4 min read.Updated: 05 Jan 2020, 09:00 AM ISTNeha Dara
Business leaders from around India tell Lounge where they go to recharge over the New Year
Disconnecting from work and phone to set new goals and reenergise top priorities for year-ending breaks
Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR cinemas
Santorini in Greece is so scenic and laid-back that it helps my entire family recharge. My wife, Archana, and I first went about 10 years ago and since then we have gone twice with our two children. The water is like a painting, the people are wonderful and there are great flea markets that give you a sense of the culture. I switch off a fair bit—I am reminded that there’s more to life than work. Greece’s simplicity and slower pace are really enchanting for me.
To celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday, we organized a mini-triathlon in Galle, Sri Lanka. It included a 7km marathon, 1 mile of swimming in the sea and 24km of bicycling. With my family, I have gone to Gulmarg a couple of times, skiing, sledging, and making snowmen. With my friends, I went to Madrid to watch the El Clásico, and for the ICC Cricket World Cup in London. Though short, my vacations have a high dose of sports, rejuvenating me completely.
I am from Chandigarh, a city blessed by its proximity to the hills. Vacations always meant a drive up and I look forward to that even today. Long drives help me explore new routes and discover hidden gems in small towns. They help me rejuvenate. Long drives are a welcome break from the constant grind of airports and flights—giving me an opportunity to spend time with my wife and daughters. I personally believe travelling by road gives you the opportunity to experience the beauty and vastness of a country in a more intimate fashion.
Uma Chigurupati, MD, KRSMA Estates
My favourite holidays involve running or eating. My husband, three children and I enjoy exploring local cuisine, so we sign up for culinary tours. San Sebastián in Spain is one of my favourite destinations for street food.
In 2015, my husband and I participated in the World Marathon Challenge, running seven marathons in seven continents within seven days. Another year, we ran a 42km marathon in the Gobi desert—it put me in a meditative state of mind.
Prashanth Challapalli, COO, Leo Burnett Orchard
I tend to choose quiet, intimate spaces. This year, I signed up for an Ayurveda retreat in Palakkad, Kerala. Starting 2020, I am about to make some big changes in my career. With the decade ending too, I feel the need to take some time for quiet contemplation. So I will be cutting myself off from the world for seven days and focusing my energies on yoga and meditation.
Hopefully, this would help me get in more discipline in my life.
Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO, HarperCollins Publishers India
Ramgarh is quaint and its winters special. The air is crisp and pure. The local food is divine. A little river runs through the valley in Talla Ramgarh below. There are not too many people around, and those you meet simply wave or smile as you walk by.
For me, a walk in the hills with my dogs, hearing a kite screech, stopping to look at a flower, or a view of the rolling misty mountains, makes me feel thankful, happy and alive. Reborn even.
Amanpreet Singh Bajaj, country manager, AIRBNB India
The new year calls for a fresh start, with a stronger determination to accomplish larger goals. I strongly believe this can only be achieved by strengthening one’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Therefore, my year-end vacations are preferably at beach destinations, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Ocean retreats always calm me down and this year, I am getting that in Sri Lanka. And while I am at it, I am immersing myself in the local culture, heritage, and feasting on the delicious Sri Lankan cuisine.
Prabhtej Singh Bhatia, founder and CEO, Simba Beer
When we pick a new destination, my wife and I look for a blend: It should be a party place and also have a beach where you can relax. Once there, I try and not think about work.
The last place I absolutely loved was the Gili Islands in Indonesia, which we visited in September. We stayed in a villa, riding bicycles everywhere and partying on the streets. It was a unique experience.
Aditya Ghosh, board member, OYO Hotels & Homes
My family has a little hideaway in Rishikesh. It’s very peaceful, surrounded by greenery, the sound of the Ganga, and the mountain across the river. Within an hour of being there, I wind down. There is lots to do, like walking, climbing, trekking and rafting, but I usually just sit with a book or listen to music. There’s a spot on the terrace from where you can see the Ganga, with the sun rising on one end and setting on the other. I love that spot.