Thu, 31 August 2017
Seasoned hotelier Sudheer Kaladi has provided his expertise to make Juffair Gate Hotel a destination to charm and entertain people from all walks of life. Having been in Bahrain’s hospitality sector for nearly 20 years, the Indian national has witnessed the industry grow immensely and, in the process, developed his skills to keep up with it.
“There are great hotels in the market and there is healthy competition, which keeps everyone motivated,” he says. “Bahrain is moving into a very positive era.” Sudheer studied and worked in India for five years before coming to the island. “I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, but got drawn to hospitality as the state I grew up in – Ooty – is a heavily touristic spot,” he says.
“I started my career at Sterling Holiday Resorts, Ooty, in 1992. I came to Bahrain in 1998 and have since worked with Bahrain International Hotel, and the hotel at Hawar Island, where I was operations manager.” He then moved to the former Best Western Elite Hotel, followed by All Seasons Group, which saw him return to India for a brief stint to open a property there.
“I have also been the pre-opening general manager for Atiram Premier, Holiday Gulf and Holiday Bahrain Hotel before coming to head Juffair Gate,” he adds.
The establishment has a multitude of food and beverage outlets. Liv Club Lounge, a state-ofthe- art lounge with the latest audiovisual technology, is at the forefront.
“Hip hop, R&B and afrobeat tunes attract partygoers every night of the week and we bring in several international and local talents to spin the decks and deliver foot-tapping tunes,” says Sudheer.
Elaborating on the newly opened lounge and restaurant, Crossroads, which has a live Canadian band, he says: “A chef has been flown in from US to develop the menu with flavoursome continental fare. We aim for the venue to become a versatile hangout spot, whether you bring in friends or business associates.”
Speciality restaurant La Liga serves Russian cuisine, Almas does Arabic, Copacabana does Ethiopian eats and Mirchi Gold specialises in Indian gastronomy. Prestige, the all-day dining venue, cooks up tempting Arabic and Asian dishes.
Talking about the establishment’s advantage over its competition, Sudheer says: “We have 126 rooms, with 16 junior and family executive suites in total. Airport transfers are done free of cost and our location is in the prime area of Juffair, in close proximity to malls and American Alley.”
Having headed properties in their transitional stage, Sudheer is well-versed with renovations and refurbishments.
“One of the biggest challenges to take on is the staff,” he says. “Very often, they are wary of changes in the management, so the more important factor is to make them feel comfortable.
“The second element is to bring in business and focus on customer service, which is key to bringing in new markets and keeping existing clients satisfied.”
The corporate reins of Sudheer’s job don’t get in the way of limiting his creative pursuits. “I have, in the past, worked in south Indian movies in a villainous role,” he says. “I greatly admire theatre and cinema.” He also enjoys spending time with his family after a long day at the office.
For the future, he eventually plans to retire and oversee the operations of a resort he owns on the border of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu with his brother.