Weekends are all about down time. After a week full of work to meet deadlines, everybody needs a breather to relax and recuperate. From watching a favourite web-series to planning a vacation, weekends are designated as family and me time. Ravi Saxena, managing director, Wonderchef, talks to BrandWagon Online about his weekends, favourite vacation destination and more.
What is the one thing you like to do when not working?
I love to read every day whenever I find the time, whether it’s during a break between meetings or while waiting for somebody to arrive, and surely before I go to sleep. These small bits add to a lot when one does it regularly. It also helps me cover a variety of topics in fiction, politics, science, and history. Currently, I am reading the latest Gabriel Allon on the one hand and a book on deep science – The Matter of Everything, on the other.
How do you spend your weekends?
I love to take short breaks with family and friends. At least two weekends a month, I like to drive out of Mumbai, taking the roads less travelled in my SUV. We love to explore local restaurants to eat, unique places to stay, and old forts to climb. When I am unable to travel out, I love to catch a movie, tend to my terrace garden, and try my hand at cooking. My kids vouch for my omelettes and mutton dishes.
What are your favourite gadgets?
I think my team at Wonderchef knows me best. Every year they manage to surprise me with a new gadget which makes it difficult to choose my favourite amongst the many I have received lovingly from them. They gifted me my first Alexa device, which has brought music to my life every single day over the last three years. The LP record player they gave me raised the bar of music. I find myself searching for old records of rock, heavy metal, country music, and 50s & 60s Bollywood films across the city. The action cam I received this year is a perfect accompaniment to my adventure trips every month.
Given an option to choose another career, what would it be?
I am interested in life, people, and history. I am able to connect the dots when it comes to various cultures, understand their nuances and decode why they developed in a certain way. My travels across 56 countries spread over the five continents have further honed this edge. I think I would have loved to be a writer if I were not to get consumed by building 14 different businesses over my 30-year-long career. My writings would include travelogues, stories, insights, and anecdotes about thousands of amazing people I have met during these travels. I also believe this is an unfinished agenda in life, and the time will come soon.
Which is your favourite vacation spot?
While I have travelled to the most amazing places, I lost my heart only in Italy. The combination of thousands of years of history, carefully preserved architecture, awesome food, heady wines, incredible art, and passionate people is just unmatched. In Italy, my favourite places are Florence for its deep connection with the renaissance, lake Como for showing us what true luxury really is, and the Amalfi coast for the pristine natural beauty it offers. In Italy, however, it’s almost impossible to visit any village or town which does not have a 3,000 history served in breakfast.
A TV show, a movie, and an ad campaign that you highly recommend watching.
I love creativity, and it is best manifested in the world of cinema and advertising. HBO’s Rome is one of the lesser-known shows I would recommend watching. I discovered it only recently, perhaps because it was just released on OTT. It’s a 16-year-old production but feels absolutely contemporary with extremely rich production values, an amazing script, and superlative performances. It is probably the most authentic representation of ancient Rome I have seen and stands right up there in entertainment value with GOT or Money Heist.