American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has appointed Ashish Kishore as the new managing director for India. In his new role, Ashish will have overall management responsibility for GBT’s business in India. He will be part of the Asia Pacific leadership team, reporting to the managing director, International.
Kishore joins GBT from air services provider, dnata, where he was country head for India. In this role Kishore oversaw the entire business strategy, had responsibility for 400 employees and grew the business. In addition, he is a board member of the Global Business Travel Association India and Ashish has been instrumental in advocating for the business travel sector and leading discussion around the role travel management companies play.
Kishore formally assumes the role on December 1 and will be based in Gurgaon
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has appointed Vishal Sinha as chief executive officer of CWT India. Sinha is based in CWT India’s head office in Gurgaon. And will report to Kai Chan, CWT’s President for Asia Pacific. Sinha is a member of CWT’s Asia Pacific leadership team. He succeeds Geeta Jain, who has moved as Strategic Program Vice President, globally.
Sinha now leads CWT India’s team of over 1,200 personnel across nine offices and is also responsible for growing CWT’s business in India, particularly with local companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Sinha has more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry, including substantial international experience. Most recently, he was chief operating officer of TUI India. Prior to that he spent seven years based in Tokyo, Japan, as a regional general manager at British Airways.
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has appointed Katerina Giannouka as president, Asia Pacific, effective December, 2017. She will be based in Singapore at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s Asia Pacific headquarters and will report directly to John Kidd, CEO and COO, Carlson Hotels Inc.
“Asia Pacific is a key growth engine for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group as we expand our presence and develop our successes,” said John Kidd. Before joining Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Katerina was the head of development for Asia Pacific and China for Rosewood Hotel Group.
Alan Watts has been appointed executive vice president and president, Asia Pacific at Hilton hotels, effective January 1, 2018. Watts was chief operating officer for AMEA for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and responsible for the company’s operations in 280 hotels across six brands and 40 countries. Watts joins Hilton after a two-decade career at IHG.
Watts will oversee the operations of more than 200 Hilton properties across the region, as well as the company’s pipeline of over 375 hotels. Watts will be reporting to Hilton’s president & ceo Christopher Nassetta, and serve as a member of the executive committee.
Tony Douglas has been appointed as group chief executive officer of the Etihad Aviation Group effective January 2018 and will be based in Abu Dhabi. Douglas joins Etihad from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, responsible for procuring and supporting all the equipment and services for the British Armed Forces.
In the UK, he held senior positions with airport operator British Airports Authority (BAA) and Laing O’Rourke. Under BAA, he was the managing director of the Heathrow Terminal 5 project and CEO of Heathrow Airport, at various times.
Douglas has held senior positions in the UAE, as ceo of Abu Dhabi Airports Company and of Abu Dhabi Ports Company.
Alphons Kannanthanam has been appointed Minister for Tourism, Government of India. Kannanthanam is a retired Indian Administrative Service officer and was recognised in Time Magazine’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders in 1989.
Kannanthanam worked in the Indian Administrative Service as a bureaucrat until 2006 when he was elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly, from Kanjirappally in Kottayam District of the southern Indian state, Kerala.
Kannanthanam will spearhead India’s tourism industry at a time when outbound travel is growing exponentially but inbound tourism needs to be revitalized with suitable promotions and infrastructure development.
Vinay Dube, an aviation industry veteran, has been appointed as the chief executive officer of Jet Airways. Dube has previously held key managerial roles at Delta Airlines, Sabre and American Airlines in the US, Europe and Asia, during his three decades of global business career in the industry. He was senior vice president-Asia Pacific for Delta Airlines in his last assignment and led the Asia-Pacific region as business head. He was concurrently board observer at China Eastern Airlines.
During his tenure, Dube led the turnaround of Delta Airline in Asia-Pacific markets, restructured the network, established strategic partnerships, worked on brand-building and transformed the work culture of his teams. He has also held various board level positions throughout his career.
Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), the holding company of the Taj Group of Hotels has appointed Puneet Chhatwal as its new cCEO. Chhatwal was earlier the CEO of Deutsche Hospitality, which owns the Steigenberger chain of hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Chhatwal replaces Rakesh Sarna who is stepping down with effect from September 30, 2017. Chhatwal started his career with the India Tourism Development Corporation, a Government of India enterprise, and was thereafter the chief development officer of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel group, which owns the Radisson brand of hotels, before joining Deutsche Hospitality in 2012.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has appointed Vishal Sinha as Chief Executive Officer of CWT India. Sinha is based in CWT India’s head office in Gurgaon and will report to Kai Chan, CWT’s president for Asia Pacific. Sinha is a member of CWT’s Asia Pacific leadership team and succeeds Geeta Jain, who has moved as strategic program vice-president.
Sinha now leads CWT India’s team of over 1,200 personnel across nine offices and is also responsible for growing CWT’s business in India, particularly with local companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Sinha has more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry, including substantial international experience. Most recently, he was chief operating officer of TUI India.
Dhirendra Pratap Singh has been promoted to rooms division manager at Four Points by Sheraton Navi Mumbai. With over 16 years of experience in revenue management and rooms division, Singh has worked with renowned brands across the country such as Oberoi-Trident, Intercontinental, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Marriott International. Singh has successfully completed his hotel management from IHM, Patna and also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in business administration.
Grand Mercure Mysuru, an AccorHotels property, has appointed Tushar Garg as the new director of sales and marketing. In his role, Garg will be responsible for leading and further improving all aspects of the sales and marketing communications, promoting brand strategies and providing the best of Grand Mercure hospitality experience to the guests.
A seasoned hotelier, Garg has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. Prior to joining AccorHotels, Garg was the associate director of sales at Hyatt Raipur. Garg started his career with Preferred Hotels & Resorts in the USA and then went on to hold various positions across leading hotel chains in India and abroad.
Dietmar Kielnhofer has been appointed general manager at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. Prior to joining JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar, Kielnhofer served as the complex general manager at Starwood Hyderabad, India.
With over 30 years of industry exposure across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Kielnhofer possesses major strength in hotel operations, marketing, food and beverage, human resources and finance. His expertise includes delivering above average financial performance, market share growth, improving service standards as well as maintaining excellent relationships with stakeholders.
He was a board member of the Executive Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce Hyderabad and was also appointed as Vice President and Secretary of the Hyderabad Convention and Visitors Bureau (HCVB) in 2016. Under Dietmar’s leadership The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace was also voted as the Best Luxury Hotel 2016 by the Indian Hospitality Awards West and South.