Born in the family that owns the famed Pritam Group of Hotels in Mumbai’s Dadar, Abhayraj Kohli cut his teeth on the family-run restaurant business. After an M Com from Mumbai University, Kohli, a fourth generation restaurateur, studied for a Master’s in Hospitality from Cornell University in New York. On his return in 2006, he launched Indyaki in Pune. Soon Kohli realised his dream of running his own restaurant in Mumbai by launching Bombay 72.

His success in Mumbai and Pune fuelled a collaboration with friends to start two ventures in Mumbai, Please Don’t Tell and The Roll Company. Soon he was out with his version of a gaming bar—MRP—My Regular Place which first opened in Mumbai and recently a second outlet was launched in Pune.  In 2017, House of Lloyd came up in Juhu, Mumbai.

Inspired by his grandmother, Kohli launched Grandmama’s Café in 2015 on a shoe string budget with almost every item of furniture upcycled from restaurants previously run by the family. Soon they expanded to Lower Parel then Juhu, followed by Kemps Corner, and Chembur. Grandpa’s den, a travel-themed cocktail bar followed suit.

In his leisure time, Kohli loves to travel and explore local food, which inspire him to make additions at his restaurants. He answers the Thrive questionnaire to share his thriving routine. Excerpts:

Thrive Global India: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?

Abhayraj Kohli: My mornings are spent mostly with my daughter, she leaves for school at 8.30 am so 7-8.30 is time with her.

TGI: How do you unplug and recharge?

AK: I love travelling and playing poker. These are the best ways of unplugging on a yearly and monthly basis.

TGI: What’s your favourite well-being tip?

AK: Yoga and gym on alternate days in the morning is my mantra and a keto diet for a month twice a year helps me to shed my extra festive weight.

TGI: Tell us about your relationship with your phone.

AK: I am inseparable from my phone as I have to be reachable to firefight issues, know what people are taking “good and bad” about my restaurants, watching the operations via CCTV etc. Basically the phone keeps me on top of my game

TGI: How do you deal with negativity on social media?

AK: Firstly, there is nothing like negative feedback, we always view it as constructive in nature and take every constructive remark seriously, discuss it over our weekly meetings and try our best to make improvements.

TGI: When was the last time you felt burned out?

AK: Last year we opened six restaurants at the end of which I felt exhausted, however, I still haven’t ever felt burnt out. The reason for that could also be that I love my work and its every facet.

TGI: What would you do on an ideal day?

AK: My ideal day would be one spent with family and friends over a lovely and exciting meal.

TGI: How much sleep do you generally get? Do you notice any change in your performance on the days of less sleep?

AK: Six-eight hours. If I don’t get enough sleep my immunity invariably goes down and I catch a cold instantly which can at times adversely affect my work performance.

TGI: How do you incorporate well-being into your daily life?

AK: My entire family is very fitness driven. Every morning I spend one hour at a minimum doing some form of workout be it yoga or weight training.

TGI: What benefit do these habits have on your ability to perform?

AK: I have more energy and definitely feel a lot more focused on the task at hand.

Want to share your story of how you thrive? Write to us at [email protected]


  • Founded in 2016 by Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global is the world’s largest well-being media platform. Since its launch in October 2018, Thrive Global India has received over 40 million visitors. Our media platform Our focus is on well-being and productivity, emphasising real experiences and unique storytelling. Through articles, videos, and podcasts featuring business leaders, scientists, athletes, entertainers and new role models of success, we add a new dimension to the global conversation of wellness. Our stories discuss daily challenges, people’s personal journeys of how they thrive, and recommend solutions to bring purpose and wonder into our worlds. We realise that the struggles of our everyday life—stress, burnout, exhaustion, apathy, technological addiction—can be intimidatingly broad and numerous. And it’s only through lived and shared experiences of people, combined with expert data and science-based solutions, that we can achieve actual, dramatic results that help us live and work well. Our enterprise solutions There is a pervasive belief that burnout is the price we must pay for success, but research has shown it is a delusion. As a matter of fact, by prioritising our well-being, we pave way for a healthier, productive life with enhanced efficiency, decision making and creativity. Through our assessments, corporate workshops, digital engagement solutions and more, we bring to you science-backed well-being and performance-enhancing strategies, proven to help individuals and teams thrive.