First national housekeeper’s convention held in Bengaluru

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Updated: May 24, 2016 9:05 AM

The Professional Housekeepers’ Association (PHA) organised its first National Convention, commemorating its first anniversary at Sterling’s Mac Hotel


The Professional Housekeepers’ Association (PHA) organised its first National Convention, commemorating its first anniversary at Sterling’s Mac Hotel. The chief guest on the occasion was Meenu Tognatta, divisional housekeeper of ITC hotels, a housekeeping veteran with more than 35 years of experience. The guest of honour was Mohan Deshpande, chairman of Hospitality Procurement Managers’ Forum who has served the hospitality procurement industry for four decades. The other dignitaries who graced the occasion were Sreenidhi, managing director, Oscar Murphy Life Strategies, Sam Cherian Kumbukattu, managing director, Sheveran Laboratories and Jayashree Nagaraj, founder president and chairman of PHA.

The event was sponsored by Scheveran Laboratories and co-sponsored by Adroit Facilities Management Services. It was a platform for the amalgamation of eminent hotel housekeepers, material procurement managers, hospitality educators, facility managers and hospitality vendors. The master of ceremony, Smritee Raghubalan, faculty from the Department of Hotel Management, Garden City College and life member of PHA welcomed the gathering. After the lamp lighting by the guests and a prayer song by Rajsree Gopal, executive housekeeper, Oakwood Premier & treasurer of PHA Karnataka chapter, it was time to present the journey of PHA to the gathering.

This presentation was done by Bharti Singh Kalappa, executive housekeeper of Crown Plaza and founder member and vice president of Karnataka chapter of PHA. The gathering had a glimpse of the e-newsletter of PHA, ‘Voice of Housekeepers’, edited by Sandhya Anil Kumar from MS Ramaiah University. In her speech, the chief guest, Meenu Tognatta urged the housekeepers to embrace technology and use it to create a “wow factor”. She also emphasised the CSR activities of ITC group. Deshpande spoke about the importance of a good procurement network and informed that Hospitality Procurement Managers’ Forum conducts a course in material procurement in association with the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The knowledge partner Raghubalan congratulated PHA on its first anniversary and urged the housekeepers to aspire and dream big to become general managers of hotels.

In his speech, Kumbukattu shared his experiences as the first person to think of eco-friendly cleaning products for the India market. He also extended an invitation to the housekeepers to visit the manufacturing unit and research set up of Scheveran Laboratories in Mysuru. In her speech, Nagaraj reiterated that PHA is dedicated to support and encourage all employees in housekeeping fraternity with training, education and mentoring. She also enlightened the gathering about the future plans of PHA. There was a case study presentation after the tea break on ‘Customer perception of service quality in hotel industry’ by Malini Singh from SJES College of Hotel Management. This was followed by a presentation by the event co-sponsor Adroit Facilities Management Services,

The results of a case study on ‘Consumer experience analysis of an ecotel hotel in India’ were presented next by Sudhagar and Raghubalan from Garden City College. This was followed by a presentation by event sponsors Scheveran Laboratories. The next presentation was by the platinum sponsors ‘Fabrics and beyond’. The other vendors present were Royal Linen, Linen on call, Seasons furnishings, Raenco, Charnock, Primer future concepts, Gala, Buds and Blossoms, Nouvel Elements, Fresh knots and Skipper.

Nagaraj said, “I wanted to bring an end to the disparity between the core departments of a hotel, hence PHA created this historical moment by unifying procurement and up keeping fraternity together.”

Post lunch, followed a panel discussion on ‘Synergies between the user, buyer and seller’, moderated by JS Shekar, managing director, Adroit Facilities Management Services. The panel of experts were Swarnalatha Mankikar, executive housekeeper of ITC Gardenia; Bharathi Kamath managing director of Carewel India, and treasurer of PHA Executive committee; Bhaskar NP, materials manager of Royal Orchid hotel; Upendhar Mohan, purchase manager of HMS Host Services India; and Benjamin from Scheveran Laboratories. After the panel discussion, Darshana Chauhan, manager, marketing, Hannover Milano Fairs India gave a presentation on Food Hospitality World’s upcoming exhibition. The knowledge partner of PHA, Sreenidhi then delivered an effective and motivating training session titled ‘Born to perform. But what went wrong?’.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Vinita Chaudhary, director housekeeping, The Park Hotel and general secretary of PHA. The event saw around 10 leading procurement managers. Chef Kasi Vishwanath, vice president of Culinary Association of Karnataka; Venkatadri Radhakrishnan, principal of IHM; Niranjan Katri from ITC Hotel; Saikumar, deputy managing director, ITP Publishing India and more than 100 housekeepers participated from cities: Chennai, Hyderabad, Kerala, Karnataka, Mumbai and Gurugra, etc. It ended on an enthusiastic note with the PHA team charged up to contribute further to the housekeeping fraternity in the coming years.

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