On 16th February 2023, students, staff members, and esteemed guests were all seated in neat rows at BACPAC to witness the signing of a brand new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Reliance College, the Hospitality & Tourism Specialist under the BAC Education Group, and the Cinnamon Group, one of Malaysia's most established and successful brands in the Food & Beverage industry.
The ceremony marked the first step between the two organisations towards a fruitful partnership, that will provide students of Reliance College opportunities for internships and training, and the Cinnamon Group with a selection of bright, top-notch graduates to employ.
To start off the event, our emcee, Ms Jane Deva from Reliance College invited Mr Sangeetham Sivagnanam, the Cinnamon Group's General Manager, to present an opening address. Mr Sangeetham expressed his excitement to work with Reliance and the BAC Education Group, to build new talents and leaders for the Malaysian hospitality and tourism industry.
"We need people who believe in the industry, and are passionate about service. There are great opportunities available in every aspect of the industry," said Mr Sangeetham. He closed his speech with some sage business advice relating to hospitality and tourism.
He described how the hospitality and tourism industry was one that would encourage lifelong learning amongst its people, and to embrace this aspect of the industry, he encouraged students to use it to their advantage. "You must keep learning - learn every aspect of the business, from food to service, to management."
Following the opening speech, Mr Raja Singham, Managing Director of the BAC Education Group, addressed the audience. He spoke about his long-standing admiration for the Cinnamon Group, and the amazing synergy they share with Reliance College, and the BAC Education Group as a whole.
"We're happy to build a relationship with the Cinnamon Group - it goes beyond jobs in the hospitality and culinary industry, it's also about the PR, marketing, legal, and digital side of things too. The coming together of two brands to collaborate in something to do with human capital is great, as it gives rise to innumerable opportunities," said Mr Raja Singham.
Turning his attention to the students present, Mr Raja Singham also shared a few encouraging words of advice, emphasising the importance of diversifying skillsets and embodying the essence of a polymath. He closed his speech by encouraging students to seize these exciting new opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, learning, and growth.
"Use this as part of your learning journey. Explore the culinary arts, learn management skills, and connect with people. There is no better way to learn the business than from the bottom up," he concluded.
The signing of the Memorandum began after the inspiring speeches, with the Mr Nigel Gan, CEO of Reliance College and Mr Johan Kondrollochis, Academics Director of Reliance College, being invited to stage to join Mr Sangeetham and Ms Evonne Cheah, Training Manager for the Cinnamon Group.
With a flash of their pens, the agreements were signed, marking the significant collaboration between Reliance College and the Cinnamon Group.
The signees of the Memorandum then graciously exchanged gift bags - small gestures of appreciation for the mutual benefits to follow from this partnership.
To conclude the ceremony, Mr Nigel was invited to give the final address of the day, thanking everyone for their attendance, and the Cinnamon Group, for opening up a myriad of opportunities for the students of Reliance College. He reiterated that that the new partnership will allow students to intern at any of the 17 brands of restaurants, and also expressed his hopes that a new partnership with a large, structured organisation will offer hospitality and tourism graduates better exposure and career mobility in the future.
And with that, the signing ceremony was over, and the attendees were free to mingle and network, while enjoying delicious pastries and refreshments provided by the Ugly Mug Café.