Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A Fairy Godmother with a Magic Wand

Ritu Chawla, General Manager of Courtyard by Marriott Chakan motivates the girls from Sarva Seva Sangh to join the hotel industry 

At the Paraplegic Rehab Centre, Ritu along with her associates, personally serves our bravehearts

Ritu Chawla, GM Courtyard Marriott, Chakan, keeps surprising me. This Diwali, it took her just a few minutes to decide that the hotel would arrange a celebratory lunch for Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre. She came in person, bringing an entire team from the hotel to serve the delicious biryani and halwa, and then she insisted on helping her team, and personally served the soldiers.

Ritu has certainly turned my ideas – of being Big Boss - upside down. She’s shown what it means to be a leader. Being a leader means actually doing it yourself, being a role model that juniors can emulate.

When I asked her why she readily agreed to help with Team Miracle and help PRC, her answer was simple, “It was in line with our Marriott ‘Spirit to Serve’ philosophy.”

But why bring such a large team, when they already had so much work at the hotel?
“I run a hotel with a large team of Gen Y associates. I believe our hotel lives are full of glamour and luxury, and we often fail to see the reality, and remain grounded. Bringing the young team to PRC, I believe, would give them that necessary motivation as well help them stay grounded.”

But, just sponsoring a meal is not enough for this dynamic lady who looks upon Sudha Murty as a person worthy of emulating, “I would like to be involved with initiatives that have a long-term focus,  that will help build livelihoods – be it for the young, but not-so-lucky youth, or for women groups.”

With this in view, she invited youngsters from Sarva Seva Sangh to the hotel, took them on a guided tour, and then offered them free training in various departments. Then she added another surprise – a stipend of Rs 4,000 during the training period!

And how does Ritu celebrate special occasions? When she heard that Sarva Seva Sangh provided hot mid-day meals to around 40 street-children every day, she found joy in sponsoring a special meal for the entire lot, on her father’s birthday.

Ritu has a whole lot of unusual and interesting helping ideas up her sleeve, and I am only waiting for her to surprise us again and again. Team Miracle is proud to have you on board Ritu!

Ritu’s philosophy: Contribute your best skills, take initiative and make everything count.
Ritu’s New Year resolution: From being just another passive corporate social service provider, to become a personal contributor.

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