HRTM's Jha leads luxury hospitality workshops in India
14 Jun 2017
University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty member Dipra Jha recently delivered a series of workshops for luxury hospitality professionals across India. Jha, an assistant professor of practice in hospitality, restaurant and tourism management, spent May 12-31 in India as professor in residence with the Oberoi Center of Learning and Development (OCLD). The center is part of Oberoi Group, a hospitality conglomerate that owns and operates some of the most recognized luxury hotels in the world. In 2015 and 2016, readers of the website Travel + Leisure USA voted Oberoi Hotels as “World’s Best Hotel Brand” surpassing well-known international chains like Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton.
As professor in residence, Jha developed and taught workshops on guest engagement and service excellence based on a proprietary leadership competency model. Jha’s workshops covered topics that included major disruptors in the hotel industry, how culture impacts guest service, and the impact of automation and augmented intelligence within the hospitality sector. More than 500 early-career managers as well as senior leaders of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts attended his workshops in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata.
“The Oberoi Group consistently ranks amongst the top luxury brands in the world and delivering programs for their leaders across India was a unique instructional experience,” said Jha. “It gave me an opportunity to engage with more than 500 hospitality leaders in an international context, and I learned a great deal from my interactions with these incredibly talented and accomplished professionals.”
Founded in 1934, the Oberoi Group operates 33 hotels, Nile cruisers and a motor vessel in the backwaters of Kerala, India under the luxury Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and five-star Trident brands in India, Dubai, Egypt, Mauritius, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The group is also engaged in flight catering, managing airport restaurants, travel and tour services, car rentals, project management and corporate air charters.
“We at OCLD were delighted to host Professor Dipra Jha, a global expert in luxury hospitality, as our 2017 Professor in Residence,” said Huvida Marshall, dean and senior vice president of the Oberoi Center of Learning and Development (OCLD). “The workshops he created, based on the Oberoi Group Leadership Competency Model, were highly engaging and delivered tangible learning for participants at all levels. It was a unique partnership and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, with similar learning and development projects in the future.”
Established in 1966, the Oberoi Center of Learning and Development (OCLD) offers best in class management training programs for the luxury hotel industry. Its programs are designed to provide learning through a combination of academic study and comprehensive on-the-job training. Since its inception in 1966, the Post Graduate Management Program at OCLD has developed leaders who now hold key positions in the hospitality industry in India and overseas.
In 2004, OCLD launched the Systematic Training and Education Program (STEP), which is now a coveted undergraduate program for high school graduates in India interested in pursuing a career in the hospitality industry. OCLD is also responsible for learning and development activities across all levels within the Oberoi Group. Harvard Business Review has published several case studies on Oberoi Hotels, and Jha plans to incorporate a few of them to enhance and internationalize his courses at Nebraska.
With a population of 1.2 billion, India is the largest democracy in the world. It is one of the fastest growing economies with a booming hospitality and tourism industry. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (2017), India is the world’s seventh largest tourism economy, in terms of gross domestic product. In 2016, travel and tourism generated $208.9 billion in economic activity, which is equivalent to 9.6 percent of the country’s GDP. Additionally, the sector supported 40.3 million jobs which ranks India second in the world in terms of employment supported by travel and tourism.
Growth in India’s hospitality sector is fueled by domestic travel which accounts for 88 percent of tourism-related revenues. Data published by India’s Ministry of Tourism (2015) shows, with more than 1.21 million arrivals annually, the United States ranks first among all international tourist arrivals into India. According to the U.S. Travel Association, India is one of the fastest-growing inbound travel markets to the United States, and it is consistently moving up the ranks in importance. The U.S. and Indian governments jointly declared the year 2017 as a “U.S. and India Travel and Tourism Partnership Year,” and the enhanced cooperation in promoting bilateral tourism is expected to further increase visitations between the two countries. UNL has identified India as a priority country for international engagement, and Jha has previously led two study abroad programs to India with students from several majors within the university.
Tourism is Nebraska’s third largest earner of revenue from outside the state after agriculture and manufacturing, bringing in excess of $4.7 billion annually and supporting 46,200 jobs. According to the U.S. Travel Association, tax revenues generated by domestic and international travelers in Nebraska in 2015 totaled over $667 million. Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management is one of the fastest growing majors at Nebraska and resides jointly in the College of Education and Human Sciences and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
College of Education and Human Sciences
Nutrition and Health Sciences
Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management