Our advisory council

Proud to be supported by industry leaders
Our connection with global leaders in hospitality

We’re proud to have a strong industry connect and Advisory Council of global leaders unlike any other college. Comprised of thought leaders and heads of various industries spanning across hospitality, education, and business, our advisory board ensures constant development towards bettering our educational approach and provide you with leading placement and internship opportunities in brands across the globe.

Frits van Paasschen

Former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Author of Amazon Bestseller ‘The Disruptors’ Feast’

Yateendra Sinh

Principal at YS & Associates

Nirupa Shankar

Executive Director, Brigade Hospitality

Ingo Schweder

Founder & CEO, GOCO Hospitality

Neeraj Govil

Area Vice President - South Asia Marriott International

Kapil Chopra

Founder and CEO - Postcard Hotels and Resorts, Chairman of the Board - Eazydiner, Former President – The Oberoi Group


Cassé Chief Operating Officer, India and South Asia, AccorHotels

Rajiv Kaul

President, Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts

Ajay Bakaya

Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels

Ragini Chopra

Senior Vice President, Interglobe enterprises

Rohit Khosla

Executive Vice President Operations, Taj

Vivek Bhalla

Vice President, Southwest Asia, Intercontinental Hotels Group

Sunjae Sharma

Vice President – Operations, Hyatt Hotels

Navjit Ahluwalia

‎Senior Vice President and Country Head, India - ‎Hilton

Vicky Ratnani

Gourmand, Food Connoisseur, Celebrity Chef

Avi Arya

Chief Mogul @ internetmoguls

Zubin Saxena

Managing Director and Vice President of Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group

Frits van Paasschen Former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Author of Amazon Bestseller ‘The Disruptors’ Feast'

Frits van Paasschen is the former CEO of Starwood Hotels and Coors Brewing Company. Prior to being CEO, he was President of Nike Europe, Middle East and Africa and Vice President of Finance at Disney.

He began his career as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey. Mr van Paasschen has served on the corporate boards of Oakley, Jones Apparel, and Barclays. He was Chairman of the European-American Industrial Council and a board member of both the US-China and US-India Business Councils, and is currently a non-executive director at Royal DSM and Williams-Sonoma. Mr van Paasschen was the Dean's Distinguished Lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and a Conti Professor at the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. As an MBA student, he lectured in economics as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard College. Mr. van Paasschen is an avid traveller and has had numerous visits to India across the span of three decades.

Yateendra Sinh Principal at YS & Associates

He is an alumnus of The Oberoi School of Hotel Management (now OCLD), India’s foremost institution of higher learning in the hospitality industry. He has held various senior executive roles in hotels, townships, and large IT infrastructure networks.

Yateendra has trained and consulted clients on strategic and operational issues in 50+ countries, and supports the development of innovative solutions within the hospitality industry worldwide.

Nirupa Shankar Executive Director, Brigade Hospitality

As a second generation entrepreneur at Brigade, Nirupa oversees the company’s hospitality ventures. During her 8 years in Brigade she has helped launch 3 hotels, signed up more than 12 for the pipeline, of which 8 are already in various stages of construction. of Brigade REAP.

Nirupa also conceptualised and successfully launched the multi-award winning lounge bar HIGH Ultra Lounge in Bangalore, the highest point for food and beverage in South India.

Nirupa recently launched India’s first and only real estate accelerator called Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program, an initiative to mentor high-tech start-ups in real estate, including hospitality.

She has been identified as one of CNBC’s “Young Turks” and has previously won the:
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, by Future Woman Leader Summit Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 by Construction Week Restaurant Owner of the Year – India 2016 at the Hospitality Leaders’ Industry Choice Awards Rising Star Award 2015 - South Asia by the International Society of Hospitality Consultants

Nirupa is passionate about reading, travelling and writing. Her articles are regularly published in the news and trade journals. She loves sports and recently completed her first triathlon. She is trained as a Six sigma Black Belt.

