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Profile Evaluation - Hotels Background

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Profile Evaluation - Hotels Background [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2008, 09:04
I have been working for a company called ITC Limited in India for the last 6.5 years (approx.). ITC is a significantly large company with over 40,000 employees and varied interests in businesses such as Tobacco & FMCG, Hotels, Paperboards and speciality papers, Agr-businesses, Foods and more. The Hotels' business has, in recent years, emerged as the second-highest profit-earning business in the portfolio, thanks to higher margins and depreciation benefits. In my six-plus year tenure at ITC Hotels, I have had exposure to numerous aspects of the emerging hospitality business landscape. Thus, my professional experience is peppered with stints at various developing Marketing processes such as Revenue Management, Online Marketing, Digital Branding and Loyalty Programme management.

I have completed my Six Sigma Green Belt training and am awaiting certification and have undertaken several small and large projects, the recent one being the launch of Asia's largest spa in Agra, India. I am currently also building the corporate website with E-commerce and advanced CRM at it's core, a first for this company and already the third-highest ranked hotel website in the country. I have managed teams ranging from 2 to 10 across various levels of manager and staff-level employees. Last year, I received the appraisal rating, given to the top 3 per cent employees in management.

My GMAT score is 710 and my academic qualifications include a graduation in Hotel Management from one of the premier Hoteliering schools in India located in a quaint little town called Manipal. Percentage acquired in Graduation was 68% approx.

I am 29 years old and am avidly interested in researching and playing strategy video games, reading up on everything to do with the digital world, online and offline and, being married, a lot of my time is spent in watching award-winning bengali films, and discussing contemporary literature with my wife. I have a passion for american whiskies and am a formidable cook.

My strengths include my long and committed tenure at ITC Limited with exposure to both Sales and Marketing, awards and citations earned in school for a whole lot of sporting and oratory activities, a degree of maturity thanks to the rigour in this business and a stable career thus far.

My target is to do a 1-year MBA from a college such as INSEAD, primarily to acquire a much-needed global outlook, provided for by students from myriad backgrounds and cultures. Coupled with this, I strongly believe that I have now absorbed a critical mass of knowledge in a "hands-on" office environment, and therefore, require an academic insight into handling professional challenges to hone my skills required for the next level in management.

I intend to acquire the MBA to further a career in luxe-branding or explore the world of finance, which has hitherto remained untouched in my work life.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Hotels Background [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2008, 09:43
Anisen - interesting profile, distinctive at first glance. Here's where you begin to lose me:

anisen943 wrote:
My target is to do a 1-year MBA from a college such as INSEAD, primarily to acquire a much-needed global outlook, provided for by students from myriad backgrounds and cultures. Coupled with this, I strongly believe that I have now absorbed a critical mass of knowledge in a "hands-on" office environment, and therefore, require an academic insight into handling professional challenges to hone my skills required for the next level in management.

I intend to acquire the MBA to further a career in luxe-branding or explore the world of finance, which has hitherto remained untouched in my work life.


Your "Why MBA?" needs a lot of polish. How exactly is a "global outlook" much needed for your career to advance? What kind of "academic insight" are you really looking for? The "next level in management" - are you looking to stay and grow within the hospitality industry? Because you say you're looking to get exposed to the luxury goods and/or financial services industry (pick one!). As you can see, unless you can articulate yourself a little better, the impression a casual observer is going to get is that your career plans are going off in too many undefined directions. And that is going to be the death knell in an admissions year as competitive as this.

30 isn't too old for Insead, but if you're looking to switch industries and maximize your academic exposure, why are you considering a 1 year MBA? Fluency in multiple languages and international experience is highly desirable at Insead and that doesnt' seem to be a theme at all in your overall positioning.

Hope that's helpful.

