Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Goa has been grooming hospitality aspirants for 48 years now. Donna D’Souza, principal of the institute, talks about the new prospects in the industry and the institute’s efforts to develop employable skills among its students
By Mohit Rathod
Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Goa has grown from a food craft institute to a premier hospitality institute in India, training and developing skills of youth from Goa and other parts of the country. Goa is an international tourist destination, making IHM Goa the choice for aspirants in the hospitality industry, as they get to witness tourism operations first-hand. “IHM Goa has matched the demand for skilled staffing needs of the industry. In the last few years we have expanded our infrastructure- designing a new wing with some of the best facilities and equipment in the country. This has been done keeping the environment in mind – segregation of garbage for recycling and treatment, solar heating and lighting, bio-gas, etc. Faculty members have been sent for trainer development programmes to Lausanne, Switzerland as well as to reputed star category hotels in order to get them exposed to latest trends,” says Donna D’Souza, principal, IHM Goa.
IHM Goa is recognised for its contribution towards identifying talents in the hospitality industry, and for developing skills of aspiring individuals. Commenting on the same, D’Souza states, “Our intake per year is 450 odd students for the graduate and certificate courses. Besides these courses, we have certified 650 workers in the ‘Hunar se Rozgar Tak’ programme and 725 workers in the ‘Capacity Building for Service Providers/ Skill Testing’ programme, besides serving as mentor to the star classified hotels.”
Changing trends, new prospects
With the advent of new career opportunities and emergence of the hospitality industry as a growing career preference, the industry is witnessing more and more aspirants. D’Souza elaborates, “Students today have a much wider choice, and those aspiring to be in the hospitality industry are no different. They are well-informed of opportunities in terms of post-graduate studies and internships abroad. Moreover, after graduating from our institute, students are also picked up by not just hotels, but also airlines, travel and tourism industry, banking, and retail where hospitality skills are in demand.”
Identification of talents and grooming of skills is followed by good placement opportunities, to ensure that young skilled candidates are directed to the best suitable job. Over the years IHM Goa has developed strong ties with big names in the hospitality industry. “Our students are groomed from the first day after their admission to the institute and prepared for their smooth transition into the industry. In their second year of the course, students are given exposure in all core departments of the hotel with a view of giving them an actual experience of working and dealing with guests and colleagues. During this time students generally firm up their decisions on their careers in the hospitality industry. IHM Goa arranges campus interviews for graduating students in their final year,” states D’Souza.
IHM Goa has all the requisites for a unique learning experience. The institute’s facilities for learning encourage a hands-on experience which is crucial for an industry which demands a hospitality experience rather than just a service. D’Souza points out, “You will find that our students generally have an attitude of ‘work hard and play harder’. This is because we at IHM Goa, encourage and insist on a ‘can-do’ attitude and the all-round development of an individual rather than a bookish approach to learning.”
Speaking about her vision for the institute, D’Souza states, “I have recently taken over the reins as principal of IHM Goa, an institute that has served Goa and India for the last 48 years. The hospitality industry worldwide is fast changing and evolving – our institute is focused on creating an environment, wherein students are continually challenged. Change is never easy, yet it’s about challenging, inspiring, and helping our students to make the dramatic transformations necessary, changes that are positive, attainable, and vital.”
IHM Goa has been associated with the University of Antwerp since 2015 for internship and project survey for students.