Dr. Jyotsna Suri
Chairperson & Managing Director
Bharat Hotels Limited
Dr. Jyotsna Suri has been associated with Bharat Hotels since its inception. In the year 1987, she became the Group’s Joint Managing Director and in the year 2006, she took on the mantle of Chairperson & Managing Director. Since then, she has been the driving force of the Group’s operations.
On November 19, 2008, Dr. Suri charted a highly successful brand change for the company. All luxury hotels now fly ‘THE LALIT’ flag under The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, as a tribute to the company’s Founder Chairman Mr. Lalit Suri.
Under her stewardship, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group (an enterprise of Bharat Hotels Limited) is today the largest privately owned Hotel Chain in India, offering seventeen 5 Star luxury hotels, with eleven operational properties (The LaLiT New Delhi, The LaLiT Mumbai, The LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort Goa, The LaLiT Grand Palace Srinagar, The LaLiT Ashok Bangalore, The LaLiT Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur, The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho, The LaLiT Resort & Spa Bekal (Kerala), The LaLiT Jaipur, The LaLiT Chandigarh & The LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata) and six under restoration / development in India and overseas.
Dr. Jyotsna Suri has been instrumental in the Group’s foray into mid-segment hotels under the brand – ‘The Lalit Traveller’. The first hotel under this brand opened in Jaipur, followed by Khajuraho, with over 25 more hotels planned in the next five years in Amritsar, Pune, Dehradun, Ludhiana, to name a few.
In 2013 she launched The Lalit Suri Hospitality School in Faridabad offering customized programmes in Hotel Management. Spread over 5 acres, the entire campus will be environment friendly and is going to be LEED & GRIHA certified.
A multifaceted personality, Dr. Suri is a patron of art, culture, sports and education. Her social initiative Project Disha is implemented under the CSR policy of Bharat Hotels, assists school students and local youth have access to ‘quality education leading to employment’. The area of intervention includes establishment of a library and supplementary teaching & providing employment oriented vocational training in the hospitality sector including computer literacy, personality development, spoken English courses & other skills. These centres are currently operating at three locations across India – Khajuraho, Udaipur, & Bekal. Two more centres are planned in Kolkata and Dehradun.
Other trusts that she has been working closely with, are The Subros Education Society, SAVERA (a body doing work for the underprivileged), 24/7 Women’s Security (focuses on women safety & training), SEEDS (skills training and education for the needy), KHUSHI, The Blind School and The Spastic Society.
Dr. Jyotsna Suri holds various portfolios with Industry Associations, namely – President of FICCI; Chairperson of FICCI Tourism Committee; only Indian woman member on the International Executive Committee of WTTC; Founder Member of WTTC (II) and Executive Member of Hotel Association of India. Under her direction, FICCI introduced ‘The Great Indian Travel Bazaar’ in the year 2008 and ‘The Great Domestic Tourism Bazaar’ in the year 2011 – which have been greatly appreciated by buyers and sellers alike. Today, these conclaves are keenly awaited events in the annual calendar of the travel and tourism fraternity.
“We develop destinations and not just hotels”- Dr. Jyotsna Suri
Dr. Jyotsna Suri’s vision of ‘Developing Destinations and not just hotels’ is bearing fruit. The Group’s successful intervention in Kashmir, Khajuraho, Bekal (Kerala), Udaipur, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Jaipur and Chandigarh has created an awakening of the cultural richness of these destinations amongst the local population. It is the people at the destinations that account for the success of the Group’s hotels and therefore the initiatives involve the local population, their handicrafts, culture, food, thereby giving them training and employment to boost the economic environment. The people of these regions have come forward with great enthusiasm and The LaLiT is now a successful catalyst for cultural rejuvenation and energy in those regions. In addition, with Dr. Suri’s vision, The Group has been able to revive interest in these destinations in the Domestic Tourism Markets.
