A Pallete for a Palate
A Pallete for a Palate

The VIE group has been entrusted to provide quality and delicious authentic thali’s.  Mr. Kamlesh Barot, Director, VIE Hospitality Group shares the menu in detail also highlighting the evolution of hospitality sector in the country.

 Aadeetya Sriram (AS): Tell us about your group, when was it formed? Talk us through your journey.

Kamlesh Barot (KB): This group was formed in 2010 but the family of promoters have been in this business of hospitality, exclusively since 1947.  The journey started with our father and uncle putting up “Ishwar Bhavan” known by the yesteryears gentry, mostly senior citizens today, followed by Revival, Rajdhani, Ikxia, Quay Lounge and now the Revival Indian Thali brands have been promoted by this family's next generation, growing from food to accommodation, franchising and management contracts in both the hospitality spheres, that were scaled up to a hundred in number over the years.

AS: What is the kind of products and offerings that you provide?

KB: Food, beverages and accommodation ranging from Indian to international and mobile to fine dine restaurants, award-winning room properties offering an ace up over any competition ever, be it the first to start a flair bar tending school, specialized catering to hospitals or environment and health initiated concepts. We have been ahead of the curve till date. The latest being showcased at the Revival Indian Thali outlets.

AS: Talking about the hospitality sector in the country, how has it evolved over the years?

KB: From the Inns (read Dharamshalas) to be recorded today in the 50 best properties of the World, hospitality sector in our country has evolved and how! It has proved to be the biggest money spinner in getting the highest foreign exchange, without exporting any capital goods out of the country, employing the highest number of people after the construction industry in this green hospitality industry's niche.

AS: You have a lot of varieties in terms of your offerings, please enlighten us?

KB: At Revival Indian Thali we offer regional culinary delicacies from across India on a Golden Kansa Thali. Kansa is recommended as the alloy for dining utensils by the ayurveda due to its unique restorative properties. This Thali set is also available for sale. Each thali meal comprises not less than 30 items with each day's menu being unique. The menu incorporates at least 2 organic items each day and involves the philosophies of ayurveda (paakashastra) as well as modern nutrition (guidance from the director of dept of home science at SNDT University) in its planning. Only specially sourced and certified trans-fat free oils & fats are used in the cooking.

Home style recipes are sourced from across India, rigorously tested and standardized before incorporation into the recipe docket. Select recipes from this docket are also gifted to regular patrons & privilege card holders. Those that visit the restaurant on birthday/anniversaries have their pictures taken and mailed to then in a special photo-frame free of cost.  The staff is HACCP trained, the servers sanitize their hands every hour, surprise lab tests are carried out on the food, time-temperature charts are maintained, and the guests are invited to the kitchen to see the hygiene levels, to see how the kitchen functions and to interact with the maharajs. There is also provision to take groups on a tour of the destination including the iconic Jama Masjid which is a stone's throw from the restaurant. We save on paper usage by minimising on the printing of collaterals, most of which are now designed in house and displayed in house on LCD screens. Small LCDs at each table cycle through the day's menu and offer tips on how to best enjoy a Thali meal.

AS: What are the challenges that you face being part of a sector which has still not been recognized as an industry?

KB: The standards offered by this Industry, which can be uplifted to such greater heights with our Indian minds, doing wonders in other industries abroad, that the world's service sector industries would follow our footsteps to emulate how this industry perfects the art of personalization in service. The warmth that Indians can portray in their service to hotel and restaurant guests, can never be seen anywhere in the world, if push comes to shove. The human power that this industry possesses and employs is the biggest challenge that I foresee, which can turn the tables of this game, provided the right talent is triggered by the right people at the right time, as the IT sector did for itself in the last decade. Our old school still extorts and does ragging under the guise of grinding, which leads to college drop-outs for interns and attrition to other industries on employment. Human factor is therefore, the biggest challenge today for this industry that can become the best ace to bring this industry up to its rightful dignity

AS: Do you have any plans in the pipeline for the future?

KB: Our outlets shall be visible in metros of India, to start with on a franchise model infused with a PE/VC trajectory for this scaling up, touching a score every half a year, followed in parallel with the international cities, from the beginning of the next year in the food and beverage sector, while plans on accommodation, after the new CRZ relaxations are on the Board level.

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