How CEOs Are Spending Their Winter Break

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How CEOs Are Spending Their Winter Break

| Updated: December 25, 2023 15:02

CEOs Are Spending Their Winter Break

When it comes to celebrating the New Year, it’s different strokes for different folks. Vibes of India asked a cross-section of CEOs about their plans for the Winter Break this year and we got very divergent answers. Some are taking the opportunity to travel; others are celebrating at home and some have decided not to do anything at all.

The first person we spoke to was restaurateur Pradeep Chona, the chairman of Hocco Industries. Always the Bon Vivant, Chona never misses an opportunity to travel. This year, he is vacationing on the beaches of Hua Hin Island in Thailand. “I have been very busy working on the launch of our ice cream plant the past few months and I needed a break. We decided to get away from dry Gujarat and bring in the New Year with a group of friends in Hua Hin,” he says.

Pradeep Chona

Thailand is certainly a great place to party. So is nearby Vietnam, where Emmanuel Bottiau, Director of Alliance Francaise Ahmedabad, is holidaying with friend Rodolphe Bonnemie. “If we are not in France, we always travel to a new destination during the winter break. This year, we are spending Christmas in Ho Chi Minh City and New Year in Hanoi. In between, we plan to go to Hue and Hoi An.”

Not everyone is headed for exotic destinations this year. Jayen Mehta, managing director of Amul is spending Christmas and New Year at home in Anand. “We take a break during Navratri and Diwali. Those are long holidays. Christmas is just a one-day holiday,” he says. Jayenbhai has a son working in Norway and the family does fly down to meet him, but that is usually in the summer. “Norway is no place to be in winter. It is much too cold,” he says.

Jayen Mehta

The winter break may not be important in the traditional Indian scheme of things, but it is a big deal in the West. For CEOs with near and dear ones living abroad, the Christmas holidays make for family reunions. For Hari Menon, CEO of Bigbasket, December is the month when his two sons fly in to Bangalore from the USA and Canada. The family then goes to Kerala to meet up with the grandparents (which includes E Sreedharan of Delhi Metro Rail fame). The family also has a tradition of making a trip to a domestic holiday destination like Coorg or Bandipur National Park.

Hari Menon and Family

This year, they are planning on going to Delhi and Agra, but Menon will not be going with them. “I have already taken two major breaks in December, one for a wedding and one for a BITS Pilani reunion. Too much work has piled up,” he says. Menon may not be going to Agra, but he will surely cheer in the New Year. After all, he co-owns Sherlock’s, one of Bangalore’s most popular pubs.

In Ahmedabad, Ganesh Nayak, executive director of Zydus Lifesciences, has no plans of bringing in 2024 with a bang. He plans to be in bed by midnight and get up even earlier than usual on January 1 to get to work. “I have not celebrated New Year for the past 20 years. I see no point in going out, getting drunk and then bringing in the New Year with a hangover,” he says.

Ganesh Nayak

What does he think of the Gujarat’s Government’s plan to relax prohibition in the nearby GIFT City this year? “I am keenly watching how they are going to implement the new policy. The logistics seem complicated,” he says.

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