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The industry offers many opportunities

Sunil Kumar, regional director, human resources — India, Hilton Worldwide, on the sector’s outlook and what it takes to get into it

education Updated: May 22, 2012 15:43 IST
Rahat Bano

What do you look for in a good candidate for a job as an F&B manager and an executive chef?
As part of our recruitment philosophy besides technical skills, great emphasis is laid upon core competencies like customer focus, leadership and result orientation. In being head of department positions, it is imperative the candidates have a collaborative management style. Last but not least, the incumbents must have the ability to be true to the Hilton values of hospitality, integrity, leadership, teamwork, ownership and now.

Where do you usually recruit F&B managers and chefs from and how? Do you conduct only interviews? What does the recruitment process involve?
For managerial positions, as part of our internal development programme, we endeavour to transfer or promote team members from within the Hilton Worldwide network of more than 3800 hotels in 88 countries. However, at times when the company’s network is growing rapidly, as it is at present in India — we opened six hotels last year and expect to launch another six hotels this year — we identify talent from elsewhere in the industry.

The selection process involves multiple rounds of interviews. For a chef’s position, the candidate is also required to undertake a “Trade Test”.

What’s the (employment) scope in the hospitality sector in India?
According to data available, currently India has approximately 165,000 hotel rooms, 71,500 of which are branded (includes domestic and international brands). Another 61,000 (source: HVS Trends & Opportunities) hotel rooms are expected to be added to the inventory in the next four to five years (more than doubling within a short period).

The hospitality industry in India offers phenomenal opportunities. The fundamentals that drive growth in the industry are strong and these will continue to propel the sector. We are focusing a significant amount of our development effort on India. We opened six hotels in India last year, and expect increasing our presence in the country to 14 operating hotels by the end of this year and 50 hotels in the next five years.

What would you advise aspiring F&B managers and chefs?
On account of being among the critical stakeholders in the success of a hotel, a proactive approach of acting upon customer needs and opportunities will stand them in good stead.

The fundamentals that drive growth in the industry are strong and these will continue to propel the sector Sunil Kumar - regional director, human resources - India, Hilton Worldwide

Coordinated by Rahat Bano