Dr. Vithal Venkatesh Kamat, a second-generation restaurateur, a pioneer in green hotels, an environmentalist, an entrepreneur, an educationalist, an antiquarian, an ornithologist, an author, a globetrotter, and a black belt holder in karate, is a versatile personality. Having begun his journey in a small, family-owned vegetarian restaurant, Dr. Vithal Kamat today is chairman of the award winning – and Asia’s first – Ecotel hotel – The Orchid
As a green hotelier, he started with the basic principles of green development, and has now grown into managing Pune’s first museum hotel - Fort Jadhavgadh, Fort Mahodadhi Palace in Puri, Orissa, VITS, Lotus Resorts, and Dr. Vithal Kamat vegetarian restaurants.
As an environmentalist, he has planted more than 60 lakh trees and transformed over 100 acres of hillock into medicinal plants and local trees for forestation. He is also credited with constructing the first Butterfly Garden in Mumbai and creating more than 28 gardens, in addition to the ‘Child Gives Birth to a Mother’ monuments erected in various parts of the country.
Mr. Kamat is also involved with more than 1200 ALMs (Advance Locality Management) for maintaining clean and hygienic streets in India. He strongly believes that “We can’t command nature except by obeying her”. His mantras of 3 R’s – ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ and ‘No Plastic Bags’ have benefitted over 3 lakh students and many housing societies through ‘Rain Water Harvesting’ and ‘Wealth from Waste’ exhibitions. His annual practices include the conversion of over 100 tons of ‘Nirmalya’ (flower offerings) into manure after the Ganapati immersions in Mumbai.
As a conservationist and an ornithologist by nature, he has created ‘Raghu–Chivu Galli’ (Parrot & Sparrow Street) in Mumbai, preservation and procreation of Turtle Eggs in Konkan and Orissa, and the conservation of deer near Fort Jadhavgadh, Pune. He is also in the process of setting up a ‘Dolphin Observatory Center’ in Chilika Lake, Orissa.
A keen Antiquarian with a collection of over 35,000 exhibits, Mr Kamat has also set up ‘Aai’ - The ‘Mother Museum’ in Mumbai and Fort Jadhavgadh, Pune.
As an Author, his books ‘Idli, Orchid and Will Power’ and ‘Udyojak Honarach Mi’ have been translated into over 9 languages. He is a visiting faculty at IIM Ahmedabad, BITS Pilani and many management institutes in India and abroad.
Mr Kamat is a recipient of more than 110 national and international awards including ‘Best CEO of Industry Award’ by The Indian Express, ‘Golden Peacock Award’ received from the hands of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in Berlin, Germany. He currently serves as President of the Maharashtra Economic Development Council (MEDC), Vice President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India, Member of the Priyadarshini Academies Global Award Advisory Committee, and Chairman of the Technical Education Mumbai Board to name a few.
Dr. Vithal Kamat’s motto is,
“Environment is my Passion,
Heritage is my Creed,
Hospitality is my Life!”