If you head down to Hobart, one of the only major cities where you can see the southern lights year round, and spend a night in the Vibe Hotel (part of TFE Hotels Group) there’s a chance you might run into Ram Bahadur Khatri. Ram is working there as Food and Beverage Manager, but it’s a long way from where he grew up in Nepal.
His journey from Nepal to Australia started back in 2018, when he decided to pursue a Master of International Hotel Management at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS), part of Torrens University Australia.
“I had just completed my Bachelor in Hotel Management from Bangalore University in India. I had always wanted to study my Master’s in Hotel Management at the best possible hotel school or university.
After doing research on options across different countries and universities, I found that BMIHMS was the best hotel management school in the South Asia and Pacific region, which actually met my expectations and dreams,” Ram explained.
Ram's passion for the hotel industry
In pursuit of his passion for hotels, Ram set off to a new country to make his career in the industry.
Luckily, it didn’t take long for him to make friends and settle in.
“Being a student has been the most amazing experience at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School. My course was really challenging, but at the same time it was also exciting from every point of view either experiencing a regular lecture, guest lecture, assessment, presentation or the industry placement. I enjoyed every moment and tried to learn as much as possible.
BMIHMS also helped me to create great industry relationships and connections across the world.
I met amazing people from multicultural backgrounds, got to learn at a world-renowned university and experienced great career growth. I have made the best friends and the best memories. The best part of the course that I loved was when we had a guest lecture from an industry expert and the industry visits. Now, I can proudly say that I am a graduate student of BMIHMS,” Ram said.
Industry placement for Hotel Management students
An important part of the Hotel Management master’s course for all hotel management students at BMIHMS are the industry placements.
The industry placement is where you really get to test your knowledge and have a chance to really discover your talents, impress employers and practise your hotel management skills out in the real world.
Before graduating in 2020, Ram completed a placement at the Park Hyatt Melbourne. This gave him the chance to do some deep diving into the nuts and bolts of the Food and Beverage Manager role.
“I was working in the Food & Beverage department at Radii Restaurant & Bar at the Park Hyatt,” said Ram. “I learnt a lot of tips, techniques and strategies during my placement that helped me to enhance the guest experience and increase the performance of the Food & Beverage department.”
This role was a stepping stone that helped to prepare Ram for where he is today -- the Food and Beverage Manager at the Vibe Hotel in beautiful, heritage Hobart.
“From my point of view,” Ram explained, “people management skills and strong industry relationships are some things that everyone should take from their industry placement. I developed these skills and networks during my placement which ultimately helped me to achieve my goal.”
Ram has travelled far to arrive where he is, but that journey started in the generous and loving home he shared with his grandparents as a child.
“I got my love for hospitality from my grandparents,” Ram explained. “In India and Nepal hospitality is based on a belief: ‘Atithi Devo Bhava,’ meaning ‘the guest is God.’ This means making guests happy by serving what we have in the home, to make sure that they have a memorable experience during their visit.”
This was the spark that ignited a lifelong love for hospitality.
“People used to come to our home early in the morning to discuss community issues and get advice from my grandfather regarding problems. In the same manner, my grandma used to serve snacks or meals depending upon the time and situation to the guests. We also had a fruit and vegetable garden,” reflected Ram.
“During each season we would give fruits and vegetables to guests to take home to their families,”
It’s with this spirit of generosity that Ram has brought into his career today.
“In Nepalese culture sharing is so common, and my family was very big-hearted in this case. I think the nice gestures, respect, beautiful hospitality and whole-hearted love and support that my family offered would have made guests feel very special.”
Ram’s grandparents always used to give him this advice: work hard, stay disciplined and believe in karma. Ram followed his grandparent’s advice, and worked with dedication and focus to get where he is today.
“This is what I learned from my grandparents, and I am implementing it in every role that I have worked in my career so far and until today. I would say hospitality is in my blood and it turned into my career over the last decade and for the rest of my life.”
“Personally, I also believed that whatever profession or career I chose, I dreamt of working hard, learning more and doing well in that field,”
Right from the very beginning, Ram took to his studies with a mindset that he would give it his all.
“From the beginning of my course, I started working part-time in hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, and functions. All those small experiences have now proven to be great strengths for my career,” said Ram.
“Today, being a Food and Beverage Manager at a reputable hotel in Australia definitely made my grandparents proud and their teachings, guidance, example and values made it possible. I am proud of having such grandparents and I will always work to make them proud.”
So far, Ram has loved his chosen career path.
As with any job, working in the hospitality sector has its ups and downs, but Ram finds overall hotels to be an exciting sector brimming with new ideas and interesting challenges to tackle.
“The hospitality industry is an interesting and enjoyable domain to get involved in,” Ram explained. “The great part of it is that there is always a place for innovation and creativity.
The most important thing that I love about working in this industry is meeting new guests and friends every single day, and sharing stories and emotions.
I am also excited to see how technology will help to drive the hospitality business in future. Also, I am very keen to see how Artificial Intelligence will contribute to bringing change in the current food & beverage market.
On one hand, our industry is slowly coming back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic disaster. On the other hand, it is going to be a big challenge for entrepreneurs to reduce a hotel’s carbon footprint, such as by using sustainable materials and construction technologies.”
Right now, Ram is living his dream and has fulfilled the short-term goals he set for himself.
Ram has gained two degrees, learned a new language, moved across the world and is now in the career he’s hoped to get for years. For some people that might be enough but Ram is just getting started.
“Currently, my position and place where I am working now was my short-term goal when I completed my master degree from BMIHMS,” Ram said.
“This is definitely helping me to achieve my long-term goal, which is to open my own restaurant and bar in Australia within 5 years. I hope that my hard work and dedication to the food & beverage industry will help me to find success.”
If history shows anything, it’s that Ram will surely find success in the future just as he has so far in his career.
Reflecting on a rewarding career so far, here’s some advice Ram has for aspiring hoteliers who have just begun their journey in the hotel industry.
“No one is always successful, and failure in life is ok, as long as you keep learning something new every day and keep loving your job. At the same time, do not forget to apply hard work and dedication towards your career. It will definitely pay off not always immediately but definitely in the future, and after all, you will get what you dream of.”
The future is looking bright for this graduate of the Master of International Hotel Management at BMIHMS.