How to Become Effective General Manager of a Hotel

Overview of Tourism & Hospitality Industry

The Indian Tourism & Hospitality Industry plays significant role as a key drivers in the growth of service sector in India. It has huge potential seeing the rich cultural & historical heritage, variety of topographies and natural loveliness. As per WTTC, Indian Travel & Tourism industry was ranked 3rd among 185 countries in terms of total contribution to GDP in 2018. This Sector’s direct contribution towards GDP was around Rs. 6 trillion which is expected to grow by around 7% p.a during 2018-28 and contribute around Rs. 13 trillion in 2028-2030. This will also lead towards generating more employment opportunities as well, as of 2019 around 4 crore jobs were created which was around 8% of total employment in India.


A hotel is an establishment that provides comfortable accommodation, meals and leisure activities to travellers and tourists. Depending on the facilities available, hotels are rated under the category. Hotels in India are classified by Hotel and Restaurant Association Classification Committee (HRACC), Ministry of Tourism, India. For example to be a 5 star hotel, a hotel must possess the following:

  • Standalone concierge staff which should be available for minimum 16 hours a day
  • Multilingual staff to cater to tourists across the globe
  • Staff-to-room ratio of above 3
  • 24 hours valet parking, doorman, butler, reception and room service
  • 24 hours housekeeping staff available
  • Facility of Laundry, Iron, Shoe Polish and Dry Cleaning
  • Separate elevator for guest and staff
  • Fine Dining Restaurant, Lounge, Café, Bar
  • Special Childcare amenities and room
  • Transfer Facilities
  • Gym, Spa, Swimming Pool
  • Emergency Exits and Glowing Fire Signage to guide through the path in case of Fire
  • Proper provision of security staff

Considering the above points, one can have an idea of the roles and responsibilities of a general manager of a hotel. As it is rightly said “With Great Powers Comes Great Responsibilities”. A general manager of a hotel, always have to be on toe to not only check the operations of the hotel but also to assist customer grievances.

Every hotelier dream of becoming general manager one day, thinking stereotypes of working for long years and finally becoming one but gone are those days, now we see general managers in their mid-thirties and need not have to wait till 50 as long as one keep on learning and developing themselves and move in one constant direction. As its right said “You are not a Tree, don’t be afraid of Change.”

Some of the qualities of a successful general manager like composure, patience, leadership, being a “people person”, risk taking ability may seem innate; most of the hoteliers understand that it takes a lot of sweat, tears and blood to be at the top. Below are few of the habits of a successful hotel general manager:

  1. Quick Decision Making Ability

A successful general manager has to be an expert decision maker. Most of the times, the general manager is surrounded with heads of other departments, seeking a decision, too much time given to one problem might take away other’s time. Best practice is to delegate the decision making power to immediate subordinates but it is equally important to have a random check on them to ensure rightful decision making. In absence of mature and trained subordinates, a general manager has to make quick decisions and stand to it.

  1. Spend less time in Office Chair

Years of hard work must have provided a nice, large office, but a general manager should not get too much comfortable. It is very important to manage time between emails, meetings, administrative tasks and taking a round of hotel – interacting with the employees and if given a chance with guests of the property, to get meaningful feedback.

  1. Be a Leader not Manager

People only follow what they see. It is important to gain the trust of the employees that a general manager take some tasks in his hand, it is very important to set an example. “Practice What You Preach”, is the mantra of a successful leader.

  1. Immediate team of Right and Trustworthy People

There is usually a very high employee turnover in Hospitality Industry, this is due to lack of delegation of authority or lack of trust that a general manager shows in its team. Let the team make mistake and a general manager should guard and teach them from time to time. People tend to leave when trained and see no further opportunity to progress or due to monotonous work. A motivated immediate team will appraise the general manager of the situation so that corrective measures can be taken to lower the attrition rate. It is important to understand that a general manager cannot be available everywhere 24*7, so it is very important to have an immediate motivated team of managers who can take decisions and keep the operations smooth.

  1. Motivate the Employees

Motivation is a continuation process just like bathing, it is recommended daily. The most important factor to keep an employee fully engaged in work is his relationship with immediate manager. Motivation is required at each level of organization. For somebody, motivation may come from extra money earned or being appreciated in front of colleagues.

  1. Reward the Performer

Praise and recognition are the top reasons that make employees happy at work. To be a successful general manager it is important to praise the performer, which will indirectly motivate the other staff. If a general manager wants to achieve major goal then it is important that the employees downside achieve their goals as well.

  1. Invest in Technology

In this modern era of digitization, a general manager shall invest in technology to address to guest’s experience, property management, revenue management as per availability of inventory. The biggest example can be of Make My Trip, Goibibo, or any other travel app which has made booking a hotel room so easy with attractive deals. In return, hotels get better occupancy rate and manage rates as per revenue management algorithm and mechanism.

  1. Love Your Job

“Do What You Love or Love What You Do”- Hotel Industry requires long and odd hours of working, and this can only be done once we love our job. Hospitality Industry is about having the will to serve and service does not have time, it is bound with passion and love towards it.

To be a hotelier or enter into hotel industry it is important to attain formal education and training from a reputed Hotel Management Institute in India. Students soon after completion of their 12th standard can opt for bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management which can lay a strong foundation for entry in hotel industry. Graduates can opt for Diploma in Hotel Management in Jaipur– 1 Year programme to get the basics right.

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