Hotel Management

Hoteliering is basically a service industry. A catering graduate can either work for a star-rated hotel, restaurant, club, resort, motel, catering department, cruise-liners or airlines.

The different departments in a hotel are:

General Operations: Main responsibilities of this department are supervision, co-ordination and administration of all other departments as well as overall financial control. Positions include General Manager, Operations Manager, Finance Manager and Human Resource Manager.

Front Office: As the Front Office Manager, you will be at the centre of all activities. Major tasks performed are providing information; making reservations and handling check-ins and check-outs. Positions include Front Office Executive, Shift Supervisor, Front Office Manager, Lobby Manager, Guest Relations Executive, etc.

Food And Beverage: This is the hub of the hotel industry and is responsible for all the food prepared and served in the hotel. Positions include that of Executive Chef, Chef de Cuisine, Chef de Partis, Ballroom Manager, Bar Manager, Catering Manager, Food & Beverage Supervisor, etc.

Housekeeping: Functions include making sure that the rooms are kept in order and all the needs of the guests are met. Positions include that of Assistant Housekeeper, Floor Supervisor, Laundry Executive, Housekeeper, etc.

Sales And Marketing: As a Business Development Manager, you will interact with travel agents, tour operators as well as corporate clients to promote the hotel. You will also be involved in advertising and public relations. Positions include that of Marketing Manager, Marketing Executive, etc.

Apart from the above-mentioned departments, other areas such as engineering, security, finance and personnel are also very essential for the smooth operation of a hotel.


Does the following describe you?

Now for the educational and professional qualifications:

A diploma or degree in Hotel Management will get you a job as an Executive/Management Trainee in a hotel. This can be done after HSC.

A diploma after SSC (in Housekeeping/Food craft/Front office) will place you as an Operational Trainee in a hotel.

Alternatively, you can also join a hotel as an apprentice directly after your HSC in any stream. Some hotels even take graduates in any subject as Executive Trainees. There is scope for MBAs in the marketing, finance and human resources departments.

Job Opportunities

Opportunities in this field are a goldmine. Apart from working in hotels, restaurants, cafés, resorts, guesthouses and casinos, you could also be employed in the tourism industry, conference centres and large companies in various industries.

Check Out These Options As Well:

* Industrial canteens and corporate guesthouses
* Airlines as cabin crew and customer service executives at airports
* Flight kitchens
* Merchant Navy and luxury ships in their catering departments
* Catering companies
* Railways
* Luxury cruise liners
* Research openings, particularly in the area of genetic engineering.

* You could also work as a Quality Inspector for commercial canning in quick-freezing stations or packaging for the domestic and export market.

* There are even some industrial houses, which handle large-scale scientific cultivation of fruits and vegetables. Opportunities exist here too.

Money & Other Benefits

Just out of college, no experience? No sweat. You could approach a hotel for a job as Executive Trainee or Management Trainee. You'll be paid in the range of Rs 5, 000-7,000. Not bad huh?

However, in smaller hotels, catering companies, industrial canteens, resorts, guesthouses and restaurants the starting salary may not be as exciting. Just about Rs 2,500-4,000 a month.

If you know your spices you could work in the kitchen, where the growth can be very exciting. An Executive Chef in a 5-star hotel earns about Rs 60,000 or more per month plus other perks

If good money is what you are looking at, then Hotel Management is one profession you won't regret choosing. The General Manager of an average hotel earns anything between Rs 10,000-15,000 a month, while someone working for a five-star hotel could draw upto Rs 25,000-60,000 or even more.

Food & Beverage Manager: Rs 8,000-20,000

Front Office Manager: Rs 6,000-20,000

Lobby managers: Rs 4,000-12,000

Executive Chef: Rs 8,000-60,000

Sous Chef: Rs 5,000-12,000

Executive Housekeepers: Rs 14,000-40,000

Assistant Housekeeper: Rs 2,000-6,000

Pantry Supervisors: Rs 1,200-4,500

The money in a cruise liner is even more attractive. Career mobility is very fast in the hotel industry for dynamic, energetic and diplomatic professionals. Movements up the organisational hierarchy are purely merit-based.

Career Prospects

The hotel industry falls under the hospitality industry. Tourism is another part of the hospitality industry. India is poised for a 100 per cent growth in the next three years. Simply put, it means more jobs in hotels for you.

Career opportunities in this field are not restricted to just 5 star hotels. You can even join the catering division of schools, colleges, companies, cruise liners, clubs, hospitals, airlines, etc. Government owned catering departments like the railways, armed forces, ministerial conventions, etc. are some other options.

You can also seek employment in guesthouses and forest lodges. With emphasis on projecting India as a tourist destination the need for hotels has increased manifold. And that may sound music to the ears of people aspiring for a career in this industry.



Travel & Tourism Professional

In a travel agency, you could work as a Travel Counsellor. Here, you'll provide information and guidance on tourist locations and also handle ticketing and reservation. You'll guide tourists on regulations in foreign countries like custom duty, foreign currency, exchange rates, etc.

You'll book tickets for a regular clientele and also co-ordinate with big companies like SOTC or tour operators that need rail, bus and air tickets booked for their clients.

You could be working with travel companies like TCI, Cox & Kings or UVI Holidays Ltd. Planning the entire tour right from ticketing to booking the hotels, selecting places for sight seeing, hiring private vehicles, etc can be a daunting task.

You'll begin as a tour executive in the ticketing department. Your job will involve taking down the routes that your client wants to travel through and arranging for them. If a client needs to fly between Addis Ababa and Madras, it is your job to tell him or her the best way to get there. This means giving them different options like the choice between flights, best discounts, etc.

The next step includes calling up the airline and confirming the ticket. To avoid goof-ups, every letter is represented by a word like, A for alpha. So, if you want to tell Indian Airlines you need to book on a flight from Mumbai to Delhi, you book the ticket saying D for Delta, E for Egypt and so on.

You can also work as a guide. Accompanying tourists, looking after their comforts and guiding them through the locations, explaining its history and culture can hardly be described as a job.

In the airline business you will function as the ground staff, assisting passengers in ticketing, answering passengers queries, issuing flight/boarding pass, checking luggage, etc. You could also work in the marketing department, promoting various tour packages to tourists as well as corporate clients.

