Varun Chhibber has been appointed general manager of The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences. Chhibber joins the team with close to two decades of experience. In his new role, Chhibber will oversee the day-to-day operations along with the senior leadership team while creating bespoke experiences. Chhibber was the general manager of The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel Delhi where under his leadership, the hotel transitioned into one of the most preferred MICE destinations in Delhi NCR. Early on in his career, Varun worked with various Oberoi properties across locations and also had a stint in the Maldives where he worked with Velassaru Universal Resort, a luxury getaway. An alumnus of IHM Mumbai, Chhibber holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree along with a post-graduate diploma in hotel management from The Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development (OCLD).
Hilton Mumbai International Airport has appointed Vipul Mishra as their commercial director. Mishra comes with 14 years’ experience of working with a variety of hotels in India and abroad.
Prior to joining Hilton Mumbai International Airport, he has worked with many well-known chains like, Hyatt, IHG, and Jumeirah.
Mishra is an alumni of Mumbai University, having a graduate degree in Hotel Management.
Ojas Vagal has been appointed assistant director of people & culture at Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru. Ojas brings to the table a rich and varied experience spanning thirteen years with Hyatt Hotels International which took him from Mumbai to Goa via Bangalore, where he played a pivotal role in the rebranding of the first Hyatt hotels in the country.
Vagal started his career in operations as F&B Server in Grand Hyatt Mumbai and ascended progressively as assistant restaurant manager, learning manager, employee relations manager and human resources manager, bringing with him hands-on knowledge of operations within human resources.
In his current role, he will be strengthening the people-centric culture of Four Seasons in Bengaluru.
Manuj Ralhan has been appointed hotel manager at Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru.
Ralhan holds a Diploma in Hospitality from the American Hotel and Lodging Association and has completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management from the University of Bengaluru. His two decades of hotel experience have spanned a range of the choicest luxury brands including The Oberoi, Taj, Shangri-La, Conrad, Intercontinental and JW Marriott, where his last assignment was in Pune as director of operations.
With four previous openings under his belt, Ralhan specialises in pre-opening hotels, especially in the luxury space, such as the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. He has spearheaded numerous food and beverage divisions and is returning to Four Seasons after more than 10 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.