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Generation Next 2013: Kal Patel

Age: 34

Company: Image Hotels, Inc.

Title: President/CEO

Top accomplishments

• Organized and founded Image Hotels, Inc.

• Development/acquisition of 10 hotels

• Currently managing assets of more than $40 million

Top awards/accolades

• Intercontinental Hotels group gave us “newcomer of the year” and torchbearer award for a hotel we developed in Savannah

• Top hotel owners and developer of the year 2009

• Top hotel owner and developer of the year 2008

Top philanthropic leadership roles

• Image Hotels is active in Habitat for Humanities

• Board member of SSCE

 

Questions for BiS:

Q. Please share your vision of Savannah’s future. What growth or challenges do you foresee?

A. By the end of 2013: Year of job growth, and prosperity, I see a brain drain coming also.

A. By the year 2020: Port of Savannah should be double the size of what we have today.

A. By the year 2030: A Historic metropolitan that will not feel like a big city.

 

Q. How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?

A. It is all about the human element, fishing out the best talent and keeping the best team will be the focus.

 

Q. What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?

A. Everything will be cloud based. Internet connectivity and bandwith will be increasingly important as we move forward.

 

Q. What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?

A. Our historic district is and always will be vital, coupled with true southern hospitality. Not to mention the ports, SCAD, military bases and Gulfstream are also a lifeline to Savannah.

 

Q. What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?

A. Tourism and manufacturing I think will have to continue to be important to our economy. Savannah has a unique ambience to offer the World for people to see, and we have amazing resources and infrastructure to gain more in manufacturing.

 

Q. What college degrees will be the most in demand in the Savannah area and why?

A. Medical, hospitality and engineering (technical and mechanical). We have a great medical community that will need to continue to grow as our population grows. Our hospitality continues to thrive and be more relevant, Savannah over the coming years will also be known for its culinary. Technical and mechanical skills will be in incredible demand as our manufacturing and ports continue to grow.

 

Q. What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?

A. Invest in our people, infrastructure, and educational system.

 

Q. What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?

A.The art of hospitality.

 

 

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