Atool Mulgaonkar, General Manager – Radisson Goa Candolim
Mr. Atool Mulgaonkar who hails from Goa, has completed his Hotel Management course from Pune. He carries with him an experience of almost three decades in the hospitality industry at different levels. Holding key positions, he has functioned effectively in various well known hotels like Cidade de Goa, Sun Village, Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, Spree Hotels and Radisson. He has come up the hard way in this fascinating and glamorous field by working in different departments of hospitality. His zeal for work, dedication, honesty, endurance and soaring aspirations have kept him going in spite of all odds. While at Dona Sylvia, he got an opportunity to work with Rajendran Menon & Vikram Antao from whom he has acquired a lot of knowledge in various aspects of hospitality like managing a hotel, different processes, business renovations, refurbishments, projects, people and many more to mention. He realised and also strongly believes that hospitality industry is nothing but people’s industry. According to him, manpower is the backbone of hospitality industry and yet its dearth never hinders the activities, if there is a good work culture.
He asserts that hospitality is the only profession in the world which will provide an exposure of many spheres like IT, Engineering, Finance, Projects, Administration, Sales and Marketing in addition to Food & Beverage, Accommodation, Material Varieties and Management and hence covers a wide strata which broadens one’s horizon. He strongly believes that if you have passion, good people skills, tenacity and good rapport and relationships with everyone, no one can stop you. So he advises the new comers and youngsters to be patient, have passion and respect for people and never get disheartened in the initial stages and give up, but march ahead with enthusiasm.If you like working with people and can handle challenges, he says this is the best industry to be in.
Talking about the key secret to his success, Mr. Atool says he is always true to himself. Honesty, integrity, transparency and respect for people have taken him a long way in his fulfilling and enriching journey of hospitality. Still travelling the path …
He agrees that IHM curriculum is now far better than in the past. He only feels that it should focus more on people handling, people skills, promoters and brand management, vendor handling and revenue management. It would also make a huge difference if students understand the HR aspect of the trade as well. If revenue management is incorporated, it will be of great use as he rightly says that, today revenue is most important as it invigorates the hotel’s success as in any other business.
With regards to employees, he says that a good work culture, provision of basic staff facilities like hygiene, employee cafeteria, right treatment, professional development and grievance redressal ensures employee satisfaction and retention.
As he believes that hospitality is people’s industry, he says that if the staff has the right attitude and proper upkeep of the property and team facilities is maintained, everything falls in place, which definitely assists in customer satisfaction and enhances their experience. So it is rightly said that “Customers may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel”.
Goa is variously known as the “Pearl of the Orient” and “Tourists Paradise” .But today tourism in Goa has been deteriorating dangerously, the reason being lack of proper planning and mismanagement especially in terms of infrastructure and services from the Government. Therefore Mr. Atool is of the opinion that the authorities must adopt a planned approach and provide for proper infrastructure, cleanliness, upkeep of its natural beauty and security of tourists. He says that authorities are the major stakeholders and if everything is well planned and managed resourcefully, Goa can definitely rank among the top ten tourist destinations worldwide.
As per his experience the biggest challenge for the hospitality industry is occupancy as in Goa it is seasonal business accompanied by cut throat competition. So revenue generation and maintaining quality standards also pose hindrances.
Being an experienced personality in this industry, he feels that there are cartels and strong bodies like TTAG and SKAL who have to impress upon the Ministry of Tourism with strong representations by the new and existing hoteliers on all issues resolution facing the trade. Such representations should convince and prove to the authorities that Tourism is a major revenue earner for the country. His opines that the central government should prioritise tourism, which will boost the domestic revenue and generate much foreign exchange. So automatically the slogans like Swacchh Bharat Abhiyan and Atithi Devo Bhava will fall in place and no longer remain just mere slogans. Tourism should not be put on back burner but should be on the forefront for the economy to be thriving and there are really great prospects for tourism.
It is rightly said, “Working in hospitality is not a job, but a lifestyle. Passion and genuine interests are crucial components for success in this industry.”