On November 26, 2008, Indian City Mumbai was attacked by a group of ten armed terrorists. They divided into sub-groups and attacked a dozen locations in Mumbai including luxury hotels, hospital, railway station, restaurant, and a Jewish centre and killed as many as 159 people, both Indians and foreigners, and gravely wounded more than 200. The assault, known as 26/11, shocked the nation and exposed the country’s vulnerability to terrorism yet again. The Taj’s burning domes which stayed ablaze for two days and three nights, will forever symbolize the tragic events of 26/11.
When terrorists attacked the iconic 103 year old - Taj Mahal Palace hotel, there were as many as ...view middle of the document...
In the process they lost their lives but they put the safety of guests above themselves. There were employees who lost their family members in the firing but did not budge and carried out the evacuation process.
During the onslaught, 31 people died and 28 were hurt, but the hotel received only praise the day after. Employees of the Taj displayed uncommon valour. They placed the safety of guests over their own well-being, thereby risking and sacrificing their lives. Its guests were overwhelmed by employees’ dedication to duty, their desire to protect guests without regard to personal safety, and their quick thinking. As many as 11 Taj employees—a third of the hotel’s casualties—laid down their lives while helping 1,500 guests escape.
Taj Mumbai is one of the world’s best hotels. The hotel is known for the highest levels of quality, its ability to go extra mile to delight customers, and its highly trained staff, some of whom have worked there for decades. Every employee knows his job, they know their regular guests, and is comfortable taking orders. But they gave a new dimension to customer service during the terrorist strike. Actions of Taj employees weren’t prescribed in Taj manuals; no official policies or procedures existed for such event.
It is necessary to find out what created that extreme customer-centric culture of employees that they stayed back to rescue guests when they could have saved themselves. This behaviour was not merely a crisis response. Some contextual factors could have a bearing, such as India’s ancient culture of hospitality where a guest is treated as God; the values of the House of Tata, which owns...