Interview by Yash Panchal
Ms. Chandana Khan is the Founder of Abhi Institute of Hotel Managementand been working at the institute since 2008. She has an expertise in establishing and managing a hotel management institute. She did her postgraduation in Journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Ms. Khan holds an experience of working as a reporter for more than 2 years at Hotel Management Institute.
Ms. Khan’s experience in the education industry
As an institute, we have been in the industry for a decade. And we have come to understand that the best thing about the hotel industry is about the available placement opportunities. The students get placed while they are still studying. This course is for students who want to be independent and stand on their own feet as soon as possible. Out of all the other/niche courses, hotel management is one course which can make a student stand on his own at the earliest.
Ms. Khan’s philosophy of leadership
A leader is a person who has sufficient knowledge about the field he/she will be dealing with, and a positive attitude to make things happen. You must have the ability to judge what circumstances might befall in near future and lead your team accordingly. A leader also knows thoroughly the importance of maintaining relations inside the sector. A leader carries the brand name with him/her.
Challenges faced as the Director of Abhi Institute of Hotel Management
Every new day is a new challenge. Sometimes it is with the student, sometimes with the parents, sometimes with the industry, etc. But we are here to face these challenges with zeal and enthusiasm
Curriculumof Abhi Institute of Hotel Management
Our curriculum grooms a student for the industry. We focus a lot on the presentability. We take care of the slightest things from combing your hair properly, to cutting your nails, to wearing proper formal outfits. Because we believe this is extremely important in the industry. We also focus on discipline. We focus on a different level of communication skills because this is majorly important. We give spoken English classes as a part of our curriculum in the 1st and 2nd year. We also teach them French as a foreign language.
All the other departments are briefed to them, use of software, 50% theoretical and 50% practical. We divide them into groups so that individual attention can be paid. We give them exposure to the industry, we start sending them to 5-star hotels. The team of JW Mariott is with us along with other top brands like Hyatt, Vivanta By Taj, Novotel, etc.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at Abhi Institute of Hotel Management
Our students get placed in top hotels, like Taj, Leela Palace, Hyatt, and most of the other five star restaurants. They get proper industry exposure with these top brands. We encourage the financially less stable students as well, and they too get hired at positions at least earning Rs. 700 a day. We also exempt some part of their fees or divide the fees into installments.
Ms. Khan on her relation with the students being the Director of the institute
I don’t keep distance with my students as well as my staff members. I am very approachable to them. We are here for students, I would never like my students to hesitate in coming to me as and when they feel like. I also meet them during their classes.
Ms. Khan on her ideal school environment
Knowledge friendly, positive and dedicated environment that motivates students, we don’t segregate students with their capability to pay the fees, all we need is the zeal to do something, the passion and the will to work hard.
Top qualities that an aspiring candidate must possess
The main thing is the attitude, we have to train and counsel them time and again. Other than this, good communication skills are a must. We motivate our students to speak English even when they find it difficult too. We motivate them to keep trying. The third quality that we look for is technical knowledge.
Goals in mind for Abhi Institute of Management
We are thinking of another campus, but it might take a year or 2 more. We shall also have the hostel facility in-house, unlike right now where the facility is not in-house.
Suggestions to the current youth
I have noticed that most of the students find it difficult to decide their aim/goals or set up an aim for themselves. They go by what their friends are doing, they are affected by what their friends are earning. Hotel industry needs a lot of patience. I advise the aspiring students to not compare their dedication with any other field. Success shall come if the determination is sheer.