Ajay Bakaya has been the CEO of Sarovar Hotels & Resorts for over 13 years. He oversees the operations of the group and is involved in new developments in India and overseas.
What time do you wake up every day? What time do you sleep? 5 am / 10 pm.
You never leave home without…Breakfast.
How do you commute to office? How long is the commute? By car. It takes me 45 minutes to reach office.
On average, how many hours a week do you work? 60 hours.
What is the first thing you do on reaching office? Organise my day.
In five words or less, what do you like most about your job? The challenge of business growth.
In five words or less, what is the one thing you like least about your job?Nothing.
In 50 words or less, what is the secret of your success? Discipline and hard work are the undisputed keys to success. The ability to take decisions knowing that two out of 10 can always go wrong, having a long-term plan and a realistic roadmap of achieving it.
What do you have for breakfast? Basil leaves, almonds, linseed, cereals with milk, oats, a fruit and an egg.
What would you like to change about yourself/your life? Find more time for leisure travel.
How often do you exercise? Daily What exercise do you do? Running marathons.
How do you relax? Any hobbies? Mountain climbing and movies.
Your favourite book? Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne W Dyer.
Your favourite film? Doctor Zhivago.
When and where did you last go on holiday? Kilimanjaro.
One gadget you cannot live without? Garmin GPS watch.
What makes you happy? Smiles on peoples’ faces.
Your favourite quote/phrase? Do your work sincerely, results will follow.
What was your first job and salary? I earned R300 as a medical representative.
At what age did you become CEO? 38 years.
Which living person do you most admire? Anna Hazare.
What job would you rather be doing? What I am doing now.
What characteristic/behaviour do you dislike most in others? Negative energy.
Where do you see yourself in five years? At the same place.
What is your biggest strength? Being positive and not giving up easily.
What is your biggest weakness? Inability to say no.
Ajay is a 1980 graduate of the Oberoi School and a postgraduate alumnus of Cornell- Essec, France. His 30 years of international hospitality experience include assignments in France, the UK, India, Africa and Australia. Bakaya was an executive assistant manager at The Trident, Mumbai, and general manager at Taj Krishna, Hyderabad and Robertsfield Hotel, Liberia. He was part of the opening team as director, rooms at Australia’s largest hotel – the 650-room Four Points by Sheraton, Sydney. He was also the AGM at The Sheraton on The Park, Sydney, a 600-room deluxe hotel, part of Starwood’s luxury collection.
Sarovar is a leading hotel management company in India. Sarovar Hotels span business, leisure and religious destinations. The company manages and franchises 54 hotels and resorts across 39 cities in India and overseas under Sarovar Premiere, Sarovar Portico, Hometel, Park Plaza and Park Inn brands. The brands cover 3-star to 5-star hotels.
Sarovar also provides corporate hospitality services at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.