Hardworking employees of today are the leaders of tomorrow

In the 17th show of the second edition of BW HOTELIER’s The GM Show, industry experts discussed the topic, Hospitality's Human Harvest: Fostering and Developing Exceptional Talent

If one was to ask as to what is the hospitality industry’s heart, the reply would be – its people. During the 17th episode of BW HOTELIER’s The GM Show Season 2 titled Hospitality's Human Harvest: Fostering and Developing Exceptional Talent, a group of distinguished panellists from the hospitality industry voiced their opinions on the subject. These included Arun Kumar, Market VP - North India, Bhutan & Nepal, Marriott International who also acted as the moderator; Bhagwan Balani, General Manager, ITC Grand Central; Panditha Lahari Srinivas, General Manager, Taj Santacruz, Mumbai; Salil Fadnis, General Manager, Sahara Star and Vishrut Gupta, General Manager, Novotel Mumbai International Airport. The panelists tried to discover insights on cultivating a thriving talent ecosystem, nurturing emerging leaders and fostering a culture of excellence within the dynamic realm of hospitality. In the GM show, industry leaders engaged in a comprehensive conversation about the strategic importance of nurturing and developing talent within the hospitality sector. 

The show began with the host Bhuvanesh Khanna putting up the first question to Arun Kumar on the art of talent cultivation by exploring the significance of nurturing and cultivating talent in the hospitality industry for sustainable growth and excellence. To this, Kumar said, “Hospitality industry is all about talent. To hold talent, you have to have opportunities for people. It’s about spotting the right talent, giving them the opportunity to grow and putting them in the right jobs. Fishing in different ponds is the key. What motivates people is training and rotating their job functions. Attracting talent to come and work for the industry has been one of the key things in the last three-four years.”

The next question was directed to Bhagwan Balani, only this time the question was asked by the moderator Arun Kumar. He asked how can a robust talent ecosystem that can attract, retain and develop skilled professionals within the hospitality sector? Balani explained, “Building talent has been the key in the hospitality industry. At ITC Hotels, we value proposition which is to attract the right fit talent. Some of the key focus areas we all in the hotel industry look for is to train and equip our individuals in skills and knowledge in their chosen fields. In creating a robust work force, fostering a culture of continuous learning by connecting with them collaborating, exchanging knowledge and retreating the essence of teamwork combined with the magic of togetherness can bridge all the gaps.”

The moderator then turned to Salil Fadnis and asked him to delve into the role of organiaational culture in fostering talent development, job satisfaction and employee loyalty to craft a winning work culture. Fadnis shared, “Give your employees the independence and authority on the floor to do the jobs effectively. Trust is a fundamental component for a very healthy atmosphere you need to create. Seniors in the organisation need to live by its core values else the team will never be serious about anything. You need to trust your employees and creates a very healthy work atmosphere. Give your employees the independence and the authority that they need on the floor, and they will do their jobs effectively.”

Next up was the question for Srinivas Lahiri on the success stories of individuals who started as trainees and progressed to leadership positions. “I have had my share of highs and lows but my journey from being a catering assistant to a General Manager has been phenomenal. I strongly feel the only industry where close to 70 per cent of the people who join at entry levels or as trainees make it to the leadership team. Our hardworking and talented employees today are the leaders of tomorrow. I strongly feel that it is the responsibility of the leadership team at the hotel to spot the right talent at the right time. Investing in training and grooming talent will not be enough. You need to provide them technical and managerial skills so that they become effective leaders,” he explained.

Sharing insights into the benefits of mentorship programmes and strategies to guide and empower aspiring talent, Vishrut Gupta said, “In hotels, mentorship has been the cornerstone at every step. When a person comes out of college to management training sharing the experience always defines an individual and organisation. The key focus to accelerate a forward planning is about having a micro connection between a mentor and mentee’s relationship. In the last three years, we are lucky to grow about 35 per cent of the talent from within the organisation through various training programmes and celebrate success within.”

After another round of interesting questions to each of the panellists, the show culminated with the host-moderator Bhuvanesh Khanna thanking the esteemed panellists for sharing their thoughts and views on the subject and informing about the next GM Show at 4 pm on September 8.


Around The World