Dr. Suri feels that economic benefits of tourism will bring peace and prosperity to the region as it acts as an economic multiplier; giving jobs and livelihood to many. Some of the unique initiatives taken by her to develop destinations are:
Determined to put Drass, the second coldest habitat on earth and its Polo heritage on the map once again, Dr. Suri conceptualized the idea of organizing a Polo Tournament in the region. In August 2009, a polo match was held for the first time between The Lalit team and the Drass local team. Since then, four such tournaments have been organized with around 15,000 locals gathering every year to watch the match. During the event, The Group hosted lunch for the locals, followed by distribution of blankets.
In 2011, under her leadership, The Group introduced the longest ever ‘Shikarathon’ over the Dal Lake in Srinagar. This annual event is an effort to promote the traditional Shikara, the main stay of the local population. The Shikara race spanning over 5kms starts from The Lalit Point at Dal Lake and ends at SKICC Ground. Shikara Boatmen participate from four locations: – Nigeen Lake, Dal Lake, Manasbal and Jhelum river with a total of 100 Shikaras from each of the 4 areas.
The Lalit Ice Hockey was organized for the second time in January 2013 in the mountainous region of Leh, to promote and develop the sport as well as the destination, in the country’s highest ice-skating ring, at 3483 meters above sea level.
Valley of Legends, held at The LaLiT Grand Palace Srinagar, reunited eminent cine personalities including the likes of Mr. Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ms. Shabana Azmi, Ms. Asha Parekh and many more under one roof. In continuation of the 100 years celebrations of The Grand Palace, known as The LaLiT Grand Palace Srinagar since the year 1998, the Group held this special initiative in September 2011 to revive Kashmir’s glory and its long association with the Hindi film industry.
As Pony Wallahs are an institution of tourism in Gulmarg and major stakeholders in the prosperity of the region, The Group organised ‘The 1st Lalit Ponython’ in Gulmarg in September 2013 with the aim of educating the Pony walahs on the benefits of responsible tourism. This 7 km long Pony Race saw participation from 100 Pony walahs.
The Group also introduced The Lalit Caddies Golf Tournament in the year 2009 at various locations. Dr. Suri recognizes everyone’s contributions and believes that caddies play a vital role in the game of Golf. The Group had initiated and successfully conducted caddy tournaments in Delhi, Srinagar, Nainital and Bangalore. The event has been generating great interest and participation every year.
The Group organises The Lalit Utsav in Bekal and The Lalit Kabaddi Tournament annually promoting local culture, sports and tradition. The LaLiT Resort and Spa Bekal also organized the second Lalit Cycle-on in January 2013 with 1040 cyclists from local villages, schools and universities participating in it. The race started from The LaLiT Resort and Spa Bekal with the finish line at the Bekal Fort, capturing the enthralling beauty of this amazing destination.
To stimulate the local youth and promote sports and fitness, the Group organized The Lalit Suri Football Cup and The Carnival Ano Novo as a part of the Group’s ‘Festival of Canacona’ at The LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort Goa. The ground where these matches were held was developed by The Group, including a club house with lockers and rest room facilities for players and spectator stands. Replacing The Lalit Suri Beach Cycle Polo, the fourth edition of the festival in 2012 witnessed the first ever The Lalit Run Cycle Swim and The Lalit Beach Body. The Carnival Ano Novo was celebrated with the residents of Canacona including colourful floats prepared by them, costumed folk dancers of the region, and a spectacular parade. The festival witnessed participation of more than 10,000 local residents.
The Group organized Holi Parv at The LaLiT Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur with the core objective of making the guests & locals experience the Indian culture.
An advocate of environment friendly practices, Dr. Suri organized the Green Initiative at The LaLiT Ashok Bangalore which encouraged Bangalorians to plant 1.5 Lakh saplings with the hope of stabilizing the diminishing water table of the Garden City.
The Group is the only hospitality chain that wholeheartedly supported the Commonwealth Queen’s Baton Relay across the country starting at Srinagar on to, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mangalore, Panjim, Mumbai, Gwalior, and Jaipur till its culmination on October 2, 2010 at St. Columba’s School, Delhi. Alongside the event, over 5000 copies of an informative film made by The Group were distributed to schools, institutions, International Press and The Commonwealth Organizing Committee Members from across the world.
