Manu Nair , F&B Manager at Goa, Marriott
Manu Nair, brought up the very hard way, who initially was an introvert, has now excelled in his professional career. He is very dedicated, honest, and passionate and moves ahead with a collaborative approach with his team to achieve great results. He believes in the Marriott’s principle “Taking care of associates”. He hails from Pune and completed his graduation in Hotel Management from Pune. Always aspiring to be pastry chef, he developed the liking, for the service and was also inspired by his seniors during his training period. So he started his career in the hospitality industry as a Guest Service Associate and is now the F&B Manager.
According to him there a myth that people still believe that hotel industry is a smaller industry and is not an ideal place for pursuing a career. But he believes that hotel industry is the biggest industry, in the world, which has massive scope. A person can take up any career, but at the end of the day what he requires is food. So he advises and recommends to the parents, to encourage the youngsters to make a career in the hotel industry. Plus the evolution of food is massive-first it was authentic but now there is fusion. He says, initially the remuneration may seem low but, gradually one grows financially and professionally. One cannot become a millionaire at 18.He believes and advises the youngsters that there is no substitute for hard work in this industry. If you are faithful, loyal and love your job, success will follow.
In terms of challenges, Mr. Manu Nair says that you have to be continuously creative and do things differently. You can’t be complacent and go with the flow. There is always experimentation and innovation in terms of what you offer to your customers. And another challenge is the way you promote it. But he believes that even though it is challenging, it is fun. It only develops you.
Fortunately, Mr. Nair, got opportunities to work with organisations that have always done well and so according to him, there is no particular failure in his career. However the organisation suffered a setback in 2008 during the bomb blasts. The hotel which was always buzzing had an occupancy drop. The impact of the blast was felt financially by the hotel industry and it was difficult to drive in finance as people were afraid and India became an unsafe zone. But gradually they pulled through this difficult phase.
Today’s generation is trending and a work life needs balance. The old way of working no longer persists. So according to Mr. Nair, the management should provide a work life balance, financial stability and emotional support which are very important. He believes in “PUT PEOPLE FIRST” and work hand in hand with the employees, maintaining a friendly environment.
Mr.Nair is highly inspired by Mr. Rajiv Menon, the Chief Operating Officer for Asia Pacific and would like to follow his footsteps. His immediate goal is to become a General Manager, but eventually to be on top of the chain and attain a higher post.
When you are going to play a match, you can plan as much as you want but eventually if you do not execute it on the floor or the pitch or the ground, it does not matter. So Mr. Nair believes that in the courses of IHM, more emphasis should be on practicality in addition to theory. He also feels that the students at IHM should be given special training to specialize in a particular area of interest, which focuses on developing the skills and knowledge. The students have a rosy picture of this glamorous industry, but in reality it is much different.
He feels that hygiene is of utmost importance and ensure that customer is given the best. Hygiene is one of the parameters to distinguish a regular restaurant and a five star hotel. He is proud that, at Marriott’s a number of hygiene practices are carried out.
“Treat the customer like you would want to be treated”, Mr.Nair feels recognition to every customer is important which ensures that they keep coming back. This is the need of the hour in today’s world of tough competition. In his opinion, this is people’s industry and a lot more can be done to enhance guest’s experience. It includes, enhancement of technology in various sections of the hotel industry which saves manpower, resources and enriches customer satisfaction.
In this uncompromising world of hospitality, he feels that at the end of the day, family is important. It is very important to give the family a stable life and enjoy that stable life with them. For Mr. Nair, as a leader it is very important to provide a work-life balance to his team also.
Times have changed now, in every area. In hospitality too, chefs no more work behind the screen, but interact directly with the guests. There are a lot more people like the finance, engineering marketing, HR teams, etc who work in co-ordination to achieve the set goals. So he believes and advises the staff that –“Teamwork divides the tasks and multiplies the success”.