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Registered with Registrar of Newspapers under RNI No. MAHENG/2009/34648. Postal Registration No. MH/MR/N/98/MBI/12-14 Published on 7th of every month. Posted at Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai-400001. Posting date: 8th & 9th of every month

Total pages 108 + 28 pages supplement RAK

Volume 5|Issue 9|September 2013|`50




2013 Published by ITP Publication India










Hotelier India shares the list of the most powerful hoteliers — all those who matter and who will defi ne the shape of the future in hospitality business. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34.


September 2013 | Hotelier India

35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68.


69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95.



COMMENT 20 The focus moves to kozhikode in Kerala as wellness and medical tourism gain popularity.

OPERATIONS 98 With spas becoming independent profi t centres, the focus is shifting to create a wholistic experience for the guests.

102 With health on everyone’s mind, the chefs are increasingly creating healthy menus to add to the bottom line of their F&B outlets.


ADVISORY BOARD Our distinguished advisory board has been assembled to help guide Hotelier India to become even more representative of its community. Members have been invited from the highest levels of the industry to ensure that the magazine continues on its path of success.

Homi Aibara Partner, Mahajan and Aibara Management Consultancy Division

Kamlesh Barot Ex-President, FHRAI

Uttam Davé President and CEO, Interglobe Hotels

Naveen Jain President Duet India Hotels

KB Kachru Executive vice-president – South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Rajiv Kaul President, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Akshay Kulkarni Regional director – Hospitality, South & Southeast Asia, Cushman & Wakefi eld

Anil Madhok Managing director, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts

Rajeev Menon Area vice-president India, Malaysia, Maldives and Australia, Marriott International

Dilip Puri MD, India and regional VP, South Asia, Starwood Asia Pacifi c Hotels and Resorts

Sanjay Puri Principal architect, Sanjay Puri Associates

Sanjay Sethi Managing director and CEO, Berggruen Hotels

Vijay Thacker Director, Horwath India

Manav Thadani Chairman HVS South Asia

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September 2013 | Volume 5 | Issue 9 ITP Publishing India Pvt Ltd 898 Turner Road, Notan Plaza, 3rd floor, Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400050 T +91 22 6154 6000 Deputy managing director S Saikumar Publishing director Bibhor Srivastava Group editor Shafquat Ali T +91 22 6154 6038

Power play

Editorial Editor Babita Krishnan T +91 22 6154 6042 Advertising

With so many stalwarts in the industry, it is no surprise that putting this power-packed anniversary issue was a daunting task.

What is power, one would ask? The honest answer is: there is no clear answer. To put it bluntly, it means different things to different people. And that became the starting point of discussion when we began work on the Power List for 2013. Who should be included, who shouldn’t? And, of course, the ever-present voice of dissent – how do you justify it? Our justification is: the people who hold the power to not just wanting the change but effectively creating and leading it, sit comfortably on the Hotelier India Power 100. With so many stalwarts in the industry, it is no surprise that putting this power-packed anniversary issue was a daunting task. With an eye on future trends and direction the Indian hospitality industry would take, we decided to list hoteliers who hold the key to what it would look like in the near future. And a difficult task it has been – not getting the numbers, but containing it within 100! This issue features men and women who will change the face of Indian hospitality; who are taking decisions that affect education and careers; and putting cities on tourism maps while working with the industry to create habitable havens. To avoid the number game, we have deliberately created the list in alphabetical order of the surnames – in some places we have taken the liberty to club family and partners together. So join us as we pop the bubbly in honour of those who have made it to our power list and also to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Hotelier India. And the season of celebration has just begun – in anticipation of the Hotelier India Awards. Enjoy!

INDIA Business head Gurmeet Sachdev T +91 9987 208866 Regional manager - South Sanjay Bhan T +91 9845 722377 MIDDLE EAST Publishing director Diarmuid O’Malley T +971 4 444 3000 Commercial director Sarah Worth T +971 4 444 3000 Studio Head of design Milind Patil Senior designer Vinod Shinde Production Deputy production manager Ramesh Kumar Circulation Distribution manager James D’Souza T +91 22 6154 6032 Disclaimer The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication, which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review. Printed and Published by Sai Kumar Shanmugam, Flat no. 903, Building 47, NRI Colony, Phase – 2, Part -1, Sector 54, 56, 58, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400706, on behalf of ITP Publishing India Private Limited, printed at Repro India Limited, Marathe Udyog Bhavan, 2nd Floor, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400 025, India and published at ITP Publishing India, Notan Plaza, 3rd floor, 898,Turner Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400050 Editor: Babita Krishnan

Babita Krishnan

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Editor WRITE TO THE EDITOR Please address your letters to: The Editor, Hotelier India, 898 Notan Plaza, 3rd floor, Turner Road Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400050 or email Please provide your full name and address, stating clearly if you do not wish us to print them. Alternatively, log on to and air your views. The opinions expressed in this section are of particular individuals and are in no way a reflection of the publisher’s views.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Published by and © 2013 ITP Publishing India Pvt Ltd RNI no.MAHENG/2009/34648 MIB no. 10/47/2008


Movers & shakers...p 12

BULLETIN • Reports • Appointments • Analysis • Profiles • Openings

Comment...p 16

Another step in the right direction Berggruen Hotels forays into upscale hotels, unveils new brand Launch Berggruen Hotels, the parent brand to Keys Hotels, announces the launch of its new upscale hotel brand, ‘Keys Klub’, in the four and five star categories to service the affluent class of business trav-

Magic of 4 Magic Holidays launches four new properties Launch

ellers. With this addition, Berggruen Hotels consolidates its position in India, and now offers a larger spectrum of products catering to a wider level of affordability. Derived from the word ‘club’, Keys Klub denotes the association of like-minded people with a common interest. It is meant to be elite, stylish, world-class and cheerful with cutting edge technology and infrastructure support to appeal to the urbane and contemporary world traveller seeking personalized experience with crisp and prompt business service within a viable price range. Sanjay Sethi, MD and CEO, Berggruen Hotels said, “This heralds a new chapter in the journey we started in 2006. Keys Klub is in the direction of turning Berggruen Hotels into a holistic hotel company, catering to all categories of customers. Adding a new brand to our basket will help

Quick facts

us grow faster and ensure that we have a strong presence across key potential hospitality segments.” Keys Klub will establish hotels across India; all owned, managed or franchised by Berggruen Hotels. Properties under ‘Keys Klub’ brand will include 100 and above rooms with room size of 275 sqft upwards. The group has an aggressive growth plan for its brands. Sethi elaborates,

“Our strategies will ensure that by 2016, we expand to 75 hotels with an inventory of 6,600 rooms. We plan to add at least 2 Keys Klub Hotels into our bouquet every year in our target cities. By 2016, we are expecting combined revenue of INR 410 crs from noth owned and managed hotels. We have kept the luxury space available for future brand expansion.”

: STAAH (System for Travel, Activities and Hotels), the one stop shop for all e-commerce and e-marketing solutions for hotels to radically improve their sales, revenue and yields, is slowly becoming a preferred choice in the Indian hospitality industry.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Magic Holidays announced the opening of four new resorts in key domestic and international market. With the launch of properties in Todgarh, Udaipur and Mahabaleshwar; Magic Holidays also increased its global presence by launching its Singapore property. Hitesh Kshatriya, COO of Panoramic Group, said, “Our expansion is driven by a strategic and focused approach of adding new properties to deliver an improved, unique vacation experience. We strive to provide best-in-class holiday experience with variety of options and giving ‘Unforgettable Times’ to our valued customers.” In addition to this, to aid their expansion plans the company has also adopted a franchise model that will help them spread their network throughout the country - and out.



Conferring for growth Through such conferences, tourism authorities plan to chart the way ahead for the industry’s growth Conference A National Tourism Ministers’ Conference was held in Delhi to discuss the future strategies for realising the full tourism potential of the country. It deliberated on various agendas like safety and security of tourists, Campaign Clean India to improve cleanliness at important tourist destinations, rationalisation of taxes to make Indian tourism products competitive, bringing uniformity in the structure of road taxes and promote seamless travel. It also looked into the timely implementation of tourism infrastructure projects, the time bound issue of licenses and no objection certificates for various tourism related

services, the provision of single window clearance for hotels and tourism projects and MICE activities, promoting accessible and improving coordination between various state governments and union territory administrations for promoting intra-regional tourism. The State

of Maharashtra received a special note during the conference for the progress in developing infrastructure and growth from K Chiranjeevi, union minister for tourism, government of India. An exchange of ideas also took place between the ministry of tourism and various state and union territory tourism authorities. Interaction between state and union territory tourism authorities and industry stakeholders was also part of this conference. Delegates laid stress on the safety and security of tourists, particularly that of women travellers. The conference launched a new campaign “I Respect Women” with ministry of tourism issuing badges in Hindi and ten international languages.


Peninsula Grand was conferred with the Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar Award for being ‘The Best 4-star Business Hotel in Mumbai’. Peninsula Grand Hotel is an 81-room property with a dedicated floor for Peninsula Club.  The Muthoot Group’s Cardamom County resort has been awarded the 2013 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. This award recognises Cardamom County’s position as travellers rate their hospitality experiences on the TripAdvisor website.  Courtyard by Marriott Pune Hinjewadi has been recognised for its outstanding service and amenities by TripAdvisor. In addition to its enviable location, the property offers complimentary valet service, high-speed Internet access. six meeting rooms with 9,440 sq.

Quick facts

ft of meeting space, four different restaurants, and a health club with an onsite yoga instructor and fitness trainer.  International hotel group Tune Hotels, which recently opened its first Indian property in Ahmedabad, announced that seven of its hotels in four countries have been recognised for service quality by the world’s largest travel website TripAdvisor. These include Tune Hotels’ properties in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and the UK, which were recently awarded a “Certificate of Excellence 2013” by TripAdvisor.  Continuing with the award winning spree, Hyatt Regency Chennai has once again been awarded for the category: New Hotel Construction & Design For India in 2013 at the glittering ceremony

..for excellence in Communication

Awards held at Kuala Lumpur.  Citrus Check Inns, a part of Mirah Group, has bagged the Thought Leaders Award in the hospitality and tourism category at the 2nd Thought Leaders Awards organised by the Institute of Public Enterprises (IPE) held in Mumbai. The award was accepted by Chitra Dey, senior manager – marketing & corporate communications. More than 1,000 dignitaries representing various industry segments were present in the awards and trade fair.  Da Luigi, the Italian restaurant at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, was lauded the “100 % Italian Award”, a recognition for the most authentic Italian restaurant in India, at the grand Ospitalita’ Italiana Awards held recently in Mumbai.

: Accor unveiled its new milestone of a network of 2,000 Meetings & Events hotels during the annual IMEX Frankfurt tradeshow. With a secured pipeline of 250 hotels to open in the next two years, Accor should offer meeting facilities to business clients and meeting planners in 2,250 hotels by 2015.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Winning the CMO Award

Ruchika Mehta, Director Public Relations and Corporate Communications at The Park hotels, was felicitated with the ‘Corporate Communications Person of the Year’ by 4th CMO Asia Awards. This award is in recognition for spearheading the hotel’s brand revitalization and augmentation through strategic interventions in 2012-13. Expressing her joy at winning, Mehta said. “Corporate Communications has evolved as a key area for every organization to strengthen their brand equity. It is an honour to receive this award from the CMO Asia. The last two years have been exciting and creatively stimulating for us and now that our brand revitalization exercise is complete, we have received excellent reviews from our guests, media and industry alike.” CMO Asia represents 40 Asian countries that participate in the annual awards ceremony.


Contac us : Corporate sale 00 9112 44 76 86 00

Lecoanet Hemant India(P)Ltd. Gurgaon - 122002





Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa has appointed of Subhrajit Bardhan as the executive assistant manager – rooms. He brings more than 18 years of expertise in the hospitality industry and has worked at numerous properties across the world, including hotels and restaurants in Hong Kong and Ireland. Prior to this, Subhrajit was the GM at Ista Amritsar.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Courtyard by Marriott, Gurgaon announced Umesh Dalal’s appointment as the new assistant F&B manager. In his new profile, Dalal will be responsible for looking after day to day operations of the F&B unit and its sales, profitability and performance. He comes with a wide experience, both at national and international front, and is trained across many delivery functions.

Thai Chef

Chef K Khuengthi

Pavan Kumar Director of Sales

Director Sales & Marketing

Anang Chaturvedi

Jai Kumar Chugh has been appointed as the director of F&B at Courtyard by Marriott Pune City Centre.A part of the hospitality industry for over 13 years, he possesses a flexible approach towards work and is known for his excellent organisational and inter-personal skills. Chugh is a certified hospitality trainer and has pursued his diploma in Hotel Management and Catering Management from IIHM, Kolkota.

Chef Kittisak Khuengthi is the new Thai Chef at Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport. A Thai culinary maestro with experience in cooking exceptional Thai Royal Style cuisine, Chef Kittisak has over 10 years experience in the hospitality industry. Having worked across hotels in Bangkok, Chef Kittisak will bring his Asian culinary expertise to the Pan-Asian restaurant, Red Zen at the property.

Pavan Kumar has been appointed director of sales, corporate, Accor India. He has been a part of Accor India for almost seven years starting with Novotel Hyderabad and Hyderabad International Convention Centre followed by Lavasa International Convention Centre. Kumar brings to the table working knowledge of the group’s fundamentals and operations.

Urvashi Malik Manager, Marketing

Subhrajit Bardhan Ex.Asst. Manager

Rajan Bahadur carries a diverse experience of over 27 years in various fields. Bahadur, as COO of The Grand, New Delhi, brings a vast knowledge of best international practices in the fields of sales, marketing, operations, etc. Before this assignment, he has worked with various global brands like Starwood Hotels,American Express, Oberoi Hotels, ITC and Lebua Hotels and Resorts, etc.

Anang Chaturvedi is the new director of sales & marketing at the Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport. Prior to this, during his tenure with Courtyard by Marriott,Ahmedabad he helped them achieve marked recognition like “RevPAR Index Excellence Award 2012”, and special mention as ”Sales and revenue leader of the year 2012 by Hotelier India and many more.

Jai Kumar Chugh Director of F&B

Rajan Bahadur COO

Maahesh S Aiyer has been appointed as the vice-president operations for Lemon Tree Premier. Aiyer has over 18 years of experience across sales and marketing and operations with The Taj Group of Hotels and was part of the team that created ‘Vivanta by Taj’ brand. His last assignment was as GM at Vivanta by Taj-Whitefield and was selected GM of the year 2012 by Hotelier India.

Umesh Dalal Asst. F&B Manager

Maahesh S Aiyer


Movers & shakers

The Claridges, New Delhi has appointed Urvashi Malik as manager, marketing communications, who has over five years of experience in the industry. Malik will be responsible for driving PR and marketing campaigns, deciding marketing strategies, media planning and all marketing communications initiatives for the The Claridges New Delhi and The Claridges Mussoorie.



Radisson Blu Resort & Spa announced the appointment of Santanu Guha Roy as GM. Roy is known for his dynamic leadership style. Having worked with hotel brands like Taj, Holiday Inn, Carlson Rezidor and managing hotels namely Radisson, Park Plaza, on various levels of responsibilities, he brings in great expertise to Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Alibaug.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Ashish Sud has been associated with Accor India for the last four years. Prior to his new role as director finance, hotel operations,Accor India, Sud was the director of finance managing four hotels and a convention centre under Accor in Andhra Pradesh. He comes with over 17 years of extensive experience in financial control and planning/ budgeting/treasury function in the hospitality and manufacturing industry.

Siddharth Savkur General Manager Head PR & MarCom

Nidhi Verma

Nidhi Verma has joined The Grand New Delhi, as head PR and marketing communications with nine years of experience. Her last assignment was with Pullman Gurgaon, where she was part of the pre-opening team and launched the hotel. In her current position Verma will be responsible for successful positioning of the hotel with key focus on brand communication strategy and media management.

Chef De Cuisine

Ex. Asst.Manager

Kunal Shanker

Nilesh Singh has been appointed executive assistant manager of F&B of The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore. In this key role, Singh is fully responsible for the management and successful operations of all F&B venues in the hotel.A hotel management graduate from IHM, Mumbai, Singh comes with a rich experience of 13 years with the Oberoi Hotels and has worked with their finest restaurants across their hotels in India.

Alila Diwa Goa announced the appointment of Siddharth Savkur as its GM. Savkur would be responsible for strategic planning, managing operations and exploring new business opportunities for the property. He brings with him over 15 years of experience in the hospitality sector and holds a degree in hotel management from Institute of Hotel Management in Bangalore.

Kanchit Vongvichai

Santanu Guha Roy General Manager

Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula has joined The Imperial New Delhi as executive sous chef. His culinary experience across premium brands has made him pioneer many culinary concepts. His specialisation in Western, Indian and Oriental cuisines and his interest in fusion food, rest on his stringent Thai and Japanese specialty training in Bangkok, and his culinary odysseys with Michelin Star French and Italian Chefs

Kunal Shanker has joined as executive assistant manager, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport responsible for hotel operations and sales/ marketing. Before joining the Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport, he was working at Holiday Inn Cochin and Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu as executive assistant manager responsible for the hotel operations and sales/marketing.

Nilesh Singh Ex.Asst. Manager

Chef Prem Pogakula Ex. Sous Chef

Hugo Montanari is director of operations of The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore and will be responsibile for operations of the entire hotel. Prior to this, he worked at The Plaza Hotel, New York and The Fairmont Dubai where he received several industry awards. He started his career as an intern at the Restaurant Des Trois Tours, (1* Michelin, 17 points Gault–Millaut) in Switzerland.

Ashish Sud Director Finance

Director Operations

Hugo Montanari

Movers & shakers

The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi announced the appointment of Kanchit Vongvichai as Chef de Cuisine – Thai, at EEST. He has over 30 years of culinary experience across some of the best hospitality chains and F&B brands in the world including ISDA r (Hyderabad), Vongwong (Mumbai), Ego Thai (New Delhi), Sofitel Wanda Chengdu (Sichuan), Miniburi (Colombia), Best Western Fortune (Thailand) and many more.

