This is the right time for young professionals to further enhance and polish their skills: Dr Himanshu Talwar
In an interview Dr Himanshu Talwar, Assistant Secretary General FHRAI, tells us more about his work, the industry, and philanthropic pursuits.
Kindly share your experience working with FHRAI in the capacity of Assistant Secretary General (ASG).
It was a major breakthrough in my career when I got the opportunity to join FHRAI in the capacity of Assistant Secretary-General, last year. The interaction with the hospitality professionals both blue-collar and white-collar was indeed a memorable experience. After working with them for around 15 months, I can proudly say, is the most hard-working in comparison to other service industries. Be it the owners, promoters, or employees working at any level they are so engrossed in their businesses that it is reflected in the first look of their establishments and in an individual. No wonder Indian culture embodies 'Atithi Devi Bhava' - ' Guests are equivalent to God' and the credit goes to the citizens who have kept the legacy of being the most hospitable people in the world. And, hospitality takes the credit for it, as visitors are and will always be treated as 'Guests' not merely customers'
Kindly tell us a bit about FSSAI and its association with FHRAI, how many workshops have you conducted for the same?
During the turbulent times, FSSAI initiated COVID Awareness Training Programmes through FOSTAC and its authorized training partners. With the help of FHRAI's National Advisor, we mobilized the industry professionals and engaged them to attend the one-hour sessions. More than 40 such sessions were organized whereby around 3500-4000 people were trained. The idea behind organizing sessions at such a large scale was to reach out to the entire hospitality industry of India to instil confidence in them that with proper protocols and strictly adhering to the guidelines issued by various Ministries and Departments of the Government, industry, and the people engaged can tackle the pandemic to an extent.
Today numerous hospitality professionals and new hospitality graduates are jobless, what would you like to say to them?
"Patience is a virtue." There are things that are beyond our control as a human being and the catastrophe caused by the pandemic is one such event. The hospitality industry has seen various such phases wherein there was very little hope of revival, however, on every such occasion not only industry revived but it thrived as well. It is the right time for young professionals to further enhance and polish their skills to be ready to face the industry and guests, post-pandemic. Hospitality has always been the most innovative and accommodative to new technology and ideas and therefore this is an opportunity for young graduates and professionals to explore, apart from jobs, the entrepreneurial side of themselves.
Tell us about your experience as a TEDx speaker?
I have been invited as a speaker at two TEDx events in India & three TEDx International events in Morocco, Russia, and Tunisia. TEDx is a wonderful experience. Within 12-14 minutes one needs to communicate the idea, engage audience, and deliver the outcome. At first it feels like speaking for 14 minutes is a piece of cake however when you stand at the platform you get goosebumps as post the event your thoughts will be watched by the entire world. One word here and there and you have to face the heat. Luckily, for years, I wrote for various magazines and online portals such as FibretoFashion, Knowledgereview, The Progressive Teacher etc before reaching a stage where I was asked to deliver the speech. Those writings gave me confidence to set the stage for TEDx events.
The pandemic has reinforced the necessity to be one with nature as well as work for the community and on the Human Development Index. Considering the same, kindly tell us a bit more about your philanthropic pursuits.
I believe that there is a lot to learn from society and the only right thing to do is to give back to the society, especially to people struggling to find their way. From counselling students, entrepreneurs, managers to working for international establishments and non-profit organizations, I have tried to use my skills and aptitude to transform the lives of others. Coaching and mentoring people who are at the cusp of their professional lives is my calling and I hope a lot of people would gratefully and enthusiastically agree. My priority has been to eliminate social economic inequalities and I believe in guiding students and young professionals as they carve their career paths is important in the elimination of inequality. Some of the NGO's which I have closely worked with in the past are Kanya, AlumniKart, various societies of Delhi University Colleges such as Hansraj, Venkatashewara, Maityri, etc to name a few.
What kind of accolades have you received for your social services?
My dedication towards social causes has earned me the ‘Indian Achievers’ Award 2020 for Social Service. I have received nine national-level awards, and have been working for international organizations and supporting Not-for-profits, facilitating people-to-people contacts, and conducting training/ workshops for professionals on International Relations, Strategic Management, Cross-Cultural & Corporate Communications, Business, and Corporate laws, Entrepreneurship, etc., for more than a decade.
Kindly list for our readers and tell us a bit about the academic and fiction books that you have written.
I frequently write articles for magazines, research papers for national/ international journals. I have made a substantial impact in transforming students’ approach towards their own lives by a positive influence on their skill development, legal and professional education. I recently published his my book, 'The Journey Of Lost Soul'. My second book Aasakti - Too Fond of You, will be out soon.
‘Passion with Profession’ is what I swear by. I hope to fulfil my end goal of eliminating poverty by ensuring proper exposure, guidance and coaching to people especially the youth, and leading them to live content lives.
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