As regional director South Asia, Middle East & Sub-Saharan Afric,t Sommet Education, Adrian Artimov counsels, guides and recruits candidates for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of Swiss institutions Glion and Les Roches, two of the top-ranked hospitality management schools in the world. In an exclusive interview with Express Food & Hospitality, he elucidates on the Covid-19 impact on hospitality education and the India market
What impact will Covid-19 have on hospitality education? What will be the scenario in the post-Covid-19 era?
The hospitality industry is one of the most impacted in the Covid-19 context, with a lot of the hotels and restaurants of the world being closed, with very limited travel opportunities, with no celebrations, no events, and very limited social interaction. And this industry is all about interaction, being out and enjoying life.
Will this stop? Will people stop enjoying life? Will people stop traveling? Will people stop eating, dancing, having fun? No! Will they do it differently? Yes!
The hospitality industry will have to adapt, and very fast, to the post Covid-19 era. A new set of skills will be needed for a new way of doing hospitality: new ways of sitting the customers in a restaurant, of welcoming them in a hotel or flying them to their dream destination.
And with the entire industry currently racing to adapt and transition to the new way of doing business, the hospitality education sector will also have to transform its curriculum, making it relevant to a post Covid-19 context by focusing it on teaching a much needed new set of skills. Adapting the business model, innovating the customer experience, re-thinking the offer and the overall product delivery – just a few of the critical focus areas in the next 6 to 12 months and for which, we at Les Roches, are already preparing our students for.
In particular, together with our sister brand, Glion Institute of Higher Education, our faculty and task force at Sommet Education, the hospitality education group that Les Roches is a part of, have developed an exceptional online series “Leading Hospitality Through Turbulent Times” which provide the students from Glion and Les Roches with an opportunity to attend interactive sessions hosted by both faculties and global leaders from hospitality, finance, luxury and other key sectors. Through live panel discussions, webinars, Q&A sessions and participation of individual guest speakers the students gain numerous great insights they can use to better prepare themselves for their future careers in the post-Covid world presenting challenges of all scales and types.
Where does India figure in student population at Les Roches? Which cities in India do this demographic come from?
India, with its rich hospitality history, is one of Les Roches’ most important student recruitment markets with students joining us from all over India.
Which of Les Roches courses are most popular among Indian students?
Our BBA in Global Hospitality Management and the MBA in Global Hospitality Management programmes are the most popular, but we do see an increased interest in our newest offering, the Master’s in Hospitality Strategy and Digital Transformation programme.
What promotional campaigns are in the pipeline for the India market? Any partnerships with Indian hospitality schools?
We are running at the moment our Les Roches #Next Disruptor campaign which is aimed at generating and rewarding industry disruptive ideas. Aspiring undergraduate and postgraduate students from India can test their disruptive mind set and, in the process, win several exciting scholarships for our BBA in Global Hospitality Management and the Master’s in Hospitality Strategy and Digital Transformation programmes. Please access our campaign’s landing page: https://learn.lesroches.edu/next-disruptor-undergraduate.html
How will the F&B function be impacted in hotels post Covid-19? What career advice would you give to aspiring F&B managers?
The F&B department will be one of the most impacted by the current context as this is the function facing customers the most. How will the breakfast or brunch set-up look like, will you still be able to have a drink at the bar, order something in the room or enjoy a nice dinner with your big family in your preferred restaurant? These are some of the questions that the F&B managers will have to answer by adapting and innovating the set-up, the offer and, ultimately ensure a five-star customer experience. A successful F&B department is key for any hotel out there and I would recommend all aspiring F&B managers to take the jump now and join the industry: we need now, more than ever, passionate, hard working professionals to join the industry and help it bounce back. And no one can do it better than the young Indian F&B professionals.