Consumer connect initiative


Iron it out We look at principles of ironing and fl at ironing rolls reduce the amount of contact

ing are mounted on each end of

padding be properly applied and

with the heated chests or cylinders.

the roll.

maintained for quality fi nishing and


or excessively over pad the roll.




The fi nished padded roll must be








Navin Sethi senior application specialist, Diversey India Pvt Ltd






roning plays a very important fabric. Any property’s image


is enhanced with wrinkle-free


are certain basic principles of ironing. Heat from the chests drives the moisture from the cloth into the padded rolls and then to the atmosphere through fan and over exposed areas, so the moisture can be disposed off. Gloss comes from the polish of clean


overlaps or gaps. Pressure on each roll can be individually adjusted and controlled. This has the advantage of


being able to control the quality of


of chest are highly polished. s #HESTMOUNTINGTOALLOWFREE

round with the padding free of any



role in the fi nal fi nishing of any Chest:

uniform and upholstery. There

high production. Do not under pad

The important parts of Flat Ironer are:

fi nish on different weight of material being ironed, extended padding life, control of roll diameter during ironing, and high life of the rolls for ease of padding. Pressure is applied to each roll individually in a way that the pressure on any roll cannot exceed the pressure on the succeeding roll.


The moisture content in the mate-

chest expansion during heating

pull moisture through rolls into the

rial and the required quality of fi nish

and cooling.

exhaust manifold. Feed ribbons are

governs the production capacity

important as missing ribbons will

of the ironer. The material must be

cause uneven feeding, wrinkles and

properly extracted and conditioned


to not more than 45-50 per cent

will lead to uneven edges, wrinkled

moisture before being fed into the

work, and rolling cloth. When tapes

ironer. The work is to be fed into

break they should be replaced

the ironer by placing the leading

immediately. The ironer is designed

(selvage) edge of the sheet or simi-

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smooth chest or cylinder surface.


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it to absorb the irregularities in the cloth, like seams, embroidery, etc.


for use with dry saturated steam

lar article on the feed ribbons. This

and irons smoothly and uniformly



edge should be straight and square

throughout the cloth. Proper size of

two steel discs at each end to sup-

will give reasonably satisfactory

with the ironer. Whenever possible,

resilient padded roll is of extreme im-

port the mounting shafts.

results at slower ironing speeds and

the material should be fed into

when supplied with steam at lower

ironer on alternate sides to utilise the

pressures. For best results, maxi-

full width of the ironer.

portance. Both over and under-sized


mum pressure and steam of high

to absorb the moisture from the

arrangement must be installed with

material being ironed and release

the supply inlet value. This serves

it through the vacuum system and

as a safety device, which prevents

into the air above the ironer. It is

steam from entering the chest under

important then, that the padding

full pressure when the machine has

and cover remain porous and free

started to turn cold.

of residue that will inhibit the fl ow of

Proper trapping contributes to

the water vapour. Padding and cov-

the performance of the ironer by

ers that are badly scorched or dirty

keeping the chests full of steam at all

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times and providing maximum heat

will thus result in poor quality fi nish-

transfer by eliminating entrapped

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operating effi ciently. The labour

In order to achieve the crisp, well-

savings realised by increased

ironed look that sends out the right

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message, it is important that services

additional cost of trap.

like ironing not be neglected and

It is very important that the roll

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Padding and cover must be able

quality must be supplied. A bypass

the tools are always up to the mark.



Being the headquarters of the district holds a lot of potential for the city.

Discovering Kozhikode

A prominent district centre, Calicut (Kozhikode) remaind undiscovered by the industry BY CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD Kozhikode, formerly known as Calicut, is a city in Kerala located on the Malabar Coast and is the headquarters of the district. The district is bounded by Kannur in the north, Wayanad in the east and Malappuram in the south. Calicut is the third largest city and is part of the second largest urban agglomeration in Kerala. According to census 2011, population in the Calicut urban agglomeration accounts for 2,030,519 where as the Calicut city population (within Municipal Corporation limits) accounts to 432,097 people. Out of the total Calicut population for 2011 census, 67.1 per cent lives in urban regions of district. It is the fourth highest revenue generator for the state accounting for nearly 9 per cent of the state’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) formation. As of 2010-11,

September 2013 | Hotelier India

the district possessed a Gross District Domestic Product (GDDP) of INR 16,644.82 crores at constant prices registering a growth rate of 8.82 per cent against the previous year. As per the 12th five year plan, the state aims to maintain a growth of 20 per cent in GSDP in the coming years. Calicut district is also a prominent centre for medical and health care with two multi-specialty hospitals of the district, Malabar Institute of Medical Science and Baby Memorial Hospital. Calicut has good physical infrastructure and is well connected to neighboring states by road, rail, air and waterways. Karipur International Airport, located in Kozikhode 30 kms from the city, has domestic flights connecting to all major cities and also to prominent Middle Eastern cities such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai, Bahrain, Jeddah, Riyadh, Muscat and Doha.

Out of 1.6 lakh vehicles approximately 85% are passenger vehicles and 14% are commercial vehicles enter and exit through the major corridors of the city. To decongest the city and provide environment friendly mode of public transport facility, the government envis-

aged development of Monorail in the city. The project with a total length of 23 kms and is proposed to be developed in two phases, this is expected to reduce the traffic congestion and enhance the real estate development in the city. The district is industrially

Backwaters is one of the mail attractionsin Kerala.




Domestic Arrivals

International Arrivals

Total Arrivals






0 2007-08










AOR 60%



2500 40% 2000 30% 1500 20%





0 2010



Medical tourism is generating a lot of interest.

advance with presence of many small scale industries. There are 18 large and medium units and 18156 small scale industries (SSI). Total investment through these units is INR 66395.5922 lakhs

September 2013 | Hotelier India

and provides employment for 69926. The district has ten mini industrial estates, set up in ten panchayats, namely Peruvayal, Kunnamangalam, Kunnummal, Naduvannur, Chathamangalam,

Payyoil, Balusseri, Unnikulam, Kadalundi and Perambra. There are 118 industrial co-operative societies in the districts. Calicut also has presence of other important industries such as textiles, plywoods, splints and veneers, coir, printing and publishing, general engineering, automobiles and oil. The state Government is running an industrial estate with an area of 12.43 acres at west hill, started in 1962. Calicut has natural mineral resources such as Quartz, Iron ore, Granite Building stone, Laternite Building stone, Brick clay, Ordinary sand River sand. The city is famous for its tile industry located in Feroke-Cheruvannur area, rich in quality clay deposits. The tiles from Calicut are famous all over the country and command an export market. There has also been diversification in this industry with production of ceramic pottery crockery, stone ware pipes and insulation materials. Government of Kerala has entrusted Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (KSIDC) for developing and managing Industrial Growth Centres in various locations in the state. Accordingly KSIDC has acquired /purchased land at four industrially backward locations in the following districts: 1. Kannur - Valiyavelicham (Kuthupramba) 2. Calicut - Kinalur (Balusserry) 3. Malappuram - Panakkad (Malappuram) 4. Alappuzha - Pallippuram (Cherthala). The total tourist arrivals in 2012 for Calicut have been estimated to be just over 2.27 million, which brings Calicut’s CAGR from 200809 to 2012-13 at approximately 7 per cent. As of 2012, 90 per cent of total arrivals were foreigners. Overall the airport contributes towards 1. 34 per cent of the total air arrivals across the country. As per latest available records by the state’s department of tourism, the four major source markets are the UK (accounting for 23.70 per cent of foreign tourists), USA (10.79 per cent), France (9.79 per cent) and Germany (7.62 per cent). The tourist season for Kozhikode is from the months of

August till March. The market has a wide range of hotel rooms to offer from the unbranded rooms for INR 500-1,000 to the branded deluxe hotel rooms for INR 5,000 – 6,000. Given the limited inventory, the city is able to manage a fairly high AOR of between 55 — 60 per cent and a healthy ARR of INR 3,000-3,500. The city has shown growth in ARR and AOR year on year from 2010 to 2012. There is an evident lack of branded hotel inventory in the city. The market has a total of 444 keys in the organised segment. Taj with the Gateway brand is the only branded hotel in the city and therefore commands premium ARR and AOR. The city is doing above average ARRs which is an encouraging sign for Khozikode considering it is a tier-II city. The upcoming hotel development in the market is negligible and the city has tremendous scope for branded hotel products. The city is witnessing a considerable amount of commercial activity and development. The upcoming region is around the city’s first cyber park — the UL Cyber Park, which is developing into a major residential and commercial catchment. The Acropolis (mall, residential and commercial) property by Hi-Lite builders is located in the area. There is plenty of scope for new developments in terms of Medical and Wellness tourism in the state, which is also being actively promoted by the state government. The state is already on the world map in terms of different ayurveda treatments and massages. Khozikode has great international connectivity, especially the gulf, with all major Middle Eastern airlines like Qatar, Etihad and Emirates operating direct flights from here. Approximately 80 per cent of air arrivals, y-o-y, in the city are international. Majority of this travel is accounted for by the NRIs and Non Resident Keralites. Therefore, there is scope for the city hotels to tap stopover travellers and tourists that land and travel thereon to parts of North Kerala and other places. HI




Uncensred THUGHTS


 The traditional approach of inheriting your father’s hotel empire may no longer be tomorrow’s growth. Get ready to earn your own wealth – hotelier sons and daughters!  The above does not apply to the political class of owners.  Domestic Tourism is on the rise and will ultimately be the savior for our hotels.  Clients will only pay for expert advice and not smart opinions (Warning to consultants!).  Get used to seeing more “Conversion Fit” brands like Le Meridien, Hyatt, Mercure, Renaissance, Ramada, Tulip Inn, DoubleTree and Four Points.  New favorite term used by brands to avoid conflicts: “Our Brand Standards…”  We cannot rely on government alone to help improve our fortunes in the sector, as they themselves are un-reliable.  Operating performance will become the main point of contention between brands and owners.  A majority of our hotel room inventory came online during the five years of the worst financial crisis the world has seen since the Great Depression.  Finance Department shall be feared and hated for being conservative and control freaks!  ITC Hotels to aggressively push ahead on conversions with WelcomHotel brand.  If Modi comes to power, expect Bollywood-style star power with brand ambassadors like Amitabh Bachchan.  After becoming the fastest growing brand in NCR in 2012, Hilton will probably lose some of its weight in the region.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

 Social marketing seems to be the current buzz word for the hospitality industry but can hoteliers live up to the social responsibility that comes with it?  Kolkata may be the occupancy leader (69.5%). However, the CM cannot take any credit for this; future supply is yet to hit the market!  As the rupee continues to depreciate, the domestic traveller begins to appreciate what India has to offer.  Marriott is the new big fat kid in Bengaluru with its Full Monty of brands on display.  The Oberoi Group continues to build properties, which touch new highs in quality (latest in Hyderabad).  NOIDA still remains the easiest place to sign but the most difficult place to build hotels because the developers still have NO Interest in Developing Anything.  Hotel Rooms in India are expensive? In 2012/13, only 5% of our hotels attained an ARR of over US$200 and no city hotels in the country attained an ARR in excess of US$300!  Hotel Companies are competing to see who can offer the maximum discount on rates. Soon, guests will be getting paid to stay at our hotels.  Emergence of new hotel categories & descriptors – upscale limited service, luxury 3-star hotels, full service budget hotels etc?  Goa may be doing well today but needs to beware of competition from beach resorts in Sri Lanka.  Leisure locations to become new hot spots for development.  Development teams will become scavengers.

 Corporate office expenses will become the source of all pains and problems and shall be blamed for everything going wrong!  Just realized that list of approvals from technical services exceeds that of Government of India.  With international brands chasing – will IHCL (Taj) shed weight to run faster?  New hotel transactions to pick up in the next 12 months.  Requesting Starwood Hotels to use their heavenly connections to improve market sentiments.  Professionals need to re-orient themselves to take on more responsibilities and justify their existence (and save themselves from pink slips).  Brands Beware! The new generation of owners is very savvy and increasingly focused on financial returns. Hopefully, ROI is more important to them than ROE.  While we love to talk about Incredible India, the question on the investor’s mind is that are we truly Inc. Credible India???  Marriott will lead the race to attract, retain and build talent.  India does not have a demand problem! Despite supply growing at 17.8% CAGR, demand kept pace and grew at a 17.3% CAGR between 2008/09 and 2012/13. If only the press gets this!  Dear Ministry of Tourism, your star-classification criteria are archaic! Move with the times.  The walls of Lemon Tree Hotels are adorned with one-liners... Beware! These are copyrighted.  F&B Revenues will be in the spotlight as their relevance becomes more critical to the bottom line.

 Time to re-look at the relevance and payrolls for development teams. One shoe size cannot fit all.  Greater acceptance of true economy hotels in the form of Gingers and Formula 1s.  Chennai Express races to new records at the movie box, can we expect Holiday Inn Express to catch up?  While on the topic of Expresses – Can IHCL catch the Orient Express?  If Area of Protection (AOP) becomes a problem in a city – learn from Hyatt.  UK wants a bond of £3,000 from Indians traveling there. Maybe yet another opportunity for the Govt. of India to reciprocate and add to their coffers. Needless to say this has a negative impact on tourism.  DIAL hotels are making significant progress and optimistically expected to open by the 2030 Olympics.  Everyone complains about attrition at the rank-and-file level, but do we compensate them well enough???  Sustainability should be all about improving your bottomline and not about increasing marketing expenses.  While Leela voyages through troubled waters, we hope the Captain’s ship weathers the storm.  Hotel consultants do not make good journalists! Therefore, they may need to be forgiven in advance.  The author will not run away if many of these trends and predictions don’t come through. HI





power 100


Rajesh Advani

Owner and MD, Sun n Sand Hotels


ith a degree in hospitality management from Cornell University, he has been heading the Sun n Sand Group of hotels during which time the company has achieved many milestones. Rajesh Advani commissioned the Sun n Sand, Shirdi that has been operational since 1998; upgraded the existing Mumbai property from 3 star to 5 star deluxe category. Sun n Sand Mumbai completed its Golden Jubilee in November of 2012 and has received three national tourism awards for ‘Best Five Star Hotels’ in the Western Region. He has played an active role in the management of Jewel of India, a fine dining restaurant in Mumbai and Jade Garden a banqueting operation. Jewel of India has been operational since January 1987 and has won National Tourism Awards for excellence in Indian cuisine. Under his leadership, the brand acquired the Holiday Inn Pune and rebranded the property in November 02. The brand also expanded to Nagpur and tied up with Starwood for another property in Pune.

Homi Aibara

Partner, Mahajan & Aibara Consultants


ember of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and the long standing partner at Mahajan & Aibara, Homi Aibara’s contribution in changing the face of tourism in India – and by that giving the hospitality business a new direction – is noteworthy. With over 25 years in the industry, Aibara has assisted several state governments and promoters of projects in vital sector of the economy to conceptualise, formulate, examine the feasibility and coordinate a diverse range of projects from a 20-cottage jungle resort to 500 room deluxe hotels and convention centres. As an industry observer, he feels that the present situation in the hospitality space is a conjunction of many factors whose timing has been unfortunate; however, “The silver linings are: in crisis there is opportunity to buy operational assets, often at less than replacement cost; our resorts are more price competitive with rupee depreciation; mid-scale segment that addresses the domestic market even though expanding with new supply is being absorbed in many hitherto oversupplied markets/micro markets; faith in God above that our Government will get its act together!” he says.

Nakul Anand

Executive Director, ITC Ltd


ith a career spanning three decades with ITC, Nakul Anand is recognised for his emphasis towards creating a result-oriented work culture. “With the introduction of new hotels like the 840-bay integrated luxury hotel ITC Grand Chola, in Chennai, a 715-bay luxury hotel adjacent to the ITC Sonar in Kolkata and an ITC luxury resort in Manessar, we will, in the course of the next few years, consolidate our position in main metros and tier II cities with critical inventory across our multiple brand portfolio,” he says. There are as many as 40 hotels, under various stages of development, either owned or managed by ITC under one of the four brands. “The intention is to double our capacity in the next couple of years in terms of rooms, across all our four brands. In the years to come, we will have a portfolio of 150 hotels, with close to 5,000 rooms,” he reveals. In the premium segment there are three hotels under construction and another six on the drawing board.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

27 power 100

Arjun Baljee

Ajay K Bakaya

MD & CEO, Peppermint Hotels

Executive Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts

Pushpendra Bansal


s executive director, Ajay Bakaya oversees the group’s operations besides new developments in India and abroad. A 1980 graduate from the Oberoi School and post graduate of Cornell-Essec, France, his tenure covers assignments in Africa, Australia, France, India and the UK. He was a GM at Oberoi Hotels and Robertsfield Hotel in Liberia, director – rooms of the 650-room Four Point Sheraton and assistant general manager of the Sheraton Park in Australia. Bakaya was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India. Explaining the expansion plans for the brand he says, “We are focussing on expansion in tier II and III cities which offer maximum scope for growth today. Africa also continues to attract our focus. We already operate two hotels in Africa. Another hotel will be launched by 2015 and we plan to increase our footprint further in this region.” Bakaya is a mountaineer, a marathon runner and has been the highest fund raiser of the Delhi Half Marathon for several years.

