Shankar reveals his secret while saying goodbye: “I EAT FROGS EVERY MORNING!” [Archives:2001/29/Last Page]

July 16 2001

Mr. Shankar Bharadwaj, the Sales Manager for the Taj has been actively involved with the Who is Who in town since 1996, ever smiling, very proactive and easy to approach and a dear friend of the Yemen Times staff, will unfortunately leave Sanaa shortly. We are surely lucky to be the last newspaper to bid him farewell, and definitely hope that he will always remember us and come for a visit in the future.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Why are you leaving Sanaa?
A: It is five years since I started working in Sanaa, and I need a change.
Q: We heard that you are moving back to the UAE? Is this true?
A: Yes indeed. I have joined an international property in Dubai and will be returning back to the base in the UAE.
Q: Who will take your position here at the Taj?
A: Mr. Ganesh Kamath has just arrived from India. He will take my position as the Sales Manager of the Taj Sheba Hotel.
Q: Were you frustrated or shook by the constant political and security instability in the country, especially during 1998-99?
A: At the end of 1998, the Abyan fiasco resulted in great damage to the tourism sector in the country, and we noticed a great recession in 1999 as far as tourism is concerned. The tourism figures made a dramatically nosedive reducing the average number of used rooms substantially. In 2000 and 2001 however, we have improved significantly and regained the average that we had in 1998, and even surpassed it.
What caused us great frustration during 1999 was the bridge construction in front of the hotel starting in 1999 causing traffic chaos. We really lost our market share at the time the bridge was being constructed. That was the most frustrating period I had ever experienced during my work in Yemen.
However, I grew in my inner strength because I learnt how to handle those kinds of conditions. I remember we used to treat our clients with extra care and attention during that time and we even distributed small teddy bears with a label in the neck saying “bear with us”. Things became better afterwards.
Q: Frankly speaking, how do you rate Yemen Times?
A: I had great respect for the late Editor-in-Chief, Dr, Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, the father of the current Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Walid Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. He was one person who made me very comfortable from day one in Yemen. I spent a lot of time in his office sipping Yemen tea.
You are doing fine with the additions and the layout of Yemen Times and I am sure you will do better and wish you all the very best.
Q: Any final message you have for the Yemeni people before you leave?
A: Yemen is a great place for tourism and one should take advantage of this fact and develop this vital sector. Yemeni people have their charms and hospitality, and they should continue with it. I will hopefully come back to Yemen for future visits, as I have memories about my years in Yemen that will keep forever.