As a young boy growing up in Bengaluru, India, Ram Bharadwaj had big dreams to make a difference. Seeing hotel staff wearing a particular striped uniform was mesmerising for the then seven-year-old, and at that moment he knew he wanted to work in hospitality.
“We occasionally used to eat as a family at Hotel Woodlands and I have vivid memories of watching the wait staff…funnily enough it was their uniform that attracted me to hotels,” the now 38-year-old says.
But in order to pursue his dreams, he knew he had to leave his home country and look further afield, which led him to Le Cordon Bleu’s Adelaide campus.
He says choosing Le Cordon Bleu as a study destination was an easy choice and Australia ticked all the boxes in terms of job prospects and a strong tourism industry.
So, without second guessing himself, he trekked half-way across the globe and began studying the Master of International Hospitality Management (MIHM) program.
He says the MIHM post-graduate degree, exclusive to Le Cordon Bleu’s Adelaide campus, prepared him for the industry by exposing him to topics such as risk and contingency planning and global business environment.
“While there were some long hours spent in the library and on assignments, I can look back and say it has definitely helped me in my professional development overall.”
It’s been 13 years since Ram graduated, and he is now living his childhood dream as Hotel General Manager at The Savoy Hotel on Little Collins – a stunning art deco style hotel in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.
Ten years ago if someone told me that a young kid from Bengaluru was to one day be the GM (General Manager) of a hotel in Melbourne, I would have laughed.
He says despite the early mornings and late nights, no two days are the same which keeps the job interesting.
“The challenge of walking into a new day with new challenges is something I don’t think many industries provide,” he says.
“Making people happy, whether it’s a special meal or a great weekend stay always makes me happy and to me, that’s a job well done.”
Although he may not wear a striped uniform, Ram says his lifelong goal of working in hotels has paid off and he urges others to dream big.
“I strongly encourage aspiring hoteliers to find a mentor, keep learning new things and not chase titles. Everything will come naturally when the time is right,” he says.
“Ten years ago if someone told me that a young kid from Bengaluru was to one day be the GM of a hotel in Melbourne, I would have laughed.
“But with perseverance and commitment, I am living proof that anything is possible with a positive mindset and willingness to learn.”
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