Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why I do what I do… Shalini Charles

Why I do what I do….
My journey from a hardcore Hotel operations person to academics was a seamless one … one that I never thought would be so smooth. I started enjoying teaching, training, and mentoring students, since I had significant work experience, it was easy to share my learning and work expectations industry demands.
As head of a private institution for 8 long years, I enjoyed every bit of meeting students, parents, help bring changes in the curriculum and network with industry heads. While I was happy doing what I did, somewhere I felt I needed to do something more. The challenge that hit me was..…we were training huge number of students for the hospitality industry but barely 10% of them stayed on, rest moved to other industries inside of a year. Reasons are plenty and I will save that for later. The question that bothered me, that if our degree students and many more like them did not fill the huge positions in the industry then who would?
Shortly thereafter I got the opportunity to move to beautiful Coorg and move away from the hectic city life of Bangalore. This is how AVS(Atithi Vriksha Shiksha- meaning teaching -anything under the Hospitality/Guest tree) was conceived… I wanted a very earthy name, with a Sanskrit meaning.
Fast forward to today, we have been successful in conducting short skilling courses and placing close to 350 students- with leading hotel chains in Coorg(where we are) and across Mysore and Bangalore. Our journey was not easy, we went through 2 Covid lockdowns, which lasted up to 11 months. Information about hospitality is limited in smaller towns of India and is not the first career option for many. Our USP is we train and give back-to-back 100% placements after our courses; we accept all kind of candidates, be it 10th pass or fail to unemployed graduates, if they have the passion to work and earn a monthly salary, we can work with them. What motivates us every morning is we work with some very genuine students, to ones who cannot speak a line of English, or know nothing about hospitality when we first meet them.
Today I speak Kannada, and personally take all subject classes as and when necessary… most of all I enjoy are culinary classes, where there is so much to innovate! We recently did Onam Sadhya with 31 items on the banana leaf. Each student made 3 dishes each after 2 practice rounds. The décor at the training center was done by our F&B and HK students. The guests were elated! I am blessed to have some very highly qualified and talented faculty who are back in Coorg and work closely with me to give back our leaning.
The biggest reward for all of us is the smile on their faces when they receive their first salary and then they come back with their parents in gratitude! What more can we ask for!

Md Tabarak- AVS Student

One of 8 siblings, Md Tabarak completed his graduation and did not find a job, he was depressed. On his sisters suggestion and a small loan from her, he came to us for the 3 month hospitality training. Today he is an integral part of the team at Halcyon residences.

He says “I invested a small amount on myself for the training and in less than 9 months my bank balance is over 1 Lakh, I could have imagined earning and supporting my family so soon after this course. AVS  helped me to begin my career I always been thankful to Shalini Ma’am & team for gave this opportunity.”