What is the occupation you can think of that lands you into a range of exciting job opportunities, from ultramodern 7-Star hotels in Dubai to exotic resorts in the Caribbean, travelling atop majestic ocean liners to exploring nature in an unprecedented way, all the while getting paid a handsome sum of money?

The only plausible answer is the hospitality sector. This industry has a lot to offer everyone, from professionals to aspiring business leaders. So what are smart choices that give you an edge and make you worthy of the luxurious lifestyle that the sector has to offer? Hospitality management is known for its inventiveness while catering to its customers. The only thing that adds value to your offerings is a unique perspective setting it apart from others.

Did you know that by merely engaging yourself in arts you can hone your presentation skills, using vivid colours that add better contrast to your culinary masterpiece? Such possibilities go beyond one’s imagination. All your career needs is a unique hobby that adds quality to what you do. With social media going big, creating a brand out of oneself has become easier than it once used to be. There’s no point in denying that it can instantly fetch you much needed recognition, but this demands certain skills including spotting trends, generating content, scriptwriting, and video editing. Leveraging the social media opportunity can surely get you ahead of the curve. A few hotel chains such as Oberoi’s, ITC, and Taj also run management training programmes which provide the perfect confluence of classroom studies and job training experience.

After completion, students get absorbed into the chain at a junior management level. This gives a considerable boost and advances their career by five to seven years. The hospitality sector is best known for the enormous capital inflow during business establishment, whether it is operating on a B2B or a B2C model.This is further followed by considerable cost of operations, adding a high threshold for new players to enter the domain. This disadvantage has been eliminated with the rise of plug-and-play workplaces and fully-managed offices.

They not only trim down the operational costs, but completely eliminate the capital lock-in that businesses experience while setting up their offices. On top of this, they also provide end-to-end services including IT support, front desk support, legal services, and hi-tech meeting rooms. Such offices also come in quite handy during business expansion as additional offices or workstations can be booked as per the emerging requirement.This gives aspiring entrepreneurs in hotel management to go beyond their financial constraints and build prospects in the burgeoning hospitality industry. Collaboration is really important, more so in hotel management where different divisions have to work in tandem with each other while maintaining acute precision in service to the end-customer.

A good way to enhance your collaboration is by engaging yourself in team sports and volunteering. Such activities not only give a boost to your teamwork, but also increase your effective network and come across as a bright spot on the CV in the eyes of a recruiter. Hotel management wasn’t a lucrative option a decade or two ago.

It had limited avenues and only students from renowned government institutions (majorly in Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur) such as Institute of Hotel Management, were cherrypicked by hospitality chains. These graduates, therefore, had no option other than joining call centres and BPOs which offered them about three to four times higher remunerations as compared to the hospitality industry. Today, the grand scheme of things has changed. India now has over 750 institutes diving into hotel management and other interrelated topics including catering and culinary skills tourism besides others. Professionals in the hospitality industry as well are receiving some of the most lucrative salaries and the perks of their classy lifestyle only increase as they climb up the corporate hierarchy.

Since prominent hotels are expanding their presence across multiple geographies and new business opportunities are emerging for aspiring entrepreneurs, one can earn the much needed boost in the hospitality sector.

(The writer is managing director, Avanta India)