Chairman and MD, Lords Inn Hotels & Developers Ltd


hen room rates were soaring and demand seemed to surpass supply, PR Bansal had a vision to establish a hotel chain with a clear focus on the budget mid-market segment. The company pioneered itself by setting up full service hotels not only in tier II and III cities, but even in remote locations – some even unheard of five years ago. Bansal, an engineer by profession, diversified into hospitality in Mumbai and Surat in 1996 and in 2003, moved to US to acquire hotels and understand operations and standards of international brands. In 2007, Lords Hotels & Resorts was established with two hotels.Today, the group operates 18 hotels under the brand of Plaza, Inn, Eco Inn & Resorts, covering business, leisure and religious destinations across India. Bansal has a roadmap to have 50 operational properties by 2016. After being the largest in Gujarat, the group is expanding its presence in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan and is looking at new avenues in the northeast and Andhra Pradesh. He is a perfectionist in conceptualising hotels and taking calculated risk in venturing into new locations. Lord Hotels & Resorts is taking its inventory to over 1,300 rooms by end of this financial year with planned opening of second hotels at Jaipur and Baroda, a resort at Sasan Gir, and hotels in Jodhpur, Jammu and Lucknow.


rmed with a BSc in hospitality from Cornell University, and an MBA from the Brisbane Graduate School of Business, Australia and IIM Bangalore, Baljee has worked for top brands across four continents, laying the foundation for a global understanding of hospitality. He then joined the family business, Royal Orchid Hotels, seeing the company grow from two hotels in 2001 to 12 in 2008. The Peppermint Hospitality Group was founded in 2009 by him to address the need for midpriced stylish accommodation in India and has seven operational assets, seven under development for this year, and with a growing pipeline of 20 hotels to be executed thereafter. He has recently created a sub-brand CANDY Hotels, operational in four locations within India. Baljee has always been optimistic about the Indian growth story, and continues to be. There are obviously speed bumps, but that does not deter him from continuing on the path of growth. “Obviously some plans have to take a back seat, and we have consciously consolidated over the last one year, paring properties that are unprofitable, reducing costs, and re-organising our business. The years ahead would see us growing the hotel management business, increasing the number of F&B spaces, and building on the residences concept that we have created,” he reveals.

Hotelier India | September 2013

power 100


Chander Baljee

CMD Royal Orchid Hotels Limited


hander Baljee has more than three decades of experience, spearheading the expansion plans of the Royal Orchid Group that has 22 properties across the country. The group will make its international foray very soon with a Beach resort in Tanzania. One of the early few to adopt the concept of green hotels by introducing eco-friendly measures like bulb-free hotels and Total Productive Maintenance concept, Baljee embraced practices that have now become almost mandatory. He has lent his experience to various organisations by serving as the chairman of the tourism committee, both, at Greater Mysore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GMCI) as well as Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and also was a part of the managing committee for the Bangalore Management Association. He is a certified hotel administrator from American Hotel and Motel Association (AHMA). Under Baljee’s leadership, the chain is expanding rapidly in India and overseas with upcoming hotels in Powai (Mumbai) and Bharuch (Gujarat) along with the one in Tanzania.

Keshav Baljee

President, Royal Orchid Hotels


eshav Baljee is deeply involved in driving the expansion process of the Royal Orchid Hotels Group. He not only designed the ambitious expansion strategy, but also turned the group into a hotel development company from an operating one back in 2010. His involvement in expansion extends to include evaluating and selecting from the funding sources in the market. Baljee’s role includes directing various PR, HR and marketing initiatives within the organisation. An alumnus of the Wharton School US and the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad, Baljee has a strong academic background in finance and corporate strategy. He has a background as an investment banker, and has worked with Lehman Brothers and UBS in the mergers and acquisitions department prior to returning to India. He is an avid golfer, and enjoys a good game of squash.

Ranjit Batra

President, Panchshil Realty (Hospitality Division)


anjit Batra is a widely experienced professional with a long-standing experience in the hospitality industry. His diverse background includes being the owner and operator of his own business in New Zealand, to being the COO of India’s first online hotel reverse auction company. With Panchshil, Batra was instrumental in launching the international service apartment brand — Oakwood Premier, that won the ‘Best Hotel Construction and Design’ at the Asia Pacific Commercial Property Awards. He was also involved with the launch of Courtyard by Marriot and re-branding of Marriot in Pune. Currently, he is the Secretary of the Owners Association For Marriott Hotels, where in conjunction with all Marriott owners and the Marriott Management, he ensures that together they achieve maximum efficiency. Batra is a graduate of the Institute Hotelier, Cesar Ritz, Switzerland, and later graduated from the OCLD. An avid music lover, in his leisure time, Ranjit is a DJ, always listening to different music; mixing beats and composing his own remix versions.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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power 100


Jean-Michel Casse

Ankur Bhatia

Senior Vice-President, Operations, India Accor

Executive Director, The Bird Group

Raymond Bickson


s executive director of the Bird Group of Companies, Ankur Bhatia provides strategic vision and direction to the consortia of Bird Group of Companies. He manages diversification charter at the group, which is a business conglomerate with diverse areas of business interest. His focus is on devising blue ocean strategies that strengthen the overall brand proposition and accelerate a leap in core business value by exploring new growth avenues for building uncontested market leadership. Early in 2011, Bird Group acquired the Royal Park Hotel in London, which would serve as the initial step towards international expansion into hospitality. He was also instrumental in setting up a chain of 5-star hotel properties in New Delhi (the first will be a super luxury Hotel called Dusit Devrana and the other will be a five star property for the young traveller called Dusit D2 at the DIAL hospitality district), Rishikesh, Goa and Jaipur, marking the Group’s foray in the hospitality space under Bird Hospitality Services wherein the company will set-up a chain of exclusive properties in India in collaboration with Dusit Thani. Talking about the expansion plans, Bhatia says, “In the near future, the focus would remain on hospitality and luxury retail. So far, we have five hotels in the pipeline, one every year starting this year, hence a lot of our energies and focus would be on that. In luxury retail we are looking at bringing in more international brands.”

September 2013 | Hotelier India

CEO and MD, Indian Hotels Company Limited


aymond Bickson, a native of Hawaii, joined Indian Hotels, the owners of the renowned Taj Group, in January 2003 as chief operating officer of its luxury hotels division. Prior to that he was the general manager of The Mark New York, now owned by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Bickson honed his skills in luxury hotels across Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. For those who have looked at the Taj Mahal properties and wondered, how to better them – Bickson can provide the answer! Today almost a decade after he joined the brand, it has nearly doubled the portfolio with aggressive plans for expansion. One of the few to aggressively propagate the Incredible India with PRS Oberoi, Bickson has been instrumental in popularizing JV in hospitality and of the concept of Ginger! Thanks to him IHCL has been opening one hotel every six weeks in the last month, and “will be able to sustain the growth for the next ten years,” he says. Bickson has studied at the Goethe Institute in Berlin, the Universite de Sorbonne in Paris, L’Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, and Cornell University in New York and is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School.


ascinated with the hospitality industry since a young age, Jean-Michel Cassé has worked at various levels and brands in the hospitality industry away from his home country, France. In his present position since 2008, he is responsible to support hotels openings and operations for the existing multi brands network in the country and plays an instrumental role in setting a global vision for operation teams. He supports and assists new hotels and is a key decision maker for strategic choices in HR, sales and marketing, operations and finance. Casse aims to make Accor India a recognised and profitable organisation that services its customers, partners and associates. “Aggressive yet measured development and strong partnerships have been and will continue to be the keys to our growth in the region,” he says. Accor has established a strong network in key gateway cities across micro-markets and across multiple price points and see the opportunity to develop hotels in tertiary locations that can capitalise on Accor’s local knowledge, network and distribution capabilities. Increased domestic leisure travel ties into India’s internal consumption story and is an area the group will continue to focus on. “We believe that demand exists for upscale hotels specifically designed for Indian travellers and better suited to address the diversity of Indian landscapes. This is a key element of our expansion plans,” he reveals.

power 100


Naresh Chandnani

Regional Director of Business Development, South Asia & Maldives, Worldhotels


n his 25-year-long career, Naresh Chandnani has not only successfully started Ananda In The Himalayas and turned it into an iconic world destination, he has repeated the feat with Shanti Ananda Maurice in Mauritius and ISTA Hotels, too, by opening five, 5-star city hotels for corporate travellers. His recent muse is the fully branded property Worldhotel Turquoise, to which he plans to add a few more in the next five years. And on his radar is not just the metros but tier II cities like Nasik, Bhubaneswar and Coimbatore and luxury destinations like Kerala and Rajasthan. “The focus is clearly to open more hotels under the Worldhotels brand and to take our brand presence to the next level in India and the subcontinent,” he says. Widely travelled and having worked in an international environment, besides having a thorough knowledge of the Indian leisure, corporate and MICE markets, Chandnani sure knows how to turn dreams into reality.

Partha Chatterjee

Adviser, KEYS Hotels, Resorts & Apartments


f KEYS is looking at operating another 22 new hotels by March 2014 from the 14 they are managing now, then it would because of the marketing acumen of Partha Chatterjee. A postgraduate in international marketing from Berne, Lincolnshire, Chatterjee has played a pivotal role in start-ups and re-branding exercises of seven Taj hotels and 17 Ginger hotels. Chatterjee joined KEYS Hotels as a founding director on board and chief marketing officer in 2006. KEYS Hotels, a brand of Berggruen Hotels Pvt Ltd is a hospitality venture of Berggruen Holdings Inc., a New York-based private equity fund and has 14 operational hotels and resorts and 22 more under various stages of development. He has served the company board as an executive director till January 2013 and has now reduced his commitment to look after asset light development, marketing and PR communications, to set up another company along with some renowned technology experts into software development/channel management for the hospitality industry called Maximojo Software P. Ltd.

Kapil Chopra

President, The Oberoi Group


erhaps the most versatile hospitality veteran in India, Kapil Chopra is a known name across all sectors of travel and services. The head of all Oberoi and Trident Hotels, this alumnus of OCLD has spent over 19 long fruitful years designing the structure of one of the oldest and most recognised hotel groups of India. Among his recent achievements are the opening of two Oberoi flagship properties – award winning The Oberoi and Trident in Gurgaon. Rightfully called the ‘Hotelier of the year’ by Hindustan Times in 2012, he has been instrumental in garnering the group the World’s Best Hotel Brand 2013 by Travel + Leisure, USA and ‘World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand’ by the World Travel Awards in 2012. Under his leadership, the company posted a Quarter on Quarter profit growth of 11.64 per cent in Q1 of 2013. The group’s occupancy is also rise by 12.2 per cent and RevPar is up by 9 per cent. Besides being an hotelier, Chopra is an avid collector of Indian contemporary art and writes regularly for various national and international publications. He has also founded the country’s first e-magazine on art, ‘The Wall’.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

power 100


Puneet Dhawan

Atul Chordia

GM Delegate, Bengaluru & GM ibis & Novotel Bengaluru Techpark

CEO and Chairman, Panchshil Realty

Uttam Davé

President and CEO, InterGlobe Hotels


n argument can be made here for the brand’s footing in the hotel market, but one look at Panchshil Realty’s resume (and in that manner Atul Chordia’s too) and it is clear that Chordia and Panchsil may not have been the frontrunners like many big brands, but they are game changers. Sample this: Thanks to him, Pune got its first Techno Park in 2004, the first FDI deal with Merill Lynch was cracked in 2005. The year next, the company launched the first branded service apartment called ‘Oakwood Residences’. He brought Marriot to Pune with Courtyard By Marriot. And if that wasn’t enough, Chordia went on to open Pune’s first five star convention centre and now is working to give Pune city its first Ritz Carlton, the first Trump Towers and Waghali Estate, the city’s first 120 acres community living project. An alumnus of Ness Wadia College and a commerce graduate from Pune University, Chordia is a keen follower of sports. He wishes to bring the world to Pune and through his company Panchshil, create wealth assets for his city.

September 2013 | Hotelier India


leading hospitality and tourism industry expert with more than 29 years of development, planning and management experience, Uttam Dave has held many decisive roles in his long and illustrious career, including the CEO for Pannell Kerr Forster Consultants in 2004. He was the co-founder and partner of Tourism Futures till 1999, MD of Choice Hotels India, which he co-founded in 1986 and grew to a nation-wide network of 16 hotels open or under development. As part of his present profile, Dave is also a member of the Board of Directors of InterGlobe Hotels, a joint venture between InterGlobe Enterprises and Accor for the development of Ibis brand hotels in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. From 2004-2011, he was also head of development for Accor Hotels in this region and led Accor’s development to over 60 hotels and over 12,500 rooms, in addition to four convention centres. Dave serves on the Board of AAPC India Hotel Management and also plays a key oversight role in the development of hotel assets for Triguna Hospitality Ventures along with being on the Board of Shree Naman Hotels (the owning company of Sofitel Mumbai). Between the many hats he wears, Dave is heading six operating hotels and 13 at various stages of design and execution for IGH and two operating and five under execution for Triguna across the country.


uneet Dhawan has held various senior roles in Asia, including management roles at the Century Wanchai Hong Kong (currently Novotel Century Wanchai) and Century Roxy Park Singapore (currently Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel). He joined Accor in 2002 and has held higher positions in the Sofitel Plaza Hanoi and the Mercure Sydney before relocating to Singapore in March 2008 to take up the position of GM Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen, the second largest Ibis in the world after Paris. For this Ibis hotel, Puneet was instrumental in getting ‘TTG’s Best Economy Hotel’ Award in Asia Pacific. Armed with a degree in hospitality management from the University of Massachusetts in US, Dhawan joined Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group as a corporate F&B trainee based in Manila. In 1994, he moved to their Hong Kong properties and in 1998 joined Century Hotels as director of F&B. With almost a decade of experience across Accor hotels in various roles, Puneet is acutely aware of the challenges of managing properties in varied market situations and brings with him a wealth of experience in the hospitality business.

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03-02-2012 14:58:26

power 100


Nikhil Dhodapkar

Regional Director Sales and Marketing, Accor India


ased in New Delhi, Nikhil Dhodapkar is responsible to lead sales and marketing for all the nine operating Accor hotels in India in addition to the duties of the hotels under development. He is also accountable for outbound international sales of over 4,100 hotels under the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis brands. Dhodapkar has over 20 years of experience across a broad spectrum of Industries which include FMCG, aviation, hospitality, brand management & advertising and travel & tourism. Before assuming responsibilities with Accor in 2011, he was the MD, Abacus Distribution Systems India since 2008. He has been associated with the hospitality industry as the business head of Carlson Hospitality Marketing India as well as the director sales and marketing of Carlson Hotels Worldwide in the past. He also has a significant association with Accor Services India as general manager, sales and marketing from 1997 to 2000.

Jose Dominic

Managing Director, CGH Earth


ose Dominic has redefined the term ‘holiday’ as an experience with CGH Earth experience hotels. “I believe that by making the customer ‘king’, you are loading him with a responsibility that he does not want to take. We have found the emergence of a conscious customer and at CGH Earth, we create experiences that involve the guests while being environmentally aware and culturally rich,” explains Dominic. He has served on several national and state advisory panels on tourism for the government and industry bodies apart from being closely associated with the conservation movement. A chartered accountant by qualification, prior to joining Casino Group of Hotels (now CGH Earth), he worked with India’s leading firm of CAs Messrs - AF Ferguson & Co. with 13 operational properties in the southern region of the country, Dominic now wants to take his concept of ‘luxurious local experience’ to other parts of India as well.

Jennifer Fox

President, Fairmount Hotels & Resorts


s president of Fairmount Group, Jennifer Fox is responsible for the company’s global portfolio consisting of more than 60 luxury hotels, product and service strategy, global brand development, human resources, owner relations and development. A veteran hotelier, Fox has held almost all positions of pride in some of the top hotel groups of the world. Prior to joining Fairmount, this business administration doctorate spent a decade as the COO of InterContinental Hotel Group responsible for operations, financial performance, talent management and service delivery for all IHG brands of owned, managed and leased hotels across more than 20 countries spanning Europe, North Africa and Russia/CIS. While at IHG, she also served as senior VPglobal brand management for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. Her network in the global luxury scenario is commendable – be it business associates, media, investors or otherwise.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

power 100


Pascal Gauvin

COO, IHG, India, Middle East & Africa


n the surface, Pascal Gauvin’s profile looks the usual. Based in Dubai, Gauvin is responsible for IHG’s operations in India, Middle East and Africa, and driving growth in key markets. But a deeper look gives you the enormity of managing the market in one of the fastest evolving and changing tourism market in the world. For a brand that has been in India for 50 years, and has seen 400 per cent growth in the past years, the road ahead – given the rise in competition and the sheer dynamics – is no way simple. India, he says, “Has a great domestic market. Every year nearly 740 million people travel within the country, and if you see how the middle class is moving up, you’d realise the huge numbers of midsegment hotel we will need in the coming years, especially in the tier II and III cities.” Little wonder the group is going in for 12 new hotels this year, 37 in the next few and 150 hotels by 2020.

September 2013 | Hotelier India


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power 100


Pablo Graf

Doris Goh

Senior Vice-president, Operations, Hyatt International South West Asia Ltd

Vice-president, Sales & Marketing, Alila Hotels & Resorts

Guy Hutchinson


decade ago when Doris Goh, then an Alila executive, was handpicked to fill the post of the newly registered Alila office in Singapore, no one knew that in a short period of ten years, this shy yet determined sales genius would transform, what had to be a corporate headquarter into the coolest communication powerhouse of the luxury hotel group. Goh did, and ten years later continues to inspire confidence in many newcomers through her in-your-face strategy. Whether it was getting Alila exclusively featured in a Channel News Asia documentary barely 12 months into the startup; netting the first Alila resort for China set to open in 2015 or starting up the UK market for Alila, spearheading sales and marketing for the Maldives, and establishing the core business for Alila Villas, she has been at the helm of creating brand Alila. Called the role model of modern Japanese women by Harpers Bazaar in 2009, her initiatives – Alila Live magazine, Blog Alila and the relaunched Alila website — have tripled the brand’s earning in the last few years, and is a followed tactics for web income generation worldwide. No surprise that the group plans to open 11 new properties in the next three years — including one in Jaipur.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Vice-president, Operations – India, Hilton Worldwide


uy Hutchinson oversees the Hilton Worldwide portfolio in India and is also leading the operation through a period of sustained and strong expansion since 2012. Presently, Hilton Worldwide operates 13 hotels and resorts under four brands in India and has another 22 in the pipeline. His experience in the hospitality industry spans two decades and encompasses positions in the United Kingdom, Europe, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Australia, China and now India. Previously, Hutchinson was regional general manager for Hilton Worldwide in North China. Appointed in this role in 2011, he managed 11 trading hotels and more than 23 hotels in various stages of development. Prior to this, he was the GM of Hilton Shanghai for over three years, and also held general management, operational and business development positions at various hotels within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio in Australia, Japan, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands. He began his career in the industry in London by joining the prestigious Graduate Management Programme developed by Trusthouseforte Hotels. A keen sportsman, Hutchinson is also an enthusiastic student of international cultures and has a passion for hotel and restaurant design.


n industry expert, Pablo began his career as corporate trainee at Hyatt Regency New Orleans, progressing rapidly into management positions within Hyatt hotels globally. As GM, Graf has led Hyatt teams across some of the most sought-after tourism destinations like Poland, Mexico, India, Thailand and Dubai. Prior to this appointment, he served as the regional vice-president for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Under Graf’s leadership Hyatt plans to get over 50 new properties in the coming years, with all its seven brands and has recently launched their first select service hotel in Hampi called Hyatt Place Hampi. “The industry is poised to regain its robust growth pattern with the return of the domestic traveller and a boost in the number of FTA’s, I am confident that an increased capacity will be absorbed in a scenario of steady economic growth. Apart from a few five-star and five-star deluxe hotels in India, we see significant scope in all categories, especially in the select services segment. tier II and III destinations like Ahmedabad, Surat and Raipur are also becoming important markets as business destinations,” he says.



