Interview by Yash Panchal
Dr. Chinnam Reddy is the Director of National Institute of Tourism & Hospitality Management (NITHM). He is a highly qualified visionary leader with a Ph.D. in Operations Research, Gujarat University, 2007, M.Phil. in Operational Research Osmania University, 1993, M.Sc. in Applied Statistics, Osmania University, 1991. Dr. Reddy has taught core & elective courses in MBA & equivalent programs at Various universities. He has worked as Dean, Director & Professor, Director & Assistant Professor, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer and Academic Associate in various reputed institutes before joining NITHM.
He received Innovation in Higher Education Award in the field of excellence in Management at the 3rd Regional Conference “Bringing New Knowledge in the Classroom”, SMJV’S CK Shah Vijapurwala Institute of Management, Vadodara on October 31, 2015. Marwadi Education Foundation’s Group of Institutions was awarded as the Best MBA College under the leadership of Dr. Chinnam Reddy, Ahmedabad on July 18, 2015.
Dr. Reddy has been a guide for 8 Ph.D. students and also an External Expert as a reviewer for Doctoral Thesis in various universities of Gujarat. He has played a role in organizing various conferences and events. He has been a keynote speaker at numerous seminars and national/international conferences.
Prof. Reddy’s experience in the education industry
The education industry has a big role in making the lives of the people. Knowledge sharing and knowledge gaining are the most important aspects of this Industry. Someone has rightly said that knowledge is the currency for the 21st century, and knowledge will come only through education. I feel satisfied that I am contributing to this noble task.
Prof. Reddy’s philosophy of leadership
I believe that leadership is a privilege that carries the responsibility to inspire stakeholders and involve them in attaining the vision, mission, and goals of our organization.
Challenges faced by Dr. Reddy as the Director of National Institute of Tourism & Hospitality Management
When I joined this institute (NITHM), the enrollment was very poor. We have improved more than 100%. In addition, we are exploring different avenues to improve the finances of the institute in various ways that include starting courses like the skill development programme.
Curriculum of NITHM
We continually strive to provide our students ample opportunities to develop the skills and exposure needed to excel in the industry. We augment our curriculum with programs such as “Campus to Corporate Connect”, where we invite the top management members from the industry to address our students. We have several well-equipped labs and programs as well as industrial training opportunities to provide hands-on, practical experience to the students. We also have skill development courses and we organize soft skills training to ensure our students step into their professional lives empowered with the necessary skills that will give them an edge in the industry. We also support students to get good internship opportunities and placements.
Dr. Reddy on how to build a positive school culture
Our faculty members take responsibility for the learning and growth of our students. They believe in leading by example and make sure their students are exposed to the best practices in the institution. I have a personal connect with all the faculty members, students and the support staff of the institute. All concerned parties are equal partners in sharing the vision of our institution and working together towards its goal of providing the best possible learning environment to the students.
Goals in mind for National Institute of Tourism & Hospitality Management
We aim to place the National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management (NITHM) among the top-ranking institutes of the country for tourism and hospitality management. We have courses and programs for all aspects, sectors, and levels of job requirement in this industry. We have students from all across the country as well as from some foreign countries. This familiarizes our students with diverse cultures. We have links and partnerships with the industry and government bodies, which multiplies the internship and placement opportunities for our students in diverse sectors.
Dr. Reddy on how he ensures the quality of education in NITHM
NITHM has highly qualified and dedicated faculty members. In addition to the regular curriculum and course programs, we keep organizing events aimed at the all-round development of our students.
Dr. Reddy’s relation with the students
I take every opportunity to interact with NITHM students, whether individually or through the motivational classes I take for them. My doors are always open for my students to discuss any relevant issues they might have. I have provided whatever support possible in my capacity to help them deal with their obstacles, if any, in pursuing their studies. I keep an eye on all their activities and ensure discipline on the campus. Even in the punishments that I give to my students, I ensure there is some learning or value-addition in that. It could be something like reading up a motivational book and preparing a short presentation on that.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at NITHM
We have a dedicated “Placement Cell” with strong links with the industry and government organizations. For some programs, we have 100% placement records. In some cases, placement is guaranteed even before the student has completed the course. We are continuously working on expanding our reach in the industry so as to be able to provide relevant industrial training. In several cases, students get absorbed or selected for a regular position during their training or internship. In fact, the USP of NITHM is its very high job placement rate.
Suggestions to the current youth
My suggestion to the current youth is to become self-reliant as soon as possible. They should use their time well and avail the opportunities on offer to them. They are living in a highly competitive world and hence they need to focus on their learning and career building.