Webinar on Getting Back to Work Safely – Paradigm Shift in Workforce Management post Covid-19
08 May 2020
The webinar was hosted by School of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, K. R. Mangalam University on 8th May 2020. The speakersin the panel were the experts and veterans of the field of hospitality. All of them shared their thoughts about the possible scenario after the pandemic subsides and people start going to their respective work places. All of them agreed on one point though, that the hospitality industry across the world has been hit the hardest.
The discussion started with Mr. Hemant Mendiratta who is the founder of the sales and marketing company for the luxury brand of hotels with presence in India and the middle-east. He was of the view that radical changes would be required by the hotels to survive in the long run. Most of the companies have lost almost 60% of their revenue. The marketing budgets will come down as the hotel companies will try to consolidate the revenue earnings. The new norms will be of least physical contact with the customers. Customers will now look for safety & hygiene as the most important factor to choose to stay in a particular hotel. Mr. Mendiratta said that the corporate houses have banned the travel of their executives till December 2020 unless there is extreme emergency.
Mr. Sunny Menon from Italy spoke about the invisible housekeeping department which will now be the centre of attraction in terms of cleanliness of each part of the premises. He also shared his view that the unemployment will rise as most of the hotel companies will not be able to cope up with the pressure. Survival of the Fittest is the phrase that will fit here perfectly. He said that India faces a challenging time as the peak summer is approaching and the business houses will find it very difficult to operate. He said that in Italy, the lock down has been eased out. The coffee shops and restaurants are looking to serve the people in the open areas so as to reduce the contamination by the customers. However, he was positive about the future and said that the people will understand the restrictions imposed upon them when they enter any eatery.
Mr. SajiThachery, General Manager of The Gateway Hotel, Nashik (Taj Group of Hotels) also shared his views on what the hotels would need to do to survive. As per him, all the hotel companies are now framing new SOPs to counter the new scenarios that have come up in the last few months. The companies have literally zero income in the last 5-6 weeks because of the lock down. Since he is into the operations of the hotel, he was of the view that big fat weddings, huge conferences may be the thing of past. He said that if the companies have to survive the companies will have to adapt to the new changes and the ones who will not adapt may not last for a long time. Hotels will have to take the drastic steps to suit the requirements of the guests as well as govt. regulations. Employees will have to embrace the new working conditions as they will not be the same as they were before lockdown.
Prof. M. P. Verma, Dean, SOHMCTsaid that the concept of online classes has come up very fast post the lockdown and this may be the future of education. The digital mode adopted by all the educational institutions shows that this may become the only mode of interaction with the students. Virtual work experience was quite new to all of us as no one thought we could have a panel discussion of this sort.