Ingo Schweder Founder & CEO, GOCO Hospitality

Founder & CEO of GOCO Hospitality, and Managing Director of Horwath HTL Health and Wellness, Ingo Schweder brings more than 30 years of experience from the fields of spa and hospitality, and has been involved in the design, development and worldwide operation of numerous iconic hotels and wellness destinations.

Under his guidance, Ananda in the Himalayas, the globally recognised destination spa, was established Ingo has been a board member of Mandarin Oriental and earlier Corporate Director of Operations for Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.

His vision for GOCO Hospitality is to grow the company in the vastly expanding wellness real estate and hospitality segment. The company’s reputation after only five years now speaks for itself. GOCO Hospitality has become the go-to wellness company for hospitality giants like Bulgari, Ritz-Carlton, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, Wynn Resorts, MGM, Emaar Hospitality and Four Seasons. In addition, GOCO Hospitality recently purchased the 85-acre Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Southern California and is expanding it with additional wellness real estate anchored by a 125-room GOCO wellness retreat.

Neeraj Govil Area Vice President - South Asia Marriott International

With over twenty years of hospitality experience spanning across multiple countries and various Marriott International brands, Neeraj Govil is responsible for strategic leadership, establishing brand positioning and expanding effective market share of the Marriott International brand portfolio in South Asia.

Kapil Chopra Founder and CEO - Postcard Hotels and Resorts, Chairman of the Board - Eazydiner, Former President – The Oberoi Group

An alumni of The Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development (OCLD), Mr. Chopra's experience as a hotelier spans over nineteen years.

Most recently, Mr. Chopra was the Executive Vice President of the Group and was instrumental in opening two flagship properties - The Oberoi and Trident in Gurgaon. Mr. Chopra was also voted "Hotelier of the Year" by Hindustan Times in 2012. The Oberoi Group was voted 'World's Leading Luxury Hotel Brand' by the World Travel Awards in 2012. Furthermore, under Mr. Chopra's leadership, The Oberoi, Gurgaon was voted 'World's Leading Luxury Hotel' by the World Travel Awards for the second consecutive year in 2012. The Oberoi, Gurgaon was also awarded 'Best Hotel for Business in India' by Condé Nast Traveller, India, Readers' Travel Awards 2012.

Jean-Michel Cassé Chief Operating Officer, India and South Asia, AccorHotels

Jean-Michel Cassé is the Chief Operating Officer [COO] - India and South Asia for AccorHotels.

He is responsible for leading teams in the region to ensure AccorHotels’ continued growth momentum in India and South Asia led by the Group’s fervent focus on guests first and foremost while performing strongly for its owners and investors. Under his leadership AccorHotels has a fast growing network of hotels in India spanning the luxury to economy segments across ten brands.

A seasoned hotelier, Jean-Michel has over 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.

Widely recognised for his outstanding skills, expertise and contribution, 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.

Rajiv Kaul President, Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts

A seasoned hotelier, Kaul began his hospitality career with The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts in 1978, before finally taking over as Vice-President of Oberoi Hotels Egypt.

Subsequent to this, he was Vice-President of Taj Mumbai Hotels, and General Manager of The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. Kaul joined Leela as Senior Vice-President in March 2006, taking over operations at the Group across six properties as well as the planning for The Leela Palace, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi and the Leela Palace, Chennai. In 2010, The Leela Hotel Group announced the elevation of Rajiv Kaul as its President, making him responsible for new launches that the Group earmarked in its expansion plans.

Ajay Bakaya Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels

Ajay Bakaya is a seasoned hotelier, responsible for overseeing the operations, development and expansion of Sarovar Hotels, which have a portfolio with over seventy-five hotels across fifty destinations in India and Africa.

Ajay joined Sarovar over two decades ago, and has been instrumental in the success story of the company. He led its growth from their first hotel in Mumbai, to today’s enviable portfolio that encompasses Sarovar Premiere, Sarovar Portico, and Hometel brands. A postgraduate from Cornell-Essec, France, Ajay is a graduate from the Oberoi School of Hotel Management. He has a passion for travel and is a keen cyclist. He was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India and the “Hall of Fame” award by Hotelier India.

