Interview: Dr. Vikram Kamat, Chairman and Founder of The Vitskamats Group

Dr. Vikram Kamat

An interview with Dr. Vikram Kamat, Chairman and Founder of The Vitskamats Group

Welcome to this insightful interview with Dr. Vikram Kamat, Chairman and Founder of The Vitskamats Group, one such luminary whose journey exemplifies resilience, foresight, and unwavering dedication. With a sterling track record in spearheading diverse ventures across industries, Dr. Kamat’s insights offer invaluable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals alike.

Tell us a little about yourself

Dr. Vikram Kamat: I studied in Cathedral and John Connon right from my nursery until my 12th ( we were then one of the few schools having 12th) while others went to college and chilled I was still having the disciplined life of school.

But I very much enjoyed it. And then went to IHM Mumbai fondly called Dadar Catering College. I was also all-India first and read a gold medal. I then many years later went on to to my master’s and doctorate from Pune University in Hospitality Management Studies. 

Can you provide an overview of The Vitskamats Group and its journey in establishing a chain of hotels and resorts?

Dr. Vikram Kamat: Well, it all started as we used to get a lot of hotels that were not 5 stars and could never be 5 stars. But very good hotels. As I kept travelling I realised the need for good 3 and 4-star hotels in the nonmetros. Because of the local demand, there could not be 100 plus rooms as normally needed for big box hotels.

Rather needed a unique f&b mix of local cuisine and bar and of course banquets or lawns as most revenue would come from here in season. And that’s how I founded VITS using a name that was easy to pronounce in all languages. And I don’t know maybe there was some subconscious angle of being inspired by Ritz Carlton and being able to create a brand in the Mid Market space. Which I’m glad I have. 

What inspired you to venture into the hospitality industry and create The Vitskamats Group?

Dr. Vikram Kamat: Nothing inspired me, as Kamats we are born for this only. Other food is in their stomach, when you’re Kamats it’s in your blood! 

How would you describe the unique characteristics and offerings of The Vitskamats Group’s hotels and resorts that set them apart from other establishments in the industry?

Dr. Vikram Kamat: Our hotels are unique and we encourage party individuality in design look and feel. Yet keep some elements common regarding food items, display, and service. Our focus is to always ensure good Food and Beverage outlets and wedding facilities. 

What criteria or standards do you prioritize when selecting locations for new hotels and resorts within The Vitskamats Group portfolio?

Dr. Vikram Kamat: We focus on locations where we know our mid-market target customer would most like to go, both in terms of location within the location, and price points also. We also shortlist for brand fit in terms of facilities 

What factors contribute to the success and reputation of your establishments? 

Dr. Vikram Kamat: Our consistency has been a keen factor and that’s why we have chain and repeat guests across the multiple units. We are also unique in being able to offer to standardize food items and experiences ( for our trademark food items ) across the chain. 

In what ways does The Vitskamats Group prioritize guest experience and satisfaction? 

Dr. Vikram Kamat: We try to meet the guests at the property and ensure that service recovery if any is done while the guest is still in-house. Even though this doesn’t always happen this is our aim and we try to focus on that 

How do you ensure that each property provides a memorable and exceptional stay for guests?

Dr. Vikram Kamat: Great service is key. Things like good food served hot, or even making it the way the guest likes it are examples of what might sound like basics but are more important than the brand of best soap shampoo you put in the room. You won’t remember how fluffy the towels were but will remember that you had parties all night or that the staff made the salad or started just the way you liked it 

What challenges have you encountered in building and growing The Vitskamats Group, and how have you overcome them?

Dr. Vikram Kamat: I have faced multiple challenges. One of the major challenges I faced was that while the chain was doing exceedingly well, since one hotel was being sold in Mumbai sometimes other owners would say we’re interested in Vits but why are you selling your Mumbai hotel.

Another was initially having started small and with limited capital we could not jet set everywhere and so could not pursue all leads as we initially had to manage cost and bandwidth. Even after taking the hotel in far away clusters we didn’t have enough hotels to be able to support a very far away unit. 

Can you share any future expansion plans or projects that The Vitskamats Group has in the pipeline?

Dr. Vikram Kamat: We already have nearly 9 units of which Diveagar a beachside location of Maharastra and Karad on the main Pune Bangalore highway have opened. With the balance also opening in the coming 12 months. We are also adding multiple units in lease at various city and resort destinations

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested in establishing their presence in the hospitality industry?

Dr. Vikram Kamat: There is a lot of scope.. course let me tell you doing your own thing is not at all easy and requires lots of personal sacrifice of time energy money and if you were already someone in the industry there’s a lot of change and some people enjoy the fact that your at the bottom. But if you hang on and keep moving you can overcome it and be back on top

The wisdom shared by Dr. Vikram Kamat underscores the essence of entrepreneurial spirit and strategic foresight. As Chairman and Founder of The Vitskamats Group, his vision continues to inspire and shape the trajectory of business ventures worldwide.

With a steadfast commitment to innovation and excellence, Dr. Kamat epitomizes the ethos of success in today’s dynamic business landscape, leaving an indelible mark on the realms of entrepreneurship and leadership.

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