Alumni Interview - Sarvesh Mehrotra

03 March 2020

A BA (Hons) graduate in hotel and events management, Sarvesh went on to develop his career in the US and is currently working as Operations Manager at The Blake Hotel...

IMI: Hi Sarvesh, you seem to have progressed up the hospitality hierarchy ladder very quickly! What is the secret behind this rapid success?

SM: I believe hard work, critical thinking, and anticipating or exceeding managers needs are some of the key factors that have helped me to move up the ladder. However, I would also like to mention that working in three different continents under four different brands and at four different types of hotels (beach resort, ski resort, convention hotel and boutique hotel) has helped me to understand the operations and different cultures, which plays an important role in meeting or exceeding guests’ expectations on a daily basis. Not to mention, the contacts that I made throughout this journey have been extremely helpful - in fact, my position today is due to a contact I made in the past and who is currently the General Manager of the hotel.

 

IMI: You are currently an Operations Manager just two years after graduating. What further position would you like to reach two years from now?

SM: In two years from now, I would like to be a part of the corporate office for a brand, overseeing the operations side of pre-openings. I believe moving to a pre-opening General Manager role for Hilton (Tapestry collection) in a few weeks will allow me to gain knowledge in all departments such as sales, rooms, engineering as well as the construction side. This would enable me to use my knowledge and skills in the future if my dream comes true.

 

IMI: What advice do you have for current students that aspire to reach a similar position?

Firstly, I think you should have the passion to do the job. If you are doing something that you love and are passionate about, your day at work will be fun. Along with passion, you must care for your team, engage with your employees, pay attention to details, share your knowledge, and walk the talk. If these are followed, your employees will take care of the guests and the business, which will lead to positive results for all. Nobody is perfect, but balancing your strengths and weaknesses will keep you aligned on the road to success.

 

IMI: Which skills or knowledge gained at IMI do you use every day in your role as Operations Manager?

SM: IMI is a school that effectively prepares students for a range of opportunities based on service excellence, attention to detail and creating memorable experiences. These are extremely vital skills for the hospitality industry especially within the luxury sector.

 

IMI: Being a young manager, are there ever any issues when dealing with older employees who may have been in their positions longer than you?

SM: I don’t think age has ever been a problem for me when managing employees in either my current or past roles. With an ageing workforce and more younger managers driving industries, there is clearly potential for conflict; however, proper training, employee recognition, and correct motivation (while also having confidence in yourself) play an important role. I feel, in this case, a positive first impression on your employees is essential in deciding your future working relationship.

 

IMI: Please finish the following sentence: Without IMI …

SM: ...I would not be able to learn, grow and achieve success.

 

IMI: How would you describe a good day at work? And a bad day?

SM: Each day in operations is unique, which is the reason I would like to stay in operations for some time before exploring something else. We do not often have bad days at work, but when we do, we make sure to make it positive for our staff so they feel motivated and provide quality work and service to our guests. I would describe good days as those when we receive positive feedback from our guests and create a “wow” moment for them. Our work environment is extremely good, with each and every employee always smiling. Working with like-minded people with the same vision as the ownership energises the room during our daily meetings - a big part of the success of the hotel. 

 

IMI: Can you share with us your happiest or funniest memory from your time at IMI?

SM: Putting Mr. Pinkston under the pool table (by beating him by seven balls) - my dream did come true!

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