Uday Pradhan, Previously Group General Manager – Nanu Hotels & Resorts, Goa
Mr. Uday Pradhan is born and brought up in Darjeeling -the queen of all hill stations. It is a famous tourist destination and known for the three T’s- Tourism, Timber and Toy Train. So he says that hospitality runs in his blood. He is an impressive personality who carries with him a vast experience of 25 years. He completed his Hotel Management from Kolkata and began his career in the lucrative world of hospitality as a management trainee at the Sterling Holiday Resort Darjeeling and went on to become the General Manager. As every person, basically in hospitality, aspires to work abroad in the hospitality industry, so also Mr. Pradhan got the opportunity and moved abroad to Oman. After his return, he served at Toshali Resorts, Orissa and is presently functioning as the General Manager at Nanu Resorts, Goa.
“Building a good customer experience does not happen by accident. It happens by design.”This is what he believes and strives persistently with several innovative ideas to enhance customer experience. He feels that human touch is indispensable in today’s age of computers. He is looking forward to create a cherished experience for his guests by connecting them to each other and establishing cordial relations between them. He keeps implementing innovative strategies and tactics to keep his guests engaged and enhance their experience. He believes that when a guest is away from home, he may connect with others and may even end up being the best pal for your life.
“Loyalty is an important part of your personal and professional character”. This is what Mr. Pradhan has adopted throughout his career. Hence he states that loyalty and self involvement is the key to his success.
He considers that Hotel Management Institutions across the country are doing good job and a lot many changes have been incorporated. Today everything is technology driven and so personal touch is missing. Hence, he is of the opinion that along with the prescribed syllabus, there should be personalised attention and a close interaction between the teacher and student. This will motivate the students to understand the core of hospitality which is people.
Mr. Pradhan states that hospitality industry is one of the best industries, especially with regard to career. It is a job oriented industry and anyone wishing to join this industry will not starve. He or she will definitely earn a good living. So his advice to youngsters who would like to take up a career in hospitality is -loyalty, sincerity and passion, dedication, proper communication, warmth, personalised attention ,interaction and good customer relationship .It is a must as in hospitality we sell dreams and not products.
He explains that there are different departments in the hotel industry like Front office, Food & Beverage, Housekeeping, and Maintenance. He feels that people working in every department should possess some formal education in hospitality with practical knowledge as even minor details should be taken care of .Even if a person does not have formal education but has the experience with the right attitude and proper training, can join hospitality. But he believes that for the front office it is not necessary to have a degree or diploma in Hotel Management. A person with good communications skills and knowledge of computers can perform well at the front office.
It is rightly said, “The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers”. Mr. Pradhan considers that in hospitality, hygiene is very much essential which should be taken care of by the employer along with monetary benefits, recognition and employee satisfaction. People work for money, but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.
Talking about challenges, he states that employee turnover is the biggest challenge in Goa. As per his experience new recruits join the hotel industry, work for some time, gain experience and switch over to make a career on ships or abroad in a very short notice and sometimes without any prior intimation. Since hotel industry largely depends for manpower, such staff crunch hampers the smooth functioning of the hospitality industry. To overcome such instances, he plans and executes various strategies to retain the employees. Other challenges are business slack which is seasonal and taken care of with appropriate measures.