AccorHotels has promoted Amisha Gutgutia as its director of communications and loyalty programme for the India region. In her new role, Gutgutia will spearhead the corporate communications function for AccorHotels PAN India and manage the Le Club AccorHotels loyalty programme.
A seasoned communications professional with over a decade’s industry experience, Gutgutia has deep expertise in leading end-to-end communication campaigns and managing guest loyalty in the hospitality space.
Hyatt Regency Chennai has appointed Sohaib Kidwai as director of sales and marketing. A result-oriented professional with more than 11 years’ experience in the areas of sales, business development, strategic planning and team management, Kidwai brings a wealth of expertise to the sales and marketing function.
At Hyatt Regency Chennai, Kidwai’s core responsibilities will include maximizing revenues through sales and marketing strategies, exploring business opportunities through events.
Kidwai has previously worked with various five star and luxury properties including the Goa Marriott, Renaissance Mumbai, Grand Hyatt Mumbai and Park Hyatt Chennai. Prior to joining Hyatt Regency Chennai, he was with Hyatt Pune as director of sales and marketing.
JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar has appointed Nikita Gonsalves as director of sales. Prior to joining the JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar, Gonsalves was the director of sales at the Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa.
With nine years of experience in the hospitality industry, she brings on board notable expertise in developing strategies for pricing, weddings, catering and events, as well as overall revenue management including handling online travel agencies. Developing talent is also one of her key focus areas in all the assignments she has handled.
Rimal D’Silva has been appointed director of human resources at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. Prior to joining JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar, D’Silva was the director of human resources at Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai after a career in training and HR in banking and hotels.
On completion of three years at Marriott, D’Silva joined Standard Chartered Bank in Mumbai as assistant manager – organizational learning, where she took care of a pan-India induction and orientation programme for all new recruits. She was also in charge of all learning and development initiatives for the retail banking division of the bank.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has appointed Rajit Sukumaran as chief development officer in the Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region.
In his new role, Sukumaran will head the development team and lead the IHG’s growth strategy as a partner for successful hotel owners and investors globally, currently operating across nearly 40 countries and territories in AMEA.Sukumaran brings more than 12 years’ experience in development, acquisitions and feasibility from his previous role as senior vice president, acquisitions and development Asia Pacific at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Prior to joining Starwood, Sukumaran worked in the corporate finance division of PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore where he was involved with cross-border corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions.
Chef Avijit Deb Sharma has been appointed as the executive chef of Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport. With an illustrious career of over 14 years in the hospitality industry, Chef Avijit brings with him an extensive experience in handling operations, staffing and training, developing and implementing concepts and new trends with experience from France, Spain, Italy and the Middle East.
Trained from the Institute of Hotel Management Bangalore, Chef Avijit began his culinary journey at the Oberoi Amarvilas Agra. He then went on to work with well-established Indian brands like the Leela and Taj group for over five years. Before joining Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport, Chef Avijit was the Executive Sous Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore. He was also the Executive Chef of Park Hyatt Resort & Spa Goa prior to this.
AccorHotels has announced the appointment of Madhu Joshi as the director of marketing for AccorHotels India. In her new role, Joshi will be responsible for providing marketing leadership for AccorHotels’ growing portfolio of brands operating across a fast expanding network in the country.
Joshi is replacing Siddhartha Umashanker who leaves the group after five years of distinguished contribution. A seasoned marketing and communications professional, Joshi brings over 16 years of experience across hospitality, FMCG
and retail industry with proven expertise in corporate communications, brand management and digital marketing. Joshi joined the AccorHotels group in 2009 at Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and Hyderabad International Convention Centre as its marketing and communications manager. After a brief stint away from the group, Joshi returned in 2013.
Joshi has been felicitated with numerous awards, including the coveted ‘Asian Customer Engagement Award 2015’ for ‘Best Engaging Brand Promotion’, ‘Most emerging brand in India’ and the ‘National Award for Excellence in Digital Marketing & Social Media – Best use of Social Media Marketing and Best Website’ for Hotel Formule1.
Belmond has announced the appointment of David Grossniklaus as senior director of development Middle East, Africa and India, with immediate effect. Based in Belmond’s newly-opened development office in the Dubai International Financial Centre, Grossniklaus will focus on Belmond’s new hotel developments and conversion opportunities. With more than 16 years of hospitality industry experience, Grossniklaus joins Belmond from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where he held the position of associate director acquisitions and development for the Middle East and Africa. Grossniklaus is a Swiss national fluent in French and English.
AccorHotels has promoted Jean-Michel Cassé as its Chief Operating Officer – India and South Asia. In his most recent role as Senior VP for AccorHotels, India, Jean-Michel has played a pivotal role in the group’s success in India. Under his leadership, AccorHotels now has 46 hotels in the country.
Cassé will lead teams in the region to ensure AccorHotels’ continued growth momentum in India and South Asia. A seasoned hotelier, Cassé brings more than three decades of industry experience and a deep understanding of varied cultures, having worked across multiple international markets in Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Jean-Michel Cassé was awarded a Gold Bernache for Professionalism by the chairman of AccorHotels in 2004. In 2007, he was conferred with the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite”, a French honour for distinguished civil and military achievements by the erstwhile French President. By appointment of the French Prime Minister, Jean-Michel is also a special adviser of the French Foreign Trade and Vice President and General Secretary of the committee in India.
Birgit Holm has been appointed as general manager for the Hyatt Regency Kolkata. Holm, a graduate of the Copenhagen Hotel and Restaurant School, holds a degree in financial and management accounting and started her hospitality career as a front desk manager at the Hotel Kong Fredrik Copenhagen. She worked in New Delhi where she held the position of VP international sales for The Oberoi Group Corporate Office. In 2009, Birgit took over her first GM position opening both the Anya Hotels & Resorts New Delhi and the Dusit Devarana New Delhi.
General manager of the JW Marriott Kolkata Ranju Alex is the first woman to become the multi-property vice-president for the East.
She was previously general manager of Goa Marriott Resort & Spa after completing a successful tenure with the first Marriott property in Pune as the GM of Courtyard by Marriott, Pune Hinjewadi. In her current role, Ranju is responsible for overseeing all aspects of operational and strategic management of JW Marriott Kolkata.
AccorHotels has announced the appointment of Ajith Nair as the new director of sales and marketing for Novotel Imagica Khopoli.
A seasoned hotelier, Nair has been in the hospitality industry for more than 16 years. Prior to joining AccorHotels, Nair was the director of sales and marketing at Radisson Blu Resort, Karjat. He was also the director of sales and marketing at Radisson Blu Resort.
After earning his Bachelor Degree in Hotel Management, from The Institute of Hotel Management, Mangalore, Nair started his career from Hotel South Park, Trivandrum and then went on to hold various positions across leading hotel chains in India.