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Sommet Education, one of the worlds reputed and most extensive network of hospitality management institutions, is endeavouring to expand its footprint in the Indian space.
Through its twin institutions -- Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education -- Sommet has seven campuses in Switzerland, Spain, China, Jordan, United Kingdom and the US.
Sommet Education Chief Executive Officer Benoît-Etienne Domingate, has been camping in India for the past week talking to stakeholders of the Indian hospitality industry.
While it has no immediate plans to set up a campus here, Domingate said the priority was consolidating the links with India. Nearly 15 per cent of its students are Indians.
"We have around 400 Indian alumni and the focus is to consolidate our relationship with India. We are not present here in terms of an institute but our teams here have been functioning here for nearly 30 years now.
"Enhancing the relationship between Indian industry players -- hotels, travel, tourism -- and both our schools Glion and Les Roches is the priority," Domingate told IANS here.
Accredited at the university level by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), Les Roches has been ranked No.4 among the world's top institutions for Hospitality and Leisure Management and No.2 worldwide for employer reputation by QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.
Meeting representatives of Indian hospitality sector including educational institutes and entrepreneurs, Domingate and his team discussed ways of increasing their involvement with India.
"We are now focussing on consolidating our existing campuses and don't have immediate plans to set up an institute here. But working with the Indian industry, forging partnerships is an important priority.
"India being a fast booming market, it is important for our students to know about India," Domingate said, adding that efforts are on to forge partnerships, including exchange programmes of students and faculty with Indian hospitality entities.
"We see India as a major country with long tradition of hospitality. India is not a new market for us. We have our here endeavouring to develop relationships of our schools with India.
"But it is important to have constant dialogues of our schools with the Indian market -- hoteliers, restaurateurs, educational institutes -- in our endeavour to be locally relevant and constantly evolve," he said.
Talking about hospitality management education, he said it was imperative to give equal importance to the practical aspect as much as theory.
"Practical aspects ensure that a student is constantly in relationship with the industry, with the world outside. It's the right blend of theory and practical that makes our students stay relevant in the complex and the ever evolving markets," he said.
Experts have often lamented the dearth of hospitality management institutes in India and stressed on the need to upgrade the system with more emphasis on the practical aspects.
Both Glion and Les Roches offer a wide range of graduate and post-graduate hospitality management degrees with a focus on international business and global service industry applications.
(Anurag Dey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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