In May 2013, Dr. Suri organized the 2nd edition of The Lalit Walk-a-Thon for Dabbawallas at The Lalit Mumbai, as a salute to the indefatigable spirit of Mumbai’s Dabbawallas who have won accolades around the world for their operational efficiency and impeccable service standards.
To promote the region of Khajuraho – Chitrakoot, Dr. Suri initiated The Lalit Arts Festival in 2008. It is held annually and celebrates Shiv Parvati Vivaha on Maha Shivraatri; with The Lalit Tipaiya-thon, an annual event to recognize the efforts of Rickshawallas and to promote eco-friendly means of transport; Planting 1 lakh saplings at the Beni Sagar Dam to expand the region’s green belt; The Lalit Chaupal that brought together civic and cultural officials of Khajuraho and nearby tourist attractions, to promote symbiotic cooperation. These events involve the local population and promote the art and cultural heritage of the region.
In continuation of this philosophy, Chalo Chitrakoot Campaign- a 10 day Ramayana Festival at the picturesque abode of Lord Rama was organized for the second time in October 2013 on the banks of river Mandakini. Conceptualized by Dr. Suri, the campaign showcased a cycle expedition which involved 101 local cyclists, crossing 73 villages across 144 kms within the Khajuraho and Chitrakoot region. Dr. Suri documented this in a film– “Khajurpura – The Legacy of Khajuraho” showcasing the Khajuraho and Chitrakoot region where Rama, Sita and Laxmana spent 11 and a half years of their fourteen years of exile.
Awards & Recognition:
During her tenure as the CMD of Bharat Hotels, Dr. Jyotsna Suri has received several recognitions for her contribution to tourism, including:
• HICSA 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for Mr. Lalit Suri
• India Travel Award 2015 (December, 2015)
• Amity corporate Excellence Award 2015 for Social and Industry Leadership
• DEVI Award 2014 for Dynamism & Innovation by The New Indian Express Group
• Gallery of Legends – India Travel Award 2014 (Northern India)
• Travel & Hospitality Award 2014 for ‘Most Powerful Woman in the Industry’
• Amity Corporate Excellence Award 2015 for Social and Industry Leadership
• Listed amongst the Top 50 Business Power Women in Asia by Forbes Asia (2014)
• Listed amongst the Top 50 Power women in India by Verve magazine (2014)
• Listed amongst the Top 20 Power Women in India by Femina magazine (2014)
• Rotary Shreyas Awards 2012-13 for redefining the standards of Hospitality and Tourism industry
• Asia’s Leading Woman in Hospitality Award at the Women in Leadership (WIL) Asia Awards (2012)
• The Most Popular Woman in the Travel industry voted by TravTalk readers 2012
• Human Achievers Foundation Award 2012
• The Spa Personality of the Year by GeoSpa Asia Spa Awards 2011
• Listed amongst the 25 Most Powerful Women in Business (2011 & 2012) and amongst the 20 Most Powerful Women in India (2009) by Business Today
• World Travel Market Global Award (2011) – the only woman to receive the award
• IATO Hall of Fame Award (2012) and Award during 23rd IATO Annual Convention (2007)
• Honorary Degree of ‘Doctor of Laws’ from the University of Warwick UK for her contribution to tourism
• ADTOI Award 2011 for being the ‘crusader’ of Domestic Tourism
• Rotary Club of Delhi 2011 – Lifetime Achievement Award for Vocational Excellence
• Award from SPIC MACAY for being an ardent patron of art and culture
The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group has been recognized with a number of awards for its unique initiatives including:
• Most Recognizable Brand of Indian Origin by Planman Media (2016)
• Think Tourism – Think India “Outstanding Contribution to the Tourism Sector (Hospitality) 2014 by ASSOCHAM India
• National Award for Excellence in Hospitality Education 2011-12: Hotel Undertaking Skill Development in the Hospitality Sector.
