General Manager UAE
Venki originates from South-East India at large, Chennai to be more precise. Though his first year in hospitality school focused mainly on cuisine, it was an internship behind the bar, in the bustling city of Bangalore, that shone a new light of enthusiasm in his eyes. he went on to perfect his knowledge at flairing school, learning the basics of his craft before graduating and kick-starting his professional life at the trendy Ista 5-star hotel in 2006.
Over the years, Venki has worked with the Pernod Ricard teams training bartenders across the UAE and then as acting F&B director at the Bonnington Hotel in JLT, all the while obtaining his WSET level 3 in wine and level 2 in spirits and certified Sake Sommelier certification in London, ending top of his class in 2014.
Venki always pushes himself to the next level and likes to participate in prestigious competitions such as Cigar Sommelier, for which he got runner-up 5 years in a row.In 2016 was earning the title of “World’s Best Sake Sommelier”, a reward that enabled him to visit Japan’s finest breweries and wineries.
Venki joined 99 Sushi Bar in 2017 and has been promoted from Assistant Manager and Sommelier to Restaurant Manager first in Abu Dhabi and then in Dubai.
He is now the GM of the Dubai brand and Beverage Manager for the group. Keeping his passion for Sake alive, he is a Certified Sake Educator and created the Sake Sommelier Association Middle East.