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Exclusive Interview | Shuvro Sanyal | People Training Manager at Kempinski Hotels

Editor: Tell us about your journey. How did it all start? 
It all started with the oberoi group coming to my school in 2004 and advertising their new 3 year hospitality training programme known as STEP. it seemed to be an extremely well structured course, hence i went ahead for the interview which was conducted at the oberoi grand kolkata. I got selected and was posted at the oberoi rajvilas, jaipur and my journey in the hotel industry started.

Editor: What do you think it takes to succeed in this industry? 
Extreme passion and determination with eye for detail is a must to succeed in this industry.

Editor: What are the attributes you look for while selecting or hiring? 
For me, a combination of personality with passion is the key.

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? 
I have a very close connection with trainees, since we hire an average of 120 students per batch for training. It all starts with the input that they are given at the college, which i feel is very outdated and irrelevant based on the current hospitality industry.

They get a reality check when they leave their college and join the hotel for training. Things like grooming and punctuality is not given emphasis at all in the colleges, and in the hotel it is the number 1 priority. Trainees who are serious about their career and work with passion will have huge success in their career and will be a win win situation.

Moreover the college and the hotel should give the students a real picture of what hotel industry is all about in the beginning and not give them a dream picture which breaks the moment they join the hotel. Editor: Tell us a little about your average day my average day is a mix of taking rounds of the hotel, talking to team members understanding their training needs, going through our online guest feedback to understand how can we improve our guest service based on feedback, surprise LQA audits. Month end is always about corporate reports and presentations.

Editor: How do keep abreast of all that is happening in hospitality? 
I have subscribed to few online hospitality and training websites. so i keep on getting regular emails about whats happening around the world.

Editor: Two reasons why this industry is awesome! 
It changes you for forever !! this industry teaches you positive traits like no other in terms of behaviour, body language, communication, which helps a professional reach great heights in multiple other industries as well.

Editor: Two things you would like to change about the industry. 
First the pay scale. i feel the people work really hard in this industry and are paid much lesser versus other industries. secondly the industry have to start focusing a bit more on its own people in terms of hospitality and warmth. if we want our team members to b ambassadors of service, they should be treated in a similar manner.