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Hospitality training hub



NEW TOWN: Restaurateur Anjan Chatterjee will set up an institute for skill development for training underprivileged young men and women from Bengal, to prepare them professionally for the hospitality industry and provide placement assistance.

The 57-year-old founder of Speciality Restaurants Limited signed on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding with the state government for the institute. The company owns brands such as Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Sigree Global Grill, Cafe Mezzuna and Hoppipola.

The institute will be set up at an initial investment of Rs 75 lakh and is likely to come up in New Town, Chatterjee said on the sidelines of Day II of the Bengal Global Business Summit. The course duration is six months and classes for the first batch of around 400 students are set to start in two-three months.

The institute will be headed by Ranjit Chaudhury, a former principal of Chatterjee’s alma mater, the Taratala-based Institute of Hotel Management.

“There is no commercial angle to this. This is an attempt to give back to society. I had humble beginnings and I understand and appreciate struggle,” said Chatterjee, who now runs 124 restaurants across the country, employing over 5,400 people.

“Over 3,000 of them (employees), by the way, are from Bengal,” he said.

Sources said the government will pay a stipend to each student for three months of off-the-job training, and Chatterjee’s company will pay for three months of on-the-job training.

Chatterjee said his company would absorb most of the trainees on successful completion of the course. He will also offer placement assistance through his industry contacts.

“Most of them we will seek to absorb, which is in line with our expansion plans…. Employment is by and large guaranteed,” he said.

“We will focus on kids from underprivileged backgrounds, who have studied at least till class VIII…. We are doing this because we have seen the kind of potential young men and women from Bengal have for excellence in this industry, the kind of hardships they put up with without batting an eyelid, simply to make it.”

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