Diversity is in the DNA of Hospitality Industry
Located in the heart of the capital city, GMR Aerocity has emerged as an experiential destination that offers a world in a city to its visitors. From dining to entertainment & shopping; there is always more on the offer here. Not just this, the hospitality district at Aerocity is a hub of diversity and inclusion that lets you create memories like no other. Saying this, it also makes us say that ‘Diversity is in the DNA of the Hospitality Industry.’ The hospitality industry has always been a pioneer in embracing diversity. It encompasses a wide range of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, bars & event spaces; and employs people from all walks of life. Its success is built on the foundation of its people, who bring different perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table. In fact, diversity is not just a buzzword in the hospitality industry; it is a key element of the industry’s DNA. As the world becomes more diverse, it is essential for businesses to reflect that diversity in their workforce. A diverse workforce can lead to increased innovation, creativity, and better decision-making. It’s absolutely mesmerizing to see how this modern and cosmopolitan ecosystem of hospitality involves visitors from all backgrounds while providing equal opportunities for all.
Let’s see it from the eyes of Kamal Kant Pant, Principal, Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition (IHM) Pusa, who explains how diversity is an integral part of the hospitality industry.
Diversity in the composition of a society, managed effectively, is the greatest strength any society could ever have. Having diverse points of view in any situation is an antidote against mediocrity resulting out of groupthink and stereotypical views. Many great countries of our times have painstaking incorporated the diversity in their demographics. Take for example the diverse visa scheme in practice in the US, which micromanages inculcation of diversity in their society by offering the diverse visa lottery programme, targeting nationalities and ethnicities from across the world, not only making it the largest economy and the undisputed global superpower, but a multicultural society which attracts the best talent from across the world, paving way for it to become stronger and yet more developed. What works for a society at the macro level also works for the organizations and industries at the smaller scale.
In the third world, hotels were considered to be oasis in the deserts of poor civic amenities and sanitation by the travelers from the first world. For the people working in the hospitality, their work life was no less than a glimpse into the developed world. The interaction with multicultural, multilinguistic, multinational, and multi-ethnic communities was believed to have emancipated the outlook and the worldview of the people working in the hotels to cultivate a totally diverse culture in the hotels. The converse of this statement holds true too, wherein hotels became like oasis of equality, meritocracy and growth for employees coming from societies riddled with caste, creed, language, religious and other types of prejudices in the larger society. Having worked in this industry for over three decades, I can vouch that in this industry, anybody could progress to the highest possible level in hierarchy, irrespective of one’s name, ethnicity, or the place of origin, provided he has been committed to his profession, loyal to his employers has been honing his skills consistently -both trade and people skills.
Hotel and the allied industry, popularly termed as the hospitality industry, by nature, ingrains the diversity in its employees and having realized its benefits, the industry is taking further strides in many strategic areas. One, in which I feel proud that hospitality industry has been playing a pioneering role, is the inclusion of differently abled persons. There are specific areas where specially-abled people have excelled and performed as well as the normal people in instilling a sense of welcome and care in their clients. There are a few pioneering thought leaders who have taken the early lead in this domain and developed successful models of employment for such people for the others to follow. Cities and suburban areas used to be the source market for the service providers of the hospitality industry initially. With the preference shifting to IT enabled service sectors and other knowledge work areas, the source ground for hospitality is now shifting to rural areas and small towns by large corporate houses under the skill India mission.
I have witnessed numerous success stories of people who have emerged from not only rural areas but from the tribal hinterland of central India and mastered the hospitality proficiencies well enough to make a mark for themselves. With such success stories, the positive spin off is that investors are more and more confident to develop experiential products in the hinterland which has nature and wildlife as the main attraction and provide employment opportunities in the interiors of the country curbing the migration of people to cities. Hospitality industry has always been a pioneer in gender equality, opening its doors to women, allowing them to excel in certain areas of operations. The scenario having changed, sees women in all departments of the businesses, including the board rooms. Lately, when our society started accepting the presence of the third gender, this industry is again the front runner in accepting them in the workforce. It is in this area that the hospitality industry has taken a bold step by opening their doors to this section of society and skill them in the mainstream vocations and providing them the ecosystem and the respect that they deserve
GMR Aerocity attracts a mindboggling diversity of visitors round the year. And it’s on account of diversity of experiences that it offers, from food, fests and facilities to events, cultures and celebrations. Aerocity, New Delhi, is indeed a melting pot of cultures and aspirations and this is what makes it an epitome of diversity and inclusion.