Vikram Jamwal walks down the iconic stairwell at Hilton Durban looking confident and ready to take on any challenge. He arrives for our meeting a minute early, leading us to a quiet corner in the Business Lounge.
Jamwal replaced Markus Fritz as general manager of Hilton Durban in August this year.
“I am the DNA of Hilton having been with the company for over 20 years. I am excited to have this opportunity to work in Hilton Durban. I am proud to be part of such a great team. I look forward to contributing further towards the success of the hotel,” he says.
With a career spanning more than 22 years, Jamwal has hotel experience across European, African, Asian and Middle Eastern markets.
Before joining Hilton Durban, Jamwal spent two years managing revenue across Hilton’s Africa and Indian Ocean hotels.
He lights up when he talks about his plans for the hotel, which turns 22 this year. “I am hoping to turn Hilton Durban into one of the best lifestyle hotels in the city. We want to create an atmosphere where people can relax and chill. The hotel has embarked on a few projects to make this happen, including creating a kids corner, sweet display in our foyer and a few events at our restaurant The Big Easy,” Jamwal adds.
The father of two is showcasing the hotel’s new lifestyle approach through a series of interactive videos on the hotel’s social media pages.
A typical day for Jamwal is never the same. “I try to be as creative as I can be,” he says. “I like to push people to think out of the box.”
Durban is his new home, and he has already been exploring. His passion for travel is evident.
"South Africa has many good qualities: its weather, landscapes, food, wine and its people. I am going on a road trip to the Drakensberg with my boys Aaron and Leon this weekend. I am a lifestyle traveller and love the mountains,” he says.
The family of four will continue exploring the country when Jamwal’s wife Furry moves to South Africa next month. It’s ironic though that Jamwal, who is of Indian origin doesn’t like spicy food. Maybe that’s why he has steered clear of indulging in the city’s sought after bunny chow.
“I don’t eat spicy food. I have heard of the bunny chow but have not tried it. I want to try Zulu cuisine during my stay in the country.”
The new general manager also has a heart of gold. He started the Vikram Jamwal Foundation to empower youth, offer child education and healthcare aid in India.
“The vision behind starting Vikram Jamwal Foundation was my continuous passion for doing something good for society. India is poised to become the youngest nation on the world map by 2025. The world is looking upon India for bridging the deficit in human capital. Urgent and effective action to skill India is of critical importance to capture the demographic potential," he says on the website.