Every state has its own tourism department, and so does the central government. You could start off as an Information Assistant in these tourism departments and gradually move up the ladder.


* Excellent communication skills in English and any other regional language
* Knowledge of a foreign language would be an advantage
* Pleasant personality

To do well in this field you got to spruce up your public relations. Often you'll have to deal with angry clients ready to nail you for no hot water in their bathroom. And of course you should have the ability to smile tirelessly. Then there are bounced cheques, cancelled bookings, etc to take care of. You sure need a cool head for all this.

For a higher level job as an executive, you need to have a PG Diploma in Tourism/MTA (Master of Tourism Administration)/MBA, to extract an advantage over general graduates. MBAs are generally recruited for marketing. If you have a diploma or degree in Hotel Management, you can get a good job in executive cadre.

There are many institutes that offer diplomas in tourism. In Mumbai you can do it from Tradewings, Radio Bhuvan IHCTM, Mumbai University, K.C. College or SNDT.

If ticketing is what you are looking at, an IATA diploma from Geneva is the most reliable. Stay clear of fake classes that claim to offer IATA certified courses. It is common to see the IATA sign on tickets or agencies. Any agency needs at least two IATA diploma holders as employees in order to get the certification.

To get a job in the government departments, airlines and travel agencies the minimum eligibility is graduation in any discipline. To qualify as a guide, you should be a graduate or postgraduate in History/Archaeology along with a certificate course in guiding. Recruitment into government tourism departments is done through the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) or SPSC (State Public Service Commission)

Job Opportunities

* Travel agencies
* Tour operators
* Airlines, both national and international
* Hotels
* Transport and cargo companies
* Government tourism departments, including the ITDC (Indian Tourism Development Corporation) and State Departments of Tourism
* Travel consultancy organisations

Money & Other Benefits

In a government department you'll start at a gross salary of about Rs 6,500 per month.

In a corporate sector travel agency, your starting pay will be about Rs 6,000-8000 a month if you have certificate or diploma in tourism.

If you have an MTA your starting salary could be Rs 8,000-14,000 or more per month. MBAs get a higher start at about Rs 10,000-20,000 or more per month.

The money notwithstanding, the perks in the field are more attractive. You can get free tickets for a certain period of time or annually for yourself and your family. Plus you get to travel free with your clients if you are the tour leader going out with a group.

Career Prospects

Tourism is a major source of foreign exchange. In recent years, India has been aggressively marketing itself as a tourist destination. There has also been a spurt of Indians travelling overseas. This simply translates into more business and thus more opportunities.

You could start off as an assistant and work your way up to an executive role and even end up being the general manager.

You could even write you own book on travel and tourism or become a lecturer at a tourism institute. If that's not good enough you can even start your own firms after gaining some experience.



Food Technologist

Food Technology is the science of processing food items. As a Food Technologist you will use your skills to preserve fruits, vegetables, pickles, snacks, juices, beverages, etc. Apart from preservation, food technology also deals with manufacturing confectionery, snacks and also the packaging of all these products for marketing and shipping. If you love food and want to be surrounded by it at all times then this is the career for you!

The work performed in the food processing industry involves the practical application of the principles of chemistry, physics, biology, microbiology, biotechnology, engineering, and other disciplines of science, for the preservation, processing and handling of food materials.

The food processing industry is engaged in converting food products like wheat, rice, sugar, oil, pulses, etc. into an edible form. It also deals with processed foods such as biscuits, bakery products, confectionery, dairy products, breakfast foods, meat, fish products, fruit and vegetable. All these items are processed and packaged to enhance and prolong their shelf life.

As a Food Technologist you will be equipped with the knowledge of not only processing foodstuffs, but storage, research and quality control also. You will experiment and determine the parameters for storage such as hygiene, temperature, etc.

You could also be working in the quality control department, operations department or get into hardcore Research & Development.


You need to be interested in scientific research. The job involves long, strenuous hours of experimentation and an analytical mind becomes imperative. A food technologist has to be particular about cleanliness and hygiene and should be prudent, conscientious and meticulous.

Various Indian universities offer degree courses in Home Science, Food Technology and Food Science. The duration of these courses vary from two to three years. M.Sc and Ph.D courses in Food and Nutrition, Home Science, Food Technology and Bio-Technology are also available in various universities and institutes.
For a B.Sc. in Home Science/Food Technology/Food Science the minimum requirement is 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths. For M.Sc /Management, the eligibility criteria is B.Sc.

Home Science graduates or higher degrees in Dietetics/Nutrition and Hotel Management graduates (Food & Beverage) can work as a team in food production industries, marketing, preservation and so on.

You could also do a certificate course in Bakery and Confectionery, Canning and Food Preservation. There are also training institutes offering post-degree courses in specialised aspects of Food Processing.

The Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies has 33 Food and Nutrition Extension Centres in different parts of the country providing short-term courses and training in Home Scale Preservation of fruits and vegetables, preparation of bakery and confectionery items, rice milling, oil seed processing, etc.

There are also Fruit Preservation Centres in some states for training in the preservation of fruits and vegetables. All courses in this field, however, require a background in science.

Job Opportunities

This industry provides ample job opportunities to persons with specific skills and abilities. Some industries include:

You could also start your own home catering service and delivery networks. The packaging and distribution of home-made condiments, pickles, and sauces are other avenues of self-employment.

Money & Other Benefits

You can start with Rs 5,000-8,000, moving on to Rs 12,000-15,000. Salaries with multinationals are correspondingly higher.

Research organisation pays you anywhere between Rs 8,000-15,000. If you start a niche product like health foods or health drinks, you could earn much higher.

Career Prospects

The concept of processed foods has caught the imagination of consumers in recent years, because of their enhanced convenience, variety, nutrition and taste. The challenge therefore lies in continuously developing new variations of food items, as well as new processes that will maximise its appeal and shelf life. There is a constant demand for new products like ready-to-eat snacks, breakfast cereals, textured vegetable protein foods and so on. You could even work as consultants for international organisations such as UNICEF and WHO.

The last few decades have seen a radical change in people's ideas about food and health. The increase in diseases and medical problems has also forced people to improve their dietary habits.