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Dipak Haksar

COO, ITC Luxury Collection & WelcomHotels


hen Dipak Haksar joined ITC in 1978 as an attempt to explore options, little did he realise that in about a little over four decades, he would be spearheading the ‘greenest luxury hotel chain in the world’. With a broad-based role that involves creating innovations that maintains the group unique value proposition, Haksar’s involvement in making ITC one of the pioneers of Indian hospitality ethos has been commendable. During his tenure in ITC, he has held numerous positions, managing both leisure and business properties. Haksar spearheaded the launch of ITC Maratha in Mumbai, which won the ‘Best Luxury Business Hotel Award’ in its first year of operation. Also, during his tenure as vice-president operations hotels division and GM ITC Maurya, the division’s flagship property underwent a metamorphosis in both product and service design, to emerge as one of the leading premium luxury business hotels. Haksar believes great brands are a composite experiences and not just individual great products.

Ashish Jakhanwala Co-founder, SAMHI Hotels Pvt. Ltd


an a two-year-old hotel group own 23 big properties (both operational as well as under construction), get the first Fairfield by Marriott to India, and stake 60 per cent ownership claim to all the Formule 1 hotels in India, with the rest taken by Accor group? If it’s SAMHI, then it’s possible. The brainchild of an IIM alumnus, SAMHI is in fact the first hotel group which, thanks to its acquisition policy, is also the owner of multi-branded hotels in India. In fact, the brand has already built four properties, entirely self owned, and is targeting four more in the next few years. What made this possible: the corrected asset values in India and Ashish Jakhanwala, co-founder SAMHI, and a portfolio development specialist with an experience of 16 years, during which he has developed the asset portfolios of Accor and InterGlobe Hotel group. With a clear vision to be India’s most admired hotel investment firm, the group has already established a pipeline of over 3,200 rooms and counting. With combination of SAMHI‘s investment philosophy and strategy enhanced by the current market environment, its portfolio is likely to witness a continuing expansion in coming years.

Naveen Jain

President, Duet India Hotels


hen chartered accountant Naveen Jain started Duet India Hotels after spending over three decades in the hospitality industry, his idea was simple: to become a leading owner and developer of internationally branded hotels with investments in key locations, channelising foreign direct investment into India’s booming mid-scale hospitality industry. In all this years, Duet India Hotels has been able to do exactly that. “Our focus is to continue to develop hotels in key metro locations with a target of achieving 4,000 rooms. We opened the first Holiday Inn Express in India at Ahmedebad in November 2012. We will be opening the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hyderabad, and Holiday Inn Express Mahindra World City Chennai in the last quarter of 2013. Four other hotels are under various stages of development in Chennai (OMR), Indore and Navi Mumbai,” says Jain of the group’s future plans. Duet India Hotels has a JV with IHG wherein Duet India Hotels owns 76 per cent and IHG has 24 per cent stake; and together they plan to build 19 Holiday Inn Express Hotels under this joint venture.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Sudeep Jain

SP Jain

MD, India Hotels & Hospitality Group Jones Lang LaSalle

Chairman, Pride Hotels Limited

Satyen Jain

CEO and Director, Pride Hotels Limited


ntroducing this business maverick is like introducing Michelangelo to the world of art. A visionary with a keen understanding of the market and consumers and a renaissance hotelier, SP Jain, in his career spanning over five decades, has not only seen the hospitality scene change in India – but also been an integral part of the change. His contribution to education and medicine is unparalleled, but it is his role as the former president of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India and former vice-president and secretary of Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India which has helped shaped the modern hospitality scene in India. And even now, he remains the ‘go-to’ guide to many new hoteliers.

September 2013 | Hotelier India


CA turned hotelier, Satyen Jain’s entry into the family business of construction and then in hotels may have not raised eyebrows, it was in the blood, many would say. But what took the world by surprise is the quiet manner in which he turned Pride Hotels into a name of reckoning with in the hospitality industry. As one of the fastest growing luxury and mid segment hotel group, Pride and Jain have garnered some of the top accolades of the industry including the ‘Best Upcoming Luxury Hotel’ in 2007, “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” by FHRAI and Golden Star Award for ‘Emerging Hotel’ in 2012 and the First Class Business Hotel too. Thanks to his ingenuity, Pride Hotel plans to open nearly 30 operational hotels by 2015, including two big properties in Goa, Kolkata and Delhi Aerocity. In his present role, Jain is also involved in strategic planning and implementation of the company’s expansion plans for upcoming hotel units and supervising the operations of existing hotels in Pune, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bengaluru.


s India head of the investment advisory company, Sudeep Jain is part of the company’s core team dedicated to providing advisory on investment sales services to the clients interested in the growing hospitality market in India. Recently relocated from New York, Jain has spent the last six years prior to joining JLL as vice-president, global development marketing and planning with Starwood hotels and resorts. The firm’s more than 265 dedicated hotel and hospitality experts partner with investors and owner/operators around the globe to support and shape investment strategies that deliver maximum value throughout the entire lifecycle of an asset. In the last five years, the team completed approximately 4,000 advisory, valuation and asset management assignments. The group’s hotels and hospitality specialists provide independent and expert advice to clients, backed by industry-leading research.


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Farhat Jamal

Area Manager & General Manager, Shangri-La Hotel, Mumbai


ong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 82 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 34,000. As a hospitality veteran with over 30 years of experience in the iconic Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, Farhat Jamal follows a rather high standard of conduct and targets. Jamal firmly believes that it is his mission to exceed guests’ expectations and deliver services with highest level of consistency in his current role with the brand. Shangri-La is committed to expanding and becoming a stronger brand in the global market place, and “India has a lot of promise and we will continue to evaluate opportunities that provide a good strategic fit and continue to expand our brand presence in key cities,” he reveals. In Q3 of 2014 the brand hopes to launch Shangri-La Hotel at Palace Road and Shangri-La’s Palm Retreat in Bengaluru in the following year. Jamal is very optimistic about the hospitality industry in India and as a true optimist, he believes this is cyclical and one would see a turnaround in demand in the coming year.

Abhishek Kamani

Managing Director, Zuri Group Global


bhishek Kamani’s rise in Zuri Group has been through baptism by fire. As a management graduate, he, in spite of the family business, had to prove his mettle in every department of the Zuri Group before being promoted as the director of the group. With a hands-on experience and an all round exposure, Kamani stunned almost everyone when he completed and launched Zuri’s debut hotel project in Goa in a record time of eleven months. Since then, the dynamic team player has successfully launched the group’s own brand of luxury hotels and resorts – The Zuri Hotels & Resorts – and spearheads its aggressive expansion in the market. Today, as the MD of the growing hotel group, he oversees and leads the various business interests of the The Zuri Group Global in India, including hospitality, along with his cousin Bobby Kamani.

Bobby Kamani

Managing Director, Zuri Group Global


s the second managing director of the Zuri Group, his responsibilities include management of the company at the grassroot level and on a day-to-day basis. Much like his cousin, Kenya-based Bobby Kamani’s initiation into the business started as an intern. After spending a year in Zuri’s Kenya office, he opted for working in the hospitality division of Knight Frank London before becoming a director at 23. This diversion has helped him to aggressively promote the group in the hospitality direction, in both India and abroad. Under his leadership, The Zuri Hotels & Resorts emerged as a strong contender of luxury hospitality with new properties in Bangalore, Goa and Kerala. Kamani is a Masters in International Management and a Bachelors in Business Management from the renowned King’s College in London.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

HOTALIER_Size: 22.5cm(w)x 30cm(h) | Helpline No./Institutional Enquiries: Int-91-(0)-120-4512260 | Toll Free 1800 103 6664 SHEELA FOAM PVT. LTD.: Corporate Office: 37/2, Site-IV, Sahibabad Industrial Area, Ghaziabad-201010 (U.P.), Tel: Int-91-(0)-120-4162200, Fax: Int-91-(0)-120-4162282/3, Email: Zonal Distributors: Agra: 2260568, 9897145678. Ahmedabad: 26574035, 26574052, 26574053, 9898991400. Ambala: 2557873, 9416038232. Angamaly: 2462452, 9447231912. Bangalore: 26570860, 26570250. Berhampur: 2220382, 9861066886. Bhatinda: 2221045, 9876709066. Bhubaneshwar: 9337875544, 9437902439. Ichapur/24 Parganas-North: 25943938, 09830257178. Chandigarh: 2713202, 5039563. Chennai: 42141326, 9003212844, 42083970, 9500044831. Coimbatore: 2482202, 9994506786. Delhi: 22007761, 22091537, 41547723, 9873533613, 28728741, 28728743, 9810518918. Dhanbad: 2380842, 9431376139. Dimapur: 9401622222, 9436609469. Goa: 2413220, 9371096537. Guwahati: 9954042755, 9954043048. Haridwar: 250423, 9837202845. Hyderabad: 24073473, 32505472, 65307190, 9866459896. Howrah/Hoogly/Midnapur: 26407342, 9830070945. Indore: 4226657, 9301115666. Jabalpur: 4065582, 2410396. Jaipur: 2643645, 2641289. Jammu: 2575716, 9419191254. Kanpur: 2549033, 9839035042. Kolkata: 22657885, 9836442423. Karim Nagar: 6500070, 9440070015. Kumbakonam: 2423966, 9443395925. Madurai: 2539710, 8883642192. Meerut: 2660130, 9917360700. Mumbai: 24054037, 24052038, 9320008136. Nagpur: 2725983, 9422109374. Patna: 2342375, 9431821275. Raipur: 9301323971, 9993914815. Rajahmundry: 3299309, 2468789, 7702727777. Ranchi: 3242961, 9334437489. Rohtak: 253654, 9813163401. Rourkela: 2400421, 9937211224. Rudrapur: 9897067700. Srinagar: 2400418, 9419168244. Siliguri: 2526117, 9832061308. Semiliguda: 225569, 9439288326. Tirupati: 2225040, 9848037384. Vijayawada: 2416337, 9849453088, 2579353, 9848654353. Vizag: 2541191, 9848189786. Vellore: 2224741, 9443244741.

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Param Kannampilly Chairman and Managing Director, Concept Hospitality


renowned figure in Indian hospitality, Param Kannampilly is one of the foremost environment champions in this industry with over 30 years of experience in hospitality. With his Meluha The Fern winning accolades (it had won 13 on last count), Kannampilly has brought sustainable hospitality on the luxury radar. Looking forward he says, “The mid-market segment is our focus area for growth as it is the heart of this industry serving the largest market base.” The economic conditions are conducive for good growth in the mid-market segment and Concept Hospitality has two brands specifically for this – The Fern Residency and Beacon Hotels. He feels that the development of hotels in tier II towns is very encouraging as with expansion, some of them are now on the cusp of being Tier I. “Tier III holds immense potential for us as in some towns where our projects are underway, like Asansol, we are the first branded hotel chain. The demand indicators in these markets are very encouraging. Of our 24-property portfolio, we operate seven in Tier I cities, nine in Tier II, the rest in emerging Tier III locations,” he reveals. With 18 projects under execution, the group has its concepts very clear.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

CHEF SAVIO FERNANDES Executive Pastry Chef JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai



Quantities Method

BRULEE Fresh cream Ecuador dark chocolate Castor sugar Vanilla bean Egg yolks

500 ml 325 gm 55 gm 1 no 3 no

s Scald the cream and pout it over beaten egg yolks, vanilla bean which has been deseeded and the sugar.Whisk it well to mix it. s Pour the hot custard over the Equador chips of chocolate and stir till it is smooth. s Pout the mix into 6” round rings about ½” high and bake it at 150°C for 20 mins till it sets, cool and freeze.

235 gm 5 no 8 no 65 gm 85 gm 5 ml 125 gm 115 gm

s Make a meringue using sugar and egg whites and also make a sabayon using the yolks and sugar, on a double boiler. s Fold in the clarifi ed butter, vanilla into the warm sabayon, pour the sabayon on to the meringue, and fold in the fl our and almond powder till it is a smooth batter. s Pour out portions of the batter on to parchment paper lined on to a baking tray and spread it thin. s Bake it at 200°C till it is light brown. Cool and cut out 8” dia sponges for the cake.

400 ml 6 gm 70 gm 2 gm

s Boil the orange juice fo10 mins, then reduce it to simmer, add in the pectin, orange rind and sugar which has been mixed together and cook it till it reaches 109°C. s Pour this syrup into 5” rings and allow it to set.

500 gm 6 nos 80 gm 1 no 725 gm

s Boil the sugar till it reaches 122°C and pour it over beaten egg yolks, vanilla seed and continue to whisk it till it become a light sabayon. s Cool down the sabayon and fold it into the whipped cream which has been beaten to a soft peak consistency. s Carefully fold in the Madagascar melted chocolate and mix it well, start to layer the cake.

100 gm 145 gm 45 gm 15 gm 55 gm

s Make a meringue using the egg white and castor sugar till it reaches stiff peaks, s Sieve the icing sugar, the cocoa powder and fold it into the meringue. s 0IPEOUTTHINDISCSABOUTvDIAMETERON parchment paper, sprinkle the caramelized almond nibs and bake it at 100°C for 2 hours.

ALMOND DAQUOISE Almond powder Egg whites Egg yolks Sugar for egg whites Sugar for egg yolks Vanilla essence Clarifi ed butter Flour

ORANGE PATE Fresh orange juice Pectin Sugar Orange rind CHOCOLATE MOUSSE Madagascar Yolks Sugar Vanilla pod Fresh cream whipped

CHOCOLATE MERINGUE Egg whites Castor sugar Icing sugar Cocoa powder Caramelized almond nibs

GANACHE Madagascar chocolate Fresh cream Liquid glucose

300 gm 190 gm 25 gm

s Scald the cream and pout it over the Madagascar chocolate chips s Stir in the liquid glucose and keep it aside.

Assembly: s Take and 8” ring and line the base with the meringue, place the frozen brulee and pour some of the chocolate mousse. s Place another layer of sponge little mousse and the orange pate, pour the mousse till the height of the ring and freeze. s Cover the cake made with the Madagascar ganache. s Garnish the cake

Single Origin Couverture Chocolate For more details contact: Barry Callebaut India Pvt Ltd, #401 Times Square Building, 4TH Floor, Western Express Highway, Near Sai Service, Andheri East, Mumbai 400069 Tel: 91-22-67 21 3080 to 3087 Website: www. Email:

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Ashok Khanna

Vithal Kamat

Managing Director, IHHR Hospitality

EC and MD, Kamat Hotels

Rajeev Kaul


e is a black belt in karate, the president of All India Karate Federation, a collector of old utensils and a conservationist – but the one role that Vithal Kamat wears with special love is that of an hotelier. The pioneer of eco-hotels in India, Kamat’s rags to riches story has been an inspiration for many to turn hoteliers, and successfully too. But for the man himself, it’s creation of new concept and blending the old with the new that keeps him going. Fort Jadhavgarh is the perfect example of his passion for tradition. For him, hospitality is all about the personal touch – be it lunching with his employees or employing traditional tukarams to help guests feel at home irrespective of whether it’s the grand old Orchid or the new VITS. The veteran hotelier has been extending the reach of his brands to tier II and III cities such as Nagpur, Raipur, Amboli and Aronde in the past few years and this is a chart which they plan to follow in future as well.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

President, The Leela Palace, Hotels & Resorts


s the president of The Leela Palaces, Rajiv Kaul balances his time and energies between providing strategic direction to the group, guiding the eight award-winning properties towards operational excellence and market leadership as well as leading the development and launch of new properties on the anvil. Under his leadership, the group has already doubled its portfolio from four to eight hotels with 2,220 rooms in key urban and resort destinations in India. The Leela Palace Chennai, the group’s eighth hotel, recently opened its doors with rave reviews. Other Leela hotels under development include Jaipur; Bangalore near Hebbal at Bhartiya city near the international airport; Noida, Delhi-NCR, at Spira, Supernova mixed-use development by Supertech Limited; Agra, where every room will face The Taj Mahal and Lake Ashtamudi in Kerala near The Leela Kovalam resort. A consummate hotelier with a distinguished career spanning over three decades, Kaul is a graduate from the Oberoi School of Management and analumni of the prestigious IMHI at Cornell - Essec. He is an industry thought-leader, whose views and inputs are regularly sought on various hospitality panels and forums.


is name may not have the instant recollect value as his legendary uncle’s PRS Oberoi, but when it comes to ‘bliss’, brands created by him have no comparison whatsoever. Ashok Khanna has over three decades of experience in the business. He was educated at Doon School, followed by Cornell in New York, after which he joined The Oberoi Group and was given charge of several Oberoi properties as projects director. Thereafter, Indus Hotels Limited was established as a subsidiary by The Oberoi Group to promote medium range hotels in the country. Khanna subsequently took over as president and CEO. In 1999 IHHR Hospitality was formed, which owns and operates the spa Ananda in the Himalayas, which has singlehandedly reinvented yoga and Ayurveda by bringing (and blending) it with international therapies under one roof. Ista Chain of Hotels is known to be the inspiration for many business hotels. The first to introduce the e-table booking concept in his business hotels, Khanna’s mantra of success is simple: “If the customer can recognise your product by touch and feel you have been successful.” And successful he is, considering the self-owned group is planning huge investments in the next five years!


