A week in the life of…

Owner and de­vel­oper of JA En­chanted Is­land Re­sort, Sey­chelles

Gulf Business - - CONTENTS -


Owner and de­vel­oper of JA En­chanted Is­land Re­sort, Sey­chelles


It’s a bright and early start in the Sey­chelles with my alarm go­ing off at 6:00am. Along with my in­dis­pens­able cup of espresso, I catch up on in­ter­na­tional news and plan the rest of my day, all be­fore I drop off my youngest daugh­ter to school by 7:00am. Hav­ing my of­fice at home means I do not waste time in traf­fic and I am at my desk by 7:30am, re­spond­ing to emails re­ceived over the week­end and set­ting out the pro­gramme for the week ahead. Hav­ing pre­vi­ously been a part­ner in a lead­ing ac­count­ing prac­tice in the Sey­chelles with such a struc­tured work en­vi­ron­ment, I love this ca­sual work style where you are work­ing just as hard, but in a far more re­laxed set­ting. In­stead of be­ing sur­rounded by stressed as­so­ci­ates, I now have my two lovely dogs loung­ing around. My day ends with a work­out at the gym with my wife af­ter which I set­tle down for a lovely home-cooked din­ner.


I start the day con­fer­ring with my daugh­ter, San­jna, and son, Vishal – who have both joined the fam­ily en­ter­prise af­ter grad­u­at­ing from univer­sity in Eng­land. It is al­ways great to have a fresh and youth­ful per­spec­tive in this new busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment where noth­ing is per­ma­nent ex­cept change. To­gether, we pre­pare for a chat with the CEO of JA Re­sorts & Ho­tels, Dubai, who man­age our JA En­chanted Is­land Re­sort – a be­spoke 10-villa pri­vate is­land re­sort in the Sey­chelles. We dis­cuss var­i­ous op­er­a­tional mat­ters and talk about fu­ture col­lab­o­ra­tive plans. The rest of the day is spent deal­ing with rou­tine mat­ters and be­fore I know it, it is 8:00pm – the haz­ards of work­ing from home.


Af­ter a cou­ple of hours in the of­fice, I head off to JA En­chanted Is­land Re­sort along with the tree-trim­ming crew for the del­i­cate task of open­ing the spec­tac­u­lar views from the vil­las while at the same time pro­tect­ing their pri­vacy. I like to have a hands-on ap­proach when it comes to the re­sort be­cause of the love and pas­sion I have for the is­land. When guests step onto the is­land, I want them to feel that they are in the Sey­chelles of the 1930s and truly ex­pe­ri­ence the ro­mance and charm of lux­ury is­land liv­ing. In­vari­ably, ev­ery visit I have to the is­land in­volves meet­ings and dis­cus­sions with the man­age­ment team on mat­ters that re­quire the owner’s in­put. The tir­ing day spent on my feet ends with a 5:00pm dip in the ocean watch­ing a spec­tac­u­lar Sey­chelles sun­set.


A con­fer­ence call with the ar­chi­tect’s team in In­dia takes up my morn­ing. At the mo­ment, much of my time and ef­fort is di­rected to­wards get­ting the En­chanted Wa­ter­front project off the ground. It will be a bou­tique re­sort, res­i­dences and ma­rina de­vel­op­ment com­pris­ing 10 lux­ury vil­las on the ocean front, which we are of­fer­ing for sale with the op­tion of them be­ing re­turned to the re­sort rental pool. The rest of the work­ing day is spent with the project de­vel­op­ment team fi­nal­is­ing out­stand­ing me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal mat­ters, pro­cure­ment and dis­cussing the on-go­ing Villa sales and mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives. An evening nine-hole round of golf with my son is a re­fresh­ing end to my day.


The en­tire morn­ing and early af­ter­noon gets spent at the Sey­chelles Plan­ning Author­ity weekly board meet­ing, where I am proud to serve as one of the pri­vate sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives. In­clud­ing the pri­vate sec­tor on im­por­tant gov­ern­ment boards is one of the ini­tia­tives taken to con­tin­u­ously im­prove the coun­try’s 'ease of do­ing busi­ness' rank­ing. It is in­ter­est­ing to work along­side var­i­ous gov­ern­ment re­fer­ral agen­cies like en­vi­ron­ment, pub­lic health etc. and also ex­cit­ing to see the new de­vel­op­ments, no mat­ter how big or small, that are hap­pen­ing in the Sey­chelles. Fri­day evening is when I wind down, typ­i­cally spent with fam­ily and friends over sun­down­ers and din­ner.


This is a rel­a­tively later start to the day, with a 7:30am wake up and just a cou­ple of hours in the of­fice deal­ing with mat­ters that were kept on the back­burner dur­ing the week. While there are the reg­u­lar ad­min­is­tra­tive and man­age­ment mat­ters to deal with, I find that most of my tasks are now specif­i­cally project-driven and how a week pro­gresses is un­pre­dictable. Ev­ery Satur­day af­ter­noon in­volves a round of 18-holes of com­pet­i­tive golf – my favourite part of the week.


Un­doubt­edly the lazi­est day of the week with a long and leisurely lunch, fam­ily time, read­ing and catch­ing some sports on TV. Be­ing a fa­ther, son and daugh­ter team, there is al­ways a blur­ring of lines be­tween work and home life and I am al­ways amazed at how in­sight­ful in­puts and ideas come alive in the liv­ing room, with in­puts from my wife and my youngest daugh­ter. I have an early night as I look for­ward to the new sched­ule, op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges that a new week in­evitably brings.

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