Anjali Kamat, General Manager of Resort de Alturas
25 years ago, Anjali Kamat, saw an advertisement wherein a 6 months training course was being offered by Cidade De Goa. She has successfully completed Instrumentation Engineering at that point of time but realized that she was not enjoying it and decided to enter the hospitality industry through this training program. For her practical training she was placed in a coffee shop and she felt this is what she loves, this is in her blood and this is precisely the industry she should be in. She was passionate about her work and fell in love with it.
Coming from a conservative family, Anjali faced difficulties to manage with her night and afternoon shifts. She was being promoted to the Captain level at Cidade de Goa but had to refuse the offer as the night shifts would not be possible for her to attend. She was deeply upset of this move that she was forced to take because she really wanted to grow.
Then there came a point while she was working as a Sales Executive at Taj Fort Aguada, the Food and Beverage Manager at Cidade de Goa, Mr. Alok Verma, joined The Sun Village and asked her to join as a Front Office Executive. She went for the opportunity even though she had 5 years of FNB experience and knew very little of the Front Office. During her time there she learnt many things and after completing 3 to 4 years at Sun Village, she got married and took a break for almost a year as she was on maternity leave.
She mentions, “For a lady it becomes more difficult to get back. I was not in the position of Front Office Manager before my break at Sun Village and when I left, the Housekeeping Manager was promoted and given additional responsibility of the Front office. I was told that I would not be able to do justice to the job since I have a child now. I knew it was not fair and I honestly did not like it one bit. Yet, I said yes when I was given the role of Guest Relations. In a way, I was demoted and was quite hurt. I asked myself ‘Why do women have to suffer like this. It does not happen to men and it is not justified.’ I must say that the D’souza group was like a family to me. There are times where your baby is sick or the maid is not come and you as a mother have to go back. During this time they were considerate of my position.”
Anjali also was a part of Whispering Palms as Deputy Front Office Manager and later promoted within 6 months as a Front Office Manager. She then joined at La Calypso in the same capacity. Eventually she got into Resort Rio, again, as a Front Office Manager. Within 2 to 3 years, she was promoted as an Operations Manager and Business Development. Finally she came to Resort de Alturas and has been here for the past 6 years as a General Manager.
Her definition of success is simple. She says, “Success depends upon the individual. You have to be passionate about anything you are doing. Considering my case, I would say that, I got my success because there was a lot of determination and I was passionate about my job. I give my job my 100%. I was also blessed to have some wonderful people in my life who have helped me in my journey and guided me in what I should be doing.”
She expresses that one of the three challenges faced by hoteliers is the challenge of manpower. “You do not get local staff and must depend on other states for filling our staffing requirement. Second would be the tough competition because there are too many hotels that are coming up now a days and they are all categorized as a three star or a four star hotel. There is no swimming pool or even if there is a pool, it is the size of a pond. As per the guidelines a hotel must have a certain number of rooms, air conditioning, swimming pool and restaurant and other facilities to be categorized as a three star or a four star but that too is not justified. Thirdly, it would be the cost of transportation that is very expensive in Goa. When a person comes from Bombay paying Rs. 2500/- and has to pay the same amount to go from the airport to Baga is not justified.”
In order to overcome these problems, Anjali expresses that. “We have to work hand in hand with the authorities for the transportation. There has to be some standard. They have started with a taxi system but you don’t get it everywhere. The metropolitan cities have Ola or Uber. Goa is the most wanted destination in the entire country and the world. There are many destinations coming up like Thailand or Sri Lanka and we are losing a lot of revenue because these are cheap holidays that are being provided. It is more expensive to travel from Delhi to Goa than from Delhi to Thailand. So we are losing a lot of revenue because there is so much cost involved in taxis. So the authorities should work hand in hand with the hoteliers. We have to streamline it.”
She also mentions that Goa is always going to be a hot spot for the tourists. They look forward to coming to Goa because from Bangalore or Pune you can just drive down to Goa. The international or the Russian market and the English people are very fond of Goa. The infrastructure, the roads and we ourselves should develop to attract people to come here.
“In 5 years I would like to look after a group of hotels, maybe handle another 2 or 3 hotels as a Group Operations Manager or Area General Manager.”
It is her passion to meet different people from different cultures and from different countries. “I love meeting them, talking to them and understanding them”, she says.
“When my staff is happy, I believe, they are able to give their unconditional service to the guest. Sales has also been my passion. If I get any query, it is my passion to see that I get it materialized. I also have a passion to make budgets.”
Lastly she would like to say, “I hope that this is a better place for everyone. Goa is looked upon as a favorite destination as it has been looked upon in the past. The officials need to take it very seriously in streamlining the transportation and the cleanliness which is very important.”