Divya Suri Singh
The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group
Divya Suri Singh is the eldest daughter of the late Mr. Lalit Suri and Dr. Jyotsna Suri, the current Chairperson & Managing Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group.
An alumna of Convent of Jesus & Mary, New Delhi, Divya Suri Singh graduated in Commerce from the prestigious Shriram College of Commerce, Delhi University and further went on to pursue her Bachelor of Law (LLB) from Kings College London in 1998. She is trained under and then subsequently worked with established lawyers – Arun Jaitley and Mukul Rohtagi for over 8 years. She is also a trained Classical Dancer. She, now ably leads the Legal and Company Affairs of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group.
Besides spearheading the legal cell, Divya also heads the Procurement function for the group. Since taking over the portfolio she has been instrumental in streamlining the Corporate Purchase department leading to substantial savings for the group.
A multi faceted personality, she spearheads The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group’s initiative of ‘Developing Destinations and not just Hotels’, to popularize destinations and thereby boost tourism. Under her guidance, the group has been organizing highly successful annual events like Polo Tournament in Drass, Ice Hockey in Leh, Shikarathon in Srinagar, The Lalit Arts Festival in Khajuraho, Kabaddi Tournament in Bekal.
She is a member of The Delhi High Court Bar Association and was the Chairperson of The Young FICCI Ladies Organization (YFLO) 2012- 2013. Since 2014 she is a Member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group
Deeksha Suri is the youngest daughter of Mr. Lalit Suri, Founder Chairman and Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson & Managing Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group. In 2006, she took upon the mantle of an Executive Director and spearheads the Sales, Revenue Management, Human Resource and Internal Audit functions across the 11 operational properties of the Group.
Ms. Suri infuses a fresh perspective to the Group’s core management team. She is actively involved in creating a focused effort across all levels of the organisation towards revenue and efficiency maximisation and crafting an employee value proposition that is representative of the brand promise.
On the academic front, Ms. Suri is an alumnus of the Convent of Jesus & Mary, New Delhi. In 2000, she graduated with a first class Bachelors of Commerce (Honors) degree from the prestigious Hindu College, Delhi University. Furthermore, she is a Post Graduate in Business Management from the London School of Economics. Prior to re-joining the family business in 2006, Ms. Suri gained invaluable experience as a Business Consultant with the Hay Group where she spent over two years working extensively on strategy and operational issues with leading companies in APAC and EMEA. Besides this, she is a travel enthusiast and maintains a disciplined and challenging personal fitness regime.
Awards & Recognition:
In 2012, Ms. Suri was listed amongst the ‘25 Most Influential Women Professionals in India’ by India Today Woman
In 2012, Ms. Suri was recognised amongst ‘Top Young and Successful Leaders’ by The Times of India
In 2007, Ms. Suri was awarded the ‘Young Achiever Award’ by The Hindu College Old Students Association
The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group
Keshav Suri is the youngest Executive Director at The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group and is currently involved in developing plans and strategies for growth and expansion. He is also tasked for operations and management of the current properties and is spearheading the new project, The LaLiT London. At a strategic level, he is keenly looking into revitalizing the Food & Beverages portfolio of the Group.
He is the brain behind ‘Kitty Su’ which has been awarded as ‘Best Night Club’ in Delhi by Times Food and Nightlife Awards three years consecutively. Now he is taking Kitty Su across The Lalit Hotels in Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Bangalore.
Before joining The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, he has worked at Standard Chartered Bank and Unilever.
An alumnus of St. Columbus School, New Delhi, Keshav Suri graduated in Law and Business from the University of Warwick and has a Master’s Degree in International Management from Kings College, London followed by an LLM Degree from School of African & Oriental Studies(SAOS), London.
With an impressive academic background and sound technical knowledge of the company’s operations and departments, Keshav Suri has now set his sight on making The Lalit a global brand to be reckoned with.
In 2016, Keshav Suri was also awarded as Face of the Future by India Travel Awards 2016 (North Region).