Like any other global industry, the hospitality industry succumbed to significant blows after the unprecedented pandemic. While the world awoke to a new life post-pandemic, the hospitality industry had new challenges to take on as it made its way to a new journey.
NMIMS’s School of Hospitality Management, as one of the strongest forces in hospitality management education today, took matters in hand as it continued on its profound philosophy, vision and proficiency to create leaders in Hospitality.
The Knowledge Review takes immense pleasure in bringing a story of the esteemed school as perceived by the Director of the School of Hospitality Management- Dr Ruchita Verma.
The Genesis of a Force to Reckon
Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal (SVKM) established the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in 1981 to meet the growing demand for management education. The consistent academic quality, research focus, faculty from top national and global institutes, and strong industry linkages at NMIMS have placed it among the nation’s prime educational excellence and research centres. NMIMS was designated as a deemed-to-be university in 2003 by UGC/MHRD in accordance with section 3 of the UGC Act 1956 and Category-I under the Graded Autonomy Regulation, 2018.
With a glorious 41 years of legacy of excellence in education, NMIMS has grown to be one of the top 10 Business Schools in India but has also emerged as a multi-disciplinary University with eight campuses in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Indore, Shirpur, Dhule and Chandigarh. Along with that, there are seventeen constituent schools that include Management, Family Business, Engineering & Technology Management, Architecture, Commerce, Economics, Liberal Arts, Design, Pharmacy, Performing Arts, Law, Science, Mathematical Science, Agricultural Science, Hospitality Management, Branding and Advertising and Distance Learning. In addition, the university has 12 Centres of Excellence.
Today more than 17000+ full-time students and 750+ full-time faculty members are part of India’s most sought-after academic community – NMIMS.
State of Art Infrastructure at NMIMS’s SoHM
NMIMS offers a world-class infrastructure with fully air-conditioned classrooms, seminar and conference halls, and state-of-the-art audio and video aids for long hours of teaching and interactive participation.
The new campus is at par with any of the best global B-School Campuses; it is Wi-Fi enabled and incorporates the needs of differently-abled participants.
Quantity Training Kitchen (QTK): Located at the School of Hospitality Management, Navi Mumbai Campus, the kitchen at NMIMS is newly built and fully equipped for use by students throughout the year.
Classrooms: All classrooms at NMIMS are equipped with a Smartboard, AV and Projection system, which help faculty provide visual lectures, the latest case studies, or live examples of current affairs/technology. The campus is also equipped with Flap barrier gates.
IT Infrastructure as a service – IAAS
To provide best-in-class service to the students, faculty and other staff members, NMIMS ensures frequent up-gradation of infrastructure platform upgrades regularly and matches the world standards. The institute has adopted a few new best-in-class technologies like SDWAN to connect all our campuses seamlessly, providing one single logical access to various services and has also adopted cloud for various services across institutions.
Leading the Way Ahead for NMIMS’s SoHM
The Director of SoHM, Dr Ruchita Verma, is a Doctorate in Management and an MBA in Administration and Tourism Management. She holds PG in Hotel Administration and is an alumnus of the famous ‘Dadar Catering College’ of Mumbai in Hotel Management & Catering Technology.
Dr Verma has held numerous academic posts for 27 years. She started off as a professor and eventually rose to the rank of Group Director. For the ITM Group of Institutions, Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, and as a Campus Director with Pearl Academy, she has served as the head of three hospitality schools and one fashion and design school.
Dr Verma is passionate about advancing operations to the next level by streamlining organisational efficiency, implementing new processes, and leading change initiatives. She is also genuinely enthusiastic about advancing academic excellence by streamlining administrative tasks, improving academic curricula, establishing institutional infrastructure, and putting reforms into place through improved processes and policy changes.
Tactical marketing initiatives, talent acquisition and retention, strategic alliance and networking, program/curriculum development, the establishment of corporate policies and procedures, needs analysis, and change management, as well as corporate communication, programme start-ups, community and media relations, international collaboration, and validations, have all been established successfully by her.
As a Researcher, she has contributed insightful research papers and articles, organised conferences, seminars and workshops, study tours and talk invitations.