Firms are constantly trying to minimise the use of chemicals and preservatives. Indian in general have an aversion to processed foods. But quality imports from abroad have begun to challenge that notion. Indian industry is waking up to these prospects. Exports to Europe and America are also being targeted.

The industry is being modernised creating a lot of employment opportunities for the trained Food Technologists. The growth is going to be strengthened by various MNCs entering India.


As a chef you will be leading a platoon of sous chefs in a glamorous, stainless steel kitchen and presenting fabulous meals to hundreds of people. But it not half as glamourous as it sounds. You will be lifting heavy pots, being on your feet for eight hours, stirring vats of sauces, rolling pounds of dough. So you see it's a lot of hard work.

Many chefs specialize in a certain type of cuisine. A chef should be able to relate well to guests and cater to their specific tastes. So you are expected to be armed with extensive knowledge about different cultures, cuisine and related information.
A would-be chef is trained in the preparing food, pre-preparation of ingredients, usage of utensils, knowledge of various ingredients, food science, changes food undergoes while heating, good safety, like at what temperature you need to hold and serve the food, sanitation aspects, communication, nutrition, food science and more.


When people dine out they expect the food to not just taste good but also look appetising. Looks count because it makes a customer psychologically more receptive to the food. It's the chef's responsibility to not only tingle the taste buds but also the eyes. Making a dish look fabulous is an art, which needs to be perfected. As a chef you will work in tandem with other chefs to make sure that the dishes reach the table on time, according to the specifications of the guest and looking breathtaking.

Innovation is the word for a Chef. You can't keep serving the same dishes for long as guests needs variety. So you will be expected to cook up new dishes. Customers can be finicky, and so you got to be very sensitive and patient. Another important aspect of a chef's life is the long and unusual work hours, making it difficult for them to socialize.

To become a chef one can go in for courses in food pro cessing, catering technology and any other relevant course. This is one field where skills of a person who has not had any formal training in the area may be superior to that of a trained chef. The proof of the pudding, so to say, is in the eating.

Job Opportunities

You could start your career as a trainee in a hotel and learn the ropes. Most start rated hotels recruit trainess in all departments. You could approach them with your CV.

Alternatively you could also start your own catering unit or a fast food joint if you have the financial backing. However, a small stint in a large hotel would widen your horizon a lot.

In a large hotel you will start as an apprentice cook and then work your way up to certified cook, demi-chef, chef-de-partie, sous chef, executive sous chef, executive chef, and finally a corporate chef or food director. However, the names of the designations may differ from hotel to hotel. However it has to mentioned that it might take as long as 15 years to reach the top - the position of an executive chef.

If you hit it big time you could even be called to do television shows. Such shows can bring a good mix of income and fame. Take Tarla Dalal and Sanjeev Kapoor. Established chefs can also publish cookbooks. This has also proved to be a runaway success. Conducting cookery classes is another option that can be pursued either full time or part time.

Money & Other Benefits

Your starting salary for the first three years will be Rs 2,000. With five years of experience you will drawing around Rs 7,000. Chefs with 10 years of experience earn between Rs 15,000-20,000. After a stint as a chef abroad in a hotel or on a cruise liner you could easily make about Rs 40,000-60,000 a month.

Career Prospects

You can become restaurateurs or enter some related food-industry position. A few chefs move into catering. You could even try your luck working at a hotel or a cruise liner abroad. Apart from a fat pay cheque you also get to see the world, stay in the best hotels and eat the best food.
One thing's for sure you won't go hungry!



Commercial Pilot

Flying an aeroplane is great. Getting paid to do that is even greater. No wonder it's one of the most sought-after careers in the world. And you can see why. A typical day will see you 'brunching' in Frankfurt, 'lunching' at Atlanta and dinning in Texas. Now that's what we call a real globetrotter! What's more, you get to see the world, stay in the best hotels and hobnob with the best looking women in the industry. Did we say you'd take home close to Rs 40,000 a month?

Piloting is serious business. It carries considerable charm, prestige, responsibility and risk. You'll find yourself in different time zones, climates and cultures every day. It's like a different expedition every time...a new and exciting world to discover and journey through.

A typical workday depends on the number of pilots a plane needs and whether you are flying international or domestic. A long day can last for as many as 12 hours. But with international flights there could be no limits to your working hours. In any case, you won't be at the cockpit for more than 4 hours at a stretch.

As a commercial pilot, you will be flying different types of aircraft right from a 16-seater small plane to 747 jumbo jets and airbuses. Flying at a height of 5000-30,000 ft. above the sea level can be a real high!

As a commercial pilot you will be responsible for the safe run of the aircraft between destinations. You will also be responsible for the safety of the crew members, passengers and the aircraft during its flight.

You will have to be fully aware of the weather, flight conditions, flight routes and international sky limits. Seeking the approval of the Air Traffic Control before flying and landing, checking the electrical and mechanical functioning of various components of the aircraft and checking the fuel conditions are part of your job.

You have to make sure that there are absolutely no technical snags before taking off. This job calls for very high level of precision. No mistake, however negligible can be overlooked as even a small error in the engine can spell disaster.

The Captain/Senior Commander makes all the major decisions and is overall responsible for the flight's safety. He is the team leader and must establish an effective crew atmosphere, with good communication and resource management.

The First Officer assists the Captain. He also helps the Captain in pre-flight duties like reviewing paperwork and pre-flight checks. The First Officer is also a pilot but a junior one at that. Trainee Pilots generally fly as co-pilots.

A Trainee Pilot goes on to become a Pilot or First officer on board. The first promotion is a Commander or Captain and thereafter a Senior Commander. Seniority is determined by the hours of flying and successful completion of various training programmes and subsequent certification.


If you are ready to take responsibility for the billion-dollar aerodynamic machine called an airplane and the numerous lives that will be entrusted in your hands, you need to be:

* A very intelligent person with excellent analytical and reasoning abilities

* Excellent scientific reasoning and comfortable with scientific facts and figures

* Alert in every situation

* Able to maintain your cool in times of crisis and even otherwise

* Quick at taking decisions

* Excellent leadership qualities

* Physically fit

The above qualities will just about impress your teacher, but won't land you a flying job. For that you need a Commercial Pilot Licence, which can be acquired like this:

Student Pilot License (SPL) - After SSC you could register with a flying club, recognised by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), followed by a written test. Then you have to get your medical check-up certified by the Institute of Aviation Medicine or Armed Forces Central Medical Establishments. After this you can stake claim to the most coveted Student Pilot License or SPL.

