Taylors University Malaysia’s, School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Events, held an exclusive event for the Master in International Hospitality Management (MIHM) programme students called the GM Roundtable Online Forum: Stop! Look! Go!. Attended by a mix of senior hospitality experts, the hospitality roundtable focused on taking stock of the present situation and planning for the future.
Sharing a key piece of advice with students, Mr. Bipan Kapur, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur said “commoditise your skills and passion”. Even as he predicts a shortage in human resources when the pandemic situation recovers he confirmed that Marriott continued focus on expansion.
Mr. Alex Porteous, GM Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur says that “A master prepares you for the future” and the hotel business model needs to be more resilient and responsive. He encouraged the students to “Be Curious! Be Friendly! Be Objective! Be Patient! Be Flexible! Be Agile!”.
Mr. Mohamed Solah, Cluster GM, Zaya Hospitality, Dubai, an alumna of the Bachelor (Hons) Hospitality and Tourism Studies. He affirms that there are future opportunities for master graduates depending on “how much you want to invest in yourself?”.
Mr. Kirinjit Singh, GM of AC Hotels by Mariott says that “The right attitude is the best quality an employee can possess. Working in the hospitality industry is not a job, it’s a lifestyle”.
Sharing his thoughts on the topic of women-only hotels, when asked by some students, Mr. Solah said that the success of the women-only hotels would depend on the culture of the country. It Maybe not be successful in the western countries but maybe a sound idea in some conservative Middle East countries.
Answering questions from students, Mr. Bipan and Mr. Porteus contend that while there is much financial assistance provided to various sectors, nothing specific has been targeted to the Hospitality industry. Perhaps the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture can use this opportunity to upskill the hospitality industry and provide financial assistance in terms of salary and utility subsidies.
Some key take away from the GM Roundtable was to focus on sustainable practices, provide unique services, and advise graduating students to come into the industry with a positive attitude to achieve their goals.
The event was organized by a team of senior lecturers from the School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Events, Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management at Taylor’s University, Dr. Shantini Thuraiselvam, Dr. Mayukh Dewan, Dr. Suresh Kannan, and Ms. Zuratulraha Binti Jaffar.