And please be warned that I'm a lot less experienced than you are, like you I am also applying to business school this year, therefore I may not know what I'm talking about at all! :?
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Hotels Background [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2008, 09:52
Thanks a lot Solaris. You're absolutely right about the "Why MBA" and the multiple pursuits, so I shall attempt to clarify further on the why MBA section, with an emphasis on the "global outlook". There's a bit of a background to that. I will send you a reply first thing tomorrow morning for you to take a look at.

Thanks for the tip on INSEAD requirements : looks quite discouraging at the outset, I must say. Both the aspects that you have mentioned are indeed missing from my profile. Guess I will have to draw them away from that when I write my essays.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Hotels Background [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2008, 05:03
Hi SOlaris, here are the clarifications:

In my professional experience, I have worked for a company that operates and manages businesses primarily in India, and, largely in the FMCG sector. I am looking for a career shift in the following fields :

1. Luxury services marketing (Consulting or Industry)
2. Luxury products marketing (Consulting or Industry)
3. Real Estate marketing & development (Consulting or Industry)

And lastly, the tricky one : Financial services marketing or consulting

In my career, although I have been exposed somewhat to world-class brands, through our franchise agreement with Starwood Hotels Worldwide, there is a distinct absence of an international exposure both in terms of interaction with professionals from global companies / MNC's and knowledge inputs in the form of global best practices. Because of this, many fundamental questions concerning things like principles of economics, pricing and demand drivers have accumulated over the years.

The professional qualification in Hotel Management (Bachelor's Degree) was not oriented toward managing businesses and concentrated more on the technical aspects of classical hoteliering, and therefore, the plethora of questions.

What I therefore require, are boosters in two key areas viz: strong business-oriented academic inputs especially in concepts of marketing, economics and basic finance and a much-needed exposure to global / international professionals who, I believe, will be the key to providing a better picture of managing businesses with global challenges, as opposed to local ones.

The tactical objective is to gain some serious, rigorous, technical insight into aspects of business that will come in handy for what I believe is now an organic progression in my career : a leadership / semi-leadership role in the aforementioned functions. If this requires an industry shift, so be it.

As far as the option of "finance" goes, this is a functional area in which I have absolutely no expertise, but, have a great deal of interest in. Over the last 6 years, I have always handled tasks / projects which were either way ahead of their time, in terms of industry practices, or simply not attempted before by the company. Therefore, I have always been inclined toward attempting to do things that I have previously never come into contact with. Finance is one area that particularly interests me because a huge number of fundamental marketing questions are usually answered by applying basic financial tools / concepts. Eg : Revenue Management is a function in our industry that attempts to optimise yields through forecasting techniques. It took me two years to figure out the basic tenets of forecasting, which is very easily comprehended by today's chartered accountants.

Hope the above sounds convincing. I would also like your candid opinion on my choice of colleges listed hereunder :

1. INSEAD
2. Indian School of Business
3. Harvard Business School (Don't fancy a chance, but just 'cause it's a distant dream)
4. Kellogg
5. Columbia
6. Cornell
7. Duke
8. Nanyang Tech Singapore (Lower priority)
9. NUS, Singapore (Lower priority)

What do you think of this list? What are your recommendations?
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Hotels Background [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2008, 11:53
That makes a little more sense, anisen. You still need to think about how to summarize all that into a 200-300 word paragraph you can use for your "goals" essay. If the 9 schools you listed interest you the most, I would try to speak with any current students or alumni to get a sense of where you think you would fit best. And then work hard to demonstrate that fit in your essays. As you probably realize yourself, the GMAT score is probably a bit lower than the averages for Indian applicants at the US schools on your list, but that shouldn't really matter that much because I doubt there's a lot of folks from the hospitality industry applying for an MBA.

Not sure what other feedback I can volunteer here. Good luck.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Hotels Background [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2008, 23:34
Thanks a bunch, Solaris. Have begun the process with the application to Indian School of Business today. Yes, do realize the truth about the GMAT score, but, not too worried as the experience also is a lot more than median W/E.

Thank again
Re: Profile Evaluation - Hotels Background   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2008, 23:34
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