Ms. Subhra Banerjee

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Ms. Subhra Banerjee

I connected with Ms. Subhra Banerjee in 2019, right in the midst of the pandemic. She turned out to be one of the highlights of my time during lockdown. It was a time of uncertainty for all of us, and connecting with like-minded people became a silver lining. Ms. Banerjee, working in the Ed tech domain with extensive experience across various verticals of the hospitality industry, was one such person.

We spoke on the phone, discussing our work and discovering many commonalities, especially our shared passion. She excels in the Ed tech field and works with precision. I learned a great deal from her, becoming more tech-friendly in the process. Collaborating with her on assignments was a wonderful experience. She’s been an integral part of the IWH, being not just an industry colleague but also a friend, mentor, and cheerleader.

IWH in conversation with the inspirational Ms. Subhra Banerjee, Founder & CEO of Encovate- an Ed tech startup with a focus on hospitality domain.

IWH:  Tell us something about you, your growing up years, life through school, college etc.

Subhra: I am a highly spirited individual hailing from the vibrant steel city of Rourkela in Odisha. My journey thus far has been a testament to my unwavering commitment to pursuing my passions and realizing my dreams.

With a penchant for eloquence, I’ve often found myself at home on the stage, participating in debates and elocution contests, honing my oratory skills along the way. My proactive nature has led me to take charge of numerous events and cultural festivals through school and college years coordinating and organizing with precision and enthusiasm.

When I’m not immersed in the world of events and public speaking, you’ll likely find me buried in a book or lost in the melodies of music, nurturing my love for knowledge and creativity. And of course, being a true food enthusiast, I never miss an opportunity to explore new culinary delights and indulge my taste buds.

IWH:  What made you select Hospitality as a career? Was it easy making that decision?

Subhra:  My first knowledge of hotels was from my father. He travelled on work and stayed in different hotels.

Learning about these different hotels and the facilities, I was drawn to the world of luxury. I was also very clear of the fact that I wanted to pursue a course that helped me to get on my feet as early as possible without being dependent on my parents. A penchant for luxury, good food and love to interact with people led me to join the world of Hospitality.

It was easy for me to make the decision, but it was a bit difficult to convince my parents as they felt the

societal pressure of a steel city where Engineering/Medicine were the only careers to pursue and choosing a non-conventional career option would be looked down to. My parents soon gave in and supported me with my decision of joining the Hospitality industry.

IWH:  What is your current role?

Subhra:  I am currently the Founder & CEO of Encovate, an Edtech startup focused in Hospitality domain. It is gratifying to give back to the industry that I belong to. Having learnt the challenges in the hospitality industry first hand across hotels, airlines and online travel, I was driven to create innovative solutions.

Incubated at NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore and Nasscom, Encovate stands as India’s first blended learning

solution for the hospitality industry. Through a unique combination of online and offline learning

methodologies, we have successfully trained over 2000 hospitality organization employees , emphasizing outcome-driven learning solutions for both individuals and organizations. Recently launched the second phase of Encovate that is geared to empower hospitality students and professionals to accelerate their careers in Hospitality.

IWH:  How has your hospitality journey been? Pros, cons etc?

Subhra:  The individual I am today is an outcome of my growing years and my professional years. Have been fortunate to have worked and learnt from the best in the industry who have shaped and helped me to continue to evolve as a better individual and professional every single day. The only con in my opinion is the fact that as an industry we are not Technologically adept. We are also averse to changes. Multiple exposures not only broadens horizons but also welcomes new collaborations and opportunities to pursue.

IWH:  Who has been your mentor or a role model? In what way has that person helped you?

Subhra:  I have had multiple mentors throughout my career and in my entrepreneurial journey however the one person who remains my forever mentor is my mother. She is no more, but her teachings stay on with me and in practice. 

IWH:  What have been the high points of your career? Highlight at least 3.

Subhra:  My career began with the company I always dreamt of being associated with one day, The Oberoi Group of Hotels. I joined as a pre opening team member for The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, right

after graduation. It was a memorable experience for me to welcome the first guest of the hotel. I have seen the hotel right from the brick laying stage and I take pride in saying that I was a part of The Oberoi Amarvilas, rated today in the top ten luxury resorts of the world.

Setting up the corporate hotel arm for was no less a feat and helped me to grow professionally and personally by leaps. As a National Head, I was responsible for growing the Corporate Hotel Travel business. Taking the business from Zero to Two hundred crores and maintaining the continued growth with high customer satisfaction was not easy, however the team of 150 inspired members kept the momentum going.

Encouraging young students and professionals to embark on a hospitality career and assisting them in their career development is an extremely gratifying act that I have been able to achieve by setting up Encovate. This is my give back to the industry I belong to.

IWH:  What challenges have you faced as a woman in the industry? How did you deal with them?

Subhra:  Gender bias that took multiple forms, sometimes as subtle micro aggressions to overt discriminations as salary disparities. And of course the most working women face is the struggle to achieve a balance juggling between professional responsibilities and care giving duties. I reached out to fellow women in my network, and often talking to them helped to feel better if not finding relevant solutions.

IWH:  If there was anything that you could change about your life or career what would that be?

Subhra:  Nothing.

IWH:  What do you think of IWH?

Subhra:  IWH is a great platform for women professionals to network, inspire, learn and make the most of every opportunity. Since its inception, IWH has taken path breaking initiatives for the development of Indian women across the globe and in future I see it emerging as a strong advocate for women support and empowerment, championing policy changes and inclusive work environments.

IWH:  Your advice to the young professionals and students.

Subhra:  Remember to approach every challenge as an opportunity to learn and evolve, and always strive to exceed expectations with passion, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

IWH:  Anything else you wish to share with our readers?

Subhra:  One life .. let’s just make the most of everyday!

Dr. Laxmi Todiwan
Dr. Laxmi Todiwan
Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. A multiple award winning hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development are close to her heart. She writes for hospitality journals, online platforms and columns in the local newspapers. Married to a Master Mariner she loves to write on the maritime industry as well as the lives and relationships of the fraternity. She expresses her thoughts on her blog and website,

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