Mr. Souvagya Mohapatra: Charting a Visionary Path for Alleviating the Hospitality Industry


Mr. Souvagya Mohapatra, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts

An imperative element of the service industry is indeed Hospitality. By providing exceptional guest experiences, the hospitality sector fosters economic growth and sustainable development. Taking charge of redefining hospitality standards across global boundaries, today we present the story of a brand that stands true to the philosophy: ‘The Joy of Giving’.
Atmosphere Core is a dynamic and leading international hospitality company currently operating eight resorts with 1000+ rooms in the Maldives (with four more under construction). Atmosphere Core’s distinguished portfolio comprises THE OZEN COLLECTION, COLOURS OF OBLU, and Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, with a rich diversity of guest experiences within each of these brands. These hotels range from upper-upscale to Uber-luxury. The brands under Atmosphere Core extend fulfilling guest-centric resort experiences through their line of exquisite ‘Resort Plans’. Under these plans, Atmosphere Core offers a diverse portfolio of all-encompassing experiences, varieties of dining options, and several complimentary value-added amenities and activities. These top-notch hospitality services ensure that its customers relish a relaxed, hassle-free, and magnificent holiday experience at each resort.
Under the impeccable leadership of Mr. Souvagya Mohapatra, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts is demonstrating substantial development in the Indian hospitality industry.
Prime Insights had the privilege to interact with Mr. Souvagya Mohapatra, Managing Director for India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, to explore many lesser-known facts about the business venture and traverse through its inception tale. The dignitary also shed light on some of the chapters of his corporate journey so far and walked us through the company’s essential work values. The conversation was immensely driven by valuable knowledge. These intellectual words motivated our editorial team to feature Mr. Souvagya Mohapatra’s journey under the exclusive segment “The Top 10 Most Inspiring Business Leaders Making a Difference in 2023”.

Inception Seeds of the Legacy

Mr. Salil Panigrahi, the Group Managing Director of Atmosphere Core, is a proud Indian who was born and raised in Odisha. He has been awarded the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman 2021 by the Hon’ble President of India in the Tourism category. This recognizes his stellar contribution to the tourism industry in the Maldives and for strengthening the relationship between India and the Maldives through his Indian Ocean hospitality brand.
The dignitary has also contributed to uplifting the tourism sector through the development of acclaimed resorts in the Maldives, which has lifted India’s reputation to new heights. Having successful ventures in the Maldives and an upcoming resort in Sri Lanka, Mr. Souvagya Mohapatra partnered with Mr. Salil Panigrahi on expanding in India, Nepal, and Bhutan in the capacity of Managing Director for India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka operations.
“We have successfully signed four hotel management agreements in various cities of India, viz., Kolkata, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, and Coorg, while targeting many more destinations in India and the Asia Pacific. Both Salil and I, being from Odisha, are greatly enthused to promote and develop the tourism industry in Odisha. We are delighted to note that there is now enhanced confidence in the hospitality and tourism industry in Odisha; hence, the company and its Board of Directors have decided to set up world-class resorts at Bhubaneswar, Puri, Konark, Chilika Lake, Koraput, and other scenic destinations through FDI and worthy investors.”

Demonstrating Tenacity Through Challenges

Coming from a family where transparency, freedom to follow dreams, healthy communication, and consistency towards ambitions have always been kept at the core, Mr. Souvagya Mohapatra had a lot of determination and aspirations for his professional goals. After his degree in hotel management and internship with the Oberoi Group, he was fortunate to get associated with the Founder of the Mayfair Group, Mr. Dilip Ray.
With the support and guidance of Mr. Ray, Mr. Souvagya Mohapatra started his career 30 years ago at Mayfair Rourkela as a Manager. From just one hotel to 12 world-class properties, he remained an integral part of Mayfair Hotels & Resort’s success story. The journey from being a Manager to Executive Director of Mayfair Group was achieved with sheer dedication and willingness to learn. Mr. Mohapatra have been associated with the Hospitality and Tourism associations such as FHRAI (Federation of Hotels & Restaurant Association of India), HRAEI (Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India), Tourism Council members of CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM for a substantial period and contributing immensely to the upgradation of the industry as a whole.
In his current collaboration with Mr. Salil Panigrahi, Mr. Mohapatra sees this as the prominent next step in his professional growth, one of which is entrepreneurship.