Private Pilot License (PPL) - This is the second step. After a minimum of 15 hours of flying training with instructors, you are then eligible to fly alone. Thereafter, you have to obtain at least 60 hours of solo flying experience to be eligible for a written test. For this you have to be minimum 17 years of age, 10+2 pass with Physics and Mathematics. Few flying clubs and institutes allow you to register directly for PPL.
Note: This license does not allow you to work with commercial airlines.

Commercial Pilot License (CPL) - This could be obtained from any DGCA recognised flying training institute. Apart from a minimum age of 18 you also need a certificate of fitness issued by a Medical Board approved by the DGCA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India.

Academically you need to have completed your 10+2 with Physics and Mathematics or BSc with Physics, Maths and Chemistry. At least 250 hours of flying experience is required inclusive of 60 hours in PPL. Twenty-five hours of cross-country and at least five hours of night flying experience is a must.

Apart from the flying experience you also have to pass a written test. Additionally, a commercial pilot needs an instrument rating (which includes night flying) and a multi-engine rating (twin engine flying).

Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ALTPL) - This is the final step in becoming a full-fledged airline pilot. It involves flying for over 1500 hours in a variety of aircrafts apart from passing the theory papers.

Job Opportunities

* Government carriers like Indian Airlines; Air India or their subsidiaries like Alliance Air.

* Domestic private airlines like Sahara India, Jet Airways, etc.

* Foreign Airlines like British Airways, Delta Airlines, Singapore Airlines, United Air, Lufthansa, etc.

* Corporate companies that own private jets like TISCO, Kirloskar, Reliance, Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra

* Cargo companies that own fleets like DHL, UPS, etc.

* You could also acquire a CPL and apply to the Air Force as a pilot on Short Service Commission for a period of five years.

Money & Other Benefits

Trainee pilots on international routes get Rs 80,000-1,00,000 a month or more (salary plus other allowances).

Domestic airlines pay Rs 40,000- 80,000 a month

A Pilot may earn Rs 2 lakh-3.5 lakh a month.

A Captain makes Rs 2.4-4 lakh a month.

Senior commander gets paid Rs 5 lakh a month in Air India. Salaries include various allowances and perks.

Career Prospects

Unfortunately, in a field as exciting as this, the employment opportunities are limited. There are some pilots floating around unemployed because there aren't as many jobs to accommodate them - a classic example of the supply being greater than demand. But the unemployment is only temporary. Generally, one doesn't sit idle for long.

The good news is that the existing domestic airlines have been allowed fleet expansions. Add to that the investment in air traffic infrastructure and there sure seems to be a silver lining. Besides opportunities in the domestic sector it is always possible to get a job in foreign airlines

Lastly, greater the number of flying hours, better are the chances of landing a job or at least getting the employer to look at your curriculum vitae!



Air Hostess

Sometimes it pays to be high headed. To be always on the seventh heaven. No, we aren't being rude here. If you wish to be in a profession where the sky is the limit for the kind of money you'll make, we have news for you. You could be a jetsetter in the true sense of the term.

You could be an airhostess. So fasten your seat belts and here we take off…

Career Overview

First, let's clear your head of some glaring misconceptions. Airhostesses DON'T lead glamorous lives. Nor is it a cakewalk in the air. Your job profile ranges from passenger safety to good public relations. It's your job to make people feel comfortable during the flight and ensure their safety at all times. You got to be strong enough to lift heavy containers and slim enough to glide through the aisle and in between carts.

As an airhostess, your duty starts much before take-off. You have to reach the airport an hour-and-a-half before check-in time and undergo briefing by the senior flight attendant. Briefing includes a basic lecture on safety, take-off and service procedures during the flight.
Flight attendants often spend up to half of their working hours preparing the cabin for flight, writing reports and doing other related work on the ground. Flight attendants need to have excellent communication skills, tactful, well groomed and enjoy taking a methodical approach to their work. While this is a mere formality as far as domestic flights are concerned, it is advisable to know your stuff thoroughly if you're flying international.

That's not all. You also have to run a safety check on the aircraft. This includes testing safety equipment, life jackets, mikes, etc. Ensuring that pillows, blankets, books, food, plates, glasses, napkins and medicines are in stock is also part and parcel of the job. The final check includes making sure that the aircraft has been cleaned and is ready for boarding

It's after boarding that your real duties begin. After handing over the boarding passes, you have to assist passengers and help them settle down in their seats. Then comes the most boring part of explaining safety procedures and building a rapport with the passengers as, after all, you will be serving them for the next several hours.

However, it's not as easy as it sounds. Dealing with different passengers can be one hell of a trying experience. If you're lucky, you won't have more than two to three troublemakers on a flight.

The longest shift for a domestic hostess can be about 5-6 hours but international hostesses have to serve for 12-15 hours at a stretch. Phew! Now that can be really very tiring. Add to that an emergency like a medical problem or a hijack and you are left handling 200 passengers all at the same time.

The highs in this career are worth talking about. Think of all the kinds of people you'll meet right from the businessmen to filmstars and even VVIPs! Of course, you'll see all the exotic destinations, stay in 5-star hotels and shop at some of the best malls in the world. And we haven't even spoken about the money yet. At the end of the month, you take home an attractive pay packet.


Take one hard look at yourself in the mirror. Do you look good? Well, then, that's about all any airline will bother look at. Of course it helps to be:

If you possess the above qualities, you'll get a call for a written test from the airline. The test is fairly simple with multiple-choice objectives. After clearing the test you'll then be called for a group discussion followed by a personal interview.

Note: These are just the broad selection procedures. However, the eligibility criterion is different for different airlines. So make sure you check the requirements of the airline you apply to.

Job Opportunities

You start off work in the economy class of a flight. After a year or so you will then progress to the business class and then to the First Class. You can then become a supervisor and finally become a purser - incharge of the whole aircraft. It usually takes about seven years and a good track record to become a purser.
All through the years, the airlines you are working for will offer various training and skill development programmes. Most airlines recruit staff on a contract basis for about 2-3 years and you will be bound to the airline till the contract expires. Some places you'll be working are:

* Government owned carriers: Indian Airlines, Air India and their subsidiaries like Alliance Air.
* Domestic private airlines: Sahara India, Jet Airways, etc.

