Exclusive GM Interview: Amitabh Rai of The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore gets candid
Amitabh Rai, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore talks about the experiences that helped shape him as an industry stalwart, the biggest challenges faced and several such crucial matters.
Here are few excerpts from Hotelier India’s exclusive interview with Amitabh Rai, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore
How did you decide on hospitality as a career?
I did not decide; life actually did. I was studying to be a marine biologist and The Oberoi School had come on a recruitment drive to my college, St Josephs College for Arts & Sciences, Bengaluru. I found the prospect rather exciting and next I knew I was sitting in front of Mr. PRS Oberoi and a panel, which also had Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw on it. The Field Marshal recognised my father’s name on my resume as the man who had airlifted him out of a dangerous situation. I do believe that is the sole reason I made it to the Oberoi School of Hotel Management.
How has the role of a General Manager evolved over the years?
At the core, a general manager is an inn-keeper, welcoming guests every day into his/her house and making sure they have a fabulous time and leave with indelible memories. A good general manager is still the same even now, except he has a lot of technology working for him, easing the job to a great degree.
How do you think technology has changed the hospitality industry?
Technology has made life easier for guests as well as the hotel. We can anticipate guest needs in advance and offer a seamless luxury experience to our guests. Having said that there has to be a balance maintained in the luxury hotel space. Our guests would not like a robot delivering room service for sure. Luxury is all about personal experiences and the human touch.
What have been your biggest takeaways from the hospitality industry? Tell us about the keys issues it is struggling with?
The biggest struggle is finding the right talent, the kind of people who care and passionately love this industry. Everything else can be taught. You can’t teach passion.
If you had one piece of advice to give to someone starting out, what would you say?
If you have passion for this business, then go for it. Else, don’t venture in this direction.
For full interview, please read Hotelier India’s April, 2019 edition.