1/30/2013 3:33:40 PM

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Shane Krige

Patanjali G Keswani

General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore

Chairman and MD, Lemon Tree Hotels

Ratan Keswani


n electrical engineer by training, Patanjali Keswani (better known as Patu), joined the TATA Administrative Service (TAS) in 1983 and worked with the TATA Group for over 15 years. His last assignment was as senior VP and COO of the Taj Group of Hotels. He subsequently worked with management consulting firm, AT Kearney Inc. as director. It was during this stint that Patu anticipating the enormous yet latent demand for mid-market and economy hotels in India, promoted Lemon Tree Hotels in late 2002 and Red Fox Hotels in mid 2006 – two companies that were eventually merged in 2012 to form Carnation Hotels. The group currently owns and operates 24 hotels with 2,800 rooms across 14 cities in India, and plan to have six more hotels, aggregating over 1,200 rooms under development.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Co-promoter and MD, Carnation Hotels Pvt. Ltd


veteran with 31 years in the industry, Rattan Keswani has worked across various Oberoi Hotels & Resorts in India and overseas, including supervising the re-opening of the 100-year-old Heritage Hotel in Shimla, The Oberoi Cecil in 1997. He was also the president of Trident Hotels and was responsible for ten Trident Hotels in India. Effective May 2012, Carnation Hotels, which is a joint venture with Lemon Tree Hotels, manages hotels in the luxury, upper upscale and mid-scale segments for Lemon Tree Hotels as well as create a new brand in the near future. Today at the helm of the brand, Keswani oversees the healthy running of all its properties including two erstwhile hotel properties that were converted into Lemon Tree Premier – Golden Tulip and Meridien Hotel in Ahmedabad. While the current projects include a 55 room Lemon Tree Hotel in Poonamalee Road, Chennai and a few properties in Faridabad, Trivandrum, Varanasi and a couple of other key business/leisure destinations across India, he plans to target at least 10-12 new properties by 2015.


hane Krige is the first GM of the very first The Ritz Carlton, a 277room, five-star luxury property, in Bangalore. As the GM, Krige will be responsible for all the pre-opening stages of the development and for the daily hotel operations of food and beverage, rooms and sales and marketing divisions once the hotel is launched. But for a veteran with over 15 years of experience in the industry, this new role is much akin to his last designation as the general manager of The Plaza New York, where he led the three-year US$450 million renovation. However, the Bangalore positing also marks the second tenure of Krige in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company after previously holding a senior management position at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC.

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Mohan Krishna

Vice-president, Operations, Green Park Hotels & Resort Ltd


rom an ordinary management trainee to the extraordinary head of operations, Mohan Krishna’s rise in Green Park Hotels hasn’t been a personal achievement only – but that of the group as well. Under his leadership since 2007, Green Park Hotels has ventured into newer business verticals like facility management, construction of convention centres and more. The company has introduced two brands in the year 2012 with hotels in upscale segment under brand names Marigold Hotels and Avasa Hotels (a unit of Stamlo Hotels). In fact, the group is on track to operating 1,000 rooms by 2014. “Chennai will soon see a convention centre and Bangalore will be our next destination for growth,” he reveals. With Indian School of Business, the group has forayed into facility management and plans to continue growing in this space. “We would also like to venture into hotel management tie-ups so that other hotel owners can benefit from our experience and expertise,” says Krishna.

Suresh Kumar

CEO, Fortune Park Hotels Limited


rom a management intern, in a career spanning about three decades, Suresh Kumar has held several managerial positions in ITC Welcomgroup’s prestigious hotels commencing his career as GM at a young age of 29 years. With his dedication, strong work ethics and pride in delivering both quality and professionalism, he rose to his present position. In his tenure, Fortune Hotels became a ‘First Class Full Service Business Hotels Chain’ in the country with a portfolio of 70 alliance hotels with close to 5,392 rooms across 55 cities in India, of which 40 hotels are operational, and the rest are at various stages of development. “We have always emphasized on the virtue of leveraging on our proud lineage of being a member of ITC’s hotel group, and on the power of our “spread” as “the length of the chain is the strength of the chain”. We plan to work towards taking further our vision of unfurling a Fortune at every 180 km by concentrating on metro, mini-metro, tier I and tier II cities across India. The chain has extensive expansion plans and we are looking at being a 90 hotels strong chain by the year 2015,” he says.

Vivek Kumar

CEO, Aamby Valley City & Hotel Sahara Star


e established the Air Sahara operations and was among the first to import the wide body aircraft to India; he was the first executive assistant in all group’s activities including aviation, mass communication, housing and infrastructure among others. Maharastra’s first hill city, Aamby Valley City was his brainchild and the iconic Sahara Star has been his handiwork. He is Vivek Kumar, Sahara Group’s youngest and most dynamic CEO, who in his current position, is responsible for spearheading new projects – the most noteworthy of it being acquisition of old hotels – as well as managing and developing the existence business. A feat that won Kumar the “ACE TECH” award in 2007.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Rajeev Menon

Anil Madhok

Area Vice-president, South-Asia, Marriott International

Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts

Sunil Mathur


nil Madhok started his career with the Oberoi Group in 1966. During his long tenure with the group, he worked at various locations in India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, and supervised the upgradation of The Oberoi, New Delhi and was a part of the pre-opening team for The Oberoi Mumbai and The Oberoi Flight Catering, Mumbai. His last association with the group was in the capacity of vice-president, operations for the Western and Northern Region and Oberoi Flight & Airport Services. With his expertise in hotel conceptualisation and planning, Madhok established Sarovar Hotels in 1994. As the managing director, he oversees the overall development and operations of the group. And though he doesn’t plan to extend beyond India and East Africa, the group’s current stronghold, for the next five years, plans are afoot for adding nearly 100 properties within these regions. “We are also looking at taking our brand, Geoffrey’s (Pub) to an allIndia level,” he reveals, adding that they are working on a joint model where the group would develop these pubs across India in partnership with various entrepreneurs. “We are also looking at growth of our institutional catering division, which is already handling catering at IIM’s, ISB and HUL,” he says.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Regional Vice-president, Dusit Bird Hotels


ith its first projects now getting ready to open, Sunil Mathur is set to establish Dusit brands firmly in India. A seasoned hotel business professional with vast experience across India, South Asia and Middle East in all aspects of hotel operations, people, development of hotel brands and new projects, Mathur reveals the future plans of the brand, “We are actively negotiating management contracts across the country. As an operator with a highly-regarded reputation of top quality, we aim to have about 8-10 hotels under our management within the next five years.” A pipeline of five luxury and upscale properties at different stages of development in New Delhi, Jaipur, Goa and Rishikesh, reflect the long term commitment of both Dusit International and Bird Group to the Indian market. To hotel developers in India, Mathur offers the distinct Asian experience and unique owner-centric approach as remarkable advantages.


ajeev Menon in his current capacity leads a team that is responsible for 18 operational Marriott hotels, as well as the 50 soon-to-open hotels, that are a part of Marriott India’s development plan. A true Marriott stalwart, Menon joined Marriott International in 2001 as the general manager of the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel and the Lakeside Chalet Marriott Executive Apartments, where he oversaw the successful launch and managed operations for the first Marriott property in Mumbai. Menon uses keen analysis, insights and a team approach to drive organisational improvements and implementation of best practices. By the end of 2013, Marriott will have 24 operating hotels, under seven brands, with another 45 hotels under construction. In addition to the introduction of its Ritz-Carlton brand in 2013, Marriott growth plans will include the debut of its moderatetier Fairfield by Marriott brand, the Fairfield By Marriott, Bangalore set to launch in Q4 of 2013, will mark the entry of this brand into the Asian markets, it would also make Marriott one of the fastest growing international hotel companies in the country. As of today, Marriott confirms the signing of its 11th Fairfield hotel in India, in Surat.

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KB Kachru

Chairman, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor hotel Group


ome general mangers run the hotel, some live it. KB Kachru, today a synonym to ‘pure, unadulterated dedication’, belongs to the latter. An industry veteran, Kachru’s resume reads like a movie story of a hospitality hero, whose done everything – from jumping into a gas bank in The Ashok in 1983 to save lives to introducing Carlson in India, and consolidating its presence. It was his conviction that Indian Railways allowed a foreign brand advertise inside the train, and casual dining came to the fore. Called the one-man army of Carlson, it is a credit to Kachru’s effort that the company is all set to strengthen its presence in India, aiming to achieving 100 operational hotels in India by 2015.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Andrew Harrison

PK Mohankumar

General Manager, Four Seasons, Mumbai

Managing Director and CEO, Roots Corporation Limited

Abhijit Mukerji


Taj veteran and a seasoned award winning hotelier, P K Mohankumar has been instrumental in building the luxury hotel space for Taj group down South. In his over three decade long career, Mohankumar was involved in the launch of all four Taj properties -- Kumarakam, Thekkady, Varkala and Calicut. He was also instrumental in the turnaround of Taj Samudra in Colombo and was involved in the development of Taj Exotica, Bentota. However, in his current position, Mohankumar is giving brand Ginger a makeover by adding eight new properties by 2015 in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, under both lease and contract agreement. This is in addition of their 10 new properties, which are in various stages of development and in keeping with their expansion plan of acquiring family run hotels and converting them to Ginger. “Our plans for growth and development are currently in the mid-term and long-term phases. We are looking at expanding to multilocations in metro cities and in micro markets. Our expansion strategy will be a combination of management contracts, greenfield and brownfield projects and franchising both in the metros and tier I cities,” he reveals.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Executive Director, Hotel Operation, IHCL


bhijit Mukerji oversees hotel operations of the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, which includes the Taj Luxury Hotels – India and International, Taj Business Hotels, Taj Leisure Hotels, Taj Spas, Taj Trade and Transport and Inditravels. Mukerji’s experience spans 22 years and four continents. He has spent almost 10 years as general manager and ran several hotels that have won international acclaim under his stewardship. A linguistic and Harvard Business School alumnus, Mukerji’s ability to create profiteering platforms during slowdowns have earned many of the brands under him awards of excellence, and made him one of the youngest COO of the Taj Luxury Hotels in his last assignment.


aving worked in 10 countries and travelled to more than 60, Andrew Harrison’s last 17 years have been with Four Seasons in Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Florida, California, becoming General Manager in Chiang Mai, opening the Tented Camp in the Golden Triangle and most recently Mauritius. He feels India has huge potential waiting to be unleashed, “Mumbai is a city of great contrasts and it can be quite a challenge to the system but it has a great vibe to it and is the hub of Indian commerce - a city of more than 22 million people in a country with a population of 1.25 billion,” says the general manager who likes to hit the local markets first. Looking back at his last two years in “incredible India,” Harrison says, “What I love about this country are the variations in culture, religion, customs and food that you chance upon in each destination every day, there is a new experience on the doorstep.”

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Rajesh Nagpal

Joint Managing Director, PIEM Hotels


s the joint managing director of PIEM Hotels, Rajesh Nagpal’s involvement is in driving PIEM’s growth by overseeing projects vis-à-vis renovations, expansions and greenfields to ensure they are in line with respect to time, cost and quality as per TAJ brand standards. He was inducted into PIEM’s board in 1994. Since then he has worked closely with the company and the extended TAJ Group on key strategic initiatives including acquisitions, financial restructuring, cost and productivity improvement exercises, IT infrastructure deployment, and business development activities. Nagpal plays an active role in industry bodies such as FHRAI, HRA, CII, and is also a member of the Cornell Hotel Society, International Wine & Food Society and the Young Presidents Organization. He holds an undergraduate degree in Finance & International Business from Miami University, and a MBA from the London Business School, where he is currently the president of its local alumni club. He is an avid reader with a keen interest in geopolitics and spirituality.

Sudhir Nagpal

Joint Managing Director, PIEM Hotels


pioneer in strategy planning and innovation, Sudhir Nagpal’s profile as the joint managing director extends beyond PIEM, as he works closely with the Taj Group MD and managing committee to assist the company achieve its strategic direction. He is responsible for spearheading the Strategy Execution Program across the Taj group of hotels, to implement the Balanced Scorecards and Performance Management Systems using COVENARK®, through his company mPOWER Information Systems Pvt. Ltd. Nagpal began his professional journey with an MBA in Information Systems from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA, where he had simultaneously pursued an MS in Computer Science. Subsequently, in a career that has spanned more than two and a half decades as a dynamic hotelier, he has evolved into a unique visionary and pioneer in Strategy Execution, Performance Management Systems, Balanced Scorecards and Business Intelligence.

Hitesh Kshatriya

COO, Magic Holidays & Panoramic Group


hat sets Magic Holidays apart from its peers in timeshare business is most of the resorts under the group’s umbrella (36 currently) are self owned. To which the group plans to add another 100 new properties (read resorts) in the next five years, given the rise in the number of travellers. Magic Holidays has already acquired properties in Kollam, Lonavala and Gir, and is scouring new locations in India and abroad. This is a feat that has been effectively engineered and implemented by Hitesh Kshatriya. An engineer and a qualified cost and management accountant, Kshatriya before joining Panoramic Group in 2011, had successfully set up Next Retail India Limited, a multi-brand durable and electronic chain and the petroleum division of Reliance. He has been instrumental in designing immediate priorities and chart out new opportunities for the Panoramic Group.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Harsh Neotia

Jyoti Narang

Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group

COO, Luxury Division, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

Philip Logan

Vice-president, Hotel Formule1


he has been called the most powerful woman in the travel industry worldwide by Travel Agent, a leading US trade weekly. Undoubtedly she is. An industry veteran with nearly three decades of hands-on experience in managing and developing the luxury segment of the Taj brand, Jyoti Narang is credited for developing successful concepts such as “Urban Revival” for the new age business hotels and ‘Taj Safaris’, India’s first interpretive wildlife experience. She also launched The Gateway Hotels, the upscale brand from Taj, with an aim to be present in all economic and commercial hubs in India. As the COO of the luxury division, she is responsible for creating new ideas for the luxury division of The Taj Hotel Group. Narang has a Bachelors in Economics and an MBA in Finance. She has attended programmes in marketing at Wharton School of Management and IMD, Lausanne and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. She has always worked at maintaining the company’s strong identification with India, even as it enhances itself as a global brand.

September 2013 | Hotelier India


specialist in pre-opening, Philip Logan, a managerial expert of 20 years, was transferred to India in 2005 to oversee the launch of several Accor group properties including the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Lavasa International Convention Centre, NOVOTEL in Hyderabad and Bangalore, Grand Mercure in Bangalore as well as two Hotel ibis in the same city. It was under his captainship that HICC won the National Tourism Award for the International MICE category for three consecutive years (2007,2008, 2009). Since then Philip has moved on to become the vice-president of the international budget hotel segment of Accor Group – Hotel Formule1. Logan’s focus is development and investment and he thrives on India’s natural warmth, food variety, arts, heritage and culture as well as love of cricket in addition to the obvious emerging market opportunities.


s a scion of the 120-year-old business empire, Harsh Neotia’s grasp of the realty scene in India is unparalleled. But what makes this entrepreneur turned hotelier different from the rest is his zeal for constant evolution. The company name for instance that was recently changed from Ambuja Realty to Ambuja Neotia because realty, as Neotia puts it, “was limiting for the company’s expansion plan and Neotia gives it’s a personal touch and character.” Ambuja Neotia has a hospitality arm as well, with a portfolio of three operational hotels, including a SwissHotel JV and one spa. In the coming years, the group plans to plans to set up a boutique resort at Panthang in Sikkim (Guras Kutir). Four other resorts are planned in BengalGhoom in Darjeeling (Himal Kutir), Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong (Chia Kutir), Shantiniketan (Shanti Kutir) and Digha (Saagar Kutir).


Visit us at: FOOD&HOSPITALITY Bangkok, TH, booth C21 04. - 07.09.2013 (with ISR Company Ltd.) HOTELSHOW Dubai, UAE, booth 3 B55 28. - 30.09.2013 (with OS&E)




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Capt. C P Krishnan Nair Chairman Emeritus and Founder Chairman, Hotel Leelaventure Limited


freedom fighter, an ex-army officer, pioneer of the handloom and textile industry and a hotelier beyond compare, to sum up the achievements of Padmabhushan Capt. CP Krishnan Nair is a herculean task. A visionary and environmentalist, Capt. Nair’s foray into the business of hotels may have been pretty late (he was 65 when he found the Leela Group), but his people’ sense made his group one of the finest. Long before “environment” and “ecosystem” became buzzwords, he had a vision for green spaces and is proud of his green effort that has marked his life and work. Capt. Nair’s green vision has inspired The Leela group’s enduring commitment towards building sustainable hotels and practicing world-class green standards. Each hotel through its own individual programmes, contributes everyday towards protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. Today, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has eight luxury properties in the country; with more hotels opening in Jaipur, Bangalore, Agra and Lake Ashtamudi in Kerala. Even today, his indomitable spirit and enthusiasm see him working on elaborate plans for the future. For both, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, and for India.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Deepak Ohri

Dinesh Nair

CEO, lebua Hotels & Resorts

Co-Chairman and Managing Director, Hotel Leelaventure Limited

Vivek Nair


ith over 30 years of invaluable experience in handloom and hospitality sector, Dinesh Nair has been instrumental in expanding The Leela Group’s strategic partnerships with acclaimed international brands as well as spearheading operations. He is the mind behind most of the Group’s new innovative restaurant and bar concepts for the existing network of eight award-winning luxury hotels spread across key destinations in India, as well as for the properties currently under development. Under his leadership, The Leela has emerged a market leader of exceptional quality and carved a space as an internationally acclaimed fine dining destination unique to Indian hospitality.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Chairman and Managing Director, Hotel Leelaventure Limited


ivek Nair has been completely involved in the strategic growth and expansion of The Leela Group from one hotel in Mumbai to a network of eight award-winning luxury hotels in India, with six more currently under development. He has played a key role in making The Leela emerge as a formidable hospitality brand and a market leader of exceptional quality and international acclaim. He is also responsible for the group’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. His role and responsibilities extend beyond The Leela. He is currently the president of The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI), representing 3,740 hotels and restaurants in 35 cities throughout India and a former chairperson of the World Travel and Tourism Council, India (WTTC, II). Nair underwent a postgraduate programme in Hotel Management from Cornell University, USA.


s the CEO of lebua Hotels, which has a collection of five-star hotels and fine restaurants in Thailand, New Zealand and India, Deepak Ohri’s focus is to give the group a recognisable presence globally. The group plans to expand aggressively in China and Europe in the next few years before moving to India. As lebua Hotel’s first employee, Ohri created Bangkok’s best culinary destination – The Dome at lebua in 2004. He revived the Meritus Hotel as lebua, an all-suite luxury hotel in 2006. Then, he launched lebua Hotels and Resorts as a luxury hotel chain that includes exclusive properties in Thailand, an ultra-luxury lodge in New Zealand and India. He launched a new level of luxury hotel, Tower Club at lebua in 2008. It is in his tenure that lebua Hotels and The Dome won accolades and over 60 world awards.


