Dr Suborno Bose, the Chairman and Chief Mentor of IIHM, had long before discussed the possible career options of students passing out of hospitality training institutes. Today, the pandemic has only increased the opportunities for hospitality graduates and IIHM is leading the way in training students and preparing them for the industry. Dr Bose believes that the post-pandemic world will create opportunities for industry aspirants and will demand a greater understanding of areas that are becoming increasingly important these days such as technological advances in the hospitality sector.
The post-pandemic world will create new and unexpected avenues for hospitality students. The industry will demand greater understanding of areas like tech solutions, low-touch service models, disaster management, active operational planning and contingency back-up. With such demands, the need for skills hospitality professionals is only going to increase. Therefore, education will also have brace students with the skills that will make them more efficient and future- ready, Hospitality as a profession will continue to be dynamic, demanding and exciting.
Hospitality education includes a lot of practical training and exposure and IIHM provides both of these to ensure holistic development of students. While IIHM is training them to enter the job market in various industries, it also inspire’s them to start their own ventures in whichever area that interests them. It also has a special entrepreneur development cell called SAHAS. This is essentially a corpus fund from where students who are truly motivated to start their own ventures can be allotted a venture capital. They have to submit a practical and achievable business model to be able to avail the facilities of SAHAS.
The pandemic situation left many youngsters wondering what they would do in their careers. However, many IIHM students started their own ventures during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and are still successfully running their enterprises. IIHM provides a conducive environment and support system where students feel inspired and confident to turn their dreams and ideas into reality.
IIHM created a corpus fund through an initiative called SAHAS. The idea is to encourage students to start their own ventures and IIHM will support their idea through SAHAS. This initiative motivated many students to innovate during the lockdown and start their own start ups.
The most desired skills in today’s market are soft skills. A lot of research publications and thinkers have predicted that the post-pandemic world will definitely put more emphasis on soft skills. This means a lot of upskilling of human skills that are so important in the hospitality industry as well.
IIHM helps students understand and master the power of soft skills. As these students carve out their career paths, these soft skills will become a major determining factor for their future and make them for resilient and adaptable, develop the ability to change mindsets, combat uncertainties and establish trust. These traits will help them both in short- term and long- term as they explore new opportunities and avenues in the post pandemic world.
Throughout the pandemic, IIHM has tried to motivate students, faculty as well as employees. Maintaining constant close contact with students in order to understand their needs and challenges helps keep them connected to education and campus activities through the online medium. Last year, the inter-college fest organised by IIHM, Rigolo, was held on the online platform where students were encouraged to participant and showcase their talent.
When the first wave hit in 2020 and the entire nation went into a lockdown, IIHM was one of the first institutions that decided to continue the education process through the online medium. Since we had our technology in place, we could right away start classes. However Dr Bose pointed out that IIHM has a background of virtual classes as several international chefs and hospitality experts have often taken online classes in the past. So this was another opportunity for exploring new-age learning practices.
The common misconception that hospitality is only related to hotels is getting clarified and that is how IIHM is taking its education forward. There is a world of opportunities waiting for hospitality students and IIHM constantly motivates students to explore more business and entrepreneurial opportunities as well. Hospitality students are in demand in various industries like travel, event management, banking, healthcare, high-end real estate, luxury retail, aviation, cruises and many others. These jobs include a variation in tasks and also allow innovation and personal interaction. Culinary students, too, are taught entrepreneurial and business acumen that equip them with the foundations that make then ready for future ventures.
IIHM vision is to take hospitality education to a different level altogether that will prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s industries and businesses. Leading the change and preparing its students for the new normal that has changed the world forever in the past two years. Exploring the possibilities of hospitality education which is why the FIIHM fellowship programme that includes all industry stalwarts and experts who will advise and share their industry experiences with students was initiated. A centre for research in tourism which is the need of the hour is also planned so that hospitality education merges seamlessly with tourism studies.
DR Suborno Bose the CEO of IIHM Hotel School leads the institution from the front aiming and adapting the education for the new normal which is also the need of the hour.