'The hospitality industry is an art in itself'
Housekeeping today as being not merely about ensuring cleanliness but encompassing consistent maintenance and upkeep of the hotel through the adoption of innovative trends and practices.
I was born and raised in Kerala, where almost every young woman aims to be a nurse or a doctor! I too found myself on a train to Delhi to pursue that dream. But I just couldn't relate to that field. Therefore, I secretly applied for the Hotel Management course at the PUSA Institute in Delhi, and soon became passionate about getting into this industry. I got my first job at the Mughal Sheraton, Agra and have come a long way since.
Although it's been far from a cakewalk, I have really enjoyed working in this industry and firmly believe that I would never have become the person I am today if I had joined some other industry. This industry is an art in itself: it is a collaboration of guest relations, maintenance and upkeep of the hotel’s physical property, stakeholder management, training and development, and much more. What's more, one cannot just excel in any one of these areas, but needs to strike a balance between the many areas. Challenges like these keep me going.
The Hospitality Industry is a service-oriented industry where guest experience and satisfaction are non-compromisable. Therefore, it is important that high standards are maintained in terms of the cleanliness, safeguarding and aesthetic appeal of the hotel. In the past few years, a lot of focus has been laid on the creativity, innovation, training, and use of the latest equipment, technology and software in the housekeeping sector.
I'm incharge of Housekeeping but I believe I’m nothing without my core team, and therefore, always identify and develop their strengths. Delegation is important but I go out of my way when my team needs any help. I also believe ideating always leads to new solutions, which creates a great sense of team-work. I actively participate in the Group's new openings too.
The hotel industry has completely changed since the time I joined it, being one of the most dynamic sectors. As guest preferences evolve, it becomes extremely important for us to match our customers’ expectations with industry benchmarks, as we are now not just answerable to our management, but our guests, prospective guests, and the world at large, as well. Through greater operational efficiency and quality control, we have been successful in delivering consistent value and service to ensure the utmost comfort and convenience to our guests.
INITIATIVES FOR A BETTER FUTURE
Among the various initiatives we have undertaken, going green is something we're proud of. For this, we use eco-friendly amenities that help conserve water and energy. We are also investing heavily in information technology (IT), infrastructure and networking that deploy the latest technical advances in their operations. The adoption of products like air-purifiers, remote curtains, 8-10-inch mattresses for the ultimate sleep experience, high thread-count linen, plush pillows, shower cubicle and bath-tub combinations, branded amenities, bath salts, aromatherapy products and aromatizer have been accelerated.
Today, Housekeeping is not only about ensuring cleanliness but also consistently maintaining the upkeep of the hotel by adopting innovative trends and practices in housekeeping. To stay ahead of the curve, unique and advanced technologies must be implemented and incorporated.
CHALLENGES AREN'T FOR WOMEN ALONE
Today, no challenge in the industry is specific to women, alone. Throughout my journey, I was lucky to be surrounded by many women housekeepers who were my mentors and bosses and taught me the traits of this industry. Despite being women, they were able to manage with such élan. Back then, any talk of women empowerment and gender equality was a distant whisper and women leaders had to fight for their position and stand by their ambition. My current employers are also resilient and ambitious women leaders who have made it big in the industry.
This industry is dynamic and won't give you instant success. One needs to be patient and possess strong leadership qualities to create a brand for oneself and become a person people look up to. There is no right or wrong way of dealing with guests or handling any situation, because no two situations are the same. But experience and the right guidance can take one a long way.
This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER THE WOMEN SPECIAL ISSUE VOL 6, ISSUE 2'
About the author
The author is Executive Housekeeper at Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida.Visit the Author page >>
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