The ability to concentrate is vital

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Deepak Ohri, CEO, Lebua Hotels and Resorts

Alma mater: IIMB

After obtaining a diploma in hotel management and gaining some professional experience, I joined the IIMB. In my life, a lot of things have become easy thanks to IIMB. MDIs teach you how to make a clinical incision. They help you put things in perspective, emphasizing the importance of focus. When you step into the practical world, the theories may not apply to everyone’s situation, but the ability to focus will be valuable.

In good times, everyone is doing well, and it is difficult to distinguish between good and bad. Covid-19 was a very different experience from what we knew. I remember our finance professor always saying that people are our investment. However, when it comes to the balance sheet, people are still in the expense column. Almost all companies in the hospitality industry laid off employees during the pandemic. However, in Lebua, we did not fire a single person.

The IIMB bringing together students from different backgrounds, the discussions included very different points of view. The company of the people you keep changes your thought process and your perspective. The training also prepares you to face tight deadlines. For example, at 2 a.m., a teacher would say that a project should be submitted at 6 a.m. So we all rushed to the library to do some research. This kind of time has been given to get used to reacting quickly to a crisis.

In the hospitality industry, I have tried to do things differently. It is the result of learning at b-school. I took risks, but I always assessed the risks and had a game plan. The million baht dinner (a black tie dinner costing one million Thai baht) was a highlight of my career. I also started emotional experiences to redefine the concept of luxury in India and South East Asia.

We have created rooftop restaurants. Initially, the roofs were only air conditioning installations or the service area. We have converted this space into prime real estate and turned them into gourmet restaurants. We are the only hotel in the world to have two champagne bars and two French restaurants. People thought we were cannibalizing our own business, but we weren’t. In fact, we didn’t cannibalize any company, but we added more. I learned all this wisdom through the IIMB Strategy Course. In institutions like the IIMB, you learn that if there is a problem, there is a solution.

As said to Abhinav Singh


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