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Whereby entrepreneurship is more than a wave of new start ups – it is about fostering an entrepreneurial spirit that challenges the status quo, disrupting traditional ways of doing business with innovative solutions. Nurturing entrepreneurial thinking is also essential for employers: By believing in their creative potential, businesses empower entrepreneurial employees to bring innovative change to a company from within. (Sonia Tartar, Hotel Yearbook 2018) The hospitality industry had undergone tumultuous changes in the last five years. Competitive pressures, shifting consumer preferences, and consumption patterns, technological advances, consolidation, price discounting, and new distribution channels are but a few of the changes in business landscape. Innovation has been championed as a way to cope with these and other changes in the industry. Innovation and entrepreneurship are connected because the entrepreneurial mindset is essential to founding new businesses as well as rejuvenating existing ones. ( McGrath MacMillan, 2000)
Innovations cannot be separated from firm’s strategy or its competitive environment, which means that what we consider to be innovative is defines by the strategic choices a firm makes and the setting in which the firm operates. Others researchers have found that those firms who are first to introduce new goods or services (first movers) are able to gain benefits until competitors imitate (Grimm and Smith, 1999). The concept of “Heavenly Bed”, first launched by the Westin brand in September 1999, may be an example of benefit gained by being the first to introduce product rejuvenation. ‘It was inconceivable to me that hotels in the business of selling sleep paid so little attention to their beds’, claimed Barry Stemlicht, the then Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotel and Resorts when he and senior executives first launched the innovation (Hospitality Design, 1999). Starwood transformed a basic good into a luxurious object of desire, in the process spawning a new retail enterprise with sales of over $1 million annually and imitators who followed (Sheehan, 2001).
The invention of a new service, product, process, or idea, is often called an innovation. For many invention and innovation are synonymous. However innovation also includes existing ideas that are reapplied or deployed in different settings for different customer groups. Innovation combines invention with commercialisation, making it easy to see why innovation and entrepreneurship are so closely linked. Developing a new product or process is not enough, the innovation firm must know how to convert an idea into a service or a product that customers want. In many instances the new idea requires the creation of a new to produce and sell the ideas to customers. However, innovation within existing firms is also possible. Firms innovate in a number of ways, including business models, products, services, processes, and marketing channels with the goal of maintaining or capturing markets, or the desire to reduce costs or prices through greater efficiencies (Harrison and Enz, 2005). Starwood appears to have been as clever at marketing the bed as developing the original ‘all white’ look of the product, raising the possibility that the real innovation was in marketing the bed. Further, the introduction of the all white ‘Heavenly Bed’ with a custom designed pillow-top mattress, goose down comforters, five pillows and three crisp sheets ranging in thread count from 180-250, was not a radical product innovation. (Cathy A. Enz, Jeffery S. Harrison). Another distinction developed in the innovation literature categorizes innovations as product versus process innovation. Product innovation address final goods or services while process innovations address how an organisation does its business. In the first week of Westin’s new bed introduction numerous guests called to ask where they could buy the ‘Heavenly Bed’. While Westin executives had not anticipated a viable retail business they quickly put order cards with a toll-free number in every room, started placing catalogs by bedsides and desks, and set up a Web site (Guadalupe Fajardo, 2001). By June 2004 Westin had sold enough beds on-line to spread the idea throughout Starwood, with the Sheraton (four star), St. Regis (Five star) and W (Boutique) brands all turning into retailers (Schoenberger, 2004). The use of online retailing was a process innovation for getting beds to customers, but also a new product innovation in the firm of selling beds and a channel innovation in retailing hotel items.
Finally, the ‘Heavenly Bed’ has spawned new businesses that help hotels run their retail arms. Challenges Facing Indian Hospitality Absence of a civil aviation policy, tough norms for grating international flight licenses.Funding issues hampering the operations and growth of most airlines, High cost of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), High cost of operation due to inefficient airport infrastructure, insufficient air-traffic management, poor infrastructure support in the form of hangers, hotels, cargoset-ups etc. Tourism considered a state subject, which leads to fragmented and piecemeal approach to address the needs of the sector, Absence of ‘Infrastructure’ status to hotel sector ‘Industry’ status to tourism not granted by all state, tough lending norms by Indian banks Multiplicity of taxes; local governments unaware of the potential, Luxury tax computed on published rates in many states, Opaque licensing process a major reason for delay in project execution, Hotels classification/rating system outdated, Acute lack of value-for-money propositions, poor tourist infrastructure and on-ground support.
