Ankur Brahmbhatt, owner of the South Boston Quality Inn, is always on the lookout for a new business venture. When he finds a good business investment, he puts in an all-out effort to make the business top notch.
“This county has given me a lot, so I do my best to do good business work here,” Brahmbhatt said. He moved to South Boston from North Carolina with his family in 2016 and has purchased and refurbished several properties in town since then.
Brahmbhatt recently was named 2020 Businessperson of the Year by the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce. J.R. Griffin, 2019 businessperson of the year, presented the award to Brahmbhatt at a virtual Chamber awards ceremony on May 21.
“It’s an honor,” Brahmbhatt said, of the recognition.
He has a reputation for bringing properties back to life by transforming already-existing businesses and opening new businesses in vacant buildings. Among those businesses are the Papa John’s in South Boston, which he reopened with business partner Jason Badeaux in June 2019, and the Quality Inn on Seymour Drive, which he bought in May 2016, renovated and reopened the following year.
“Most of my businesses that I took over, they were either closed down or they had a lot of problems,” Brahmbhatt said.
The keys to Brahmbhatt’s success as a businessman are working hard and assembling the right team of people to make each of his businesses run smoothly. Renovating the Quality Inn was a major undertaking, but one that proved to be a success for Brahmbhatt.
“It was not in good shape when I bought it,” Brahmbhatt said. “We did a major renovation and changed the (hotel) policies. It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s a lot of good people involved in the process. We had a good contractor to make it all possible.”
Brahmbhatt also has a reputation for hiring local people to work in his businesses, including the Quality Inn, to keep money flowing in the local economy.
“Most of the people we hire are from Halifax County and Danville. We try to keep all the dollars at the local level,” Brahmbhatt said.
These days, Brahmbhatt says business is going well at the Quality Inn.
“We pull a lot of business from North Carolina. We have more tourists from VIR,” Brahmbhatt said. “Because we have a good option, we’re able to attract a lot more people over here.”
Brahmbhatt shared that he recently purchased a property on Main Street, which once housed the hospital and is in the process of refurbishing it and getting it ready for a potential tenant. The building was vacant for several years prior to his purchase of it.
“If people see closed down businesses and vacant buildings, it will not give them a good overall impression,” Brahmbhatt said. That’s where he steps in with his business savvy and building renovation expertise.
In addition to the businesses and properties he owns in South Boston, Brahmbhatt owns hotels in Kentucky, Baltimore, Maryland and Suffolk, to name a few. But he loves the small-town business environment in South Boston.
“You are just a number over there, in Baltimore, Maryland. In a small town, you are not a number, you are a person,” Brahmbhatt said. “I think the people here are business friendly. You can go to the town office, and they are so helpful, so friendly. When I go to town manager Tom Raab’s office, I don’t need an appointment. I just walk in. He’s always willing to help.”
Brahmbhatt gives back to the South Boston community in a number of ways. He is a member of the tourism board and the Tri-County Community Action Agency. He was named the agency’s “hero of the year” in 2018.
“I accepted South Boston as my hometown, and I’m lucky to have so many who play a role in my journey,” Brahmbhatt said. “I’ve made a lot of good friends here and have a lot of good memories with them. Halifax County and South Boston is always going to be special in my heart.”
The businessman also credits his success to the woman who has been by his side in all his business ventures – his wife Disha.
“Without her, it wouldn’t be possible,” Brahmbhatt said. “Behind every man’s success, there is always a woman.”