Harvard students say Wah Taj
Courage is corporate virtue. The bravery shown by employees at Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel during the 26/11 terror attack in 2008 features in a case study at Harvard Business School.
As many as 12 of those employees died in the attack.
The selfless service of the staff, who went beyond duty, features in the multimedia case study, Terror at the Taj Bombay: Customer-Centric Leadership by HBS professor Rohit Deshpande.
"Even though the employees knew all the back exits and could have fled the building, some stayed back to help the guests," said Deshpande.
"Not even senior managers could explain the behaviour of these employees."
The study focuses on why the employees stood their ground, ignoring their own safety to save guests, to find how that level of dedication to work can be replicated elsewhere.
It also looks at the hotel's history, its approach to recruiting and training employees and Indian culture's 'Guest is God' philosophy.
Taj Hotels said it shared details for the study that was first presented in HBS in the fall session last year, when senior managers of the group were invited to meet the students in an interactive session.
"Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces is honoured to be a part of the Harvard Business School case study in which the spirit, loyalty and resilience of our employees during the crisis has been recognized as an exemplary display of leadership," said a spokesperson for the Tata group hotel.
The study follows US President Barack Obama's visit to Mumbai on November 6, 2010 when he praised the Taj employees.
Leading the dedicated tribe was the hotel's general manager Karambir Kang, who persisted with rescue efforts even after he lost his own family in the attack.