Power List 2017, Vikram Oberoi, MD and CEO, EIH Limited
When PRS Oberoi announced the appointment of Vikramjit Singh Oberoi as MD and CEO of EIH Ltd, the flagship company of The Oberoi Group, he apparently had only one advice to offer his son: ensure attention to detail and focus on people management, the two key ingredients that define hospitality.
Clearly, Vikram Oberoi, as he is fondly called by his peers and staff, took good note of this advise and, over the years, adhered it to the T. So much so that, today, if there is one thing that sets him apart it is his eye for detail and his personal touch, easily making him one of the most successful purveyors of luxury hospitality in the country.
Running India’s premium hospitality chain, including a portfolio of some of the world’s most luxurious hotel properties, is anything but an easy job but the ease with which Vikram Oberoi has shouldered overall management responsibility and authority including responsibility for day-to-day management affairs of the company proves that he is following in the footsteps of his legendary father, and his grandfather and founder of the group, Rai Bahadur MS Oberoi. By all accounts, he is all set to carry out their proud legacy.
When it comes to the Oberois, clearly it is not enough to be born with the surname; to be a part of the Oberoi Group, Vikram Oberoi had to prove his mettle by embodying its culture. Living this by example, he worked his way up through the ranks. And Vikram Oberoi learned things the hard way by getting first-hand experience in all the divisions of the hospitality chain.
Apparently, what drives him and keeps on top of the game, isn’t competition from other hotel brands but the group’s motto, “We don’t want to be the biggest; we want to be the best.”
It’s not as if Vikram Oberoi is new to the hospitality game. After graduating in economics from Pepperdine University in California, he gained work experience as a stockbroker at ANZ McCaughan in Australia. Thereafter, he returned to India to join The Oberoi Group’s management team.
He went on to hold various management positions within The Oberoi Group in India before taking on his new role and was also actively involved in the re-engineering of systems and processes of the company, working closely with the consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.
In fact, he displayed his winning traits early on
in his career when, as general manager of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, in 1997, he set new standards of excellence in personalised service as he led a young and committed team from the front, winning international accolades and recognition for The Oberoi Group.
Under Vikram Oberoi’s leadership, EIH Ltd has grown from strength to strength, with exponential rise in occupancy and profits. The “Oberoi” brand has come to represent fine luxury hotels which offer efficient and personalised service, with the Oberoi Group being voted the ‘World’s Best Hotel Brand’ for the second consecutive year, by Travel + Leisure, USA, World’s Best Awards, Readers’ Survey 2016 and the ‘World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand’ by the World Travel Awards 2015.
According to Vikram Oberoi the single biggest factor contributing towards the group’s success is the fact that everyone is working towards a common objective of making the guest’s experience truly memorable. Hardly surprising then, that his stated goal is not to expand but to constantly improve the quality.
By Shafquat Ali