanding businesses and industries, more people are travelling frequently, which is resulting in more demand for hotels even in the most remote locations. Hospitality companies are expanding, leading to more demand for manpower. Indian hospitality is still people-oriented and manpower costs are affordable when compared to other countries.” – Ajay Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts
“I realized that there is no standard curriculum for hospitality professionals across the country. This is a highly skill-based job and requires quick thinking on your feet, improvisation and of course an in-depth knowledge of basic skill sets.
I also realized that adult training sessions fail due to a simple attention deficit from people. They have usually rushed sessions where a lot of inputs are crammed into a small amount of time. The engagement of the person is always on the surface level and thus the take-away is also very minor.” – Jayant Singh, Managing Partner, Tree House Hotels
Why is the Demand for Hospitality Professionals Growing?
The hospitality landscape has evolved drastically over the last few decades with the rise of technology – we’re experiencing industries that are changing faster than ever before, and need graduates that possess more than just a rigid set of skills and can execute set tasks. We’re living in the age of entrepreneurship – Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, Apple, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook – to name a few – have changed the way consumers make decisions and interact with products, and in turn, has changed the way companies conduct business.
With hotels expanding at 20 to 25% per year, the shortage of skilled manpower is felt not just at the upper rungs, which are more difficult to fill, but even at the lower ones. The dearth of skilled manpower is exacerbated by the outdated training programs in the various institutes, which are in the need of a desperate upgrade. Most hotel groups, which are considered at top of their game, conduct the extensive in-house training program.
Technology is enhancing the way we do business – but companies who are able to offer exceptional customer service are the ones leading the market. Armed with the business savvy of BBA students and the interpersonal skills and savoir-être of hospitality professionals, hospitality graduates have a cutting-edge advantage in the market and find themselves to be in high demand in today’s’ competitive job market.
What do Hospitality Management Students Study?
The foundation of a hospitality management program has a lot in common with a bachelor of business, aka, a BBA. Students of either program learn business fundamentals which include finance, accounting, human resources, marketing, law and other crucial modules for today’s world. Hospitality management students then go on to do more – as they’re getting prepared to join such a flexible landscape.
Hospitality students often learn entrepreneurship, communication, leadership and second languages – invaluable skills that give them a cutting edge in the market. Another thing that gives hospitality graduates an added advantage is their time spent in the industry.
With around 20-25% of their total study time spent in industry internships, hospitality graduates already have a year of work experience under their belt at graduation and can use this experience to better decide what they would like to specialize in. This means they don’t need retraining and can take up managerial positions as soon as they graduate – something today’s companies value immensely.
Related Article: 30 Best Hospitality & Hotel Management Institutes in the World
What Kinds of Jobs can Hospitality Graduates have?
With 1 in every 10 jobs worldwide relating to hospitality and tourism, there’s no shortage of opportunities out there for today’s graduates. And, with an approximate 6 million new job openings across 185 countries being added every year, students of hospitality will find that the world is their oyster.
Not only can they work in hotel operations like their counterparts, they’ve got the freedom to work in hospitality management (HR, finance, marketing, real estate, PR), venue management and event planning, luxury retail and sales, luxury lifestyle services, fine dining and restaurants, health and wellbeing, private clinics, hospitals, consultancy, startups and more.
With a strong business education, excellent people skills, a second (or third!) language and an edge towards entrepreneurship, hospitality graduates will find no difficulty in adapting to almost any stream they choose.
What Should You Consider before Studying Hospitality Management?
The world of hospitality is exciting, colorful and diverse – perfect for those on the lookout for new challenges and avenues of growth. Working (and studying) in hospitality means you’ll always be meeting interesting new people, trying out amazing new food, traveling to new places and experiencing something new almost every day.
Hospitality is a global discipline – it’s about celebrating people and cultures from all across the world, from all walks of life. Hospitality is perfect for those who enjoy new challenges and new horizons, and who draw their inspiration from the relationships they hold around them.
Working in hospitality will mean driving business through the experience you provide to people – so it’s important to have a genuine passion for connecting with them. Studying and working in hospitality can take you across the globe and open your horizons like no other choice – the key is to be open-minded and excited about new challenges.
Related Article: How Young Professionals Can Build A Career In Hospitality Industry
We’re living in a world of amazing opportunities today – and few other educations can help you discover so many as hospitality can!
About Dilip Puri (First Author):
Dilip has got over three decades of experience in the hospitality industry and led some of the most renowned hospitality brands in the world. In 2018, Dilip quit his high-profile position as the Managing Director — India and regional vice president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts after the group’s global merger with Marriott International. Instead of joining another group, he chose an offbeat path to become part of academia and set up the Indian School of Hospitality (ISH). Dilip got featured among 35 other Hospitality Stalwarts in the Power List 2019 by Hotelier India. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.
Featured Image Source: Career Addict