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Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa was set up as an extension of the global vision of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, the oldest hotel school in the world. The institution is focused on being a school of excellence for future hospitality leaders and entrepreneurs. By Sudipta Dev

Yateendra Sinh

Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa recently achieved two significant milestones – moving into its new state-of-the-art campus and the passing out of its first batch of students. The institution aims to be the premier hospitality education centre in Asia for future hospitality leaders and entrepreneurs. “Our mission is to develop hospitality management talent and ensure long-term sustainability of the hospitality industry. We programme the hearts and minds of students and young executives,” says Yateendra Sinh, CEO, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting.

Founded in 1893, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne is the oldest hotel school in the world. And as an extension of its vision Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne supports the development of schools in other parts of the world. “We are able to graduate only 500 students every year in Lausanne,” states Sinh, pointing out that, there is a war for talent now. Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne is involved in building of academic institutions and have similar schools in different parts of the world like Brazil, Mexico, Lebanon, Dubai, Thailand, South Korea and China. “We add on an average one school every year, though we get requests from one school every week. Wherever we are we only work with the best – that is our local strategy,” adds Sinh. He acknowledges that it is not an easy task to instil a global structure into a local culture.

Forums are organised in Lausanne and different parts of the world. A Young Hospitality Summit is also held in Lausanne. There are several opportunities for students to interact with the global community. “We encourage them to explore themselves. They can also apply for a semester abroad,” mentions Sinh. He avers that hospitality as a career is rising in terms of respect and desire.

Rony Kurien, chief operating officer, Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa states that the institute is positioned as a hospitality management college of excellence. “We nurture hospitality leaders and entrepreneurs,” he asserts. The four-year Undergraduate Programme in Hospitality Management has a unique curriculum, there are eight semesters of six months each including two business internships with leading hotel brands. “It is a hands-on interactive and technology enabled learning experience,” says Kurien. The new 67,000 sq ft campus has four large restaurants, an amphitheatre, cyber hotel, wine tasting lab, training and display kitchen, mock guest room, and an IT lab.

In addition to traditional courses in F&B, they are also teaching management, HR, grooming, cross culture training, etc. One of the recent developments, according to Kurien, is that the institution has been approached by two large hotel groups for recruiting students and grooming them for leadership positions. Students are being placed with ITC Hotels, The Oberoi Group, Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, and others. A large percentage of students at the institute come from families who own hotels. Kurien is proud of the fact that a few of the students are keen to set up diverse ventures – for instance a chocolate factory in India and a cheese factory.

All the faculty are trained and certified in Switzerland. Audits are conducted every six months. The course content is vetted in Switzerland. “Ecole system of learning is such that it places the onus of learning on the students,” states Kurien.

The faculty is known as the facilitator as they clarify the concepts. Most of the faculty members are former industry people. There are also external faculty – for subjects like finance, marketing, branding, etc.

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