India’s first finishing school for tribal youth of NE India at ITFT College, New Chandigarh

[ Lt General KJ Singh (Rtd) ]
ITFT College is the first institution to setup India’s first finishing school for tribal youth of North East at New Chandigarh. The concept of a finishing school for the service industry is developed to train the human capital for the service industry. It is the place where the skills required for the service industry are imbibed and polished along with graduation and masters degree university courses. It is the need of the contemporary competitive world as everything raw rises to its sublime by getting a final finishing touch. The school is in form of labs with various professional competencies to be implemented. It’s a place for practical work divided into two segments of hard and soft skills, wherein the hospitality, aviation, tourism industry skills are imparted.
Counselling Room: It is a preliminary room where a student comes to go through certain psychological tests regarding career and personality. These tests are conducted to have an in-depth study of the student. There are two mandatory counselling sessions for each student-one at the beginning of the semester and one at the end of the semester. It helps the student to get a direction in the corporate world i.e. what aspects they are good at and what they need to improve. If a student seeks or the counsellor feels that the student needs extra counselling session, the counsellor is available for them.
Personal Grooming Lab: Finishing school provides practical grooming sessions to the students after their theoretical sessions. We have two different grooming labs-for males and females. The trainers-both in-house as well as professionals from outside give necessary basic grooming tips to the students while they dress up for different occasions (Interview, formal and informal parties & other functions etc.)
Communication Lab: English as a mode of communication and language in itself enhances the employability of students. It enriches a high degree of proficiency in the English language. It enables students to expedite the process of improving learning skills, with emphasis on LSRW (Learning, Speaking, reading & Writing). The mode of training in communication lab is through multimedia along with trained faculty. Self-learning software has been installed in all the machines used by students during the training.
Etiquette Lab: Etiquette refers to a code of rules governing behaviour in society and includes a sound knowledge of ethics apart from manners. Etiquette can be acquired through a conscious learning of what constitutes decent behaviour. In finishing school we have trifurcated the etiquette lab into three different setups .i.e. Corporate lounge, cafeteria and dining area. In these different areas, we make them understand the difference between personal and professional life and how they have to behave and maintain the balance in different set-ups. Skills which are covered in etiquette lab are social etiquette, the importance of body language, dining etiquette, interpersonal etiquette and corporate etiquette. All the practical training is given by the master trainers.
Sales and Marketing Lab: The finishing school is meant to equip the learners with updated new trends and avenues in sales and marketing as it has become an essential part of business. Students are catered to master the practical knowledge how to generate lead, customer retention, and marketing campaigns, healthy competitions, company reputation the success of a company often rests on a solid reputation. Finishing school imparts its students to build brand name recognition, price orientation, sales promotion, portfolio management, and the 5 Cs, of selling- commodity, content, consultative, customer interaction and collaborative selling.
Media and Entertainment Lab: It is meant for recreation during the training. It is beneficial for both physical and psychological wellbeing. The “need to do something for recreation” is an essential element of human biology and psychology. In this lab, students can enjoy music of any mood, genre or artist. They can produce and edit their own videos or any media project in this lab.
Retail Lab: Management refers to the process of bringing people together on a common platform and making them work as a single unit to achieve the goals and objectives of an organization. The retail products of various national and international brands are displayed in this lab. Students are given exposure to the concept of art of visual merchandising, window selling, retail process, and marketing & launch of a product through ramp shows.
Group Discussion and Mock Interview: Here the students are brought to the platform where they can actually participate in group discussions and broaden their view point about every sphere of life. Learn how to win and carry out a discussion; master both formal & informal discussion; mastering questions like introduction, SWOT etc.
Pre-Departure Lab to for Global Employment: This is set up for students placed abroad. To make them comfortable about the country they are going to visit by sharing culture profile, country briefing, cultural adaptation, logistical information, business etiquette, sensitivity training, paper orientation, and critical incident.
Entrepreneurial Lab to become Entrepreneur: This lab is designed for the students who have urge to become an entrepreneur. Students are given space to discuss their ideas with the expert here, and are trained to initiate the project they are thinking of, for the implementation. Finishing school supports the development of start-ups by providing the students with advisory and administrative support services.
This finishing school basically aims to inculcate complete life management skills in the tribal youth of North East India to be industry-ready.
(The contributor is chief patron ITFT College, Chandigarh)