According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the hospitality industry accounts for 10% of global GDP and provides 1 in 10 jobs worldwide. However, the industry is now facing massive sales losses and low-capacity utilization throughout the world. “COVID -19 impacted hospitality and its education globally. We were no exception. But we dealt with the situation very calmly yet pro-actively,” comments Yashik Aggarwal, General Secretary. Ambala Institute of Hotel Management (AIHM).
Around December 2020, when the first wave of coronavirus was tapering, the institute decided to send its 3rd Semester students for a mandatory 3-month Industry Training. “All our students came back healthy before the quest of the second wave, and we utilized the gap between the two waves. All the theory components were finished online for batches of students who were not on campus. We conducted back-to-back practical classes when students came back to the campus and ensured that they did not miss much concerning the course delivery,” states Yashik.
Though the pandemic has led to the closure of the whole world, AIHM was positive during the lockdown period. In fact, unlike many brick-and-mortar colleges that struggled during the pandemic, AIHM took online education to a whole new level. “As hotel management is similar to home science, we offered practical classes for a few subjects like food production, F&B service to our students along with their mothers and sisters. Our chefs gave live food demos to them, and they learned new recipes and cooking methods. The response was overwhelming as we received a lot of positive feedback towards our study methods from parents,” shares Yashik.
Aiding Overall Student Development
AIHM was established in 2019 with zeal to impart education and to meet the needs of the hospitality industry, keeping in mind the skill development towards hospitality. With a campus area of over 6.5 acres that is pollution-free and well-connected, the institute has emerged as a leading training institution in North India in a short time. Aspiring to be a Centre of Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism studies, AIHM is enhancing the practices of each specialization and preparing students to meet the challenges and needs of global industry.
The institute is committed to being a platform for transformative impact on society through skill development, entrepreneurship, vibrant and responsible education, research, and development with employees worldwide. “We endeavour to be the preeminent research organization that advances the boundaries of theoretical and applied research for hospitality and tourism academia, students, the global hospitality and tourism industry,” says Yashik.
Dedicated to excellence in student development, AIHM creates a healthy environment for education and disseminating knowledge of the hospitality and tourism industry. The institute prepares individuals with an academic foundation for lifelong learning and focuses on their overall development to help them become global leaders. Besides, AIHM is at the forefront of research, creating knowledge to offer optimal solutions to diverse challenges. “We dedicate ourselves to hospitality research with support to inquiries that are related to tourism and hospitality. We believe that all students must be challenged, secure results, and high performance. In our supportive and secure environment, we aid continuous improvement that yields excellence,” opines Yashik.
Simulating students for a bright future, which will benefit the students greatly, AIHM opts for OTO personalized feedback system toward their achievement, failures, projects, and clear learning objectives. “We have an inhouse Five-star Training Hotel on campus and culinary art studio through which students can get more live practical exposer In terms of Modern Equipment & Labs. We have routine sessions of motivators / physiological test, along with our ‘AIHM Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation,’” adds Yashik.
Shaping Industry Leaders of Tomorrow
AIHM has an Industry-Oriented Curriculum that is more focused on research related to the hospitality sector. It increases students’ ability and creative thinking. At AIHM, students actively learn by problem-solving, situation handling, quiz, debate, live practical sessions on social media, and many more. To augment the effectiveness of its curriculum, the institute has collaborated with several players in the industry. “The collaborations with industry help us in many ways, that include additional development and training for our students. Sometimes companies offer the opportunity in exchange programs, which aids in boosting their career,” states Yashik. AIHM has partnered with Amul Industries, Super Milk Industry, Humane Society International, TAAI, HSRI, HAI, Punjab & Haryana Bar Association, and the Russian Information Center in India.
Despite being an emerging institution in the Indian Hospitality and Tourism Education sector, AIHM has already produced some proud students. While some AIHM students have started their food ventures, many more have received job offers during their Industrial Training in the 3rd Semester. With an active Training and Placement Cell, AIHM is dedicated to train and prepare the students to face interviews at various 5-star hotels worldwide. The placement team is also continuously maintaining professional relations with the Human Resource team of Hotels in India and abroad.
AIHM now plans to start the placement drive for its final year students in early September and continue till March, giving them a platform to seek jobs and ensure 100% placements. “We feel innovation is an ability that comes from thinking. It motivates students to have a positive attitude towards their career goals and helps them shape a brighter future for themselves. We aspire to take the legacy of experienced hoteliers and entrepreneurs forward by bridging the gap between education, training, and personnel development for the industry,” concludes Yashik.