* Foreign Airlines operating from India like British Airways, Delta Airlines, Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines, United Air, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, etc.

* Corporate companies with their own private jets like Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra, etc.

Money & Other Benefits

Depending on the airline and your designation your salary and other allowance may add up to Rs 16,000-75,000 or more per month.

Senior airhostess in Air India or Indian Airlines get Rs 75,000 per month.
Senior airhostess with foreign airlines get Rs 2 lakh or more a month in Indian currency. Junior domestic hostesses get Rs 16,000 a month.

The money scene is any day better in international airlines and you could earn a minimum of Rs 40,000 per month if you're working with a reputed airline.

However, you must remember that you cannot fly for more than 72 hours in a month. So this would greatly limit the amount of money you can make, especially if you're flying with a not-so-reputed airline.

Career Prospects

Though the trade pundits have announced a slump in the domestic air traffic industry, you have no cause for worry. As far as people wish to fly there will be demand for airhostess. Or just look at the increase in the number of airlines operating in the regional trunk routes like Calcutta - Bagdogra, New Delhi - Shimla, Mumbai - Hubli, Mumbai - Nagpur, etc.

Airlines like Alliance Air are operating in these routes and several others are planning to do so. This will also mean an increased demand for aircrew including airhostesses. Apart from domestic airlines, it is always possible to get a job in foreign Airlines or in Air India and Indian Airlines, which operate, on international routes.


Guest Relations Executive

Guest Relations is a fairly new job profile. However it has been lately in the news as the hospitality industry is witnessing a boom. Professionals in this field, though, are largely employed in the hospitality industry and media companies, also find opportunities in the travel and tourism industry and even corporate houses.
Guest Relations Executives (GREs) in hotels greet guests, provide information, give directions, handle complaints, assist disabled guests and answers phones. They make sure that the guests are well looked after. In case of any displeasure or unhappiness GREs look in to the matter and make sure that the matter is solved as peacefully and as earliest as possible. GREs in more ways than one are also function as the public relations executives of the company. They are the face of the company. GREs are increasingly being employed by the television industry, which needs a lot of high profile guests for talk shows, interviews, debates, etc. Who brings all these celebrities to the show? GREs of course! They not only coordinate dates and bring these people on various shows they also make sure that the person who is likely to interview the guest knows the basic facts on the person. Research is an integral part of this profession. GREs have to have their ears to the ground. If you are getting a particular person on the show you have to know everything there is to know about that person. The research has to be so thorough that the interviewer should be able to ask questions which brings about a "who told you that," reaction from the guest. In the television industry a typical day could see you relaxing, reading magazines and newspapers and generally making loads of telephone calls to find out who's in town, who can be roped into the show. Or it can be a day of frenetic activity. Production houses generally shoot five days a week and need at least 10 guests a week to appear on the show. Sometimes you might have all the 10 guests ready in the first few days of the week. In such cases you can relax and spend the rest of the week researching on the background of the guests and general information about them through magazines and the Internet. But at times when you have guests dropping out of the show then you might have to start all over again - making calls, etc. So having a back up is very important, someone who always has the time to come on the show.
Guest Relations is a blend of coordination, customer relations, marketing and PR. It is where your people skills are put to use. Guest Coordinators just don't coordinate with guests. They also talk to music companies to find out who the latest talent is. They are also in constant touch with PR companies, event management companies, etc.


Essentially, a guest coordinator is a people's person. You have to be able to communicate to people from all levels. In the hotel industry for instance, you could be talking to a 60 year old who is upset about the music in the hotel lobby or to a 4 year old who thinks the hotel lobby is his playground! Or you could be talking to director, film star or a technician. The ability to communicate and get your point across is very important. In a nutshell you have to be very assertive without being aggressive. Discipline is also very important. There is a lot of paper work involved in this line. There are many guests who stay out of town and this requires you to send written communication to them. So you have to be good at writing as well. Reading and keeping yourself aware of the events and happenings around you is very important. Most GREs read five newspapers everyday plus some more magazines. You have make lots of no tes, take down addresses, telephone numbers, research, etc. The next task is to call up music companies and PR agencies. Plus, you have to send out loads invitations to out station guests. You are all the while dealing with high profile people with fragile egos. You have to be very diplomatic and tactful while handling these people. There may be situations, which could get difficult to handle. You have to know how to navigate your way through.
Education-wise a mere graduation degree will do. However, people with prior experience in hotels, travel industry, PR or airlines will have a definite advantage over freshers.

Job Opportunities

As mentioned earlier GREs could be employed in the hotel industry, travel and tourism industry, television houses and even some corporates. Of course the scope is much larger in television with production houses mushrooming all over, as also the channels. Even an IT company where there are visitors from abroad or for that matter companies that go for mergers, also require guest coordinators to coordinate between the officers, clients and the companies.

Money & Other Benefits

GREs in the hotel industry could start off at Rs 6,000-10,000 a month. With a couple of years of training it could rise to Rs 15,000-20,000. Television and production houses start at a higher range of Rs 15,000 and go up to Rs 40,000 a month. Actually it all depends on your PR skills and networking - how well connected are you with the who's of the entertainment industry.

Career Prospects

The prospects for GREs is slated to increase in the coming years. People with good networking skills will have an edge over the others. The boom in the television industry has given this sector a new impetus.


Merchant Navy

All you water babies, lend me your ears. Join the Merchant Navy where money literally flows like water. What's more, you can see the world at no extra cost.
If you can bear to be away from your loved ones (we aren't talking about the ones on the ports!) for months together let's set sailing…

Career Overview

We hope you know what the Merchant Navy is. It has nothing to do with the Indian Navy. They are not used as an army to defend our seas from infiltrators or any such thing. The Merchant Navy comprises of passenger vessels, cargo vessels, liners, ore carriers and other types of specialised ships. These ships are operated by private sector shipping companies and manned by trained navigators, Marine Engineers and crew. Merchant Navy fleet consists of cargo ships, container ships, tankers, bulk carriers, refrigerator ships, and passenger ships.

