HK Clarks Inn
Editor: Tell us about your journey. How did it all start?
I passed out from IHM Mumbai in 1996. I started my career from Marine Plaza Mumbai as a trainee Captain in their iconic pub “ the Geoffrey’s”. After working with them for four years I went to Sydney Australia to do bachelors in hotel administration from Hotel School associated with intercontinental Sydney.
I returned back to India in 2001 and had a brief stint with Apollo Hospitals as an administration head in Chattisgarh. I came back to Mumbai in 2002 and Joined Reliance Industries as a facility head for Navi Mumbai property. In 2005 I joined Essel world and Water Kingdom as a food and beverage manager. Then in 2007 I joined Holidayinn Mumbai as a deputy food and beverage manager.
In 2008 I joined concept hospitality as a General Manager for their boutique property Grand Residency in Bandra Mumbai. In 2009 I was transferred to Cabbbana Orchid Jalandhar as General Manager.
In 2011 I joined Golden Tulip Amritsar. After a brief stint I joined HK Clarksinn Amritsar where I am presently working for the last 3 years.
Editor: What do you think it takes to succeed in this industry?
The first two things that comes in my mind is perseverance and attention to detail. The emoluments in our industry is not great when a professional starts his journey. One has to dedicate his life and nurture the professional life with sweat and blood for the first 5 to 6 years.
Here you need to have perseverance and nerves of steel because there will be a lure of money from industries like retail and call centers. Then comes the stage where you consolidate your knowledge and your standing in the industry. Here attention to minute details is one of the most sought after attributes. At the same time you have to keep yourself abreast with the modern ways of attracting business to your property like I-ways.
Editor: What are the attributes you look for while selecting or hiring?
We always look for excellent communication both spoken and written and a fire burning within to learn and succeed in the chosen field. Technical knowledge can be acquired.
Editor: What according to you can trainees do while they are training at hotels to make it a win-win for them & the hotel/unit?
They should observe and learn from whatever task being allotted to them at the hotel. They should understand that in a hotel no task is small as it contributes towards guest’s experience. They should do this to make a choice of correct specialization for their professional life ahead.
Editor: Tell us a little about your average day.
My average day at the hotel starts at 9 am. I take a round of our breakfast going on and interact with our room guests. Then I come down to the lobby and interact with the guests checking out in the morning. The morning meeting starts at 10 am where in we discuss about previous days performance and the current days work.
1045 my hotel round starts from the engineering area to other heart of the house areas of the hotel. 1200 hrs I check the various feedbacks both online as well as received at the hotel.
1300 hrs I have lunch at our staff cafeteria and interact with my team members. Second half is kept for meetings with vendors and to make one sales call every day. In the evening I take a round of all the function halls before and during the functions.
Also 6 pm I meet the owner of the hotel to keep him abreast with the happening of the hotel.
Editor: How do keep abreast of all that is happening in hospitality?
It is basically through networking with my colleagues, friends and seniors on internet. Also I follow major hospitality journals like Hospemag, hotelscape etc.
Editor: Two reasons why this industry is awesome!
It is the industry where need will always be greater than supply. Hence the industry will keep on growing by leaps and bound and providing ample growth opportunities. Every time you come into work you’re making someone's day that little bit better.
Hotel business is all about people. it’s about making people happy.
Editor: Two things you would like to change about the industry.
Staff retention is becoming a major challenge in the industry. Hence poaching of manpower should be avoided by competitive hotels. Unethical competition should not be practiced among hotels which tends to lower the rates and profitability across all hotels.