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Wednesday, 05 January, 2011, 11 : 00 AM [IST]

Carl Vaz, Chairman, Charson Advisory

A firm believer in excelling in whatever he does, Carl Vaz has not only managed to set up and run a highly successful destination management company but also been able to pursue diverse interest like flying and deep sea diving. TravelBiz Monitor gets a peek of the personal side of Vaz and how he manages to juggle both, work and passion
Meticulous planning, which perhaps is one of the key ingredients of his professional success, Vaz has already chalked out a road map for the coming years to fulfill his dreams. Achieve the target of clocking six hours of flying this year, a cruise around the world with family, build a farm house and retire as a hotelier. Vaz who is passionate about flying is aiming to upgrade his student’s pilot license to a private pilot license soon. He was unable to log sufficient numbers of hours last year due to hectic work schedule. However, he managed to add to his large collection of aircraft models, currently 450 and still counting.

Vaz interests can be termed as a paradox of sorts. Apart from flying his other love is scuba diving. He is a PADI certified wreck diver and has done dives at Dubai, Oman, Malta, Thailand, Malaysia, Bali, Lakshwadeep, Goa and Karnataka. When he is not indulging in getting his adrenalin pumping, Vaz likes to read and spend time with his family. An avid reader, he is open to reading anything that is interesting right from fiction, business magazines to travel books.

050111_dil_2.jpgMy Morning
Day break for Vaz is at 7:30 am followed by a walk to gear up for a hectic schedule at work. Usually, breakfast for him is just a cup of coffee but one made by his wife (Sonalee) which is special as it has the perfect blend of coffee (just the way he likes it). Coffee is accompanied by scanning the newspapers as Vaz firmly believes that a good executive is the one who is well informed and the best form of information comes at a cheap cost of Rs 500 a month by investing in newspapers and business magazines. Work usually begins en route to office by checking important emails and responding to them on his BlackBerry phone.

Fast Five
Favourite Cuisine: Loves Shawarma. Enjoys Thai, Lebanese and Argentine cuisine.
Favourite Drink: Alcoholic – Vodka with Soda and Lime. Non Alcoholic – Salted Fresh Lime
Favourite Restaurant: Yoko Sizzlers and McDonalds. Olive, Indigo and Thai Pavilion are also on his list of good restaurants.
Favourite Car: Mercedes
Favourite Music: Loves music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and singers or bands like Neil Young, Bee Gees, CCR, Abba and Boney M.

At Work
To avoid the peak hour traffic, Vaz usually lines up a meeting closer to home in the suburbs and prefers to come to office in South Mumbai by around 11:00 am. Once in office priorities include taking a brief on the schedule for the day. Lunch time for Vaz is flexible – anytime between 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm and ‘always’ comprises of home cooked meals like roti, dal and one non-vegetarian dish. Second half of the day is spent in meeting clients and discussing future strategies to grow the business. Work for Vaz ends by 8-9 pm after which it is a drive back home with a stop over at his club for a chilled beer.

050111_dil_3.jpgAfter Hours
Vaz indulges in surfing on the Internet, reading about scuba diving, travel, business etc. He is also a movie buff and over the weekends he makes it a point to catch a movie at a multiplex near to home with family. “Family time is usually spent after work and on weekends. Since both my kids have different interests, I take my daughter – Charisma (13) to read books at Crossword and Sean (7) to Planet M to play games,” states Vaz. He also enjoys holidays where his kids decide on the destination.


Born in 1971 in Mumbai, Vaz spent 14 years in Kuwait where he did his schooling. His college education was in Cyprus and Mumbai. His first acquaintance with the travel and tourism industry was while working with iB&W (advertising company) where he handled The Leela Kempinski and Modiluft account in Mumbai. Vaz follows the philosophy that ‘Each to his own’ and aspires to be a hotelier once he retires. His landmark moment in life was when he decided to set up his own venture – Charson Advisory and his clients supported the decision.

“One of the clients also mentioned, ‘We believe in you’ and that totally made my day. Seeing my kids five minutes after delivery is also the most cherished moment of my life,” states Vaz. Talking about balancing work and family life, Vaz believes that when at work; focus on work and with family, only family. He does not take work related phone calls on weekends or while spending time with family. “My wife Sonalee has been a great support system to have single handedly taken up the responsibility of bringing up the kids while I was focusing on work. Hence, family time is completely family time,” states Vaz.

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