With a captivating personality and exceptional management skills, here’s a globetrotter who’s been instrumental in elevating the class and standard of GRT Hotels and Resorts. With innovative ideas and perseverence, Vikram Cotah has been instrumental in taking hospitality at GRT to greater heights. By NITHYA RAVIND RAN

SOCIAL HERO

(Laughs) I don’t think I deserve to be called a social hero. As a person in the hospitality industry and also with a brand like GRT Hotels, which has a lot of social awareness and does a lot of CSR activities, I tend to be associated with a lot of causes. We, as a team, get a lot of visibility. May be that’s why I am being called so.

SPECIAL COURSES DONE

I have done an e-Certificate Programme on Business Strategy from the Cornell University. Our industry is a fast evolving one, where we can witness a paradigm shift every five years, with mind-boggling ideas and concepts.These
courses help me to get tuned to change quickly, and come up with newer and better strategies. I have also done a Diploma in Wine course, where we are trained to appreciate various aspects associated to wines and also help
us use the beverage to enhance food and vice-versa.

TRAVEL, THE BEST TEACHER
I love travelling, be it for work or personal trips! I look at it as one of the best ways of learning. I take inspirations from various places, get introduced to new concepts and so on, which I work on, develop around and introduce in our hotels. The salt block cooking, molecular cooking, etc. are a few to name.

TOUGHEST THING OF BEING ON THE TOP
Leading by example! Usually they say it’s lonely on the top. If I want my subordinates to behave in a particular way, then I have to set an example by behaving so. Practising what I preach, at this level is very important, which at times, becomes stressful (smiles).

A LESSON LEARNT
I would definitely quote the Chennai floods, which was a nightmare and absolutely unprecedented! We weren’t prepared at all and within an hour or two, things turned upside down! However, we gathered ourselves, helped
one another and trudged successfuly through the tough and challenging days. We also made food and fed 1.5 Lakh people in the city, where a highflyer in the society would eat the same food given to the downtrodden! Such a leveller it was!

VIKRAM THE HUSBAND AND FATHER
I would like to believe that I am both a good husband and a father. I have a daughter, who I think inspired by me, is doing her course (final year) in hotel management. I am more of a friend to her than a strict and rigid father. And regarding my wife, she’s from the hospitality industry too. I fell in love with her while we were colleagues and got married. She quit her job to take care of our daughter and also did an interior designing course then. Now, she is
working as an interior designer. Not just the father-daughter duo, we as a family also travel a lot. How much ever hectic my work schedule is, I make conscious efforts to strike a balance between personal and professional lives, because that’s extremely important!

YOUR THOUGHTS ON INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY
Looking at all that’s happening around, I only wish we had a ‘Human Day’, which of course ought to be every day.
Men must respect women more, stop ill-treating them and put them back on the same pedestal as ancient days. Equal opportunities should be given to women. Honour them because charity
begins at home!