Preparing the 21st century General Manager for India’s growing Hospitality Industry
With guest hospitality expectations changing daily, it’s no wonder that hotel owners have upped their game in maximising leadership on their business frontline to improve customer satisfaction. As guests have the power to make or break a hotels brand, it’s become apparent that day-to-day hotel managers need to be well-trained, prepared for any risks that may arise and position themselves to tackle their everyday tasks heads on.
How has this role changed over the last decade?
The biggest change in the role of the general manager has been digitalization and the rise of public feedback through online forums and review sites. Potential customers are increasingly referring to these online platforms for reviews and the potential experience they may have with the brand.
These platforms often have greater influence than advertising due to the authenticity and transparent feedback from guests regarding their experiences.
For general managers and hotel owners, this means that the guest experience – and meeting guests’ expectations – is even more important because everyone will read about it.
The most challenging issues general managers face in their role?
There are many factors that contribute to hotel success; and in the business of hospitality, in particular, the most challenging issue is to find the right talent and ensure that they are trained sufficiently to implement the culture of the hotel.
General managers need to ensure that they are enhancing service and profitability in equal measure. This is all possible once the right talent has been found and retained, especially in a country like South Africa where people in the industry tend to change jobs quite easily due to the considerable number of opportunities around.
Can training, education and traditional hospitality experiences really prepare GM’s for it?
Yes and no. Yes, because it definitely helps to be exposed to the industry and have access to learning and training as well as experience.
No, because at the end of the day, your attitude and who you are as a person – whether you’re suited to being a leader in hospitality or even to being part of the industry – is even more important.
You can only train someone up to a certain point the rest is down to having an innate passion for the field of hospitality.
“Having the right attitude and the willingness to learn will take them a long way”.
If you enjoy working with people and you enjoy diversity in your work, the hotel industry is a great place to consider. The general manager’s role is never the same from one day to the next and the hospitality industry is a very interesting one. The opportunities and the challenges are enormous and the industry can also be very rewarding.
There are different ways in which a person can enter the industry and create opportunities for themselves. Some people are privileged enough to be able to go to a Hotel Management Colleges like Regency College of Hotel Management , which sets a good foundation for them, but this is certainly not a must. It is very possible to begin with an entry-level role at a hotel and work your way up.
Many of the bigger hotel companies offer fantastic opportunities through internal programmers and develop talented people in such a way that they can achieve a similar result to that which one would achieve had they gone to a hotel school. Having the right attitude and the willingness to learn will take them a long way.