ISH, Sommet Foundation and Accor launch Indian Talent Development Initiative

The program aims to provide job opportunities in the hospitality industry to underprivileged youth

The Indian School of Hospitality and Sommet Education Foundation is collaborating with Accor to launch the Indian Talent Development Initiative, aiming to nurture the skills of underprivileged Indian youth, providing them with job opportunities in the hospitality industry. Pictured are, from left, Kunal Vasudeva, ISH co-founder and managing director; Sébastien Bazin, Accor CEO; Anouck Weiss, Sommet Education Foundation executive vice president; and Puneet Dhawan, Accor’s senior vice president of Operations in India and South Asia.

THE INDIAN SCHOOL of Hospitality and Sommet Education Foundation have partnered with Accor to launch the Indian Talent Development Initiative. The three-year pact aims to nurture the skills of underprivileged Indian youth, offering them job opportunities in the hospitality industry.

Sommet Education will lead the initiative with Accor serving as its founding patron. ISH will use its facilities and faculty to train the sponsored students, Sommet Education said in a statement.

Sommet Education and Accor will sponsor 16 deserving individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to enroll in ISH’s Intensive Culinary Arts and Pastry & Bakery Programs, the statement said. Each intake will consist of five to six students, with the program scheduled to commence in August, followed by subsequent intakes in next January and January 2026. The program accelerates culinary careers with a three-month practical experience at Accor and guarantees employability upon completion.

“As a prominent hospitality education institution, we recognize the transformative potential of the Indian Talent Development Initiative to uplift and inspire individuals aiming to make a difference in the hospitality sector,” said Kunal Vasudeva, ISH’s co-founder and managing director. “ISH is dedicated to providing top-tier training and exceptional learning experiences to nurture a generation of new talents for hospitality who will set new benchmarks and create lasting impact on the future of hospitality.”

ISH is a part of Sommet Education, which runs a global network with 20 campuses in 10 countries. The institute also has partnership with institutions like École Ducasse in France and Les Roches in Switzerland.

”We acknowledge the significance of investing in the next generation of talent,” said Anne-Sophie Beraud, Accor’s senior vice president diversity, inclusion and social care. “We want to guarantee each of our talent the opportunities to reach their full potential by preventing inequalities and discrimination. The success of our employees must not be determined by diplomas neither origins nor nationalities. Supporting Sommet Education and developing this first initiative also in India signifies our devotion to bringing positive change by providing world-class education and hands-on training for the aspiring youth in India.”

”At Sommet Education, we believe in the power of education to drive positive change and create pathways to success,” said Anouck Weiss, Sommet Education’s executive vice president. “Through the Indian Talent Development Initiative, we are proud to join forces with Accor to support talent development and foster social inclusion in India’s hospitality sector. By offering scholarships and employment opportunities, we aim to empower individuals with the necessary skills and resources to emerge as change agents of the future.”

Despite the rapid growth of the Indian hospitality industry, youth unemployment remains a challenge, the statement added. This initiative represents a joint effort by the partners to promote sustainable growth, address employment gaps, and enable individuals from underprivileged backgrounds to secure meaningful careers in hospitality.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the Indian hospitality industry is expected to reach $24.61 billion in 2024, with further growth anticipated to touch $31.01 billion by 2029, showcasing a compound annual growth rate of 4.73 percent.

In 2021, AURO University in Surat, India, partnered with Marriott International to provide training, internship and employment opportunities for the students in the School of Hospitality Management at the university. Under the agreement, the university will prepare students for better placement with companies such as Marriott.

Dharmendra “D.J.” Rama, president and CEO of AURO Hotels in Greenville, South Carolina, is vice chancellor of AURO University and his uncle Hasmukh “H.P.” Rama is its founder, president and chancellor.