Executive Chairman, EIH Limited


he son of the legendary hotelier, Rai Bhahdur MS Oberoi, founder of The Oberoi Group, PRS Oberoi’s achievement in putting India – and The Oberoi Group – on the international tourist and business map has been commendable. From giving Mumbai, its first international standard corporate five star hotel to being amongst the first to crack a market alliance with Hilton for a worldwide presence, Biki Oberoi’s business acumen has been a lesson that many have followed – including his son and nephew, who manage the group today. His brainchild ‘The Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development’ is considered the best in Asia. It is to this impeccable grasp of the hospitality needs that The Oberoi Group has emerged as a formidable force in the industry, winning the group and Biki many accolades, including the highest civilian award in Morocco – Grand Office of The Alalaoui Wissam conferred by HM King Mohammed VI in 2001.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Hotelier India | September 2013

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PRS ‘Biki’ Oberoi



Date: 13th Dec 2013, Venue: Hyatt Regency, Gurgaon To explore partnership opportunities, please contact:

Bibhor Srivastava +91 93232 52340 / +91 98204 39239

Gurmeet Sachdev +91 99872 08866

Sanjay Bhan +91 9845722377

Chef of the year

Procurement Manager of the year

Laundry Manager of the year

Housekeeper of the year

HR person of the year

General Manager of the year

F&B Manager of the year


Green Hotelier of the year

Marketing & PR person of the year

Project Manager of the year

Unsung Hero of the year


IT person of the year

Spa/Fitness person of the year

Chief Engineer of the year


Sales/Revenue person of the year

For more information on the nomination process and criteria, please visit

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Arjun Oberoi

Chief Planning Officer and Joint Managing Director, EIH Limited


n this role, Arjun Oberoi is actively involved in the business development, design and launch of new products for The Group. These include new hotels, resorts, cruisers and new restaurants and facilities at existing hotels, as well as refurbishment projects. He is also responsible for the Project Development team of The Oberoi Group. His current responsibilities include assessing prospective opportunities for development of new hotels and resorts and planning of new luxury Oberoi and five star Trident hotels and resorts. In the past, he has been a key part of The Oberoi Group and McKinsey & Company team responsible for re-engineering systems and processes for the food and beverage departments in The Oberoi city hotels.

Vikram Oberoi

Chief Operating Officer and Joint Managing Director, EIH Limited


n economic graduate, Vikram Oberoi could have easily joined the family business. But the young economic graduate decided to rise up the hard way. After his graduation, he worked as a stockbroker at ANZ McCaughan in Australia before joining The Oberoi management team as a trainee, who worked in all the departments before taking over from his father PRS Oberoi. As chief operating officer, today he is actively involved in the management and operations of the group. He was actively involved in the reengineering of systems and processes of the company, working closely with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. In 1997, as the General Manager of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Vikram Oberoi set new standards of excellence in personalised service. He led a young and committed team, winning international accolades and recognition for The Oberoi Group.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Aman Nath

Founder and Co-Chairman, Neemarana Hotels


5 successful non-hotels, three openings this season and 10 in the pipeline – talk hotel successes, and there is one name that comes to mind – the Neemrana Hotels. Aman Nath was born and educated in New Delhi where he completed his masters in history. His early interest in poetry and art took him to a career of copywriting and graphic design in advertising. He has travelled, researched and photographed extensively in Rajasthan, authoring several books. He is now actively involved in the restoration of old properties and the promotion of tourism in Rajasthan in partnership with Francis Wacziarg. Together they restored the 500-year-old Neemrana fort palace and turned it into a bustling heritage hotel, after which they have gone on to restore many more properties.

Francis Waczir

Founder and Co-Chairman, Neemarana Hotels


rancis Waczir is a banker-turned-diplomat, who peeved by the government’s noncommittal stance of saving old structure and culture took to preserving old buildings – some 700 years old-- by converting them into “non-stereotypical and non superficial heritage properties” that broke even in two-three years, as compared to the average five to six years. A veritable citizen of the world, he made India his home since 1970. He met Aman Nath while on a filming trip to Rajasthan. A common passion for Indian heritage and restoration soon made them friends. Today they are a power-pair renowned for their commitment to restoring ancient properties to their former glory under the banner of Neemrana Hotels. The company today is successfully running 15 heritage hotels all over India. Today, Nath and Waczir represent the second heritage hoteliers who believe that hospitality is where you experiencing a place through all its ruggedness. Or as Waczir puts it: “honest to a country’s experience.” Their secret to success is being a team, out of the box thinking and accessibility 24/7.

Dilip Puri

MD India and Regional Vice-president South Asia, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts Pte Ltd


ith over 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Dilip Puri has in depth local knowledge and the right credentials to take the lead to drive and support Starwood’s aggressive expansion plans in the region. Currently with 37 operational hotels under six of Starwood’s nine brands and 32 under development, the brand’s goal is to have 100 hotels operating, under development or management contracts signed by 2015. “India is Starwood’s 4th largest market and will soon be the 3rd,” he says. Puri believes that there is a huge opportunity in the upscale segments and brands like Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton are perfectly poised to grow in tier II and III markets as well as in micro markets within larger markets. Starwood is also all geared up to bring its world renowned luxury brands St Regis and W Hotels to India with one St Regis and four W Hotels currently under development. With this Starwood will soon have eight of its nine brands fly their flag in India.

Hotelier India | September 2013

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Priya Paul

Chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels


prominent business woman and one of the most respected personalities in the hospitality industry, Priya Paul is the creative powerhouse behind country’s leading collection of contemporary luxury boutique hotels – The Park. She has worked tirelessly towards building a brand that is synonymous with her unique creative energy and is well recognised for her leadership qualities. Under her direction, The Park Hotels have emerged as stylish, edgy, fun and warm – a true reflection of her personality and her passion for modern art and design. Paul has been working in this industry for 25 years and she feels that it has been a journey to create something different, out of the ordinary and something that is inexplicable. “With projects currently underway like The Park Kochi, Jaipur, Pune and a second property in Kolkata, as part of the expansion, we have recently announced our brand diffusion - an upscale luxury brand called Zone by The Park which will cater to the mid-segment travellers,” she reveals. The upcoming properties of Zone are in Raipur, Coimbatore and Dehradun.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Vilas Pawar

CEO, Choice Hotels India


ilas Pawar, as the CEO, is responsible for developing, operating and managing Choice Hotels India across the country. CHI currently operates 25 hotels in important business and leisure cities across India and has signed up for over 10 properties which are under various stages of development. “We are looking forward to penetrate into secondary and tertiary cities as it requires lesser investment in real estate, low operational and promotional costs and it offers untapped potential for mid-scale hotels. We are also targeting the cities of religious importance as there is an opportunity there as well,” he says. Under his leadership CHI seeks to tap the potential in the mid-market segment; will increase room capacity to 2,800 from current 2,000 rooms. A graduate from the Institute of Hotel Management-Mumbai, Pawar has a rich hospitality experience for over 27 years, for setting up, operating and managing hospitality organisations. He has worked in the past with the Taj Group of Hotels, Hyatt RegencyNew Delhi, Carlson Hospitality and TGI Friday’s-India.

Saurabh Rai

Regional Director – South Asia & Middle East, Preferred Hotel Group


aurabh Rai oversees the development and expansion of the Preferred Hotel Group and its family of brands in the region. Since joining the group in early 2008, he augmented the group’s presence in South Asia to a six-fold expansion over the past five years. His industry expertise of over a decade in hospitality domain includes development consulting, sales & marketing strategy, hotel operations, market studies and quality assurance. “We have launched multiple new initiatives globally and are working towards rolling them out regionally, again to maximize contribution to our member hotels. We anticipate gradual growth of about 10 to 15 per cent during this period. Our development strategy in the region is to have two to three corporate level partnerships in India across different categories of hotels, which will give us presence in cities where we have business support capability like Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Gurgaon, South Mumbai and in Sri Lanka and Nepal,” he reveals. The brand has an exciting pipeline and hopes to have around 40 member hotels and resorts in its portfolio by end of 2014. In 2013, the brand has already welcomed six new members into its fold.

Sanjay Sethi

Managing Director and CEO, Berggruen Hotels


anjay Sethi commenced his career in 1988 and having worked across tier I and II cities, he prides himself in having deep knowledge of the markets and employee and guest sensitivities across the country. In 2006, Sethi quit a senior position at the Taj Group of hotels to set up Berggruen Hotels in partnership with Berggruen Holdings, New York. The company’s top management has a cumulative experience exceeding 100 years. With 14 existing properties under its brand Keys Hotels and Resorts, and a total inventory of close to 1,400 keys, they have recently announced the launch of their upscale brand Keys Klub. “Over the next three years, we hope to add 27 operating hotels to the current 14. Additionally, we would have 34 hotels under development. We will add about two to three hotels each year under the upscale Keys Klub brand and the others in the brands Keys Hotels, Resorts and Apartments,” say Sethi. The primary focus will be on the asset light vertical and the group is also pursuing opportunities in other South Asian countries, Africa and the Middle East.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Arun Saraf

Aly Shariff



Managing Director, Juniper Hotels Private Ltd and Asian Hotels (East) Limited

araf has vast experience in setting up and running five star hotels in South Asia. He has ownership of seven major hotels in India & Nepal which are managed under Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands. Presently, he is aggressively pursuing development of new hotels. He currently has several new projects in the pipeline including Hyatt Regency Ahmedabad with 275 rooms and Andaz New Delhi with 400 rooms and 150 serviced apartments. Hyatt Regency Lucknow and Hyatt Regency Guwahati with 200 rooms each have also been conceived to become pioneers in their respective cities. The group is also working on a large hotel and convention centre development in Bodhgaya. “The plan is to complete hotels currently under development and look for opportunities in tier II and tier III cities. We are the leaders in the field of hotel development, ownership and asset management,” says Saraf, who has been a serial entrepreneur undertaking ventures including plantation, hydropower, real estate and hotel development.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Senior Vice-president Operations, Premier Inn South Asia and Asia Pacific & MD, Premier Inn India

ly Shariff has been instrumental in a number of strategic business acquisition and disposal projects and led both integration and large-scale organisational change programmes. His last UK role was with Premier Inn as HR director for the brand. As the managing director, Shariff has overseen all elements of the business in South Asia from “start-up”. The first Premier Inn in India (Bangalore, Whitefield) opened in 2009 and was the winner of the HICSA Budget Hotel of the Year award in 2010. Soon the second hotel in New Delhi and a third in Pune will be opening, with Goa and Chennai already under construction. He is also responsible for all site acquisition, design & development, planning and construction of pipeline projects as well as sales and operations of the operational units. The second phase of development will also see Premier Inn India operating third party assets under management agreements. “A number of management agreement projects are in the pipeline within India,” he reveals.

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Arjun Sharma

Managing Director, Le Passage to India


e has been called the master mixer of hotel services, and rightly so. Had it not been for this seasoned hotel developer’s efforts, hotel rooms would still be sold as a comfortable place to rest rather than an experience. In fact, as a reflection of Arjun Sharma’s obsession with hospitality world is the fact that he runs his mall – Select Citywalk in Delhi – much like a well-appointed hotel. As one of the largest buyers of hotel rooms in the country –1 million room nights a year – he is not only credited of bringing F&B into the rooms, but also being the pioneer of opening new destinations by openings hotels there first. With vision, business acumen and leadership qualities, he has continuously led the organisation to successfully explore new ideas while building on existing foundations. He is today one of the pillars of consistent development of the tourism industry, not only in India, but also the entire sub-continent. He is especially known for his passion for innovative marketing in promoting Incredible India.

Manju Sharma Director, Jaypee Group


650 room hotel in Noida is by no measure an ambitious project in hospitality, but for the straight talker Manju Sharma, it is still a project that needs a lot of preparation, pre-planning and hard work. Still considered to be a younger hotelier to many with five properties in her portfolio, Sharma’s strength is her humility and going slow. “With our first hotel and golf course, we wanted people to see green. And we are glad that we have done it,” says the Jaypee scion, whose firm believe in understated luxury has helped her open state of the art hotels in Agra and Mussorie, making them luxury destination. Her new feather in the cap is the Jaypee Golf Course, which has been awarded the most tourism friendly golf course.

Sudhir Sinha

Director, President & COO, Best Western India


udhir Sinha has over 26 years of experience in hospitality and service industry. Under his stewardship, Best Western has grown the fastest during its presence in India since past 19 years. He has steered the growth of the company from six (out of which only one is operational now) properties in 2008 to 44 properties at this moment. He sees a great opportunity of the mid-market hotel in the tier II and tier III cities in India and has taken keen interest in developing Best Western brands here. Sinha has identified 152 such cities in India and currently following up well over 100 hotels projects for development in these cities. Best Western currently has 44 hotels under operational and development that include 24 operating on on-line hotels, 20 projects under execution stage and another 32 hotels under final negotiation stage. The brand aims to have 100 hotels by 2017 and thereafter add a minimum of 10 hotels every year to its portfolio in India.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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HH Gaj Singhji

Ashwin Shirali

Maharaja Of Jodhpur, Owner, Umaid Bhawan Palace

Regional Director, HR, Accor India


eorge Bernard Shaw once said, “The great advantage of a hotel is that it’s a great refuge from home life.” If the great legends quote is anything to go by then Ashwin Shirali’s job is the most important job of all. As the head of human resource, Shirali, a MBA and Law graduate, is responsible for talent acquisition for both operational and developing properties – a job he has been doing flawlessly for Accor Group since 2007. And prior to that for the Hyatt and Oberoi groups, where he provided HR support to 33 group hotels. With the extensive expansion plans of Accor in view, Shirali sure has his job cut out – that of filling the positions with the best in the market.

HH Arvind Singh Mewar CMD HRH Group Of Hotels


graduate of Mayo College,Ajmer, HH Arvind Singh Mewar did a hotel management course in the UK and then went on to Chicago, US, where he even washed dishes, changed linen and served guests. He is now managing trustee for the Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation and chairman and managing director of the HRH Group of Hotels. Both these organisations were established by his father HRH Bhagwat Singh Mewar who, after Independence, focused on the preservation of old forts and palaces and converting them into heritage hotels. However, the present face of HRH is thanks to Shriji, as he is fondly called by all, as he is responsible for not only bringing all properties under the HRH banner, but also making them profitable. Today, the group manages about four grand heritage hotel and six royal retreat in Rajasthan, and plans to venture into new markets. “Korea or may be Japan,” says the royal prince and closet cook, whose other passion is popularising Mewari cuisine.


oday he may be seen as the ceremonial King whose big duty is to recreate the days of the Raj for his guests with more than just his regal presence. But look deeper and you would find a man, a prince and the last crowned king of Jodhpur, whose progressive thought process, not only saved many a royalty (including their forts) from extinction, but also turned an arid land into world’s richest destination. The royal train Palace On Wheels has been a result of this Maharaja’s goodwill and untiring effort. A leader by example – Maharaja Gaj Singh turned his palatial home into a hotel first before helping 100 others covert their property – his biggest gift to hospitality besides the word ‘Heritage hotels’ is the Heritage classification for 150 members pan India.

Hotelier India | September 2013

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Veer Vijay Singh

COO, Vivanta by Taj – Hotels and Resorts


e took over as COO four years ago and successfully launched Vivanta by Taj brand in 2010. Veer Vijay Singh is responsible for the operations and overall performance of 40 hotels (5,400 rooms) in 27 locations spread across seven countries. The latest addition to the list is Vivanta by Taj – Surajkund, NCR. “We will launch another hotel – Vivanta by Taj – Dwarka, Delhi by the end of the year and have more hotels under different stages of construction,” he says adding that the brand is in talks with many more partners for hotels both in India and abroad. As the brand is one of the fastest growing and has been well received by its audience in its respective markets, the company has hotels under different stages of construction in Guwahati, Amritsar, Nagpur, Andaman and few other locations. “India is extremely important for us. We are always looking at opportunities here as we believe India needs many more hotels. We have identified Africa as a focus area outside India and are evaluating proposals there,” he says.

Vimal J Singh

Senior Vice-president and Managing Director, South Asia, Golden Tulip Hotels


real estate acquisition and business development expert, Vimal J Singh’s current role involves increasing footing of the group in India and South Asia. The group has already registered its presence in India with their first hotel in Navi Mumbai, and aims at increasing their presence across all segments of hotels. Golden Tulip Hospitality Group is a worldwide hospitality company with more than 780 hotels, 76.000 rooms in more than 50 countries, and is the 18th largest hotel chain in the world. In India/South Asia, the group plans to open four more hotels under four and five star category by March 2014 at key leisure and business destinations, which includes Golden Tulip Shimla (Kufri), Golden Tulip Lucknow, Golden Tulip Bhiwadi. The company is targeting to have 50 operational hotels by year 2014 primarily targeting tier I and tier II cities across India. Golden Tulip South Asia’s upcoming project locations includes Vasai (Mumbai), Bengaluru, Zirakpur (Chandigarh), Jaipur and Ludhiana.

