Entrepreneur Visionary & a Gentleman – Dr. P. Vasudevan
P Vasudevan, the managing director of Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere, is a humble person, trying to hide his elegance in his simplicity. He is also the president of India Merchandising Services. Dr. P. Vasudevan is a pioneer in Handicrafts and Home Textile industry. Government of India has honoured him with a Life Time Achievement Award for his enormous contribution towards the growth of handicraft export. He was instrumental to various artisans becoming accredited exporters of this country. His International Business relations and philanthropic activities rewarded him a Doctorate by Viswaprakash International University. The Income Tax Deptartment has recognized his integrity and honoured him with an “Honest Tax Payer”/highest in his category award. His Agricultural activities made him receive a “Karshaka Shree” award from the Mannarkad Krishi Bhawan, in the Palakkad District of Kerala.
There is a ‘rag to riches’ story behind him. Born in a poor agricultural family he had migrated to Delhi in search of a source for living. Integrity, hard work, determination and practical wisdom got him widespread recognition in the industry as well as society. Once he was the largest buyer of coir products from Cherthala, Alleppey. It was during those journeys to Alleppey, the plan of setting up a resort sprang up in his mind. Vasudevan in a talk with Bejoy George talks about the tourism industry in Kerala, Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere and his life journey.
Has the tourism industry of Kerala emerged to its true potential?
Tourism industry in Kerala has come a long way from the time the boom started in the 1970’s. Kerala now enjoys a prominent position in the tourism map of the world. The brand Kerala is now well known and even famous is its tagline “Gods Own Country”. Even though Kerala to is popular among the foreign tourists, we have to go a long way when it comes to domestic tourists. For them Kerala is still not popular, the long term key to our success will be high net worth domestic tourists, which will end the seasonal structure of the tourist industry. Coming back to the question I think we have not fully tapped the potential of Kerala. We need more infrastructure, changes in rules like CRZ to suite the realities of geography of Kerala. I am not saying that rules are not needed, but some adaptations to specific geographies.
Can we say that Kerala’s tourism success is an entrepreneurial success?
Yes and No. In fact the major changes in the tourism landscape were crafted by entrepreneurs, we have all the big names in our tourism industry. But in the recent years the government has provided outstanding support to the tourism industry. I think the government has understood the importance of tourism to our economy, take for example the Grand Kerala Shopping festival and other major events by the government. I think in the future with the kind of support from the government Kerala tourism will go places.
What made you decide on Vayalar, when you planned to start a five star hotel?
I am a buying agent for many years and I had to travel to many places in India and abroad. I used to frequent to Alleppey for sourcing coir and other related products. It was during those journeys I got the idea to start this Resort here.
Can you tell, about your idea of Vasundhara?
I will tell you something about the place first; this place has all the potential to emerge as a backwater hub like Allepey and Kumarakaom. Vasundhara is being just a beginning and I expect many more resorts to come up in this space so that I have healthy competition. My idea about this resort is to provide our guests a memorable experience, offering them a slice of Kerala, with world class service.
What are your expansion plans?
We are in the preliminary stages of our expansion. We a planning a resort in Palakkad and adventure tourist resort near Manarkkad.
How is the resort doing?
This resort I would say is a result of some amazing teamwork, starting from the designers, our builders, contractors, vendors and our staff have chipped in their part to make this a success. We have met with some good success, a good number of guests and some awards too. Yes it is a success story.