A closer look at each of these:

Bulk carriers carry heavy weight cargo such as grain, oil, ore, etc. Container ships carry cargo in containers.

Tankers are ships, which carry oil and other petroleum products in large tanks built inside the ship.

Refrigerator ships have huge cold storage plants to carry perishable food stuff and items on specific service routes.

Passenger ships carry passengers from one place to other. These ships are either just ships with different classes for carrying passengers or are luxury cruise liners.

You could join the Merchant Navy as a Junior Navigating Officer/Second/Third Mate, or Marine Engineer (as a Fifth Engineer). You could even join as service crew. You'll work on a contractual basis for a period of six to nine months. Thereafter, you will have to upgrade your skills, get a certificate of higher proficiency, and again get a new contract on board.

Don't you want to know your responsibilities in each of these job functions? Here it is:

Mate/Navigating Officer: You are in the operation side. You'll act like a pilot (in this case a ship) and help the ship navigate its way through the rough, handle loading/unloading of cargo and ensure safe operation of the ship. Apart from that you'll also keep a watch over the many seamen, crew and passenger, ensure safety, observe and implement national and international codes of conduct, etc. You will also act as a Radio Officer (not a radio, you will be handling sophisticated electronic communication system operated through satellite), handling the communication with other ships, land, and port authorities.

Marine Engineer: You'll handle the technical side of the ship - engine and all the electrical, mechanical and electronic equipments. Maintenance of the ship in tip-top condition is your forte.

The service department manages the kitchen, laundry, house keeping, medical and other services.

Your career in Merchant Navy will start as a deck cadet (the lowest order in the hierarchy). You'll do just about everything from deck maintenance, looking after ship equipment, cargo handling to ship handling (docking, undocking and manoeuvring). You'll also be trained in handling emergencies and paper work. In other words you'll work like a dog!

If you survive that, you'll be promoted to the post of Third Officer or Safety Officer. You'll be in charge of safety procedures and the ship's equipments. You are followed by Second Mate, someone who overseas navigation of the vessel and stationery.

If you reach the post of the Chief officer/First officer, you'll will be second in command to the master and supervise the Third and Second Officers. You'll also look after the cargo. If you reach the post of Captain, you have finally made it. You are the boss now.

Promotions and better salaries depend on clearing the requisite competency exams conducted by the Ministry of Surface Transport through DGS.
On the other hand, in the engineering side, your career will start as the Fifth Engineer, and thereafter Fourth Engineer, Third Engineer and finally the Chief Engineer.


A basic quality here is a love for the sea. You have to be water borne. Willingness to stay away from your family comes next. Of course as you rise in your position, you will be allowed to bring your wife and children on board. But that will take some years of service.

On the personal front you should:
* Love adventure
* Have willingness to travel
* Have strong leadership abilities
* Presence of mind
* An ability to adapt to different situations/environment/people
* Be very hard working - your working hours may be all 24 hours!

Those were only the personal qualities. Now for the real issues.

To qualify a place on a Merchant Navy ship you should complete B.Sc. in Nautical Science/Deck Cadet Officer course at any of the training academies. Alternatively, one of the shipping companies could sponsor your studies, but then you would be contractually obliged to serve them for a certain number of years.

Eligibility for Deck Cadet Officer:

HSC or B.SC with Maths and Physics as their main subjects from a recognised university.

Age Limit: The age restriction is 20 years for HSC and 22 years for B.Sc. candidates. This restriction is however, relaxed for some Foreign Shipping Companies and must be verified with the companies.

Medical Standard: Candidate should be physically fit for sea service under standard norms.

Engineering branch requirements are as follows:

Degree in Marine Engineering/Mechanical Engineering from a university or institute recognised by the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

Medical Standard: Candidate should be physically fit for sea service under standard norms.

Age Limit: Maximum 25 years at the time of entry.

For Service department:

Any background will do. However, background in hotel management with experience in the hospitality business will be a great help.

In this field you need to upgrade your skills every nine months or so, through proficiency development or skill development courses in the maritime academies and pass examinations conducted by the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS). This will be your key to new contracts.

Job Opportunities

You could join any of the shipping companies - Indian or foreign.

Your career graph would be as follows:

* Deck Cadet
* 3rd Officer/Mate
* 2nd Officer/Mate
* Chief Officer/First Officer/Mate
* Captain

In the Engineering branch, you'll join as a Junior Engineer/Fifth Engineer. You could rise to the post of Chief Engineer Officer after upgrading your qualification. But, you cannot be the captain of the ship as that is only for deck officers.

After a successful stint or retirement, you can return to land where you work in:
*Government Surveyors of Ships
*Cargo and insurance surveyors
*Marine Superintendents of Shipping companies.
*Pilots of ships at ports.
*Lecturer in Maritime Education/training academies

Mostly you would have earned so much that you would be working just for the fun and to keep yourself occupied.

Money & Other Benefits

The money is good in this field. You could start off with as much as Rs 27,000 per month and work up to 1.5 - 2 lakh a month.

If you work for foreign vessels then well you will earn in dollars. Your gross salary can be as much as Rs. 4 lakh a month at the top of your career. You are usually allowed 4-months leave every year. Items like imported liquor, cigarettes are all duty-free on board.

Career Prospects

First of all, the future does not look great at the moment. Domestic shipping industry accounts for only 30 per cent of India's total sea-borne trade (aggregate of cargo coming in and out of India). It is also decreasing over the years. This means, foreign shipping companies control rest of the 70 per cent. And it is not always easy to get jobs in a foreign shipping company. So, as a whole the job market is not growing.

The crisis has been deepened by the overall decrease in the movement of cargo across South-East Asia. Only exception is the increase in movement of petroleum products.

But the plus point is that the shipping industry is a global industry and has a cyclical nature. This means, even if South-East Asia is seeing a down turn, on a global scale, it is not that bad. Also, the industry is bound to come back on a growth track because it is cyclical in nature.




The Merchant Navy is a non-combatant commercial fleet comprising passenger vessels, cargo linkers, tankers, ore carriers and other types of specialised ships for efficient transport by sea. These ships are operated by public and private sector shipping companies and manned by trained navigators, marine engineers and crew. A career in the merchant navy which was earlier a male preserve can today be pursued by women as well.