Kumar Sitaraman

Chairman & CEO, Auromatrix Holdings


s the founder of the hotel and resort development and management company, Kumar Sitaraman’s role in promoting Auromatrix has been noteworthy. Founded in 1990, Auromatrix today owns and operates five Aloft Hotels and two Sparsa Resorts, a chain of eco-sensitive resorts across India, and has more than 50 hotel projects pan India with one 50-villa beach resort coming up in Sri Lanka. The company will also be managing four new properties by the end of this year, and plans to develop 10 Business class hotels, 10 Sparsa resorts and 10 Budget hotels at major/emerging/tier II/tier III cities in India. A Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) from AH&LA-USA, and a FIH (Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality), UK, Sitaraman was appointed as the ‘Honorary Consul General of Iceland’ jointly by the President of India and President of Iceland in 2012.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Zaid Sadiq

Executive Director, Laisioning & Hospitality, Prestige Group


adiq completed his BA (Hons) hospitality management, followed by a MBA from Thames Valley University, UK. After completing a hospitality management diploma (American Hotel and Lodging Association) from The London hotel School, he went on to complete his internship in the Copthorn Tara Hotel, London, for a period of one year. Sadiq has five years of rich experience in the FMCG and hospitality sectors in customer care. He joined the Prestige Group in May 2006 and was inducted in the company’s Board of Directors in January 2007. He is actively involved in the public relation affairs including laising and plays a major role in building confidences and good relationships with external and internal customers and is responsible for building a suitable image and reputation for the company. Sadiq also heads the group’s hospitality venture, the 24 Tech hotel.

Girish Shankar Managing Director, ITDC


e may be only a few months old in his new designation – taking over the responsibility from Lalit K Panwar in April of this year – but for the coming few years, Girish Shankar will be instrumental in giving the Indian tourism scene a new direction. The former additional secretary, ministry of tourism comes with a good experience and exposure to the tourism scene in India, and has been instrumental

in the formation of some of the tourism-friendly policies in the past. In his new position, one of Shankar’s top responsibilities will be creating a interface between hoteliers, tour operators and various allied service providers to boost tourism in the country. Operational since 1996, ITDC has been the prime mover in the progressive development, promotion and expansion of tourism in the country.

Radhika Shastry Consultant, RCI


s one of the oldest member of RCI – Radhika Shastry joined RCI in 1992, when it was established. Shastry has played a significant role in popularising the concept of timeshare business. It is her firm belief that timeshare business will be the key word in the years to come. Growth of domestic tourism and venturing into new tourist destinations has always been the forte of the timeshare industry, having introduced gems like Coorg, Munnar, Binsar etc. to travel enthusiasts. With traffic opening up to the unexplored Eastern parts of India, one will see a spurt of activity in that region. Popular destinations such as Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala will continue to see more resort properties entering the industry she feels. “Big hospitality chains in India should consider timeshare as part of their product mix as part of the future planning strategy. Most large International hospitality chains, be it Hilton, Marriott, Disney, Holiday Inn or Hyatt have included some form of shared ownership into their product mix to hedge the vagaries and uncertainties of business in today’s environment,” she says.

Hotelier India | September 2013

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Vijay Thacker

Narendra Somani

Director, Crowe Horwath HTL Consultants Pvt Ltd

CMD Grand Bhagwati

Dr Jyotsna Suri


n the times, when non-vegetarian F&B outlets are considered as a musthave for any hotel’s survival, Grand Bhagwati comes as a surprise. Perhaps the only brand to have vegetarian hotels – with non-meaty options for most world cuisine – the success of this brand is solely due to one man’s belief that vegetarianism sells – Narendra Somani. How right is Somani in his conviction is proven by the fact that his 37-room hotel in Ahemdabad earns 30 crore annually compared to most 130-room luxury hotels. A story that he has successfully repeated in Mumbai, Hyderabad and in Surat as well. Somani, who has dabbled in opening non-vegetarian restaurants, too, just to see the difference, now plans to expand in budget category hotels in smaller cities and town.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Chairperson & Managing Director, Bharat Hotels Limited


r Jyotsna Suri has been associated with Bharat Hotels since its inception. She took on the mantle in the year 2006 and since has been the driving force of the Group’s operations across India. Stated to be India’s fastest growing hotel chain – the group today offers 17 five-star luxury hotels, with ten operational properties and seven under restoration/development in India and overseas. Under her leadership, the Group is also making its foray into midsegment hotels. Lalit Ice Hockey and the first Polo Tournament in Daras are some of her unique initiatives to put lesser known places on the tourism map. She also is a part of several associations and decision influencing bodies, including Hotel Association of India.


n his 27-year-long career, Vijay Thacker has undertaken, supervised and directed diverse professional assignments including feasibility studies, concept planning, valuations and others in over 90 different markets in India and for 23 international projects, including several projects in the Middle East and Bhutan. Thacker feels that the industry is suffering challenges on two counts today, “Firstly, as a result of self inflicted injuries to the economy and general business confidence; and secondly, due to bunching of development effort leading to medium term demand-supply stress across different markets.” While the fundamentals of the business opportunity in India remain unchanged, a hard knock on confidence can take some time for recovery, he feels and adds that it is a good time to create new supply outside the major cities. “It is also a good time to acquire hotels. Additionally, it is an opportunity to recognise the need for enhancing the leisure segment and creating MICE products and MICE demand,” feels Thacker.

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Vijay Wanchoo

Manav Thadani

Senior Vice-president and GM, The Imperial

Chairman, HVS South Asia

Deepak Uppal

Executive Director, Vatika Hotels Pvt Ltd


fter joining HVS in 1995 as a consulting and valuation analyst in their New York office, Manav Thadani started the India operations with HVS founder Steve Rushmore in 1997. Over the last 17 years, he has personally been involved in over 1,000 hotel projects in India, Asia, Europe and the US. In his present role, Thadani is actively involved in sustainability services and operator search/management contract negotiations, and is the co-founder of SAMHI, a multi-branded hotel ownership firm. This is the 3rd down cycle the hotel industry in India is currently seeing in his experience. He also sees this as a glass half full with immense opportunities for growth and investments. “Those with funds and resources should use this time to consolidate and make strategic investments,” as he does not believe this growth will come for most real estate developers as their focus is too short term for the hotel industry. Instead, Thadani predicts continued growth of institutional money and individuals. “Turnaround time for the next up-cycle is probably two to three years and will be very strong and swift due to the low amount of new supply expected going forward,” he predicts, “we would finally be able to beat 2008-9 numbers somewhere in 2017-18.” Are the banks listening?


eepak Uppal has worked with global brands such as Hindustan Unilever, Pepsico, Larsen & Toubro and Brooke Bond. A business and start-up expert, Uppal in his current position is responsible for the overall growth of the group, especially in the hospitality segment. Vatika Hotels is planning projects across India such as, the Pondicherry Golf Beach Resort, Westin Residences, Four Points by Sheraton and Serviced Farmhouse Residences in Sohna. Vatika Hotels plans to expand its footprint nationally covering various cities in India. While Vatika Group is driven towards expanding into various geographical locations with world standard facilities and service offerings, the group focuses on providing the highest standard of service and satisfying experiences to its customers. In all of its services or offerings, Vatika Group is committed to develop environmentally friendly processes and efficient solutions for commercial and residential properties, delivering benchmark products and services, through the use of state of the art technology, with world class designs and planning.


is is the story of every successful chef, albeit with a difference. While most get to the level of being an executive chef, Vijay Wanchoo took a different path and became the general manager of ITC WelcomGroup before finally taking on the baton of senior vice-president of The Imperial – even collecting the prestigious annual H&FS award of food and beverage manager of the year on the way! But that isn’t all. Between becoming the F&B head at Holiday Inn and wearing the GM cap for ITC, Wanchoo also dabbled with a TV show that made him come back to hospitality again. It is this hands-on experience and sheer love for the hospitality world, that makes Wanchoo perfect for running any hotel – successfully.

Hotelier India | September 2013

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Mohit Nirula

Dean, Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD)


he Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development or OCLD, established in 1966 by the Oberoi Group, is affiliated to The University of Delhi and the International Hotel Association in Paris. Widely recognised as having one of the best management programmes in Asia for hotel management, it has been one of the top institute for talent acquisition for many brands in India and abroad. Mohit Nirula, as dean at OCLD, has had a career spanning over 25 years during which he gained varied experience and competence across properties atThe Oberoi Group. Nirula leads a team of professional hospitality educators who implement a rigorous series of under graduate and post graduate hotel management programmes. Over the years Nirula has trained and taught many professionals who now excel in their respective fields. He is all set to take OCLD to new heights.

Rushad Kavina

Dean – Hotel Management, IHM-A


ith over 14 years of experience in academics and operation, Rushad Kavina is perhaps the most familiar face of this decade-old institute. An expert in resolving issues around F& B Enterprises, he along with Gerard D’souza, Dean Teaching and Learning, is involved in evolving new research modules for Honours Level. An alumni of IHM-A, he is responsible for regularly upgrading

the education level of one of India’s most sought-after institute of hotel management. IHM-A currently has a four-year BA (Hons) degree in Hotel Management of the University of Huddersfield, UK — a leading varsity in the world of hospitality management, and the specialised three-year diploma in Culinary Arts & Kitchen Administration, especially designed and improved by the culinary hands of Taj.

Chef Vernon Coelho

HOD, Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai


n alumni of IHM Mumbai, Chef Vernon Coelho’s contribution to shaping the culinary industry of India is noteworthy. One of the earlier adopters of modern style of cooking and culinary innovators, Chef Coelho is the driving force behind IHM Mumbai’s academic excellence. He is a guest faculty at the Le Cordon Bleu institutes in Paris and London and has visited several culinary schools across the world and has promoted Indian cuisine through lectures and demonstrations for young students to create an awareness of Indian food and spices. He has been inducted into the International Chaine des Rotisseurs. Chef Coelho is a qualified educator having done post graduate studies in Training and Development and a program in Teacher Training for the Hospitality Sector. In 2002, he initiated and founded the Western India Culinary Association, to provide a platform for chefs to interact with each other through programmes such as seminars, culinary as well as charity events.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

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Bhuvan G M

Prof. P Gopalakrishnan Principal, WGSHA, Manipal

Professor and Principal, Apeejay IHM

Alok Shivapuri Principal, IHM Pusa


rof Parvadhavardhini Gopalakrishnan has over three decades of experience in hospitality education in India and overseas. She has worked in numerous positions in hotel management departments in the National Council for Hotel Management, Bengaluru, subsequently moving on to the IHM Aurangabad as HOD for Management Studies as an employee on deputation from the Indian Hotels Company Ltd. In the Year 2002 was employed in Bahrain as the academic dean and director studies at the Baisan Institute of Hotel Management (now known as Bahrain Institute of Hotel Management). During the career span of 32 years of hospitality education has attended many learning and development activities which include an ILO fellowship to the Cornell University and The University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is also certified as Hospitality Educator and Hospitality Trainer from the American hotel and Lodging association.


s the head of reputedly the best institute of hotel management for the fifth year in the row, Alok Shivapuri, a hospitality education veteran of 30 years does have a rather large pair of shoes to fill. But given his exposure to both Indian and international hospitality industry, Alok does the expected with a flair of a genius. An alumni of IHM Pusa, Alok is a member of some of the prestigious associations that enables him to effect newer innovation in hospitality education – and even supervise their effective implementation in the institute.


s the principal of Apeejay IHM, Bhuvan GM is committed to scour new talent and help talented men and women become future leaders through a dynamic learning environment and apt guidance. An industry expert with 18 years of experience in hospitality academics and administration, Bhuvan is an esteem member of various academic and industry forums, and has organised, participated, and published several papers in National and International Seminars pertaining to the industry. He was part of the two member committee to formulate and develop Model Curriculum for 4 year BHM programme of AICTE, New Delhi. A representative of GSE (Group Study Exchange) “Team India” to United Kingdom, sponsored by Rotary International, Bhuvan has been instrumental incorporating innovative educational practices like interactive lectures, social sensitisation programmes among others.

Hotelier India | September 2013

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Deepa Misra Harris Member, Hotel Association of India


stablished in 1996 with an aim to secure for the hotel industry a place in India’s economy and project its role as an effective employment generator and contributor to social and economic development, Hotel Association of India (HAI) has emerged as a powerful association that is committed to the cause of hotels across India and its allied services. Its Executive Committee is a potent combination of Industry veterans to budding hoteliers, which makes it one of the most influential and effective platforms to bring about new changes and shape a bright future for the Hotel Industry in India. Led by the seasoned hotelier Nakul Anand, some of the names associated with HAI are PRS Oberoi, Dr Jyotsana Suri, Patu Keswani, Deepa Misra Harris, JK Mohanty Rupak Gupta among others. The current membership of the association is about 300 hotels from across the length and breadth of the country.

Dinesh Advani Vice-president, FHRAI


management and law graduate, Dinesh Advani, the joint managing director of The Shalimar Hotel, Mumbai, The Central Park Hotel, Pune and The Metropole Hotel, Ahmedabad, is the vice-president of FHRAI, the Apex Body of the four Regional Associations representing the Hospitality Industry. As a member of the senior management, Dinesh is responsible to provide and maintain a seamless interface between the Hospitality Industry, Political Leadership, Aca-

demics, International Associations and other Stake Holders. Dinesh is also a Fellow of The Institute of Hospitality (FIH), Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) from The American Hotel & Lodging Association and the president of HRWAI. He is the recipient of FHRAI’s “Young Hotel Entrepreneur of the year 2003” Award. FHRAI today has more than 3824 members comprising of approximately 2484 hotels, 1204 restaurants, 132 associate members and the four regional associations.

Chef Manjit Gill

President, Indian Federation of Culinary Association


he corporate executive chef of ITC- Welcomgroup, Chef Manjit Gill is a reputed professional in the hospitality industry and is held in the highest regard by its top gastronomic echelons. Known for his constant innovation mantra, Chef Gill is one of the few seasoned hoteliers to give India street food a gourmet makeover. A zeal that has helped him take IFCA, an association committed to the promotion of the culinary profession through various exchanges and innovations, to greater heights. It was under Manjit’s leadership as President, IFCA that India became the member and was awarded Diploma by the World Association of Chef’s Societies in 2003. Now IFCA organizes the biannual Chefs National Congress, which is being held over the last seven years. He is also responsible for creating the CSR concept “Chef & Child,” which is now a nation-wide phenomena and often helps raise huge sum of money for various child welfare organisations.

September 2013 | Hotelier India


Spa design... p98

Ops&Services • News • Events • Awards • Movements • Launches

Healthy menu...p102

Exclusive branding Siemens extends its exclusive showroom chain by launching an experiential store in lAUNCH Siemens with a leading dealer – Fecund Home Ventures Pvt. Ltd, inaugurated their exclusive retail brand store in Hyderabad. Located in Banjara Hills, this exclusive Siemens brand store is spread across 2,000 sq ft displaying the latest Siemens free-standing and builtin appliances, including Black Series. Commenting on the expansion, Ajaz Vakil, GM Sales – Built in Appliances, Siemens Home Appliances India said, “South has always been an important market

Ajaz Vakil at the opening of the showroom.

LOW ALLERGEN ROOM PROMISE A new professional service that provides a clean sanitised environment in hotels SERVICE Regular mattress and upholstery sanitisation is important for hygiene but now hotels and resorts are quickly learning that it is also an important factor in their duty of care responsibilities for their guests. For those who offer these services demand is growing fast, and 3H – Happiness Health and Hygiene Pvt Ltd is a leading deep cleaning and sanitising system, which ensures a healthy, hygienic, low allergen, sanitised and sterilised environment for its customers. 3H offers a first of its kind innovative cleaning and sanitising system, using proven, state-of-the-art technology to assist in winning the battle against dust mites. Research has stated that there are living creatures found in the beds that feed on dead skin cells and make up about 80 per cent of house dust. The process starts with the 3H test that is repeated after the service is completed and the reduction in contamination levels is shared with the customer. 3H uses a comprehensive three-step cleaning and sanitising process that is not harmful to humans or pets. The team provides additional suggestions that help improve conditions in the home and reduce allergic symptoms.

for us as it has a huge potential. With our stores, we wish to make our increasing presence felt for our valued customers and also closely monitor their needs to provide them with best of services. The demand for built in kitchen appliances is on the rise and Siemens retail stores offer its customer the best kitchen solution which is a culmination of innovative technology, energy efficiency, quality, convenience and design.” Siemens provides a full range of

premium products and services with an integrated solution. The flexible and accurate fitting of Siemens built-in appliances provides easy integration with any kind of kitchen furniture, making life easier and comfortable. Siemens appliances are carefully crafted with extensive research and testing. Siemens has always been a pioneer in innovation, design and technology and has been bestowed with various international awards for the same.

Landmark achievement V-Guard’s Kochi R&D center gets DSIR recognition RECOGNITION V-Guard Industries has reached another landmark by obtaining the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) recognition for its Research &Development Centre at Kochi, Kerala. With this, V-Guard has become one of around 1,500 companies in India to receive this unique recognition. This recognition is accorded to manufacturing companies, which have undertaken extensive research and development to offer newer and innovative products,

and also mapped out their future plans. Commenting on the recognition Mithun Chittilappilly, managing director, V-Guard Industries Ltd, said, “This is an important achievement for us; as only a few manufacturers of electrical and electronics products have obtained this certification. It is a testimony to our Research and Development work, which has contributed to the development of new products. Innovation is at the core of our R&D activities. This recognition will motivate us to develop newer consumer and environment-friendly products.”

Hotelier India | September 2013

ops & services



Grand Hyatt Goa has earned a reputation of being a spa destination.

