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International Housekeepers Summit 2018 Setting New Standards

Addressing what is perhaps the most important aspect – Training – Ranjit Shankar from Vivanta by Taj, Bentota, Sri Lanka purported that Housekeeping is one of the pillars of the hotel which makes the hotel run very smoothly. He said that training impacts many things in a hotel. With guest delight topping the list, he went on to explain how comprehending English, cultivating an eye for detail and aesthetic appeal, understanding linen and laundry processes and maintaining hygiene, cleanliness and safety standards are all areas that enhance the performance of the Housekeeping department. He suggested that there should be cross-training in allied groups. He said, “You should look at training in a productive manner which will help in managing the cost and improve revenue.” Furthermore, he said, “Outsourcing is the name of the game today. We should also include them in our training.”

Meticulously planned and co-ordinated the session was skilfully chaired by Jayantissa Kehelpannala – Executive Vice-President, John Keells Hotels who concluded the session by summarizing the content delivered by the panel members.

Not to be outdone the delegates represented by Association Heads challenged the General Managers regarding the support provided by the Management to achieve the desired result. They questioned why why Session III: Targeting Training Needs Clean India Journal August 2018 27 COVER STORY despite understanding the importance of the department, Housekeepers are not in Excomm positions and not even part of the Excomm committee. They queried why they were not being part of the committee that decides the selling price of the rooms, especially when they are expected to take ownership of the business in the department. They also seriously objected to being referred to as ‘the back-ofthe- house.’ Assuaging the housekeepers, the General Managers assured them that they have every opportunity to play a more prominent role at the management level and that they perceived housekeeping as the heart of the house!!

IHS 2018 was a platform of motivation, learning and above all, an interactive session. Thanks to all who supported this wonderful event.

Annie Mendez, CHG group

Aptly captioned, ‘Head to Head – The Gloves are Off ‘, the session concluded with a round of handshakes.

A quick activity by Oriental Lotus Pvt. Ltd. involved a quiz where the delegates were invited to take the challenge.

The unsung heroes in the guest services are those who select and process the guest linen. All too often the soft, clean towels, spotless sheets and crisp table napkins are taken for granted. ‘Understanding Linen Logic’ is a must for every housekeeper right from the point of purchase through the series of laundry processes that make this possible. In the session that followed two experts shared information from their point of view.

Ujithe Gunasekara – Head of R & D, Celcius Solutions Ltd. made a detailed presentation on the various aspects of the quality of linen that require to be focussed on at the time of selection. The raw material, fabric construction, thread count, fabric weight and dimensional stability were among the criteria that require to be checked at the time of purchase. All of these affect the whiteness of the fabric and the fabric strength. Additionally, in the case of Bath Linen, the base construction, the pile yarn count and the pile yarn height are relevant to the quality. The presentation was interspersed with inputs by Akash Dharamsey – Director – ADD Laundry Concepts on how linen quality is crucial to the laundry process. Akash emphasized the importance of selecting the correct laundry equipment and using the appropriate process to ensure that laundering is carried out effectively, efficiently and economically. Over the years, machines have been designed to have considerable savings in terms of water usage and time taken. The litres of water used is automatically adjusted according to the load. He explained how complete solutions for a largescale laundry could be set up to be fully automated from start to finish emphasizing on the role of water quality in the wash process.

The session provided the crucial insight to the role of linen care and was followed by a short skit staged by Celcius Solutions Pvt. Ltd., having a somewhat startling title – ‘We’re Good In Bed!’.

The post-lunch activity by Charnock Pvt. Ltd was a fun-filled energizer with all the delegates seeking the rest of the delegates to make up a group.

The rest of the afternoon was devoted to the sponsors of the summit. Referred to as ‘speed dating’, the supporting vendors met with the delegates in the B2B session. Proper procurement is in fact, a serious business. Delegates had the opportunity to interact with all the suppliers in rotation.

The second day of the summit began with an interactive activity involving twelve sporting delegates in four teams. The twopart challenge necessitated communicating (in charades) and calculating. The activity was organised by Care Clean division of Megamorph.

“International Housekeepers Summit” (IHS) has proved to be the ultimate rostrum for exchanging ideas and sharing best Housekeeping practices for the top housekeepers, vendors, procurement heads and operational heads of various organizations. I am very much satisfied with this conference, because it not only discussed the “problem”, but it also presented answers and solutions on technology, laundry, management, servicing and purchase.

‘International Housekeepers’ Summit has been the preeminent annual gathering that has convened hospitality professionals from all round Asia. IHS has created an environment that empowers housekeepers, investors, vendors to take their ideas and product to the next level. Through the two days of networking, mentoring and workshops, IHS has empowered hoteliers to pitch their ideas, build partnerships, innovate and find new goals that will improve the tourism industry. IHS 2018 in Colombo has been a fruitful conclave, as we came out of this conference with answers and solutions instead of just more questions and concerns.

The event was a grand success. It helped us to bond with other people. Such kind of positive stimulus is very important, and we found the event enjoyable and productive. Thanks to all…chèeeers

Vaneeta Arora
Director – Housekeeping,
The Park – New Delhi

Each year, America celebrates Independence Day on July 4. This year was no different except that on the other side of the Prime Meridian, the 3rd International Housekeepers Summit was being attended by over 300 delegates of 14 nationalities at the Shangri- La Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The celebration by Asia’s Housekeeping Professionals was a two-day event filled with educative sessions, debates, workshop, interesting activities and of course, the 3rd Asian Housekeeping Awards. Avril Sule takes you on a journey of the two days of the Summit, which witnessed the coming together of professionals who believe and cherish housekeeping.…

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