Fundamental Course Objectives and Outlook
SoHM strives to create business leaders for the service sector and Hospitality as its core objective. However, this approach of the institute is not limited to any particular area. The school focuses on building connections and preparing students for the challenges and opportunities in the global market. The students at SoHM are encouraged to ingrain critical thinking and be disruptive in the market, and innovation is a routine practice at the institute. For this, regular training and mentoring are conducted to hone the skills and mindset of the students.
At SoHM, holistic development is also treated as a fundamental objective from which wide varieties of training are provided to manage self, and businesses and to be a responsible citizen of the society. Continuing about the institute’s teaching approach, Dr Verma asserts, “On the skill-building front, we believe in a hands-on approach, and intense practice sessions followed with supporting theories and techniques are imparted. We want our course to be the trendsetter for other Hospitality academicians and in connecting and satisfying Industry needs.”
At NMIMS SoHM, students are individually mentored and moulded for the service industry. Customer service skills and knowledge of technology have also imparted a priority.
While speaking about the philosophy, Dr Verma elaborates, “SoHM focuses on industry connect, and leaders from the industry are invited to have regular trends-sharing and knowledge-setting experiences. Our learning outcome not only focuses on providing skilled technicians for the Hospitality Industry but also on leaders with Management skills and Entrepreneurial skills, which empower students to manage large Hospitality units or start their own business venture.” The students at SoHM develop concepts, incubate, and scale their business ventures, making them industry-ready when they pass out of the course.
Taking Challenges- Head-On
As Dr Verma educates on the various measures taken up by the school to strengthen the faith of students after the unprecedented pandemic, she says, “The world is facing unprecedented challenges—social, economic and environmental—driven by accelerating globalisation and technological developments a faster rate. At the same time, these challenges are providing us with myriad new opportunities for human advancement. The future is uncertain and unpredictable simultaneously, but we need to be open and ready for it.
To navigate and thrive through such uncertainty, students will need to develop resilience, curiosity, imagination, and self-regulation. They need to respect and appreciate the ideas, perspectives and values of others, which they will need to cope with failure and rejection and move forward in the face of adversity.
At NMIMS SoHM, we have charted out an agenda to help students become ‘future-ready’.”
- We give students as much control of their learning as we can. We empower them to find what they need when they need it.
- We encourage students to give it a shot. We embolden students to try new things whether they are completely sure it will work out or not.
- Creativity is a skill that we can help students develop. This has prompted us to have various labs like drawing, music, and such
- We put students in situations where they must communicate. Our assignments are based on students interviewing industry experts, senior students and other stakeholders
- We encourage students to find their own place in the world. Through our research-based assignments, we help students develop a broader view of what is possible to earn a living by encouraging them to make their own way. We have an e-cell which shapes up any concept a student has in his/her mind to make it feasible.
Projecting the Future Goals
The teaching pedagogy adopted at NMIMS School of Hospitality Management (SoHM) focuses on hands-on training, critical thinking, research, and application. While speaking about the same, Dr Verma asserts, “The philosophy of the pedagogy at SoHM, is to inspire and motivate students to help them attain the best of their potential, along with the appropriate Industry experinceand exposure. The well-refined curriculum helps students develop a holistic approach in hospitality operations and management competencies.”
At SoHM, entrepreneurship is encouraged through live case studies and projects. Personality development and leadership training are also ongoing in the curriculum. With this strategy, they become highly sought-after experts who always have the upper hand in the service sector! Through a comprehensive approach to the curriculum, students become strategic thinkers with a balanced personality, poise, and the correct attitude to work in any area of the service sector after graduation.
Thus the school envisions its students making a positive mark in the service industry in the years to come!
- NAAC with 3.59 CGPA (on a 4-point scale)
- NAAC Grade A+ for the 3rd time for Mumbai Campus
- SoHM was recognised as Category 1 University by MHRD/UGC – Graded Autonomy Regulations 2018
The Vision of the NMIMS University is to be a globally admired University by 2030. The Mission of NMIMS is to emerge as a Centre of Excellence, best in class in India and Asia and yearning to be the best in the world by 2030.