For Chiquita and Sumit Gulati, studying at Les Roches was an eye-opening, enriching experience. After conducting a few projects together at school, they both decided to continue this partnership outside of Les Roches, getting married and opening their own successful Indian restaurant.
“While at Les Roches we collaborated on a lot of projects together, and we always talked about doing something of our own,” said Sumit. Together he and Chiquita – who graduated from Les Roches in 2005 – founded Gulati Spice Market, an extension of the popular Indian restaurant Gulati’s. The latter is an institution Sumit knows a lot about, having been in his family for three generations. “It became an extension of our family legacy,” he said. “But we wanted to offer a different product so that people had a reason to visit both restaurants.”
At Les Roches, everything is done by the students, for the students…I had never seen such companionship and camaraderie before.
When Sumit and Chiquita first arrived at Les Roches, they had different reactions. “I was in complete awe of the place,” Chiquita said. “Switzerland is a breathtakingly beautiful place.” For Sumit, he was slightly more hesitant. “I was straight out of school and had never been abroad before,” he said. “Les Roches was a huge culture shock.”
However, by the time they graduated they were both in love with what Les Roches had to offer. “At Les Roches, everything is done by the students, for the students,” Chiquita said. “I had never seen such companionship and camaraderie before.” Sumit profited from the multicultural atmosphere. “Les Roches is a world school,” he said. “There are so many people from many different countries.”
Gulati Spice Market has become a huge success, and Chiquita and Sumit credit this to their staff, as well as their own individual attributes. “In hospitality, you need good people by your side,” Chiquita said. “Sumit is great with people. He’s calm, patient and manages them very well. He’s a great leader.”
Together, Chiquita and Sumit continue to grow their business. “Experimenting is the spice of life,” Chiquita said. “When our customers asked for the same experience in the comfort of their homes, we took it up as a challenge and began doing catering. Since then, we have catered to more than 1,500 people.
“When a client calls and says ‘surprise me’, it gives me immense satisfaction and creative freedom.”