Spas today are capable of transforming a hotel into a destination and make it profitable too! By Madhulika Dash


ast year, when The Lalit Hotel announced a special privilege card for non-resident guests to give their signature spa Rejuve an extra edge, it didn’t come as a surprise. It wasn’t the first hotel to come up with an initiative like this, nor was it doing something out of the box. Previously, brands like Vivanta By Taj and Zuri had done similar innovations for their signature spas. Jiva, the spa brand of Taj group of Hotels for instance, had already completed

September 2013 | Hotelier India

a decade of having non-resident members as patrons – a healthy trend Renaissance Spa of Marriot Group, too, followed given the rise of spa-goers. For Zuri Group and Sofitel, promoting their spas (Maya and So respectively) separately is a part of their growth strategy in India – and has been successful thus far. What then drew attention to The Lalit Hotel’s small trick was the increasing trend, which now was a necessity to survival – the transformation of the Spa – once considered as mere add-on – into an independent, profitable entity.

In fact, according to a survey done by International Spa Association (ISPA) a few years ago, the revenue generation of spas in Asia-Pacific has been 200 per cent compared to 18 per cent in North America. (India contributing a generous share in it.) In addition to this was the 2012 survey commissioned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts that showed that 45 per cent of its respondents indicated that the existence of a spa attracted them to a hotel. In India, spas existed before luxury hotels as traditional places of health and yoga, but it is only

in the last couple of years that spa became a culture and emerged from the shadows of hotel corridor to become an entity. Such was the rise that hotels like Zuri, The Lalit, Renaissance and even Taj began to deisgn their next property around a spa – and its treatment. The Spa era had begun! According to Ram Chatterjee, Spa director of Shamana Spa at Grand Hyatt Goa, one of the main reasons for this is the unique experience it affords. “A spa experience is like a mini vacation, a medium that allows you to escape the city without actually leaving it. And

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Shantanu Guha Roy

Hammam, Six Senses Spa, Greater Noida.

Back scrub at Six Senses Spa.

that is the biggest lure that has made Spa popular – and profitable!” Sunil Kumar, manager Maya Spa, The Zuri Kumarakom, Kerala Resort & Spa, seconds the view and feels that the rise of disposable income is another factor in encouraging spa culture. “Thanks to Maya Spa, we have seen a 20-30 per cent growth in the capture ratio in the past 3-4 years, which is a good boost during lean season,” he says. Of course, both Chatterjee and Kumar can’t deny that the rise of

the health-conscious Indian too has been a contributing factor. Sujata Gowda, associate director marcom of Sofitel Mumbai BKC, agrees and calls spa a “requisite appointment” these days. “A generous size of our spa visitors these days belongs to non-residents. It’s like a sanctuary that helps them relieve stress of a jet-set life,” adds Gowda. The magnitude of spa culture becomes more evident from the report by Ernest & Young, which estimates the global wellness industry worth at $500 billion and projects to touch $1 trillion by 2014. “In India, the wellness industry has grown 250 per cent since 2002. Currently, it stands at Rs110 billion, which is likely to go up 35-40 per cent over the next few years,” says Gowda, who pegs it as a number one reason that has egged international Spa companies like Six Senses to venture into the Indian market. Tracey Poole, director of Spa, Six Senses Resorts and Spas (Jaypee Greens Golf Resort and Spa) agrees. Poole has been closely observing the rising spa culture in India and calls it the result of “higher level of consumer aware-

ness and understanding”, which in fact has been crucial in driving a closer collaboration between hotels and spas. “It is now almost mandatory for any luxury hotel and resort brand to include a spa facility, otherwise they will limit their capture of business from the domestic and international tourism sector in today’s scenario,” Poole adds. Six Senses has recently tied up with a few more groups, and is even planning to open a spa destination, much on the lines of Zuri and The Lalit. Santanu Guha Roy, GM Radisson Alibaug and Mandara Spa, however feels that it is a commercial angle recently explored, “One of India’s biggest attractions is it’s perception as the land of Ayurveda. And having a wellappointed spa is a sure way of netting more patrons – both in India and abroad.” Roy though doesn’t deny that the rise of awareness and the free flow of money have been the biggest contributors in making spa a lucrative proposition – especially for hotels. This swing has made it mandatory to ensure that enough thought is given to the creation of a spa. Which, according to Gowda is not

Ram Chatterjee

Dr. Sunil Kumar

only limited to the therapies, products used in the spa and design, but the menu as well. The menu for So SPA reads like a food menu, complete with entrees, appetizers, main course and a dessert too. “What adds to the lure,” says Gowda, “is the French-style of massages with an Indian touch.” Shamana Spa in Grand Hyatt Goa was created keeping the scenery in mind. “It was not only a spa, but a paradise that can make you forget your worries instantly,” explains Chatterjee.

Hotelier India | September 2013

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Tracy Poole

Shamana Spa with its Zen interiors creates a serene environment.

Sujata Gowda

Zuri Kumarakom’s Maya Spa, in fact, became the first spa in the country to offer western, oriental and hydrotherapy treatments along with Ayurveda under one roof. “This,” says Kumar, “became a major attraction to guests from across the world, especially from Russia, Europe and Middle Eastern countries, and makes for 60-70 per cent of the total spa revenue.” The Six Senses Spa at Jaypee Greens has turned its facility into a destination in itself. Aside being the largest and most luxurious of all Six Sense Spa properties, says Poole, “what’s interesting about this 3-floor, 90,000 sq. ft spa is the combination of interesting themes, décor and spaces that are tailor-

September 2013 | Hotelier India

made for holistic wellness. Be it the Techno Gym with its innovative Kinesis apparatus, speciallydesigned retail therapy corner or state-of-the-art wellness studio that has a hamam, Watsu therapy centre and the ayurveda floor.” For Roy however, a good spa is one that scores on aesthetics. “A zen-like design is imperative for any spa, as a peaceful surrounding only can lead an individual to reciprocate to any treatment and make it effective.” Given that Mandara Spa becomes a holiday spa vacation for many, Roy reveals that it was designed according to a Thai Balinese theme by Philip Fowler, a protégée of the famous architect Geoffrey Bawa, who ensured that there is ample sunlight in every room, with a pleasant landscape in the outside and wooden warm interiors.

Gowda agrees with the concept of good interiors. “A calming ambience goes a long way to make a spa experience memorable, and also increases the chances of guest’s turnover. But along with great interiors, a good spa needs flexibility, where a treatment can be made shorter or longer keeping the guests schedule in mind.” Of course privacy, expertise and attention are the unsaid rules of a good spa. But those aside, Kumar believes that spa loyalty is garnered through holistic experi-

ence and attention to details and a knowledgeable staff who is skilled enough to satisfy guests’ query. Poole calls it “regular upgradation. Spas need to evolve to newer technology and human skills to keep it from disappearing.” Clearly, when having a spa is not a novelty, one that renovates and innovates to its guests’ need and patrons’ expectation becomes the secret to success. Then, says Chetterjee, “having a lucrative price tag and interesting schemes becomes the icing on the cake!” HI

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Healthy and wise With an aware guest at the table, chefs are busy creating healthy menus that are not only healthy but also suit different tastes

Hotelier India | September 2013

ops & services


By Mini Ribeiro


iners today have become more particular about what they want to eat and far more vocal – whether it is consuming less than 500 calories per meal or eating at least three grams of fibre, they know it all. The focus is clearly on healthy eating and many are even seeking lighter dishes. So, along with their signature dramatic flair, chefs are focusing on expanding their menus and stepping up healthy dining options to boost guest satisfaction. It may mean maintaining a precarious balance, but most chefs are happy to do that. Elaborating Lars Windfuhr, executive chef, Park Hyatt, Hyderabad, says, “Today guests are more aware and have started becoming health-conscious. With healthy menu choices available, people are looking for the “better” options, rather than greasy, heavy meals. This is owing to an increased awareness of foodrelated illnesses and well-being.” Confusion about healthy versus unhealthy fats and oils still abounds, with many mistakenly thinking it all boils down to calories of specific ingredients. Chefs are thus endeavouring to create menus where they are trying to re-think the entire category of fried foods, and see how a wider lens of healthy innovation can change the way guests view fried foods and their potential contribution towards flavour differentiation and healthy menu development. Adding to this, Sunit Sharma, executive chef, Cidade de Goa, explains, “Health and food are two aspects of the same coin. Fast food or junk food and a sedentary

September 2013 | Hotelier India

lifestyle have added to the cause of ill-health. This realisation has augmented the focus and revival of traditional foods, ingredients and cooking methods. This helps chefs to roll out healthy traditional cuisine with authentic ingredients in their menus of popular cuisines.” But healthy food now no longer means boring or a restricted diet. Jameson Solomon, director F&B, Sheraton Bangalore, elaborates. “Health foods have moved from the earlier boiled, bland and tasteless options to more tasty recipes that focus on achieving good health while enjoying what you eat. The amount of fresh ingredients used has become imperative in accrediting health menus.” Ravitej Nath, executive chef, Oberoi Gurgaon agrees, “When we designed our menu we went back to basic ingredients and cooking techniques. Even the basic, most popular dishes can be made lighter and healthier, if cooked in the right manner and the ingredients used are fresh. We look at a balance of flavours and ingredients. Each dish should not only be low-calorie, but also have the right balance of nutrients.”

Today, consumers are knowledgeable and can ask chefs hardhitting questions about food. “The consumer wants to know more about omega-3 fats, what foods to eat to lower their cholesterol levels, how to reduce their sodium intake, etc. Our aim is to deliver the correct information to truly educate the consumer,” quips Solomon. Thus, many chefs put the calories on the menu to give people the option to pick healthy dishes. Chefs may be in a dilemma, but clearly, they have to lead the way. “It’s a tricky balance to obtain, but with finesse of the ingredients available, it is not very difficult to deliver the same. What is really crucial for us is to develop awareness towards the good and notso-good,” analyses executive chef Bhaskar Sankhari, ITC Grand Central, Mumbai. And there are several factors chefs keep in mind when preparing a healthy menu. Sodium reduction for many chefs is the first step towards that. They are trying to focus on ways to leverage natural flavours and alternative flavour strategies — from herbs, spices, umami-rich foods, healthy fats and oils and produce solutions to culinary techniques — that can reduce their reliance on sodium. With health and wellness, being key concerns, the trend is to follow healthy ingredients and cooking styles. Chefs are gladly incorporating whole grains, nuts, legumes and spices to fish and healthy oils — as well as the producecentric cooking traditions of a variety of food cultures around the world. “Often it can be quite confusing and hard to identify ‘healthy’ dishes on elaborate, gourmet menus at most hotels,” says Nath,

Chef Ravitej Nath

Chef Lars Windfuhr

Chef Sunit Sharma

Jameson Solomon


PLANNING RIGHT Most people want healthy meals for a variety of reasons: to lose weight, increase well-being, increase energy, etc. However, there are a lot of factors that one needs to consider when creating a healthy meal plan for the guest. Menu planning is a great way to make sure you are offering a balanced diet to the guests and meeting their nutritional needs. Menu planning doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep the menu interesting by planning some meatless meals or substituting a breakfast for a dinner. Alternate new recipes and old favourites.

and adds, “Food should be cooked and have variety. The ingredients have to be right, fresh and cooked with the right technique. The trend today is of light marinades,

simple fl avours and sauces. There is a harmony of fl avours – sweet, sour, salty and tangy. Portions are smaller, but enough for a meal. The calorie count is measured without compromising on fl avour.” “Organic, locally-sourced ingredients, gluten free, slow cooking,” according to Chef Windfuhr are the buzzwords for chefs. Times are changing and chefs are willingly catering to the new demand for healthy menus. They are carefully researching recipes and diving into depth of ingredients to create innovative menus. “Super foods as key ingredients in recipes, cold-pressed and with high antioxidants plus low fat oils like rice bran oil/ olive oil/ walnut oil, whole grains and dark and unpolished grains, multi grains, re-discovered traditional food and native ingredients like quinoa, fl ax seeds, black rice, are some menu trends,” reveals Chef Sharma. Solomon adds, “It is important to know the customer and dietary

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requirements that he considers as ‘benefi cial’. The menu must strive for balance, emphasise variety, add contrast, think about colour and consider visual appeal.” Moreover, he reveals, “Healthy food requests, from many guests, have been observed for all meals, but a majority has been seen during breakfast.” Hence, understandably so, chefs concentrate on breakfast and strive to offer a varied but healthy spread. Chef Nath assures, “Healthy, balanced and fl avourful meal options are aplenty today, so that guests enjoy their meal and leave the calorie count to us.” Guests can settle for lighter, healthier options with low-calorie meals, without having to compromise on quality, taste or variety. “Guests want all health benefi ts of the ingredients with the best taste possible from an amalgamation of them,” Chef Sankhari continues. So whether it is, Tandoori snapper tikka with avocado, grape-

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Elaborate coffee rituals and menus are now a part of the F&B outlets in hotels.

Chef Bhaskar Sankhari

fruit and lime cilantro vinaigrette and Stir-fry mushroom, green pea and methi tossed with tomato and cumin or something less exotic, guests may want diversity in the hotel menus, but ‘healthy’ is unmistakably the catchphrase. Taste plus health it has got to be! And chefs are obliging. HI

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Hotelier India | September 2013

ops & services


Picks of the month Wooden flooring from Square Foot

Square Foot Website:

OSIM unveils uVenus OSIM India has unveiled uVenus, an Ambient Purifier that can help create seven different environments and reduce stress and anxiety. It is designed to protect guests from air, light and noise pollution. Furthermore, its multi-action Tru-air purification process purifies stale indoor air and provides clean fresh air. It comes with mood lighting relaxation music, specially designed by experts to cultivate desired state of relaxation, balance and higher energy levels. OSIM uVenus OSIM India changes seven colours; Website: purple to reduce stress and anxiety baby blue to calm and clear the mind, aqua blue to calm and balance the mind and emotions, lime green to relax and refresh tired eyes, orange to inspire creativity and enthusiasm, amber to stimulate the mind and body and magenta to create a cosy ambience. Priced at Rs35, 000, OSIM uVenus is easy to set-up with a detachable stand and has a night light controller indicator for easy reach even in pitch darkness along with a wake-up and sleep timer. OSIM uVenus has won a the European Red Dot Award.

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Square Foot, a flooring solutions company, has launched its latest range of Parquet Wooden Flooring, which is composed of wooden blocks, arranged in a geometric pattern. This flooring acts as a good thermal and sound insulator, regulator of air humidity and is also non-allergic. Moreover, it can be renewed for a number of times. Parquet flooring is arranged in different directions either parallel to the wall or diagonally resulting in overall cross-grain expansion, making it ideal for installation over concrete subfloor. The flooring also comes in rectangular or parallelogram block with length ratio being 2:1 or even 3:1 making it easy for installation in two directions at once thus creating a centered and a well-established geometric pattern. The variation in design gives a more luxurious look to a room. The product is available in wheat, cognac, coffee, and walnut colours and is available at a starting price of Rs450 at all Square Foot stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi and Kolkata.

Plate Spacers by Prime World Prime World’s Plate Spacers are plastic blocks to be placed at three different sides of a prepared plate. The three blocks offer space for the prepared food, and support for the following plate. Every block has a strong grip on the plate, thanks to a rubber layer at both its top and bottom side. The other variant comes in form of bowl spacers that can be used for bowls. Stacked plates can be easily kept warm in the oven or chilled in the refrigerator until serving time. This product is microwave and dishwasher safe, too. Rubbery grips keep them from slipping on any size plate. Available in different shapes and sizes, Plate Spacers are patented products priced at Rs1095 onwards for a set of six pieces. They can be purchased online from

Prime World Website:

ops & services


New luxury foam mattress by Kurlon Kurlon has launched Imagine, a luxury foam mattress that caters to the ergonomic needs of customers by supporting the shape of their body as it rests on it, thus enhancing comfort and health. The mattress is a result of

detailed research and development that was put in to understand the customer’s need and their comfort quotient inside out. Made with the superior quality high resilient foam and Visco Elastic Foam (memory foam), this product comes with a 12 years guarantee. This high resilient foam helps in supporting the body irrespective of the ergonomic of the person sleeping and enhances the comfort by reducing the pressure points. And memory foam adjusts along with the body shape and temperature thus helps in relieving aches and pains by increasing blood circulation. This product is made of imported Belgian Jacquard anti-microbial tapestry, which is maintenance free and long lasting. Imagine comes at a height of 6.5 feet x 5 feet and is priced at Rs35,710. Kurlon Website:

Zebronics unveils portable Bluetooth keyboard Top Notch Infotronix, under its brand Zebronics, has introduced Tabmate, an ultra-slim and small keyboard to be used with handheld devices like tablets and smartphones. Designed for ultra-portability, the 206mm x 82mm and just 7mm thick Tabmate can easily slip into a back-pocket or handbag, like an 80-page ruled book. It has a stainless steel back shell and hard silicone keys. The function keys give one-touch access to a variety of iOS, Android, and Windows tablet features such as play, pause, volume-up, volume-down, and home. If used on a desk, Tabmate occupies up to 60 per cent less space than full-size keyboards. It is cable-free compatible with iOS, Android, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. The Tabmate has a built-in rechargeable lithium battery with USB charging. While best for use with PCs, tablets and smartphones, the Tabmate can also be used with Bluetooth enabled portable consoles and media players. It is available in black and white colours. Prime World Website:

A glass that rotates

Zebronics Website:

September 2013 | Hotelier India

Prime World launches Shtox, a glass that can rotate on the table. One just has to take the glass (empty, or with a drink), put it on the table and with a slight movement of the hand give it a spin and it continues spinning on its own. The secret behind this is the specially-designed shape of the bottom of the glass which is patented. In the production process at the factory, an experienced master manually sculpts the bottom on each glass to ensure the right form. The high precision craftsmanship of the Shtox glass allows it to spin smoothly without swaying from side to side. In 2009, the glass was awarded with Red Dot Design Award in the Product Design category.

September Issue  

The anniversary issue features the 100 most powerful hoteliers in India.