INDIA: The latest episode of the Transcontinental Times show, “Smart entrepreneurship decoded” Featured, Hospitality Entrepreneur – Awadh Lal Shukla, MD, at Cutting Edge Hotel Consultants. He worked for a decade in several cities in India with one of the largest hotel chains.
Awadh grew up in a family of teachers who had never been involved in business. He comes from a small village where people look down on anyone who works in the hospitality industry.
Encouragement for the creation of a catering business
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While discussing the inspiration behind joining the hospitality industry, Awadh reveals, “After graduation, it was a bit difficult to choose the line because I belong to the village that my parents did not know about the hotel industry. However, a colleague of mine who worked in hotel management told me that it offered great career prospects.
“So, in the same vein, I was enrolled in the hotel school of Bhopal.’ After graduating from college, I worked at the Oberoi Hotel for three years. My passion was mainly based on cooking, and I used to help my mother in the kitchen when I was a child,” he added.
The hospitality industry requires market knowledge as well as marketable skills
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Awadh explains the causes of the high failure rate in the restaurant industry. He says most hotel businesses fail due to poor market research and a lack of expertise.
“For example, if you are creating a restaurant, you will first design a beautiful interior, but if you are not professional, your loss is certain. You must research the market before starting the business. You need to look at the different categories of customers. Based on this, you can divide them into categories A, B and C, and then create the interior. “How much money you put into the hotel is also critical,” he remarked.
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“The inexperienced person will believe that since he has invested a large sum of money, his money will be returned to him within a year and he will start earning income from the hotel. But things are not so simple; appropriate income in business takes time,” He continued.
He also clarifies his view of the hospitality industry by stating, “Catering is more of a passion for me. If you want to work in this industry, you have to work hard because there is a lot of work.
Electricity and labor emerge as the most expensive aspects of the business
Highlighting the contrast between the hotel sector and other businesses, notes Awadh, “Hotel investment is not an investment like any other. Many industries offer a quick return, but the hospitality industry stands out strongly.
He also mentions the two most expensive components of the restaurant business, saying, “There are two things that are quite expensive, electricity and labour.” The electricity bill is very variable between day and night, which has a considerable impact on our practice; on the other hand, the industry lacks skilled labor. Most people do not want to work in hotels as it requires 11-12 hour shifts and those who do tend to enter with the intention of earning a higher income.
Awadh focuses on things that improve the hotel business, citing, “You have to update the interior from time to time, so that the client does not get bored. You should also be familiar with social media, which can help your business thrive. More importantly, if your customer satisfaction rate is above 80%, you will be successful in business; if it is less than 50%, you will fail.
Watch the whole interview here:
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