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My Surname is Hospitality, the 2nd Generation

A predominant feature in families around the world foresees that in the advent of a marriage, the to-be wedded bride and groom should carry with them a skill set of household handling qualities. These qualities are imbibed, learned, trained, or reinforced by the senior generation to the next but this tradition seldom finds its way forward in magnitude. I am not here to blame the gap, but stand by the progression in the society as well as the lifestyles of the next-gen and they are way ahead of time, I must say.Having said that after spending a whopping 25 years in the hospitality industry, I am delighted to see the next-gen emerging as a boon through the hospitality expertise of the parent generation by virtue of ignited passion to the core, taking hospitality education by choice and exploring the variant skill placement venues. A huge round of applause  to the hospitality industry to infuse this exploration.

We have to accept the fact that the major share of the hospitality graduates is taking a paradigm shift to retail whether food or non-food retail as their primary career choice while the second major chunk is studious enough to pursue further degrees. So the net outcome of the hospitality graduates graduating as the main stand, does not suffice the demand of the hotel industry. We can endlessly debate on persistent hospitality issues like the long job hours, meager pay package, sedimentary promotion, etc., or the skill set or the level of passion in the yesterday years as to next gen-chefs. A simple fact is that  Chefs cannot be replaced to dish out food in a professional arena. Here we see light at the end of the tunnel - the 2ndgeneration, who are not heirs, yet passionate enough to groom themselves to (can't understand the usage of live in the context)live the hotels, restaurants, food businesses, and grow ahead.

We witness various traits and trades where the business continues as a family tradition for generations. There are entrepreneurial start-ups in hospitality from people of non-hospitality -related backgrounds for eg: MBA grads, IIM grads, ICT, Doctors, Builders, and Hobby-to-Career etc. While most of the parent generation wish to keep the next-gen out of their exploited career choice, and further explore the umpteen career options available today; interestingly, the mighty children find their way to continue the professional legacy to the next level of hoteliering.

Cases don't stop to enthrall us. We have seen husbands joined by wives and vice versa, we also see father/mother chefs/ restaurateurs joined by their sons/ daughters, a mother–son duo taking home kitchen to the world, a grandfather to father to son expanding the restaurant biz,  mother-daughter baking for the glocal (can't understand glocal or maybe the writer wants to say-local) celebrations, just a part-time activity becoming a full-time entity. These will entail as many permutation combinations, only to create success stories to keep the hospitality industry live and kicking. I would like to thank one of my mentors, underlying this affinity to remind me that the 2nd generation is on the go.

While these 2nd generation hospitality warriors are already getting ready for tomorrow, we can provide a little help at our level, in our reach to substantiate the cause. My view is to increase the practical skill % by large in the hospitality education curriculum and reinforce with specialized syllabi abreast with today's industry requirements and expectations.

The moral of the story is that the parents are also in the same race alongside where the hospitality schools continue to create the skill talent supply for the hospitality and allied industries. We must support to equip even the fresher talent acquisition for even happier days for the hotel industry. Thank you to the versatile hotel, restaurant,  food biz, etc. - an industry in itself to adopt and make us adept.

Yours Skill-fully,

Dr. Salla Vijay Kumar

(This story has been published under arrangement from Better Kitchen magazine)

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