Power List 2018: Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson and MD, Bharat Hotels Limited

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Dr Jyotsna Suri always wanted to contribute towards the country’s development while catering to people’s needs.

It was in 2008, when the group carved out a new identity and rebranded all hotels as a tribute to the company’s Founder Chairman Lalit Suri, that she realised her dream. She continues unabated in her relentless pursuit to renergise and grow the brand.

Having started her career as the group’s Joint Managing Director with Bharat Hotels in 1987, she took on the mantle of Chairperson and Managing Director after her husband’s death in 2006. Ever since, she has been the driving force behind the group’s operations across India. Having to establish her credibility both internally and with external stakeholders, she says, was the biggest challenge she has faced.

Traditionally modern, subtly luxurious and distinct, the Lalit Suri Hospitality Group is India’s largest privately owned hotel chain and has 13 luxury hotels with 3,600 rooms in India and one in London. It is present in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Goa, Bangalore, Udaipur, Khajuraho, Kerala, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mangar and, of course, London. The group has also forayed into mid-segment hotels under the brand—‘The Lalit Traveller’. The first two hotels under this brand opened in Jaipur and Khajuraho and more hotels are planned in the next five years.

In 2017, The LaLiT Hotels made their international debut with the opening of The LaLiT London at 181 Tooley Street, a property they are immensely proud of. This converted luxury hotel with 70 rooms, each ornamented with bespoke Indian art, combines desi Indian culture with a characteristic British charm.

Suri is Chairperson of the FICCI Tourism Committee (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) since 2008, Chairperson of Confederation of Indian Industry’s taskforce on the ‘Revival of Kashmir’, the only Indian member on the International Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and an Executive Member of Hotel Association of India.

She was awarded ‘ADTOI Award 2011’ for her immense contribution to domestic tourism. She has been named among the ‘25 Most Powerful Women in Business 2011’ by Business Today. In 2010, she was awarded the epitaph ‘Leading Hotelier’ apart from being listed among the ‘20 Most Powerful Women in India’ by Business Today.

Educated at the Lawrence School Sanawar, Suri graduated with a degree in English Honours from Miranda House, Delhi University. She is the recipient of an Honorary Degree, ‘Doctor of Laws’ from the University of Warwick, UK. Guided by the mantra, ‘The group believes in developing destinations and not just hotels’, Suri works hard to deliver on that promise.

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