Hotels are people-oriented, the challenge is cost of booking

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Ajay Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels
and Resorts

The Job
It’s always dynamic, impacted by all social, political and economic events; goal posts change all the time. Hotels are people oriented — guests, employees and third party associates. The success story revolves around all stage actors. The real reward is seeing a guest walk out of your home with a smile and a happy belly. The big challenge is the cost of getting bookings. The commission is very high. And, of course, finding the right people to build on teams.

The Weekdays
My day starts at 4 am with mantras, meditation and an hour of physical workout: either yoga, cycling or gym. I have a cardinal rule: no screen time for two hours from waking up and for at least an hour prior to resting.
I travel two weeks a month, mostly in short sprints. Catching up with work starts at 7.30 am when travelling, or at 8.45 am when in office, followed by a big breakfast.

My first two hours at work are the most productive — 70-80% of my day’s ‘thinking’ and ‘creative work’ happens in this time. Office work usually finishes by 6 pm. The best recharge is a short switch off or a short ‘walkabout’. I have a touch of humour. So, laughter and smiles going around make it fun.

The Weekend
Eat, sleep, recharge. Weekends mean lots of food, TV watching, reading, spending time with kids and long bicycle rides.

The Toys
The Garmin Edge on my bicycle. It shows me what I am doing. My Zero Halliburton gangster briefcase and Giant Carbon bicycle.

The Logos
Tata, Mahindra, Infosys, Oyo and Theobroma are some of the brands that I admire.

— As told to Sapna Nair

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