Business, Real Business, Travel, India - Tue July 19, 2011

Mumbai: A business-owners guide

The UKTI told us that Mumbai is the most popular destination for new British exporters. We’ve handpicked the best places for business owners to stay, dine and meet new contacts.

Here are the best places for owners to…

Bed down for the night

  • The Trident is your best choice by far. It’s the only hotel situated within the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai’s financial hub, and is packed with meeting rooms and conference facilities. You won’t find a more conveniently placed hotel. If the Trident is booked, try:
  • ITC Maratha, near the BKC and handily situated near Mumbai’s domestic airport.
  • The Grand Hyatt in Santacruz East has cafés and meeting rooms galore.
  • Taj Lands End hotel, further down the coast (check out the views of the Bandra-Worli Sealink, a marine spur road jutting out from Mumbai’s coastline).

Have a power breakfast

Deals are often closed over dinner but discussions start in earnest over breakfast in India – don’t underestimate the value of being up with the lark. Our favourite breakfast spots include:

Take suppliers out for dinner

Most locals head for one place only – Waterfield Road, a foodie district offering plenty of high-end options. Top of the list is the Moti Mahal: great Indian food at prices that won’t break the bank. Otherwise, try China Gate, specialising in spicy Chinese cuisine (book early as it gets packed), and Caravan Serai, dishing up the best Punjabi grub in town.

Other options include:

  • Soma at the Grand Hyatt.
  • The Olive Bar & Kitchen, north of Bandra West (and not to be confused with the other Olive outlet in Mahalaxmi to the south). Serves fabulous Martinis.

Surf the web

Wifi can be found in the big coffee chains, notably Café Coffee Day (CCD), India’s answer to Starbucks. In Bandra West, ask the taxi to aim for the CCD at the Noor Mahal, opposite Tava Restaurant on Turner Road.

For other wifi hotspots, try:

  • The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf off Vithalbhai Patel Road.
  • The Mocha Mojo on Krishna Chandra Road.
  • The Trident BKC and the Grand Hyatt both offer free wifi.

Meet potential clients and investors

  • The Business Centre at the Wadhwa Platina, and Geoffrey’s in the Hotel Marine Plaza. Granted, it’s a typical English pub, but it’s known as “the most happening and famous place to meet up with the city’s who’s who.”
  • The Dome bar perched atop the Bonobo off Linking Road in Bandra West – fabulous for late-night drinks.
  • On Waterfield Road, Red Box (situated within Royal Plaza) and the Dutch-owned bar and Asian fusion restaurant Zenzi offer attitude and a rich clientele.
  • For a more mainstream option, the Taj Lands End hotel offers two good after-hours spots: the Atrium Lounge and Churchill’s Bar.
  • Finally, a couple of pot-luck options: The Den, a wine bar off 24th Road in Bandra West, and, for something a little outré, try the Hawaiian Shack off Linking Road – great cocktails surrounded by rustic fishing paraphernalia. Enjoy!

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