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Exclusive Interview | Sandeep Roy, General Manager, Business Development, Clarks Inn Group of Hotels

Editor: Tell us about your journey. How did it all start? 
It was both, a little stroke of luck and my restlessness. It was when I was preparing for Engineering that my friends introduced me to Hotel Management. After my HM studies, for a while I dabbled in Hotel as well as Academics and then finally to Hotel.
Today, I can proudly say that I have had the opportunity to work across verticals in hotel industry including F&B, Front Office and then HR & Training and now as General Manager for Business Development and Brand Management at one of India’s fastest growing hotel management companies Clarks Inn Group of Hotels, that I have been associated with for the last 06 years.
Life has had many twists and turns but I have always taken up new challenges. These experiences have given me a holistic view of the hospitality industry.

Editor: What do you think it takes to succeed in this industry? 
There is no substitute to hard work. Remaining grounded while exuding excellent Positive Attitude and more importantly high Emotional Quotient that make one leave behind an enduring footprint are hallmarks of success.  

Editor: What are the attributes you look for while selecting or hiring? 
I always look for people who are disciplined, focussed and dedicated towards work. A go-getter, pleasant personality, good comprehension and listening skills are some of the other traits that I keenly search for while hiring.  

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? 
If a career in hotels wasn’t their aspiration, I would very strongly suggest that they study about the veterans and stalwarts of the industry. There are some great lessons for life and career here, from rags to riches to falling in love with one’s profession. Besides, one must develop a habit of jotting down at least two things new that you have learnt on a daily basis. Trainees can learn a lot by observing and asking questions. They must learn the flow of work of every departments of hotel operation.  

Editor: Tell us a little about your average day 
I follow the age old mantra of ‘early to bed, early to rise’ whenever possible, i.e., when I am not travelling. A normal day starts with a bit of exercise, newspaper and a hearty breakfast. I am in office before 10 am. It’s email first for me that I am done within an hour. Since I have multiple responsibilities, I have accordingly compartmentalised my time. So the next couple of hours is spent on my core responsibility followed by an hour each spent on my two other responsibilities of Brand Management and Vacation Ownership Division. Rest of the time I spend either networking or attending meetings. 

Editor: How do keep abreast of all that is happening in hospitality? 
Social Media has become the best platform to keep abreast of everything new and latest, even for news and trends. Networking sites such as Facebook and Watsapp and professional sites such as Linkedin provide regular updates. In addition, I am an avid reader of Economic Times and Times of India which keeps me updated with national and international news.

Editor: Two reasons why this industry is awesome! 
 Networking is at its best. You develop excellent contacts across industries. No other industry offers you that. 
 It is probably the best industry for your overall development, from soft skills to personal and professional development and growth.

Editor: Two things you would like to change about the industry. 
 Despite being one of the most employment intensive sector with an equally incredible multi - sect oral benefit, the government has yet not accorded due recognition to the hospitality industry.
 Just like you have a 5/20 rule in the aviation industry, we need to have stringent rules and regulations to discourage fly-by-night hotel operators who earn the industry bad name. Besides, this will greatly improve the qualitative management of hotels and thus improve the hospitality industry in general.