A career of choice

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Mumbai based Kohinoor International Management Institute (KIMI), which has recently entered into a partnership with University College Birmingham, UK, differentiates itself by focusing on activity based learning

Mukund Kamat

Mukund Kamat

Kohinoor International Management Institute (KIMI) was established in 2000 in association with the prestigious International Hotel Management Institute (IMI), Switzerland. In the last one and a half decades KIMI has emerged as one of the best known hotel management institutes in this part of the country. Mukund Kamat, vice president, Hospitality Division, KIMI believes that being a fully residential campus with a separate hostel for boys and girls adds that extra value to the whole programme. “The residential campus helps students to develop their personality and communication skills since they are always in touch with a diversified student pool and learn in an environment where they always work and enjoy as a team,” says Kamat.

As the head of a prestigious hotel management school, Kamat’s vision for the institute is the same as that of the group. “The vision of our group is to “Grow perpetually” and my vision for KIMI remains the same,” he asserts. Important projects for the future includes launch of another Culinary Arts Institute in the coming years and possibly a few Diploma Colleges to meet the huge demand of manpower, particularly at the entry level.

KIMI recently entered into a partnership with University College Birmingham, UK. The arrangement is a 2 plus 2 model, wherein the students enrolled at KIMI can complete the first two years of study in India along with six months of paid internship, following which they can go to UCB. Kamat informs that at UCB they will undergo six months of classroom studies and another six months of paid internship in Europe. In the fourth year students would be concentrating more on their live projects at UCB and complete their study to get the degree from UCB, accredited by University of Birmingham.

Education with a difference

One of the key differentiating factors of KIMI as a hospitality education institution, apart from the normal academic program, is the focus on Activity Based Learning. Pointing out that this is a great form of learning, Kamat states, “The students learn a great deal practically when they are involved in real time activities. It is not only a great way of learning but also is an eye-opener for students who experience first-hand the reality of managing situations and events.” The institution, he reminds, holds three major events in a year which are managed completely by them, from planning to post event feedback including raising funds for the event. “This year we have even handed over the restaurant in our hotel to the students to run and manage for ten days and believe me they did a wonderful job in handling the guests for the duration,” adds Kamat with evident pride.

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Kamat avers that one of the most interesting trends in terms of student profile and preference that has happened in recent times is the fact that earlier students were hesitant to take up any kind of course in hospitality, but now things have changed. “Today, thanks to media and other channels of communications, there is a change in perception towards hospitality or those aspiring to become a chef as a career choice,” he says, adding that most students enrolling into hospitality management courses are aware and are focused on what they want to do. They are also keen to look at career options that give them an opportunity to work overseas. In this case holding an international degree works to their advantage.

Developing talent

Highlighting the factors that the institution makes a significant contribution towards developing talent for hospitality industry in this part of the country, Kamat says, “We at KIMI always strive to be at par with the requirements of the industry. We believe in working closely with the industry, thereby understanding their requirements and trends, and accordingly train the students. One more advantage we have over other institutes is that we ourselves are a Hospitality Division and being the vice president of the division, I am in a better position to guide my team.” Executives from the hotel continuously visit the institute to share knowledge and experience with the class and keep the students appraised about any recent developments.

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KIMI has a dedicated placement cell and has consistently achieved excellent placement record. A significant segment of students are placed abroad. “Also we are happy to share that every year almost 20 per cent of our students take the entrepreneurial route and this by itself is a major achievement and a matter of pride for any institute,” affirms Kamat.

Reminding that career opportunities in hospitality is not limited to only hotels but in other allied industries also, Kamat shares, “Customer service and customer satisfaction are now the key words and are the main ingredients for the success of any business. Students passing from hospitality institutes could also look for options in other non-catering industries like, retail, hospitals, telecom industries, food packaging, and private banks as well.”

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