Power List 2018: Vijay Thacker, Director, Horwath HTL India

A Chartered Accountant with over 38 years of experience in public accounting, Vijay Thacker has worked as a consultant in the hotel and tourism industry for over three decades now and is a known expert.

Thacker admits candidly, “I have no background in hospitality — never studied it, never worked in a hotel. Yet, to be accepted and recognised as an advisor by several leading players is extremely satisfying.”

A veteran and respected professional, his experience comprises transaction, valuation and advisory services to privately-owned and listed companies, banks and private equity groups based in India and abroad. He is known for his significant experience in general business consulting as well.

Under his leadership and guidance, the company has expanded the range of their core advisory services. He quips, “We have also added internal audit and risk consulting as a significant service area with much success in bringing value for clients.”

Ready to embrace change and evolve, Thacker says, “As an advisor, it is important to foresee the changes and prepare to guide your clients meaningfully. Sometimes, it is also an opportunity to initiate a change.”

Restless and forever looking for new opportunities and expanding his portfolio, he is keen to take on IBBC related work, strategy advice, advisory to assist in deepening supply across multiple smaller markets, risk consulting and internal audit for hotels — besides the present core service areas.

He is of the opinion that although a fair amount of opportunities exist in the hospitality industry, especially from the owner-operator perspective, the sector continues to be fundamentally under-supplied in relation to the potential. He adds, “There are several opportunities there. For instance, geographic and product diversification, as well as the spread and expansion of Indian hospitality’s global footprint. Also, opportunities offered by the digital world and creating a blend of products because users often don’t know what they want.”

Risks, according to him, need to be taken when required, albeit carefully measured ones. “As an advisor, it is for me to guide my clients so that they take calculated and measured risks, consistent with their risk appetite and long-term objectives.”

Thacker confesses that work-life balance was an alien concept till some time ago, but he has embraced it now. “This concept was non-existent, particularly in the demanding field of accountancy and consulting, and more so when one was taking up a totally new area (hospitality consulting). I enjoy travel, which is part of my work. For relaxation, I take long walks, watch sports, read and listen to music,” he says.

He continues to draw inspiration from people around him, “Multiple people have inspired different elements of my life and work. My parents were a major inspiration. Within the industry, I would count Mr. PRS Oberoi as an inspiration.”

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