Recently, three women made history by being the first to be commissioned into the Merchant Navy - Sonali Banerjee, the first woman marine engineer and Swati Singh and Sonika Joshi, the first women Deck cadets. All three have been hired by a foreign shipping company, Mobil.

A ship has been described as a floating village generating its own life support system. The three main divisions are Deck, Engine and Service departments. The deck department takes care of the sailing/ navigation of the ship, maintenance, communication, handling of the cargo, loading and unloading and sailing in and out of the ports. The engine department has engineers who work in the engine room and supervise its operation, maintenance and repair. The service department takes care of our well being with the food and catering department managing the catering service for the crew and passengers and a medical officer taking care of the health needs of the passengers and the crew. 



The Deck Officers namely captain, first mate, second mate, third mate and pilot are responsible for the safe navigation of the vessel while at sea and when at port for the safe and efficient loading or discharging of the cargo. They have to observe various national and international codes of conduct concerning sea transportation. At sea, each officer will usually take responsibility for two "watches" - four hour periods of bridge duty - every 24 hours.
Watch keeping officers must navigate to a course previously decided by the captain, check the vessel’s position periodically and alter course to allow for the effects of tides and currents. They must, while on watch remain aware of other ships, weather conditions and any hazards to navigation. Although there are sophisticated navigational aids deck officers must be able to navigate without them incase systems fail. When not on the bridge, deck officers have duties such as checking safety and fire fighting equipment and making sure that all deck gear is working properly. In addition there is always a certain amount of paper work, including the correction of navigational charts. Most of the ship’s legal and commercial business is looked after by senior deck officers.

On all ships , except some ferries, the ship is the crew’s home as well as workplace for months at a stretch. Thus shipping companies look for self-reliant people who have shown a spirit of adventure, already done something positive with their lives and demonstrated some capacity for leadership. Deck officers need mathematical ability to enable them to cope with the cargo handling and ship stability problems, together with high technology bridge equipment. They must have common sense to respond quickly to any emergency which may arise and adapt to changing circumstances. Emotional stability, perseverance and being a good "team player" are vital.


The Ministry of Surface Transport is responsible for training personnel for the Indian Merchant navy. Accordingly, a number of training institutions have been established under the direct administrative control of the Directorate General of Shipping. Training Ship Chanakya, Mumbai, conducts a three year degree course leading to a B.Sc. degree in Nautical Sciences under the aegis of the University of Mumbai.



On the engineering side, it is the Engineer officers who ensure that the systems function efficiently. The ships engineers have total responsibility for the engine room which is the driving force of any vessel and has increasingly complex equipment. The latest ships have a good deal of electronic control and automation. The job is a very practical one. Engineering officers must be practical and resourceful people with a liking for Maths and Physics. They must acquire a thorough knowledge of diesel engines, steam turbines, boilers, electrical power generation and circuits, electronic and systems engineering. Manual dexterity is necessary ; much of the work involves the dismantling and repair of equipment.


The Marine Engineering Research Institute (MERI), Calcutta is the only institution in India training marine engineers for the Indian Merchant Navy. A common entrance examination is held in May for the selection of students for training with T. S. Chanakya and MERI. There are about 80 seats in MERI, Calcutta.

After completion of the training in MERI, a cadet is taken in as a Junior Engineer Officer on a merchant navy ship. Subsequently, a Junior Engineer, subject to satisfactory service and passing of requisite examinations is posted as a Third Engineer, Second Engineer and ultimately a Chief Engineer of a ship. Examinations for marine engineers are also conducted by the Ministry of Surface Transport through the Director General of Shipping, Mumbai.

After some years at sea, the training and experience of engineer officers is so wide-ranging that they are welcome in both offshore and shore based industries. They can get managerial posts in production and process plants. There is also occasional opportunity to become a superintendent engineer or fleet manager with a shipping company.

1. The selection for admission to the 3 years courses leading to a B. Sc (Nautical Science) Degree at T. S. Chanakya, Navi Mumbai and 4 year Marine Engineering Degree Course at Marine Engineering & Research Institute (MERI), Calcutta for the Session, commencing around August 2000 will be made through the Joint Entrance Examination, 2000 to be conducted for the IIT's on 2nd January 2000 and 7th May, 2000. The last date for receipt of completed application form for IIT Zones is 13.9.1999 and candidates who desire to seek admission to TSC/MERI are advised to submit the JEE form accordingly as per instructions given in the separate advertisement issued for the IITs.

There will be no separate entrance examination for admission to T. S. Chanakya or MERI during the year 2000. About 90 seats in T. S. Chanakya and about 120 seats in Marine Engineering & Research Institute, Calcutta are available. Of these 22 1/2% reserved (15% for SC and 7 1/2% for ST candidates) subject to the availability of suitable candidates.
2. Even though the age limit for admission to IIT JEE is slightly different, candidates seeking admission to T. S. Chanakya / MERI must not exceed the age limit of 20 years as on 1st October 2000. (that is he/she must have been born on or after 1st October 1980).
The upper age limit for SC/ST candidates is 25 years that is (he/she must have been born on or after 1st October 1975).

After applying to IIT for appearing in JEE 2000, the candidate is required to submit a separate application to the Directorate General of Shipping for admission to the above institutes.


The syllabus is drawn up to impart broad based marine education with special emphasis on fundamentals of marine subjects and practical aspects of the profession. The educational and training programme is designed to inculcate officer like qualities and a high sense of discipline in the cadets. Physical training is an essential part of the curriculum to keep the young persons fit for the tough and adventurous career at sea. The scholastic subjects include English and Communication Skills, Applied Mathematics, Physics and Electronics, Computer Science and Marine Management. Practical in these subjects are held as per the University of Mumbai’s requirements. The professional subjects include Navigation and ship operation technology.

The practical training covers maintenance work of the ship and experience in handling various navigational instruments. All drills carried out in sea going ships pertaining to safety of life at sea are regularly exercised on board. The Applied subjects taught are Maritime Commerce, Marine Engineering and Control systems and Environmental Science (Metereology, Geology Oceanography, Marine pollution, Hydrographic surveying etc.) The total expenditure incurred by each cadet for the three years course is approx. Rs 25,000/-. At the time of joining each cadet will have to pay approximately a sum of Rs. 8,500/-. The balance has to be paid in five installments at the beginning of subsequent terms.

