Students at Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration
WELCOMGROUP Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) is a constituent unit of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, and was established in 1986 as a unit of Dr TMA Pai Foundation in partnership with the Hotels division of ITC Ltd.
Today, WGSHA is India’s premier hotel management institute with an excellent brand image, over three decades of history, a highly successful alumni base, supportive staff and a welcoming atmosphere. It has been ranked No 1 as the “Supreme Hotel Management Institute” in India, 2023, by the GHRDC Hotel Management Institutes Survey. It has been placed in the numero uno position consecutively since 2007. The college has also been awarded silver in Hospitality Excellence: “Best Hospitality Management Institute of the Year” in Indian Hospitality Excellence Awards-2022. WGSHA has also secured the highest marks in Open Magazine’s Best Colleges listing in 2022.
WGSHA’s unique strength is the MAHE-ITC Ltd professional collaboration, one of its kind in the country, benchmarking industry-academia partnership in hotel management education. We strongly believe that this partnership is really the core that differentiates us in the market.
WGSHA was the first college to launch a degree programme in hotel management education with a unique setup—having an adjacent training hotel, Fortune Inn Valley View, with 68 rooms and two restaurants with full-fledged operations to train the students in a real-time environment. Students can now connect their learning in academics to what is there in actual practice. They can relate to the day-to-day operations of the hotel.
WGSHA has many international collaborations and flexible pathway options. The college has academic partnerships with CAST Alimenti, Italy; Culinary Arts Academy of Switzerland; Swiss Hotel Management School; The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, UAE; George Brown College, Canada; HRC Culinary Academy, Bulgaria; etc.
Recruiters from the top brands in India and overseas, including Fortune 500 companies, visit the campus. WGSHA regularly conducts industry-academia interface sessions between industry stalwarts and our faculty.
The college has today moved into an entirely new building with new-generation infrastructure equipped with the latest technology, modern amenities, smart classrooms, etc, to provide students with the best learning experience.
WGSHA believes in holistic development of our students through simulations and event management; structured workshops on soft skills like communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving capacity, etc. Besides, it conducts food festivals, conferences, experiential projects, physical and recreational activities, adventure sport, and cultural performances.
The alumni of WGSHA conduct workshops and seminars. Celebrity chef and distinguished alumnus Vikas Khanna has donated a Culinary Museum, listed by Limca Book of Records as India’s “First Living Culinary Arts Museum”. Alumni meets are held regularly in many cities across India, and internationally. The college has a student-run restaurant, Classic Café, a pastry shop ‘Ministry of Bakery’ (MOB), and a gourmet store of food products in the campus. Our students get an opportunity to network with industry leaders, academic experts, entrepreneurs, and alumni. The students are also encouraged to take part in various community services and sport facilities through the sporting events of the university and through Volunteer Service Organisation (VSO), a community service wing of the university.
The faculty, many being PhDs, are an excellent blend of academic experience and industry exposure. Curriculum Conclaves are held with all stakeholders. Welcomgroup Entrepreneurial Development Cell (WEDC) promotes entrepreneurship among the students. Public-private partnership through Student and Faculty Mobility Programme are conducted with the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) society.
Today, the college uses CESIM Hospitality Simulation Software for experiencing operational decision-making. Oracle Opera and Fortune Next PMS have been installed for students’ practical learning. The college has also subscribed to the STR SHARE Center for receiving industry statistics. The faculty and students are continuously engaged in publishing and research work supported by a large collection of digital learning resources.
WGSHA was the first college to launch a degree programme in hotel management education with a unique setup—having an adjacent training hotel, Fortune Inn Valley View, with 68 rooms and two restaurants with full-fledged operations to train the students in a real-time environment
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We are currently offering five programmes. Our flagship programme is the Bachelor of Hotel Management (BHM), a four-year course that was started in 1986. The course is aimed to provide students with a strong base of knowledge, skills and attitudes required for employability and leadership roles in the hospitality sector. The students of BHM may seek careers in hotels and restaurants, tourism and allied services, retail, aviation, customer care and logistic services, serviced apartments, hospitality services for cruise liners, railways, spa operations, customer care in financial institutions, event management and many such service-based commercial ventures, including technologically-driven online services and products.
In 2010, we launched the MSc in Dietetics & Applied Nutrition programme. Prior to that, in 2004, we started a postgraduate diploma in dietetics and then we upgraded it to a Master’s programme. The postgraduate Master’s programme in Dietetics & Applied Nutrition is designed to enhance knowledge and skills of those who wish to expand their understanding of human and clinical nutrition and develop critical evaluation skills through an integration of nutrition, dietetics (therapeutic nutrition) and research. The course enables students to get hands-on training across hospitals and the community in close association with dietitians, clinicians and grassroots-level workers.
In 2011, we started the BA (Culinary Arts) course, a specialised culinary degree programme, as we celebrated our silver jubilee of the college. Bachelor of Arts (Culinary Arts) aims to provide aspiring culinary professionals a globally benchmarked educational experience and qualification that focuses on hands-on-training. The students of Bachelor of Arts (Culinary Arts), at the end of this programme, can work as chefs in hotels, restaurants, cruise liners, etc, pursue higher studies and research, or start their own entrepreneurial venture.
In 2020, we launched the Master of Hotel Management programme with a specialisation in revenue management, sales and marketing. The two-year Master of Hotel Management (MHM) will build career opportunities in sales and marketing or revenue management in hotels and allied business organisations. This course also provides a pathway to a career in hospitality-related research, teaching, and consultancy.
In 2021, we launched MA (Indian Cuisine and Food Culture). This hands-on, skill-oriented intense curriculum focuses on Indian traditional and regional cuisines. The unique Master of Arts (Indian Cuisine and Food Culture) gives hands-on, intense learning in Indian cuisine to the student, who at the end of this programme can work confidently as a chef and hotelier across hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise liners, etc, or start their own entrepreneurial venture.
Thus, we have two undergraduate and three Master’s programmes until now. We have approximately 1,400 students on board undertaking these five programmes.
WGSHA also offers certification programmes, such as Wine Appreciation Programmes from City and Guilds, UK.
Hotel management institutes are beset with challenges, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic. When the pandemic struck, some experts had written off a career in the hospitality sector, but after two years of struggle and with new-age digital technologies and a skilled workforce, the hospitality sector is looking up again.
There are worldwide opportunities opening up at all levels. The industry is much better prepared now to welcome young aspirants.
Many changes have occurred in the industry in recent times. Now, the focus is on imparting analytical, financial and digital leadership skills to the next generation. Digitalisation has taken the front row now. Today, we talk about contactless service and have augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics, etc. Many things have come up in the digital space. As academics, we have a huge challenge to incorporate such things, so that students can learn better. As the post-Covid scenario unfolded, hospitality, travel and tourism industry, too, have changed in terms of operation. Today, we talk about multi-skilling and being tech-savvy in order to sustain ourselves. In this dynamic environment of constant change, it is important how individuals are going to position themselves in business processes and adapt to the ever-changing trends.
The college will continue to strive towards academic excellence, internationalisation, research capabilities and employer reputation. We will always leverage the potential of our alumni, and we will continue to enhance the role of our faculty along with an increasing number of national and international accreditations and programme affiliations with the best hospitality schools in the world.
Many new projects like Language Café, Food Truck, Hydroponic Vegetables, curriculum review on the National Education Policy (NEP), etc, are in the pipeline.