Some people foretell the future, and others create it! Vishal Kamat belongs to the latter and is a true visionary. A scion of the respected Kamat family and brand, he is CEO of Fort JadhavGADH, Director of several Kamat companies, and on the Board of Directors of Kamat Hotels. As one of the top young Indian entrepreneurs, Mr, Vishal Kamat has one of the fascinating among all the young Indian entrepreneurs success stories. A story which inspires several young entrepreneurs in India, who dreams to write a story of their own.
An alumnus of IHMTCTAN (Mumbai), Vishal brings forth the perfect combination of knowledge and experience to the multiple projects he has undertaken. He has spearheaded the development of brands under Kamat including Orchid - Asia's First 5 Star Ecotel Hotel, Fort JadavGADH and Vithal Kamats - Original Family Restaurant. Vishal is responsible for the company's fund management, human resources, acquisitions, structuring and strategic business planning.
Vishal’s passion for hospitality and success has proven that creative ideas can be transformed into successful tangible reality. From a young age, he has donned many roles and shouldered the responsibility of expanding the established brand of Kamat and making it synonymous with innovation, modernity and success. A warm and approachable person with strong leadership skills, a focused approach and a flair for fructifying out-of-the-box ideas have led him towards success in all professional endeavours. All these attributes have enhanced the brand image of Kamat Hotels.
Keen business acumen and an understanding of functions at the grassroots level have further led to a deep understanding of the hospitality sector. He has been at the forefront of establishing Maharashtra's only Heritage Hotel fort JadavGADH near Pune. He has been part of multiple projects and has partnered with various organizations to promote tourism in different states of India specially Odisha where he has been involved with the transformation of Mahodadhi Palace at Puri into a heritage hotel.
As Vishal takes on many and varied roles successfully, his story is looked at as one inspiring success stories of business tycoons in India. He has been contributing articles to popular business publications and sharing his views on talk shows on television. Vishal has received several prestigious awards and accolades including the 'Young Achiever 2013 Award' from the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce Industry and featured in Entrepreneur India and several business magazines.
Apart from his professional accomplishments, Vishal is involved with several social causes. He is a keen environmentalist and a green crusader. His commitment towards preserving the environment embraces Orchid Hotel brand. As Asia's First 5 Star Ecotel Hotel, this one-of-a-kind initiative has carved a new path in the hospitality sector where Vishal has proved that success and social consciousness are two sides of the sparkling coin of success.
Vishal Vithal Kamat is Director - Kamat Group (BSE/ NSE listed), a leading Indian entrepreneur hospitality and foodservice industry in India. A graduate from the prestigious IHMCTAN Mumbai, he has over fifteen years of experience in the hospitality sector. A seasoned hotelier with significant expertise in national and global hospitality, Vishal oversees the company’s operational functions, management portfolio and overall performance at corporate and property levels. He is also an active member in the CCI and FHRAI panel discussions.
Vishal leads the team of industry professionals to spearhead Kamat Group of Hotels’ flagship brands -‘The Orchid’ Asia’s First Five Star Ecotel Hotel, ‘Fort JadhavGADH’ Maharashtra’s only heritage fort-hotel and ‘Vithal Kamats – Original Family Restaurant’ chain spread across India. He is responsible for the company’s fund management, human resources, acquisitions, structuring and strategic business planning. Armed with a vision, right approach and strong leadership, he has infused dynamism in the group thus enhancing its image in the industry.
Vishal began working at his family restaurants at a young age of thirteen and continued to work till his graduation. Being actively involved at the grassroots level, he learned the nuances of the business from senior staff, which eventually became a passion for him. After graduation, he expanded his culinary horizons with his first stint at ‘Vithal Kamats - Original Family Restaurant’. Under the guidance of his father Dr. Vithal Kamat, he spearheaded the standard designing of the kitchen, centralization, standardization and execution of processes to re-establish it as one the most valued restaurant chain brands in the country.
Under his leadership, Kamat Hotels set up Maharashtra’s only heritage fort-hotel Hotel ‘Fort JadhavGADH’ near Pune, Maharashtra. Having overseen the completion of various projects, he is known for bringing an innovative approach to planning and implementation. He has also been actively liaising with various state tourism boards to establish hotel properties at leisure destinations and promote tourism in the region such as Odisha.
An active and enterprising hospitality industry leader, Vishal has been associated with various travel industry trade associations and Hospitality Federations, and has been invited for guest lecturers at premier institutes and colleges, and at various forums as a business analyst and has been a business consultant for certain brands. His reputation and leadership qualities have earned him numerous recognitions including the ‘Young Achiever 2013 Award’ from the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce Industry among other accolades.
After completing a ‘BSc in Hospitality Management’ from IHM Institute, Mumbai, more popularly known as Dadar Catering College, in 2003, I joined our 75-year-old Kamat family business. Since then I have been working under Dr Vithal Venkatesh Kamat, my father and mentor, to develop the Kamats name from where he has established it to make it a pan-Indian brand.
Kamats is a very strong and respected brand and people associate all Kamats as part of Vithal Kamats group which is known for quality, value, honesty and hospitality. In 2005, I was given the task to rebrand and establish new outlets under the brand name Vithal Kamats - Original Family Restaurant. Since then the brand has witnessed the establishment restaurants in over sixty locations across multiple states. The brand has been appreciated by patrons across age groups and states.
While restauranteering is in my blood, hospitality is in my soul! Apart from establishing family restaurants, I simultaneously developed the hotels that Dr Vithal V Kamat had established and took them to new heights whilst passing landmark milestones. The Orchid, Asia’s First Five Star Ecotel Hotel, achieved many new accomplishments and the brand is growing across India. Fort JadhavGADH, Maharashtra’s only Fort Heritage Hotel, is a landmark accomplishment as we successfully transformed a 300-year old fort into a boutique fort heritage hotel. It is one of the best- known premium wedding and event destinations in Maharashtra.
While I had a wonderful foundation to start my professional life from on account of the efforts of my grandfather and father and did not have to face the struggles they faced, our family faced a major challenge in 2011-12 when the hospitality industry and the economy were witnessing a slowdown. This was the real challenge for the company, the family and me. In 2015, my father gave me the reins to steer the brands through the turbulent times. My hard work, teamwork, ideas and efforts paid rich dividends and from 2015 we witnessed a turnaround. The story is worthy of an of a finance adventure novel!
Kamat Hotels and its brands are back on track, and well poised to grow and flourish across India. Its brands of The Orchid and Lotus Resort Hotels along with, and its heritage collection of Fort JadhavGADH, Pune, and Mahodadhi Palace in Puri – Odisha are doing very well and their ethos is appreciated by patrons.
Developing each brand according to its identity and ethos has been interesting. I look forward to the future, to new ideas and challenges, of working with our team and offering our esteemed patrons an experience of all what the Kamat name has always stood for. I believe the journey is as important as the destination, and this makes each day of being at our hotels and with our team a joy and privilege that I am grateful for.