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Exclusive Interview With Author "Deepak Ohri"

Deepak Ohri, founder and CEO of lebua Hotels and Resorts, is well-known worldwide as an award-winning entrepreneur who has transformed the luxury hospitality landscape in Asia. Deepak Ohri is a visionary who elevated experiential luxury hospitality worldwide. Central to Deepak's success is his unique vision of hospitality. He believes that the focus of hospitality should be on creating lasting emotional connections for guests – his initial vision for lebua – which has become an industry-wide trend. He has launched dozens of successful restaurants and bars and is credited with elevating luxury hospitality in the Asian Pacific region.

Deepak Ohri is an author of a book: “A Bridge Not Too Far: Where Creativity Meets Innovation,” in which he demonstrates through his journey the importance of focus, self-respect, and strategic thought process. Deepak determines that no matter where one started from, success and achievement are attainable. Deepak’s story highlights the pressures of a competitive service industry and how one needs to think ahead to survive and thrive. Through his experiences, he shares his inspiration to reach for the stars and cross the bridge not too far. The book is adopted as instruction material for the college-level courses in management and marketing.


Tell us about your book, “A Bridge Not Too Far.”

The book is a journey, but it is more than a regular journey. It is a showcase of my experience that proves that experience can take people to high places with the proper foundation. The book also shows 30 management principles, but there are three that are my favorite highlights:

Number one is self-respect; without compromising it, success can be obtained.

Number two is that power is not important, strength is. Strength gives you the ability to sustain when you gain power; when you lose power, it keeps you stable.

Number three is that very few people appreciate the experience, even in recruitment expertise is respected more. The book explains how experience can make you successful and can be a disruptor in any industry.

My journey takes me from my expertise in hospitality to my experience in teaching.

What is the significance of the title?

It is my first book representing reality, and the bridge not too far is the bridge to my second book, which is happiness. In life, your dreams are within your reach. You need to understand yourself and work towards it. No dream is unreal. The ability to achieve a dream is real.

You tell the story of crossing the road for a Coca Cola as a child, what does that story signify for you?

The story signifies that in life, you need to cross the road to discover what is on the other side and then decide if you want to take this path or not. You need to cross it.

Many of us are afraid to cross the road. Sometimes we see the road clearly, but we are still afraid to cross it.

What would you want our readers to take away from reading your book?

It depends on what you are looking for in your life. It can be a journey where you are at the crossroad and choosing to maintain self-respect or to compromise. It could be a dream that you think it is too difficult to achieve. Or it is something where you are stuck between rule-based and principle-based organizations. The choice is principle-based; the principles are always much more than the rules. The rules are meant to be broken. The principles are to stay.

Why are failures in life so important?

Failures are very important to remind the successful person that no one in this world is invincible. They teach humility and appreciation of others. The world can only improve if we appreciate our surroundings and the people around us.

How would you define success?

Success is happiness. Success is when you achieve your dreams without compromising your principles or self-respect, and sticking to your beliefs. It does not mean that you must win the game. It means people remember you for your efforts.

You're the CEO and founder of several 5-star resorts and Michelin star rated restaurants. What does the word "luxury" mean to you?

Luxury is an experience that helps you to reach the top of the world. Luxury is not expensive. It is an expression that can be emotional or practical, depending on where you are in life. For some people in rural areas in developing countries, toothpaste is a luxury; for some people, taking a flight to the moon is a luxury, but the experience is the luxury. Luxury doesn’t see who is poor or rich, but it is about the experience that gives you happiness. Luxury is not an expense.

You're a board member of the World Happiness Foundation - in the simplest sense - what does it take to achieve happiness?

Knowing yourself.

What can we expect from you next?

The next step is to advocate to the world that experience is something we all have. We may not have the expertise, but the experience can take us to the top, recognize us, and making people remembering us.

Luxury Atelier Maison Happiness (LAMH) is my company that will guide people to achieve happiness in an organic and consistent way. I want to show people why happiness is essential in life, how to achieve it, and most importantly, maintain it for years to come. I will be happy if I can give happiness to all my clients at LAMH.

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