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Excellence in service

The top brass of Oberoi hotels still comes from this centre, which was conceived to meet the high standards of the hotel chain’s founder

education Updated: Jun 16, 2010 10:06 IST
HT Horizons Correspondent

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1966, when he established the Oberoi School of Hotel Management (OSHM) or Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD) as it is now known, Rai Bahadur MS Oberoi, founder chairman of The Oberoi Group recognised the chain’s need for the right profile of people to breathe life into the modern hotels he was building.



Ranking high in all parameters in the Hindustan Times-C fore survey of top institutions across the country, the OCLD is on the cusp a turn in its history as it gets set to move to newly constructed premises.



The school was established as a corporate university where young people could be groomed through a combination of academic instruction and comprehensive on-the-job experience. In 1996, the school was renamed OCLD. To this day, most senior managers with The Oberoi Group — vice presidents, corporate directors, general managers and executive committee members — are graduates of OCLD; and a reservoir of up and comers are running The Oberoi Group’s restaurants, kitchens, housekeeping and lobbies, and proceeding to the next level of their careers.



“Our approach to quality is to share good practices internally and to look outside for informed practice (not best practice). Related quality principles include; design quality to continuously improve and sustain,” says, Dr Paul Zupan, dean, OCLD.



All students, or associates, at OCLD commence their training at the physical centre, located at the Maidens Hotel, Delhi.



They are based there for two years under the stewardship of a permanent faculty, who use interactive methods of teaching, learning and assessment to develop the assocaites, personally as well as professionally.



The programmes are highly structured, fully documented and internationally benchmarked.



There are robust systems for the management, delivery and quality assurance of the programmes, to ensure that they are consistent in status, standards, level and career trajectory.



The three two-year post-graduate diploma programmes are offered in guest service management, housekeeping management, and kitchen management.



The programmes are divided into three stages, each of which has 14 weeks of theory and practice at OCLD followed by a lengthy period of professional experience at The Oberoi Group’s hotels. The associates come from diverse backgrounds.



Some are university graduates; some have attended an institute of hotel management; others have been educated overseas and then there are some others, who have already worked with The Group for a year or two.



Knowledge of a third language (other than the mother tongue and English) is an important asset for hotel professionals. To this end, associates at OCLD can choose a language elective to study throughout their two years. They can choose from Arabic, French, German and Japanese.



Alternating stints at OCLD, the associates undergo three phases of structured professional experience for a total of 52 weeks.



During each phase they apply the knowledge and skills they have learned during the preceding component based at OCLD.



When the associates are being recruited for OCLD, one of the key requisite qualities is the ‘service ethic’.



The Oberoi Group states that it needs people who demonstrate that they have a passion for assisting people, solving their problems, anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations.