Interview by Kritika Gupta
Mr. Nafees Naqvi is currently the Director of the School of Hospitality & Tourism, JLU. Having more than 10 years of experience in the education industry, he has also authored a book ‘Indian Food & Cuisine (2008) 1st education. He is an active member of the Editorial Board - ATITHI, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. from JLU Bhopal.
Experience in the education industry
My experience in the education industry or academics has always been a satisfying one, especially when you come straight from the hospitality industry. As it is a thriving industry, the level of participation is very high and with each action you take, it has an impact on others lives. In this sector, each and everyday teaches you a new thing.
Leadership philosophy and style as the Director of JLU School of Hospitality & Tourism
As a Director – SoHT, my philosophy of leadership is TRANSFORMATIONAL. Meaning, I believe that effectiveness is based on charisma and relation established, as a leader. My motto is “manage a dream” by sharing values and ideas with my team. This in return always act as biggest motivational factor for the entire organisation.
If I talk about my leadership style: If any job assigned or taken need to be done at any cost, job profile make you saturated so do not bound yourself in chains of profiles.
Challenges faced as the Director of SoHT, JLU
As of now, I have not come across any significant challenges. In case, it happens so, our entire team is well equipped and trained to resolve any issue or problem immediately.
Standard of curriculum offered at JLU School of Hospitality & Tourism
At our school the curriculum is designed in consultation with industry. The points that are considered broadly before incorporating any topic under any program is based on -
- Skill gaps in course materials, and the roles of the individuals involved in the process
- Experts from the industry are consulted to identify key work readiness and technical skills.
- We assure that the workplace problems and other practical examples are used in course materials to have a better understanding of the topic.
Changes noticed in the education industry over the past few years and skill set required in the present scenario
As per my understanding and experience, the industry has undergone various changes in terms of excessiveness of commercialization, there is a lack of student teacher bonding and also the focus of students is lost.
Talking about the skill set that a student must have is - Adaptability, should be career oriented; good communication skills, Critical Thinker, Receptiveness and should have good time management skills. These are a few skills that are necessary to succeed in the real world.
Methods opted to establish a relation with the students
Today, technology and social media has bridged up the gap in best possible manner. We have an active Whatsapp school group where all students are added. As we believe and consider our students are mature adults so we treat them as adults only. Hospitality industry is all about creating goodwill so from day one we lead by example. Also, there is no restrictions from my end to the students, they can connect with me through phone or social media.
Goals for the institute in the coming years
The institute started in 2014 with only 21 students. Now, there are around 200 students that are presently studying in the JLU School of Hospitality & Tourism. In the next few years, my target is to make the school a proper brand in hospitality & tourism sector. I want the aluminis from our institute should feel proud about their school.
Suggestions to the current youth and aspiring students
My suggestions are clear and straight -
- Aim for a career not for job
- Ask only those who knows
- Stay focused
- Introspect before deciding any career