Students from the Hotel Management course at CEDP (Council of Education & Development Programmes Pvt. Ltd.) Thane competed against each other to win the coveted title of master mixologist at the recently concluded Indian Summer Cooler Fest. This contest brought together the student batches who displayed their astute knowledge of ingredients and mixology techniques to create unique mocktails.
The judging panel included Cordon Bleu Chef Michael Swamy; Pooja Bimrah- Former Miss India; Pooja Ketan Naik – Opera Mrs. India Global 2018 Runner up and Geeta Sridhar – Master Chef finalist. The winning drink – The Street by Aditya Mehta, from the competition will be a part of the menu at all the hotels of the Kamat Group. The Indian Summer Cooler Fest had close to 180 students from CEDP participating in the preliminary round, out of which only 10 made it to the finals. The large number of participants also highlighted the fact that students who are aspiring to be a part of the hospitality sector look towards bartending and mixology as a serious profession.
Commenting on the occasion, Shaheen Khan, founder & CEO, CEDP Skill Institute, said, “Having been in the skills training industry for close to a decade, we at CEDP Skill Institute have seen an exponential growth in the number of students opting for the Hotel Management course at our institute. While most of the students have been successfully placed at various 5-star hotels across the globe, we realised that there’s a need to create a platform which would enable our students to showcase their talent and skills to a broader audience. We are glad that through The Indian Summer Cooler Fest, we were able to celebrate our in-house talent and aid them in reaching out to a larger number of the audience”.
Commenting on the opportunities present in the F&B sector, Vasim Shaikh, group chairman and MD, CEDP Skill Institute, said, “The opportunity presented by the growing F&B industry has caught the eye of the aspiring young Indian entrepreneurs who have started looking at the F&B space as a go-to industry to realise his/her entrepreneurial dreams. The same is being reflected with the number of cafes, QSRs, bars, home kitchens or fine-dining restaurants springing up around us every almost every alternate day. Having a positive trickle-down effect on job creation within and outside the country. The stage is set for job seekers to acquire the required skills set and be a part of this booming hospitality sector. We at CEDP constantly look forward to providing skills training which are industry relevant and make our students job-ready.”
Furthermore shedding light on CEDP’s efforts to train and develop skilled professionals in the hospitality industry, Shaikh said, “Coming from a hospitality background, and the experience that I have accumulated over the years, it can be decoded that the industry needs young blood who are specifically trained and who also are go-getters. So, to work hard for long hours really doesn’t bother them. In order to prepare the young blood before entering into the industry, we give them both theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on so they are aware of what goes on in the industry comprehensively.”
Speaking about the reason behind high turnover rate in the hospitality industry, he added, “The main challenge in the hospitality industry is that it demands long working hours. When I was new in the industry, even I thought how will everything fall in place? but gradually the orientation came in. So one should be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared to work in the hospitality industry.”
When asked about the number of programmes offered by CEDP to the aspiring individuals prospecting to enter the hospitality industry, Shaikh replied that they provide the students with two programmes – one is Hotel Management programme and the second is International Hotel Management programme. “In the first programme, a one-year programme, the students are given six months of classroom training during which they are trained in all four core operational areas of the industry. The remaining six months is for on-job/internship for which we send our students to any of the five-star properties in Mumbai and they get to work for 26 weeks in all the core operational areas. At the end of these six months, their mindset is pretty clear of how the industry functions and they also have clarity about which department best suits them. So, that is the whole idea of this blended programme, so that the students have hands-on experience about the industry and its operations. The second programme is International Hotel Management, an extension of the one-year programme, where the first year training programme is followed by an extensive international internship. Currently, our students under this programme are doing internships in Le Meridien Hong Kong and the Hilton hotels in Dubai. Next, our students will be visiting Kuala Lumpur and a few European countries for their internships. This internship programme ranges from six to 24 months. The whole idea behind this programme is that, for 24 months, the students need to have an international experience, end objective of which is – any person with an international work experience of two years has a higher chance of getting employed while also having an international experience of having explored and worked with different cultures in different countries,” he added.
As of now in Mumbai, CEDP is tied-up with all the major five-star and four-star brands for taking their students as interns or permanent placements. Internationally, they are tied up with Le Meridien and IHG Group, informed Shaikh.