Business Traveller India talks to Harry Hakuei Kosato, founder of Sushi and More, about his journey from Japan to India, the evolving culinary habits of the modern Indian and much more.
How was it shifting base from Japan to India?
Moving to a different country is always a combination of excitement, new discoveries, different challenges, and meeting amazing people. In short, it is exhilarating. Of course, there is quite a lot that one needs to adjust to, but that is also the amazing thing about moving somewhere- I say adaptability perhaps has been one of my strengths. But there are some comfort foods you need; and for me, it was sushi which did not exist in India back then, so my team and I, we built Sushi and More from scratch. I cannot survive without sushi! This being said, overall, it has been amazing. Now I consider India home and when I go back to Japan, I’m looking forward to coming back to India, as soon as possible!
Do you see a shift in the culinary habits of people in India?
Change is the norm, everywhere. More Indians are travelling and exploring the world which means they are eating and experimenting with diverse cuisines. People are dining out more, and on some days even staying in and ordering sushi or other continental dishes, which was not possible a few years ago. There is so much choice now! Since good quality has become progressively important, consistency is now paramount.
What’s next for Sushi and More?
We take it day by day, one sushi roll at a time. This has always been the brand attitude and philosophy. Concentrate on the now and here. We may expand into Bangalore, other metro cities, or open more branches in Gurgaon, Bangalore, and Mumbai bases. We could even look at starting the brand in Kyrgyzstan, Hong Kong, London, or Singapore; it could be anywhere, we just don’t know yet.
What are a few things that we would always find in your carry-on luggage?
So, I only use traditional travel luggage from London, which I take with me wherever I go in the world. Inside the carry-on, there will be my aeroplane neck cushion and a new air-relax cushion!
What’s your go-to travel destination and why?
I love Bangkok where I used to live and work with my partner and now my wife in the 90s, and Europe for the culture, food and nature. But recently I have spent more time travelling within India and I love visiting Leh and Ladakh, but I especially adore Rishikesh!
How important is travel to you and how does it influence your professional endeavours?
Travel is fundamental to my existence because unless you travel, you don’t know what is out there. There are over 190 countries on Earth. I’ve been to more than 40 but that’s nothing, really. Travel helps you increase your knowledge and experience. Travel also teaches you that there is a lot to learn and which is a humbling feeling since travelling gives me so much positive energy. It influences my thinking, keeps me on my toes, and helps me to realise how amazing life is.