You can translate this page using Google

Spotlight on: Q&A with Karan 

Ever wondered what a year in the life might look like in the eyes of an IHG’er in Operations? Well Karan Vice President Head of Operations for the UK & Ireland has kindly take some time out to feature on our Spotlight on: Q&A!

We talk industry experience, skills and progression, challenge and reward! And here’s what he said…

 

Have you always been in the Hospitality industry?

No, I actually started off in Media as a Journalist whilst I was doing my Bachelor’s degree in India. I even hosted a TV Show – thankfully there are no tapes in existence! I moved from this space into Commercial & Marketing travelling Europe and working across a range of brands and commercial functions. After completing my MA and experiencing other large organisations IHG came calling and I made the decision to move. That was six years ago.

So why Hospitality?

One simple reason – we're an industry that cares. When you are in a supermarket, it takes you 2-3 seconds to decide on which bar of chocolate you want. Travel on the other hand can change people’s lives -and within travel hotels are the key element that can make or break the entire experience.

Which skills would you say are essential?

Fundamentally, we are a people business so being able to get under the skin of why people do what they do is the most important skill in our industry - not what they say they want but what they really need. Being able to inspire others is a skill that’s needed too. In today’s world, you cannot just tell people what to do. You need to inspire them so they believe in why they are doing it. 

 

Which skills would you say are essential?

Fundamentally, we are a people business so being able to get under the skin of why people do what they do is the most important skill in our industry - not what they say they want but what they really need. Being able to inspire others is a skill that’s needed too. In today’s world, you cannot just tell people what to do. You need to inspire them so they believe in why they are doing it.

Which skills can you develop on the job?

Learning technical skills is easy – we have enough courses and tools to do that. What becomes more difficult is learning the softer skills like influencing people or driving change. Through mentorship, secondments and other collaborative approaches, we can immerse you in real world challenges so you can learn from the best.

Tell us about your career progression?

In my case it’s been pretty good and pretty fast. 6-years in, I am on my fourth role. I started in Group Strategy, moved to Europe ROC as Head of Strategy before moving to Growth & Transformation as Vice President of Design & Engineering. Currently I am VP Head of Ops for the UK&I. At IHG we like to challenge and if we feel you have the potential, we will take a risk on you!

 

As if that advice wasn’t enough food for thought for anyone looking to start out in the Hospitality industry, we also received some final thoughts from Karan around challenges and reward.

Among the most challenging is distilling down information to drive the business and ensuring not to overload front-liners or forget what we are fundamentally there for - delivering a great experience to our guests.

The most rewarding part is seeing the impact of the transformation we created in the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Hotel Indigo hotels over the last six-years!

Can you see yourself having the same impact? This could be the perfect opportunity to explore a career in Hospitality, there’s no time like the present. Search our latest opportunities here.

Foundation week ’17, that’s a wrap!

  So, in case you missed the live updates and coverage from our annual IHG Foundation Week this September - we thought we would celebrate success and round-up the week’s great stats! 

IHG recognised as Aon Global Best Employer

IHG has been recognized as a 2017 Aon Global Best Employer!