Rinkesh Patel, president of RAM Hotels, encouraged Troy University graduates to dream big during Friday night’s joint commencement ceremony for the Phenix City Campus and the Columbus/Fort Benning location.
Speaking to the nearly 100 graduates and their families gathered at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center, Patel followed that encouragement with four other key components for success in life – work hard, never stop learning, never give up and be humble and respect others.
“All successful people have the attribute of working hard,” he said. “It is your hard work and effort that leads to your success in whatever field you choose. Even the most successful people experience failure at some point in their lives and you will experience times of failure too. Never give up. Learn from your failures, get back up and keep moving.”
Being lifelong learners is another key component to a successful life, Patel said.
“Never stop learning,” he said. “The ability to think critically is what makes you great, and that is derived from a desire to continue to learn throughout your lifetime. Your success depends on it.”
Patel arrived in the United States in 1998, and, as a 16-year-old junior at Opelika High School, began working for his uncle, learning the hotel business. He volunteered for the night shifts, traveled to construction sites, and wrote emails and maintained spreadsheets for his uncle. That hands-on experience in hotel operations at all levels paid off. While studying engineering at Auburn University at the age of 21, Patel and other family members purchased a Days Inn Hotel in Phenix City.
Today, as the guiding force behind RAM Hotels, Patel serves as president of the company that is poised to take its place as a premiere hotel management and development leader of Hilton and Marriott branded hotels. Currently RAM Hotels owns 20 hotels, 10 different brands with 450 associates working across eight different cities. By end of 2020, RAM Hotel will have 10 additional hotels and total 700-plus associates under its umbrella.