The first certificate of competency for the navigating officer from T.S. Chanakya is that of Second mate (Foreign Going - FG). After successfully completing the three year degree course in Nautical Science on the Training Ship "Chanakya", the cadet officer is required to complete certain minimum sea service ranging from 12 months to 18 months, on board a merchant ship before becoming eligible for the grant of Second mate (F.G.) certificate of competency. During this period he is given a nominal stipend. Candidates who pass the B.Sc. (Nautical Science) examination conducted by the University of Mumbai are eligible for remission of sea services and certain exemptions in the certificate of competency examinations.

After being awarded the certificate of competency of second Mate (F. G.), such an officer is eligible to be appointed as third officer/second officer on board a merchant ship and draws a handsome salary. For subsequent promotions, he has to render further sea service to pass the higher examination namely First Mate (F. G.) and Master (F. G.) entitles the officer to become the Captain of a merchant ship. The competency examinations are conducted by the Ministry of Surface Transport through the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai.

Present prospects are excellent. Promotion depends on a combination of length of service and merit. To reach the most senior positions, drive and determination are essential. Officers must obtain the relevant certificate of competency awarded by the Department of Transport.
Experienced officers often find their skills in demand ashore, in administrative posts with shipping and oil companies and in other posts where sea experience is relevant.



Electronics now play an important role in many areas of shipboard operation, cargo monitoring systems, control of engine-room auxiliary plant, navigational collision avoidance apparatus and emergency communications. Thus, Radio officers are legally required on passenger ships and vessels (1,600 tonners) that trade in international waters. Certificate of Competency Examination (as second or first class radio officer) is conducted under the aegis of the Wireless Advisor to the Government of India, Wireless Planning and Coordination, Ministry of Communications. A number of Institutes provide training for Radio officers. Though the salary is between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month, there are practically no prospects of promotion at sea. However, pay increases with experience. The training is of a high standard and industries which have no immediate connection with the Merchant Navy such as avionics, telecommunications and cellular technology also take on graduating students. Those who have qualified are more or less guaranteed employment and a good career path.



Many foreign and Indian Shipping Companies recruit deck and engine cadets directly. They have their own agents for this purpose. The recruiting companies provide training facilities and other benefits while preparing cadets as officers for greater responsibilities. Generally, the companies advertise in all leading national dailies and shipping magazines like Sailor Today when ever they require fresh or experienced crew. There are pre-sea training institutes which conduct courses to prepare students for direct entry. The International Maritime Institute, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi is one of the institutes which conducts short term courses. The eligibility is similar to that of T. S. Chanakya and MERI.


In the Engineering field you are initially recruited as 5th Engineer. The other hierarchies and approximate pay scales are as follows :

Hierarchies Foreign shipping lines approximate salaries

     -5th Engineer Rs.20,000 p.m.

     -4th Engineer Rs.25,000 p.m.

     -3rd Engineer Rs.40,000 p.m.

     -2nd Engineer Rs.80,000-s.90,000 p.m.

     -Chief Engineer Rs.1 lakh p.m.

The pay scales of Indian shipping companies are approximately half that of foreign shipping companies in these grades. In the Navigation field you begin your career as a 3rd officer. The other grades are as follows :

     -2nd officer

     -Chief officer


Salaries are equivalent to the Engineering branch. Promotions from one grade to another take place through examinations held every 2 years. Within 5-8 years you can reach the top level in either branch. Foreign shipping company's salaries are tax free. About 2 months leave is allowed with salaries plus air fare to and from the place of destination. Some shipping companies allow the officers to take their family with them. In addition to serving at sea, there are more chances for the Engineering branch personnel to get jobs onshore on a salary of Rs.5000 - 20,000 p.m. than the nautical officers who serve mainly at sea.


Some private merchant shipping companies recruit students after 10+2 as deck cadets (navigation) for training on board


Cadet Academy (GESCO), C/O. T.S. Jawahar, Pilot Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai - 400005

COURSE : Deck Cadets for training on board


245,Madame Cama Road, Mumbai - 400021

COURSE : Training as nautical officers


C/O. Capt.V.K.Khanna, 433, Mandakini Enclave, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi - 19

COURSE : Deck Cadets


3 Dinshaw Wacha Road, Churchgate, Mumabi - 400020

COURSE : Deck Cadets



COURSE : Deck Cadets


Express Towers, 5th Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021

COURSE : Deck Cadets


               -Cochin University of Science and Technology, Andhra University, Waltair - 530003

               -Madras University, Madras - 600005

               -Centre for Advanced Studies and Research in Ocean Sciences and Technology, Mumbai University (Kalina Campus)

               -National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa

               -Department for Earth Sciences Studies, Thuruvikal, P.O. Trivandrum - 695031


     -Dr. Ramana’s Institute of Marine Electronic, 4, Shastri Park Bhagat Singh Road, New Delhi -  110 051

     -Oceanic Institute of Marine Electronics, B - 39, Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi - 17

     -Hindustan Marine Electronics Institute, 2589 Phase I, Urban Estate Durgi Road, Ludhiana - 141 002

     -Rajendra Institute of Marine Electronics, Jaipur - 15

     -Hindustan Marine Electronics Institute, Rochipura, PO Saharanpur Road, Dehradun - 71,


Azeez Centre (4th Floor), 623 Mount Road, (near Safire Theatre) Chennai - 600016

4, Shastri Park (Bhagat Singh Road), Chandra Nagar, Delhi - 110051

43, Wheeler Road, Cox Town, Bangalore - 560005

14-A, Masilamani Street, T.Nagar, Chennai - 600017

No. 8, Bagat Singh 2nd Street, Valandipalayam, Coimbatore - 641025 (TN)

C-104, Lal Kothi Scheme, (Near Jyoti Nagar MLA Flats) Jaipur - 15

Bahman Wala Lane, Rochipura, P.O.Majra, Saharanpur Road, Dehradun - 248171 (UP)

COURSE : Training for Marine Radio Officers Certificate of Competency Examination (as second or first class radio officer) is conducted under the aegis of Wireless Advisor to the Government of India, Wireless Planning and Coordination, Ministry of Communications, Sardar Patel Bhawan, New Delhi-110001