Dr. Ananth Vaidyanathan – MD, Touch of Class Foods Pvt Ltd.
Starting with just nothing and then achieving everything in his fulfilling career itself is a great feat to motivate youths in hospitality sector.
Ventured at the age of 22 after having completed his Diploma in Hotel Management from IHM – Bangalore with a very strong and ardent resolve to set up the finest chain of restaurants across India and abroad, Ananth Vaidyanathan took his first baby steps towards achieving his goal, and started out as Steward in “Touch of Class”, a restaurant in Hotel Central Court, a 4-star property in Hyderabad. Having gained invaluable experience in his heart’s calling, he moved to the city of dreams – Mumbai, and the year 2004 saw him launch his dream enterprise “Touch of Class” with the motto “Athiti Devo Bhava” which catered primarily to the corporate sector. Within in a short span of four years, “Touch of Class” bagged the “Best Hospitality Professional Award” in 2008.
Working at the Startup gave him an opportunity to understand the ins and outs of the hospitality industry which helped him to convert the profession into a successful business. With just Rs 3500 in hand and no shelter to stay, he restarted his career in hospitality industry as Senior Captain in Juhu Vile Parle Gym Khana with a salary of Rs 3200 with company provided accommodation. After spending 4 years in the same position and salary, he got elevated to Operations Manager followed by General Manager of Time & Again, Senior Vice President of Vie lounge and then the licensing channel partners for Sanjeev Kapoor’s Yellow Chilli, Daburs, Lite Bite Travel Foods Pvt Ltd, GVK, Taj, Niranta Hotels , Living Liquidz, Chief Executive Officer of Touch of Class and now the Managing Director of Touch of Class Foods Pvt Ltd. All his initial struggles thus paid off.
With almost 20 years in the industry, he admires Sir Ratan Tata, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth. He likes the fact that hard work and persistence can only bring success and successful people always remain humble and grounded. Remembering his struggling days, he quips “I came to Mumbai having nothing and just with a target of going on a cruise but failed due to a shortage of finance. Left the job as a Vice President in a reputed lounge and started a small kitchen by taking up a loan of 5 lakhs. Even transported foods in auto and served various corporate clients.”
As a successful entrepreneur, Ananth understands that key strategic decisions can take his entity to new heights. He gauges the market opportunities through Consumer Segmentation, Competition mapping, trend analysis, and environment scanning. The most important thing which makes him unique is his ability and willingness to be oneself and stand out from the crowd. He enjoys learning new things and is constantly seeking out new learning opportunities and experiences.
Recipient of several prestigious awards like – Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar Award 2018, Vijay Rattan Gold Medal Award 2018, Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sadbhavana Award 2018, Chief Operating Officer Summit & Awards 2018 proved beyond doubt that Ananth had a fulfilling entrepreneurial journey and is still raring to go, which itself should motivate today’s youth to take up the challenging role of entrepreneurship.