Moving Along with Changing Market Dynamics

To stay relevant and progressive in these competitive times, everyone must adapt to the latest trends and technology. Be it Business Development, Marketing and Sales, or Operations, Atmosphere Hospitality ensures that each department is deeply conversant with the product, market needs, and the latest trends in this changing world. The L&D (Learning and Development) team, with its constant R&D process, organizes in-house training classes for the team. Workshops and seminars on various hospitality-related topics are also attended by Mr. Mohapatra and his team to stay ahead of the curve.

Unlocking the Secrets of Effective Leadership: Mr. Mohapatra’s Perspective

“Only CEOs or leaders who think outside the box can put themselves at the top of the table. I strongly advise the following few key entrepreneurial traits that will serve any business well and make a CEO successful:

Critical and Creative Problem-Solving: Successful entrepreneurs should know how to identify a real-world problem.

Taking Risks Fearlessly and Having A Growth Mindset: True entrepreneurs take risks. They push the boundaries and go outside their comfort zone to solve problems and turn visions into reality.

Conviction and Dedication: To ride the highs and lows of business, entrepreneurs have no choice but to be dedicated to their vision and have conviction.

A Spotlight on the Company’s CSR Activities

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts is committed to creating a sustainable future through the efficient use of resources. The team ensures the conservation, preservation, and restoration of local biodiversity. For example, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts has endorsed coral reef restoration projects led by marine biologists at its resorts in the Maldives. The company is among the leading hospitality companies and has one of the largest solar power generation capacities in the Maldives. All its resorts are Green Globe Certified (the world’s leading certification for sustainable operation and management of the travel and tourism industries). In addition to it, all the upcoming properties in India and Southeast Asia will follow the same practices along with the latest practices of the hospitality industry’s sustainable approaches.

Achievements and Recognitions Worth Admiring

Atmosphere’s first property, Atmosphere Kanifushi, opened its doors to guests in December 2013.
The group opened its second property, OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli, in November 2015, followed by the flagship Lifestyle Luxury sub-brand, OZEN by Atmosphere, in July 2016.
OBLU Select at Sangeli opened in July 2018.
VARU by Atmosphere opened in October 2019, followed by OBLU Select Lobigili in March 2022. The latest resort in the Maldives was OBLU Xperience Ailafushi, which was operational in June 2022.
In recent times, OZEN Reserve Bolifushi (a Brand Hotel) has been recognized by the Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Awards. Bolifushi bagged second place in the listing of the top luxury Hotels in the world.
In addition to it, Atmosphere Core’s new hotel in the OBLU brand, OBLU Select Lobigili, bagged the award for the best new luxury hotel in the world. The brands are now gearing up to spread their horizons across India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan.

Steadfast Plans for a Promising Future

The Maldives entity has many successes and accomplishments to enumerate. For the new forays, the milestones are going to be in the future. Atmosphere Hospitality & Resorts has already signed Hotel Management Agreements for four properties in Kolkata, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, and Coorg.
Atmosphere Core’s top brand, “OZEN” will make a mark in India in the form of “OZEN Mansion Kolkata” scheduled to be launched during quarter four of 2023.
Bhopal will also witness a heritage property with the refurbishment of “Sadar Manzil,” the erstwhile Darbar hall of the Queen of Bhopal, by the end of the year 2023 under the shadow of Atmosphere Core.
A convention and lifestyle property in Bhubaneswar and a Forest wellness retreat at Coorg will soon have a presence in the Atmosphere Hospitality as well.
The destinations with which the Atmosphere Group is in dialogue with its partners are Goa, Nagpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Guwahati, Konark, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Kathmandu, Nepal, Thimpu, Bhutan, etc. The company’s near-term aim is to consolidate at least 20 captivating properties in its portfolio across various brands in the next few years.

Words of Intellect for the Young Professionals

I am grateful to the many people who have mentored me throughout my journey so far. Equally, I have been blessed with great support from my teams over the years. Continual learning, experiences, guidance, and blessings have motivated me to walk staunchly on the path of growth. My two-bit sincere advice to young professionals who would like to excel in their careers would be:

  • Adopt a business mindset and understand your company’s vision.
  • Be a good team player.
  • Demonstrate excellent communication skills.
  • Maintain a professional attitude at work.
  • Take the initiative and set a positive example.
  • Be open to feedback, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Be abreast of and welcome the information and technology that are entering your work domain.

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