The importance of entrepreneurship to hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism an entrepreneurial approach is just as relevant and important in hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism as in other sectors, if not more so. The hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism industries can be regarded as archetypal entrepreneurial industries employing approximately 10% of UK employment in 2004 is over 1,60,000 food service outlets, 26,000 guest houses, 3,000 health and fitness clubs, 15,000 hotels, 3,000 health and fitness cubs, 6,800 visitors attractions, ranging from garden to local museums and many other types of outlets, according to Mintel.The vast majority of these are small independent owner-managed businesses with outlets which opened having taking advantage of low barriers to entry. They tend to be highly flexible to changing customer demands and offer personal and localised service. This is typifies in the sports and exercise industry where many small businesses offer coaching and fitness services. These small businesses are the fabric of local society. While having its economic benefits, entrepreneurship in the hospitality, leisure, sport, and tourism industries can also prove hugely beneficial in social terms, as the following indicates: ‘Much in the same way that men of science have pushed back the boundaries of our physical world, entrepreneurs, in the hospitality and leisure industries, have influenced and pushed back the boundaries of our social world; for example, imagine not being able to take a low cost flight, stay in a budget hotel, or eat a cheap meal. Entrepreneur are the blood of the hospitality and leisure industries, trail blazers who take calculated risks, not unnecessary ones, to bring the masses something new and unique, adding interest and colour to our lives.
As an entrepreneur, there is a need to be aware of your environment, and above all, you must have strength in your convictions and courage to follow them through. You need to be pragmatic; willing to lead by example, and able to recognise in others, traits that compliment your won weaknesses. Although fortune favour the brave, you should also be prepared for failure. Nevertheless, when you take a risk it should be calculated, after all, the better part of the valour knows when to walk away from a fight, and you need to learn from every experience that life throws at you. Essentially, as entrepreneur is an individual with vision, someone who works hard and has the courage to try something new- even if it means failing (Leslie Bailey MSc MHCIMA, Division Manager m.a.x. concepts, Hong Kong, March 2005). The importance on entrepreneurship within the hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism industries is increasingly being reflected in subject curricula. No direct work has been undertaken in hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism regarding student perceptions of their need for entrepreneurship teaching in subject courses.
However, two projects funded by the Higher Education Academy Network for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism have captured the opinion of graduated concerning their preparation of work: Sleap (2005) researched the views of physical education and sport science student from the University of Hull regarding the extent to which they felt that the work skills they required following graduation had been developed at university. The students surveyed did feel that university had helped them to develop many work skills and as would be expected, students felt that they had developed more personal and communication skills than business related skills. However: ‘it was felt that there was little opportunity for development of commercial awareness, networking, entrepreneurship, financial skills and awareness of a work culture, (2005:8). These vies support the results of a previous survey conducted by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (1999) which indicated that ‘entrepreneurial and business skills had been least developed by university experiences’ (Sleap, 2005:8). Tomkins (2004)investigated the key skills required for employment as perceived by local employers and recent graduates of the University of Glucocestershire. This was done to inform strategies to support the effective development of key skills by students through the use personal development planning (PDP). She found tha ‘All employers…indicated their requirements for self-assured, independent thinkers, who could communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders in various contexts’ (2004:12).
The study indicated that generally new graduates tended to feel under confident in their first jobs. Tomkins included that work experience (including community or live works), practical modules or personal developments planning were important vehicles in supporting the key skills development of students. Bill and Bowmen-Jones (2004) also strongly support the need of an integrated approach, using PDP in conjunctions with the academic curriculum and wider learning opportunities in order to support the development of entrepreneurial skills, which students require to ‘operate in highly competitive, complex, and dynamic workplace’ ( 2004:18) HospitalityEntrepreneurship teaching is fairly widespread in hospitality management higher education programmes in the UK. Thirteen universities were identifies as offering entrepreneurship related modules in their courses, at a variety of levels, although mostly this was in the final stages of the course. The majority of modules are offered as optional rather than compulsory choices. Five universities offered entrepreneurship modules at more than one level in their course, and Napier University, Edinburg, offered a degree program titled ‘hospitality management in ‘entrepreneurship’, ‘enterprise’, ‘innovation’, or ‘development’ related to the business, new business, concept or product. TourismThe teaching of entrepreneurship is also prevalent in tourism subject provision in UK universities.
Twenty higher education institutions were identified to be undergraduate tourism, and mainly tourism management, courses which contained entrepreneurship (or variant) modules. The most common words in module title were ‘entrepreneurship’, ‘enterprise’, ‘innovation’, ‘business development’ and ‘small businesses’. (Dr Stephen Ball, Reader in Hospitality Management, Sheffield Hallam University) MethodologyThis study based upon secondary data and that has been collected from text books, research papers, and websites. Some secondary data source has been used from the information’s gathered from the various field work projects. Interpretation Shrinking manpower within the industry is, today, a very real problem. This paucity is being felt across all levels of staff and management now, and across all departments. On a pessimistic note, I dare to sat that 85% of all management level personnel across hotel chains in India are not happy, and are waiting for the right opportunity to move out.Growing Disillusionment The growing disillusionment within the sector is indeed worrisome, The issue of working life would be the single deciding factor for the new generationChanging Aspirations and Expectations The aspirations and expectation of hotel professionals have also undergone a sea change. People now want a tangible idea as to how they will progress in the organisation.Attracting Talent The Indian hospitality sector having witnessed a golden year notwithstanding, the industry has failed to create enough excitement for talent from outside the industry to enter and be a partner in its growth.
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