Legends of Indian Hospitality Industry


Photo courtesy- successstory.com

1934– A Punjabi gentleman then a clerk, but an entrepreneur at heart joins the Cecil Hotel, Shimla. Hard work, zeal and an extraordinary ability with some luck saw him become a manager and working partner at the Clarkes in Shimla.  The English owner, Ernest Clarke deciding to leave India for England, offered him the hotel ownership for Rs. 20,000/-. A family member loaned him the money and Mohan Singh Oberoi, later to be known as the ‘Father of the Indian hotel industry’ bought his next property in Kolkata. After that the Oberoi chain opened properties in Delhi, Mumbai and other cities in India and abroad. His standards for excellence is epitomised by  his setting up the Oberoi School of Management, now known as Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development in Delhi. The Oberoi brand of hotels owned by the East India Hotels group not only had hotels in India but also overseas.


     903- JND Tata opens the doors of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay, now, Mumbai. Historic as this was the first hotel which also allowed Indians. Apparently Jamsetji Tata   had been thrown out of a luxury hotel as the board outside read ‘No Indians and dogs allowed.’ This Parsi industrialist vowed to make the finest luxury hotel in the world where Indians could enter. And he did. The first hotel in India with electricity and American fans built at a cost of   500,000 pound sterling.


JRD Tata took over as Chairman of  the Indian Hotels Corporation   in 1938 and the Taj group  expanded under his leadership to become a chain of hotels..

However what is forgotten is his role as Chairman- Air India to set up Hotels Corporation of India Limited- a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India .  By 1971, The Centaur brand of transit hotels were established  initially in the f metros of Delhi and Bombay.

(photo courtesy amazon.in)

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