The Late Shri P C Rajpal deputed from Tea Board of India, after undergoing a study tour of Europe and U.K. under the sponsorship of FAO was the first Principal of the Institute.
Later at the request of Smt. Lilavati Munshi through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Department of food, the Late. Mr. Belfield Smith of U.K.,one of the founder members of Hotel Catering and Institutional Management Association, U.K. was assigned as an expert to India by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. In March 1956, Mr. C. Belfield Smith took over as the Principal of the Institute. Since then there has been no looking back.
There were six students when classes commenced in 1954 at Bhavan’s College Campus, Andheri. In 1958 the Three Year Diploma Programme in Hotel Management & Catering Technology was started, recognized by the Directorate of Technical Education, Maharashtra State. Keeping pace with the continuing growth, the Institute shifted to its own separate campus in Dadar built on the land leased by the State Government. With Miss. Thangam E. Philip as its Principal, the growth of the Institute was spectacular with funds coming from the State Government and the Central Government. In 1979 the Central Government took over the total financial responsibility of the Institute.
Being the parent Institute, IHM Mumbai became the Father and Mother of hospitality education in India, causing other such Institutes to spring up in other parts of the country. In 1963 three more Regional Institutes were established in New Delhi, Calcutta and Chennai. The first Food Craft Institute was opened in Kalamassery. Later eight more Institutes and Food Craft Institutes were opened in eight states. Most Food Craft Institutes were upgraded in 1982-83. Today there are 21 Institute of Hotel Management affiliated to the National Council for the Hotel Management & Catering Technology, New Delhi. Since the demand went on increasing and the supply fell short there has been a mushrooming of several private colleges offering Diplomas/Degrees in hospitality education in several parts of the country. This has led to unplanned growth and a lack of infrastructure. Such unregulated growth could have a negative impact with poorly trained students flooding the job market. From meager number of 6 students in 1954 the number of graduates emerging from the Institutes today amount to about 2000 from 25000 applicants representing four decades of Catering Education in India.
The course curriculum has undergone revision over the years keeping pace with the ever-changing industry. In fact, today’s student is trained to keep pace with the ever changing field of Information Technology. In order to compete on an international stage in the field of Hospitality Education - modern equipment, up-to-date curriculum and dedicated faculty is essential and imperative to attain and maintain global standards.