CAREER GUIDE Friday, March 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India

Indian Americans make a mark in hotel industry
Vasantha Arora
Indian Americans have carved a strong position for themselves in the US hotel industry, especially in the New Jersey area, providing jobs for whole families and cutting costs by running hotels as family affairs.




Indian Americans make a mark in hotel industry
Vasantha Arora

Washington: Indian Americans have carved a strong position for themselves in the US hotel industry, especially in the New Jersey area, providing jobs for whole families and cutting costs by running hotels as family affairs.

New Jersey, where the Asian-Indian population more than doubled in the 1990s to nearly 1,70,000, has the highest number of Indian-owned motels and hotels.

Many of the owners are named Patel.

Between the early 1990s and 2000, Asian ownership in the Parsippany, New Jersey-based Cendant Corp. hotel group tripled. Of Cendantís 5,000 franchisees, 44 per cent are Asian-Indian.

That is slightly more than the white franchisees and three times as many as the combined total of Pacific Asian, Hispanic and African-American franchisees. Cendantís Vice-President is Rajiv Bajatia, a native of India.

Prime Hospitality Corp. of Fairfield estimated that one-third of its 65 franchisees are Indian.

Kundan Patel, 57, a native of India who came to the USA two decades ago and now owns four budget hotels with her husband, was quoted by a publication as saying that the hardworking and friendly nature of Indians was a key factor in building up clientele.

Gujaratis form the largest segment of the Indian-American population in New Jersey.

Most Indian-operated hotels and motels are strictly family businesses, providing jobs for relatives as well as a place to live.

Indian holdings exploded in the late 1970s when Indians living in Uganda were forced out of the country by political turmoil, Bajatia said. After trying England, they sought warmer climates in the USA.

"You had a chain reaction," Bajatia said. "You had brother calling brother. And when they donít have any more brothers, you have cousins, and the cousinsí cousins. And the friends."

Family support is essential, particularly in financing, as relatives pool their resources to get a hotel going, said Paresh Patel, owner of Howard Johnson Inn and Suites on in Paramus, New Jersey.

"When youíre an immigrant, it takes a lot of money to buy a business," said Paresh, whose father bought the hotel in the mid-1970s for $3.5 million shortly after moving to the USA from Zambia.

According to the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), its 6,000 members own 35 per cent of all hotel properties and 50 per cent of all economy lodging houses in the USA.

AAHOA president Mike Amin, whose grandfather opened his first hotel in 1953, said the trend began in the 1940s, when few immigrants bought cheap hotels in San Francisco.

Over the years, the Indian American families acquired more properties.

Paresh Patelís family holdings, for instance, include Hampton Inn in Ridgefield and Hilton Garden Inn in Secaucus, a new $15 million hotel that opened in May. The family plans to break ground on a Hampton Inn in New Brunswick this year.

Indian investment in the hotel industry is unlikely to slow, according to Bajatia, who believes much of it will now come from established owners buying more properties, rather than immigrants. IANS


Please throw some light on the ad industry

Q From my childhood, I was attracted to the advertising field. I am doing graduation and would like to choose this field for a career. Please throw some light on the working of this industry. Avantika Bhatia

A There is perhaps, no other business that so greatly influences our daily lives. The choices we make regarding the type of car we drive, or the beer we drink, or the clothes we wear - are all influenced by advertising. Advertising is a service profession. It is essentially the business of selling ideas, products and services to the consumer. Getting and keeping the clients is the name of the game. Since clients can, and do switch agencies frequently, there is a strong competitive spirit in the ad world.

Most advertising is driven by the continued search for the next B-I-G idea. What will excite the client? What will make the public go out and buy this product? In few other industries will you find a more eclectic group of individuals - all under one roof! Hot advertising jobs are to be found in three essential areas: People who work on creating advertising ("what" and even more importantly "how" you say it), People who manage the relationship between the agency and the client, and people in media planning and buying.

Depending on your skills and qualifications, you can opt for the area (or sometimes even a combination of areas) of your choice.


Q I am working in sales, but I want to move into international marketing. How should I proceed?

Ramneek Singh

A Since you are already in sales, perhaps the best route would be to move into domestic sales in an international firm. As you are working, you might like to consider some courses offered by reputed B-schools like the IIFT or Narsee Monjee through the distance/online/part-time mode. Even IGNOU offers a one-year PG Diploma in International Business Operations.

