An impromptu meeting with an Indian student, graduate of a master’s degree in luxury management from the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Montreux Switzerland, turned out to be an interesting conversation on a hotly debated topic in the hospitality industry in India.
Tanveer Matharuwho spent time as an intern and employee in a few major hotel groups in India after graduating from Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Aurangabad under the Taj Group of Hotelswas candid when asked why she left the industry in India to follow a different career path.
Currently interning as Head of Career Services and Industry Relations at Glion Institute, Matharuhailing from Mumbai, confirmed that except for a few, not many of his batch of HMI Aurangabad remain in the hotel industry today. When asked why, she replied, “The Indian hospitality industry lacks respect, warmth and hospitality towards its employees.”
This is what differentiates career aspirants from Indian hotel schools from aspirants from international schools like Glion, she says. Graduates from schools like Glion receive so much respect and warmth from the industry that they stick with the hospitality industry as a whole.
Even the world’s renowned hotel brands hold double standards when dealing with their associates in developing markets like India, she says. “They pay well and have a better working culture in markets like Europe and the US compared to India.”
This is the reason why young graduates are reluctant to opt for difficult operational assignments in hotels in markets like India, which is really “stressful”. People working in the industry in destinations like Switzerland have a better work-life balance. Even when asked to work overtime, they are properly compensated. “In addition, managers express their gratitude to their employees for their extra work. In India, they are neither paid nor thanked for their extra work.
Overall, the Indian hospitality industry has a “tarnished image” as an employer, she said. “If you can’t compensate financially, at least provide an opportunity for intellectual growth for your employees,” she asks the industry.
Another major problem in the industry, according to Matharu, is the prevailing sense of hierarchy. “The hierarchy also exists in hotels in other countries. But it’s just for the smooth flow of work, not to intimidate staff,” she says. Decisions are imposed without proper two-way communication. “Top management is completely inaccessible to people at the bottom,” she says.
From the conversations she had with people working in the industry in Switzerland and other European countries, she is quite adamant that the scenario is much better in those countries and that the lives of the employees is much better compared to their counterparts in countries like India.