People

Ashwani Nayar is GM at Crowne Plaza Greater Noida

Ashwani Nayar, a seasoned hotelier, has been appointed general manager at Crowne Plaza Greater Noida. A hospitality veteran, Nayar comes with close to three decades of work experience in the industry, having worked with some of the finest global hospitality brands across South Asia and South East Asia. Nayar will now lead the largest Crowne Plaza in South West Asia.


Simmi Satyeash Pai heads sales and marketing for OZEN by Atmosphere

OZEN by Atmosphere, Maldives, has announced the appointment of Simmi Satyeash Pai as vice president of sales and director of sales & marketing. She brings more than 14 years of experience within the destination in sales and marketing. In her new role, she will be responsible for all sales efforts for the group, with a focus on pushing sales and marketing activities for OZEN by Atmosphere to a broader level in the global luxury travel market. Prior to joining Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, Pai was the director of sales & marketing of Fairmont Maldives at Sirru Fen Fushi.


Sunaina Sharma Manerker is GM of Grand Mercure Mysore

Grand Mercure Mysore has appointed Sunaina Sharma Manerker as the general manager of the hotel. Prior to joining Grand Mercure Mysore, Sunaina was the general manager at Lebua, Lucknow. She has also led successful assignments with brands like Le Meridien, Westin, Ramada and Lebua, as well as pre-opening experience with IHG and Alila Hotels and Resorts.


Gaurav Ajmera is COO for OYO Hotels & Homes

OYO Hotels & Homes, India’s largest and the world’s third largest chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes, living and workspaces, have announced the appointment of Gaurav Ajmera, as the chief operating officer, India and South Asia.

Ajmera is one of the early OYOpreneurs and during his four-year stint as the head of North India region, he has been a key driver to the company’s growth and expansion across the country. With over 10 years of experience, Ajmera will play a key role in growing OYO’s business in South Asia and realize OYO’s expansion plans. He will be reporting into Aditya Ghosh, ceo, India & South Asia, OYO Hotels & Homes.

Before OYO, Ajmera had a successful stint with Schlumberger working across various countries in the Middle East, gaining valuable experience in project management and operations.


New role for Venushe Wickramarathne at Best Western

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has appointed Venushe Wickramarathne as regional director of commercial – Asia. Based in Best Western’s regional head office in Bangkok, Wickramarathne will oversee the sales and marketing activities for the group’s entire collection of hotels and resorts in South-east Asia and Japan, encompassing all 16 of the company’s brands.

Wickramarathne earned his work experience through several key roles in Europe and Asia, rising from night manager at an AccorHotels property in Zurich to deputy head of sales – events & banqueting for the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

In 2017, Wickramarathne joined Centara Hotels & Resorts, initially as area director of sales & marketing for Colombo, before moving to Thailand in January 2018 to become the company’s area director of sales and marketing for Krabi.


Vikas Kapai is new GM of Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Sofitel Mumbai BKC, the flagship property of Sofitel Hotels & Resorts of the Accor Group, has announced the appointment of their new general manager Vikas Kapai. Having led prominent hotels in the country, Kapai comes with over three decades of hospitality experience.

Kapai’s past experience includes work with stellar brands such as Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Oakwood Asia Pacific and similar where he has often played a key leadership role, turning around the properties on significant performance metrics. Vikas Kapai currently lives in Mumbai.


Priyanku Mahanta is DoS at Courtyard by Marriot, Siliguri

Priyanku Mahanta has been appointed director of sales with Courtyard by Marriot, Siliguri. In his earlier stints, he worked with Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences, Le Meridien Jaipur, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Mysuru, Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahati, ITC Windsor, Bengaluru and Hotel Royal Orchid, Bengaluru.


Vikas Kumar is GM of The Westin Pushkar Resort and Spa

Vikas Kumar has been appointed general manager of The Westin Pushkar Resort and Spa, Westin Hotel’s first resort property in India. Kumar has assumed the responsibility to oversee the hotel operations and ensuring highest standards of guest service.

With over 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry including a decade with Marriott, Kumar has also worked with Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park, Courtyard by Marriott Kochi Airport, JW Marriott Chandigarh, Sheraton Bangalore Brigade Gateway and The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace.


Yusuke Yamamoto is Japan’s executive director of tourism in India

The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has appointed Yusuke Yamamoto as the new executive director of tourism for the India market. Yamamoto will oversee the Indian market while managing the development of policies and strategies to strengthen Japan’s reputation as a world class tourism and travel destination.

With an education in political science, Yamamoto started his career by working for the Kanagawa Prefectural Government. He was also the director of South Asia market for Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), for which he was based in Singapore for three years. After working in key positions in several government sectors, he joined JNTO in 2017 as a deputy manager in the corporate planning department.


Vinita Khar is new DOSM of Grand Hyatt Mumbai

Vinita Khar has been appointed as the director of sales and marketing at Grand Hyatt Mumbai. Khar has been associated with the hospitality industry for more than a decade. In her new role at Grand Hyatt Mumbai, she will be heading the sales, marketing and events team. Vinita has been a part of the Hyatt family since 2007 as director of revenue management at Grand Hyatt Mumbai, then director of sales and marketing at Hyatt Regency Pune and at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa.


Hannes Bos is new VP Commercial at Radisson Hotel Group

Radisson Hotel Group has appointed Hannes Bos as its vice-president commercial for Asia Pacific. An experienced hotel professional and revenue leader, Hannes was educated in the Netherlands and Sweden before embarking on his hospitality career with AMS Hotel Group in Amsterdam. Specialising in revenue management, he also held senior management positions with Concorde Hotels in Paris and Millennium & Copthorne in London and Singapore.

Hannes joined InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in 2008 and following spells with HotelBeds in Singapore and RateGain in India, Hannes joined Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in Dubai. Most recently, he worked for VinGroup, Vietnam’s leading tourism and hospitality conglomerate.

Hannes now brings 18 years of global hospitality experience to Radisson Hotel Group. Based at Radisson Hotel Group’s regional head office in Singapore, Hannes will sit on the group’s Asia Pacific executive committee.


Sandeep Sahdev is DOSM at Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield

Sandeep Sahdev has been appointed director of sales and marketing at Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield. Prior to joining Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield, Sahdev has worked with reputed brands like The Den Bengaluru, Duet India Hotels, Four Points by Sheraton Pune, Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa, The Oberoi Group and Carlson Hotels.