Incidentally, International Business/Foreign Trade are also offered as elective subjects in many MBA courses.

These programmes acquaint you with the international business environment, international marketing management, Indiaís foreign trade, export-import procedures and documentation, international marketing logistics and business finance.

However, very few companies (ie. Nestle, Colgate Palmolive, Gillette) hire people specifically for international marketing.

After specialising in IB, you could look at export-import firms or large companies, including MNCs, dealing with the flow of goods between countries. Being well-travelled and familiar with a foreign language is an asset.



Q I am doing BSc and wish to specialise in genetics. Please advise me on what courses to take and where to study.

Pooja Sharma

A You could look at the following universities that offer MSc (Genetics). Those with a Bachelorís degree in physical or biological sciences, agriculture, veterinary sciences and medicine are eligible.

M.Sc (Genetics) is offered at:

University of Delhi; Barkatullah Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal ó 462026 (MP)

Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni (Solan) ó 173230 (Fruit Breeding and Genetic Resources). Eligibility: BScHort/Agri/Forestry/

AH (60%).

Ch Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar 125004 (Har). Eligibility: BSc (45% agg)

Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (Punjab)

Rajendra Agricultural University, Samastipur (Bihar)

Osmania University, Hyderabad ó 500007 (AP) Eligibility: BSc (45% agg)

University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram (MSc Genetics and Plant Breeding). Eligibility: BSc (50%) in relevant subj. Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli

Genetics is also taught as a part of dairy technology courses.



Q I am a class XII student. I have opted for the Science stream with computer science as my subject. As I am keen on having a career in the Indian Coast Guard, could you please tell me about the jobs offered for women?

Priyanka Khanna

A The Indian Coast Guard is the youngest branch of the armed forces. Its primary function is to safeguard the entire coastline of India. Other functions include the safety and protection of offshore installations, artificial islands and maritime environment, safety of life and property at sea, helping fishermen in distress and assisting the Customs authorities in anti-smuggling operations.

To join this paramilitary service, you must be physically fit, mentally tough, intelligent, bold and independent.

Since the past three years, the Indian Coast Guard has started recruiting women candidates as Assistant Commandants (General Duty), Assistant Commandants (General Duty - Pilot) and Assistant Commandants (Law) for ashore billets and fixed wing pilots.

Eligibility: For Assistant Commandant (General Duty - Pilot): 10+2 with current commercial pilot licence; graduation preferred.

Age: 19-27 years. Also, the candidate has to meet certain physical standards. Selection Procedure: Test/Interview. Achievement in academics, sports and NCC will be given due weightage.

For Assistant Commandant (General Duty): class XII under 10+2+3 scheme or graduation with mathematics and physics as subjects up to intermediate.

For Assistant Commandant (Law): Degree in Law.

For further information, you may contact:

Director (Manpower Planning, Recruitment & Training), Coast Guard Headquarters, National Stadium Complex, Purana Quila Road (Near Patiala House Courts), New Delhi 110001.



Q I have completed BAHMS. I want to take the IAS exam. Can Ayurveda be taken as a subject for this exam? Are BPharm graduates eligible?

Rajesh Nautiyal

A Medical Sciences can be offered as a subject both for the Prelims as well as the Mains. As Ayurveda is recognised as a full-fledged medical science, I donít see why you canít use your knowledge of medicine as an option for the Civil Services exam.

While the percentage of recommended candidates with medical background was 6.57 per cent in Ď99 and 11.7 per cent in 2000, it was 13.19 per cent in 2001.

In fact, three MDs and 45 MBBSí and one BPharm qualified in the exam last year!

While choosing an optional for the Prelims, do keep the Mains in mind. This means that you should preferably opt for the same optional subject in both the Prelims and the Mains. This will not only lead to better understanding of the subject but will also save you extra effort.

The syllabus for the optional paper is typically of a Bachelorís degree level.

However, the following subject combination is not permitted in the Mains: Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science and Medical Sciences. For details log on to:

For an in-depth understanding of what it takes to make it to the Civil Services, how to tackle the Prelims and Mains, and the Interview, you may like to refer to "CARINGís Guide to Careers in Civil Services".

Pervin Malhotra,
Director, CARING

Please send in your query preferably on a postcard along with your name, complete address and academic qualifications to:

Editor, Query Hotline,
The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160020, or at