Dr. Vithal Venkatesh Kamat, second generation restaurateur, a pioneer in green hotels, an environmentalist, an entrepreneur, an educationalist, an antiquarian, an ornithologist, an author, a globetrotter, and a black belt holder in karate, is a versatile personality. Having begun his journey in a small, family-owned vegetarian restaurant, Dr. Vithal Kamat today is CMD of the world's highest award winning – and Asia's first – Ecofriendly hotel. The Orchid. He is also the first man in the hospitality business to have been conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Science (Honoris Causa). This rare honour was bestowed at the sixth convocation ceremony held on 13th April 2012 given under the seal of Padmashree Dr. DY Patil University.
As a green hotelier, he has incorporated the concept of Luxury with responsibility into each of his hotels and restaurants – namely Fort Jadhavgadh-Pune's first museum hotel, Mahodadhi Palace Palace in Puri, Orissa, VITS, Lotus Resorts, a chain of Vithal Kamat vegetarian restaurants and two Five Star Orchid Hotels.
As an environmentalist, he has planted more than 60 lakh trees and transformed over 100 acres of hillock into medicinal plants and local trees for forestation. He is also credited for constructing the first Butterfly Garden in Mumbai and creating more than 28 gardens, and the 'Child Gives Birth to a Mother' monuments in various parts of the country. He inspires and mentors scores of people to take responsibility of our environment and make a difference.