Innovation through SMEs key to hospitality industry growth

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Bhubaneswar: In the rapidly growing hospitality and tourism industry, entrepreneurship and innovation through small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have emerged as key drivers of the growth in the sector.

This was stated by state Tourism and Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi while inaugurating a two-day National Conference on “Entrepreneurship in Hospitality and Tourism Industry: Emerging Trends and Challenges” organised at Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition here, Friday.

The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition of Odisha is one among 21 Central IHMs in the country under the Union Ministry of Tourism.

The institute also organised a food festival on ‘Maharashtrian Foods’ in collaboration with IHM, Mumbai under “Ek Bharat Sresth Bharat” programme planned by the Union Ministry of Tourism to make aware of regional cuisine of different states.

Panigrahi inaugurated the conference in the presence of Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) chairman Subroto Bagchi, Tourism department commissioner-cum-secretary Vishal Kumar Dev and department director Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav.

Minister Panigrahi said, “History of the hospitality industry is a story of entrepreneurship. Currently, in the rapidly growing hospitality and tourism industry, entrepreneurship and innovation through SMEs are important drivers of growth in this sector. Both local and central governments are creating and implementing policies and programmes to stimulate and support entrepreneurship and startups. We applaud the work being undertaken by both the Union and Odisha governments in this regard.”

IHM principal Sharada Ghosh said, “In this globalised and competitive world of hospitality, it is pertinent that students and research scholars explore the option of entrepreneurship in this industry. It is the creative mind and taking the risk of being an employer than to become an employee which will be the engine to accelerate the growth of the country. With India focusing on Make in India campaign, there shall be an impetus to the startups and family owned business in the hospitality and tourism industry too. The hospitality industry is undergoing some of the most momentous changes with the introduction of artificial intelligence and the customer is using virtual to mobile bookings. This has opened up a wealth of opportunities for several industry players.”

In the food festival, more than 150 students including 10 students from Mumbai exhibited multiple dishes of Maharashtra, said Abinash Dash the Organising Secretary of the fest

In the food festival several Maharashtrian cuisine and dishes such as kaleji fry with pav, kobi cha bhanola, sabudana vada, panha, walchi khichdi, moolo che thalipeeth, kombdi vade mutton saoji, batata bhaji, gawar bhopla, sev gyachi amti, ukdiche modak, gavalyachi kheer, khibra hirvi chutney are some of the lip smacking dishes exhibited by the students of IHM Bhubaneswar and Mumbai, said Yuvraj Prasad assistant organising secretary.

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