Vishal Gupta: “Journeying from Server to General Manager!"

“From a dishwasher to a General Manager, I navigated through four countries – Australia, the United States, the Caribbean and back to India – to make my mark in the hospitality industry. Commitment, Resilience, Adaptability – these characteristics fired my growth and continue to help me stay on top of my game!” shares Vishal Gupta. Gain valuable insights from Vishal Gupta's experiences…

Words by
Storm CostaBir


Reading Time
04 min read

My Journey So Far…
  1. “I started my career as a Management Trainee with Marriott International by joining the pre-opening team of the 748-room Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Subsequently I opened the 628 room St. Kitts Marriott and Resort on the island of St. Kitts & Nevis. Transitioning from Operations to Sales, I was in various Sales & Commercial roles in Maryland and Washington DC area with Marriott. A transfer to India then meant setting up the Leisure division for Marriott’s National Sales Organization. From here, Hilton Worldwide beckoned; and as a General Manager, I worked at the Hilton Garden Inn Trivandrum and Hilton Jaipur. An entrepreneur at heart, I then took all my business and financial acumen, co-founded an Ed Tech platform in 2022, and ran it for 18 months… However, hospitality beckoned again and I picked Accor, a global hospitality leader, to evolve and be a leading light in the hospitality industry…”
My Indian Roots
  1. I was born into a loving middle-class family, with my father serving as a government employee. Every winter, we got the golden opportunity to travel around India. These journeys not only enriched my cultural understanding, but also sparked my love for diverse experiences. The desire to explore the hospitality industry intensified, leading me to IHM Chandigarh. Completing my course, I aspired for international exposure, which presented itself as an opportunity to study in Australia at The Hotel School.
My Sydney Odyssey
  1. Moving to Sydney was a blend of exhilaration and daunting challenges. The vast difference from the comforts of India was evident as I shared accommodations with seven roommates and had a hectic schedule. My mornings were dedicated to academics, while evenings found me at Hotel Intercontinental, oscillating between roles of a waiter and a dishwasher. The strenuous schedules were mitigated by the lush green park nearby, where I'd often find solace. To add more layers to my experience, I ventured into other part-time roles, enhancing my resilience and adaptability.
Pursuing The American Dream
  1. "In 2001, I turned a new page in my career by moving to the United States, drawn by its unique opportunities. I joined Marriott International in Baltimore as a management trainee, an experience that proved to be exhilarating. However, the year took a somber turn with the tragic events of 9/11, which, while deeply saddening, also showcased the incredible strength and unity within the community. Undeterred, I continued my professional journey. In 2002, I took up the role of Restaurant Manager at Renaissance Goa, followed by a stint as the F&B Manager at St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Spa. These experiences were pivotal, as I transitioned into the world of sales and established my footing in the USA, eventually becoming the Director of Sales in Washington."
  1. After nearly a decade and a half abroad, 2012 marked my return to the familiar terrain of India, propelled by my aging parents' needs. While my overseas stints had enriched me with global perspectives, re-integrating into India's corporate environment posed its own set of challenges. In my new avatar as the National Head of Sales for Marriott, I helmed innovative divisions, navigating through the intricacies of Indian business relationships and strategies.
My Novotel Chapter
  1. Having dedicated over two decades to the hospitality sector, I took a breather, exploring the ed-tech domain. This break was enlightening, but my innate passion for hospitality was irreplaceable. When the opportunity with Novotel arose, it felt like the perfect match.

    Looking back at my 24-year journey in hospitality, I see a tapestry of experiences, from my initiation at Marriott International to strategic roles at Hilton and an entrepreneurial endeavor, all converging on this defining chapter in my career as the General Manager of Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach.
  • I believe every position, challenge, and transition was a stepping stone, preparing me for the role. Now, standing at the threshold of this new adventure with Novotel, I feel a surge of excitement and I am prepared and eager to nurture a team dedicated to delivering great guest experiences.

    Today, my priorities have evolved beyond brand names and paychecks. The alignment with a company's ethos is paramount. At Novotel, I have found an environment that champions values of openness, accountability, and utmost integrity.
My Advice To Aspiring Hoteliers
  1. For those venturing into hospitality, my advice always centers on aligning one's principles with their workplace. If you’re looking to join a global hospitality leader that places a premium on guest passion, sustainable performance, and innovation, then Accor should be your pick, here trust isn't just a word — it's a commitment to fostering relationships with guests, employees, and partners alike.
  • The company's spirit of conquest and adventure offers ample opportunities for professional growth, always encouraging a proactive approach to challenges and market opportunities. Moreover, we emphasize on diversity and ensure an inclusive work environment, celebrating differences and promoting a culture of respect. We have a renowned Planet 21 program which further underlines our commitment to sustainable development, making Accor not just a workplace, but a platform to make a positive impact on society and the environment… and that’s why I joined Accor!

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