Upskilling, reskilling are important for me: Dilip Puri
A recent panel discussion at BW HOTELIER WebBlast on ‘Future of the Hospitality Industry: An Outside In View’ brought out important areas of focus for the hospitality sector during the pandemic crisis: upskilling, reskilling, technological upgradation, among others.
With the lack of any direct financial assistance from the government for the hospitality sector to cope with the pandemic crisis, the hotel chains have been laying off staff in helplessness. Last month, Hyatt Hotels Corps informed it was going to lay off 1,300 people globally. OYO hotels similarly shared it had to let go of several employees and impose pay cuts. To give an estimation, the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) had calculated total direct and indirect job losses because of Covid-19 on the tourism value chains to be between 38 million to 50 million.
Given the stellar challenges of employment facing the hospitality industry, upgrading how skills are deployed among people should be the need of the hour. Dilip Puri, Founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality speaking (and moderating the panel) at a recent BW HOTELIER WebBlast on ‘Future of the Hospitality Industry - An Outside-In View’ pointed out the importance of upskilling and reskilling. “Upskilling and reskilling are very important for me since I am in the education business,” Puri said. (Upskilling is teaching additional skills to meet the market demands and reskilling is teaching skills to an unemployed necessary for employment) Reportedly, amidst the pandemic, the Indian School of Hospitality has informed it has been conducting practical classes via videos and assigning video homework to students to fulfil the necessary training requirements for the course. Recently, the college has launched a new eleven-month employment-focused Postgraduate Program in Service Operations Management especially for recent and working graduates from any discipline looking to restart their careers and join the services sector.
Taking the discussion further, Puri pointed out that the hotels he has spoken to are concerned about their workforce. Apparently, the pandemic has led to faster adoption of technologies to meet the needs of the people. Puri thinks that the innovations will come through technologies, but people want to know what might be the new opportunities on their way.
Furthermore, Puri discussed a rather controversial issue of whether usurping hotels and using them for quarantine facilities should be undertaken by authorities. Last month, the Delhi government gave orders to requisition five hotels to convert them as quarantine centers. Following this, the hotel owners challenged the orders in the court. (The matter is sub judicial now) Puri acknowledged though there is a wide range of views on the matter, the general view held by most industry players is that it is not the right thing to do.
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