From Humble Beginnings
to Luxury Living:
Interview With Deepak Ohri
Deepak Ohri grew up in New Delhi in a modest house in a lower-middle class area. But what his family lacked in physical comforts and possessions, they made up for with love and life lessons. He remembers that small things like a cold soda or toy car were seen as luxuries during his childhood.
He didn’t know it then, but the specific feeling of joy these things brought him would stay with him forever. It was this feeling, along with his honest upbringing, that instilled in him the motivation to dream big. Decades of hard work, a strong voice and the determination to never give have all attributed to his success today.
He is now the CEO of lebua Hotels and Resorts, a global collection of 5-Star hotels and fine restaurants in Thailand, New Zealand, and India. Ohri has also opened dozens of successful restaurants and bars and is credited with elevating luxury hospitality in the Asian Pacific.
He is a guest lecturer at Harvard Business School, Columbia University, NYU Stern School of Business, and MIT Sloan. Recently he was appointed Executive in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the College of Business at Florida International University (Miami, Florida).
In Entertainment recently had the chance to connect with this international businessman, whose first book, “A Bridge Not Too Far: Where Creativity Meets Innovation,” will be published soon. Here’s what he had to tell us.
How would you describe your new book?
Many people come from humble backgrounds, but unfortunately, they do not have a voice. I want to be the voice of these people and show that education is the key to life.
I want to tell everyone, “Let’s just dream and achieve our dreams because that is the most significant accomplishment.”
The world becomes a better place when success stories are told. Not everyone can be a billionaire, but we all can be billionaires in happiness. I want to teach people that they can be entrepreneurs in their own lives and build upon that.
What was your main impetus for writing it?
I want to share my story and encourage others to follow their dreams. It is never too late to dream, and I want to teach people never to feel sorry for themselves.
What surprised you most about the writing process?
I had to be very dedicated to making sure I chose the best and most impactful examples from my life that would help others.
Since writing the book, I finally learned what focus really means, how to focus, and why focus is the primary driving force in life.
Yours is a true success story, what is your main advice for those just starting their careers?
Yes, I have three: never compromise, always correlate, and focus.
You’ve accomplished quite a bit, what are you most proud of?
I will be proud when my book starts helping others.
There are a number of books about success in business, how do you think your story differs?
My story is very different; it shows my thought process and how I understand this world should work.
The corporate world is a jungle, and I teach young people how to survive and thrive in it. It is all related.
Who do you see are your primary target market?
The book will be available in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats. Each segment is different.
This book is for every graduating student and young entrepreneur.
This book is also for everyone who is in a particular moment in his or her life and who wants to know what to do next. It is for people who believe in self-respect. It is also for people with no experience, it teaches them that life can take you up and down.
The book describes two important principles:
- Everyone has a voice, but only a few voices are heard, and I want my voice to be heard.
- The most significant answer to your enemy is your success, so work on your success. People are always victims of politics; they get deceived even by their well-known friends, and they react. This book is an example that you achieve more by just not responding, not reacting, and only focusing and working on your success.
Can you share some other projects you’re working on?
My focus is on education – building public education and strengthening it. I want to bring public education to the level of private schools in rankings and perception.
Experiential learning: I am offering training to faculties in experiential learning by organizing professional development in Thailand and preparing Master Classes based on my book.
I am bringing the revenue back to hospitality in Asia. In Thailand during Covid, the hospitality industry did not receive government or customer support. I need to work on different tactics to bring the revenue back and achieve the pre-Covid levels. I need to bring the glamour of hospitality back.
For more information, please visit https://DeepakOhri.com.
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