Ragini Chopra Senior Vice President, Interglobe enterprises

Ragini Chopra was the first lady management trainee to graduate from the Oberoi School of Hotel Management in 1975. Thereafter, she spent 28 years with Oberoi Hotels and Resorts in various senior capacities in operations, sales and marketing, branding and launch of the groups Luxury Resorts, headed both corporate sales and marketing and corporate communications, culminating in her assignment as Vice President Business Development for the group.

Nationally regarded as a travel & tourism and aviation industry professional, Mrs. Ragini Chopra serves on various industry committees on tourism (India Initiatives) and civil aviation, including the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), CII National Committee Civil Aviation and Tourism, ASSOCHAM’s Expert Committee on Tourism and Civil Aviation, FICCI National Committee on Civil Aviation and Tourism and the Executive Committee of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Mrs. Ragini Chopra worked closely with the team that conceptualised and launched ‘Incredible India’ – the global campaign for marketing Indian tourism, and continues to actively promote tourism as a member of ‘Experience India Society’ and WTTC India Initiative.

Rohit Khosla Executive Vice President Operations, Taj

Rohit Khosla, a postgraduate in hotel management from The Institute of Hotel Management Mumbai, joined the Taj Group in 1999 as Executive Assistant Manager, Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi.

During his time with the Group, he has held several positions in India, Yemen, Maldives and Sri Lanka, and has shown unwavering support and dedication to the Taj brand. In this role, Rohit oversees all of the Group’s hotels in Northern and Eastern states of India (Rajasthan, Delhi, J&K, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam), as well as the Taj Dubai, Taj Tashi, Bhutan and the Operations of Taj Safaris. He is currently based in New Delhi.

Vivek Bhalla Vice President, Southwest Asia, Intercontinental Hotels Group

Most recently, Vivek was Director of Operations – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines for the IHG group where he was responsible for the operations of the IHG’s hotels across all brands in those countries.

ishBefore joining IHG, Vivek was Co-Founder and Managing Director of CASAM Hospitality - an asset management and consulting firm, with ownership clients across South and Southeast Asia. He was also Senior Director Operations – South Asia with Starwood Hotels and Resorts and was responsible for the Pre-Opening and Operations of the groups 40+ hotels in India and South Asia. Prior to this, Vivek held senior management roles in Sales and Marketing as Director of Revenue Management for Asia Pacific for Starwood Hotels, Revenue Manager, Corporate - Hyatt International Hotels and Revenue Manager, South East Asia - Hyatt International Hotels.

Vivek holds a Master’s Degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration

Sunjae Sharma Vice President – Operations, Hyatt Hotels

As the Vice President of Operations - India, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Sunjae Sharma is at the helm of executing the company's operational and growth strategy in India. With over a decade of valuable association with Hyatt, he has held several leadership positions within the company.

A true hotelier at heart, Sunjae has been in the hospitality industry for close to 28 years and has contributed to several hospitality brands, prior to starting his stint with Hyatt in 2001. Before assuming his current position, Sharma was Area Vice President for South & West India and General Manager of Grand Hyatt Mumbai, where he oversaw the strategic and financial performance of 16 hotels. Sunjae started his Hyatt innings with Grand Hyatt Delhi and has handled multiple roles at Hyatt’s most iconic properties in cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Hampi, Kathmandu and Kolkata. A graduate from the prestigious Institute of Hotel Management; Sunjae’s humility and positive attitude have been his key strengths. His purpose driven approach and ‘care at the core of everything that we do’ philosophy is evident from strong leadership profile.

Navjit Ahluwalia Senior Vice President and Country Head, India - ‎Hilton

Navjit oversees the operations of more than 17 trading hotels across India and the Indian subcontinent, with a key mandate to drive and grow Hilton’s portfolio of brands as best in class in India. Navjit has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry with leadership positions with Marriott International, HVS, and Oberoi Hotels.

Prior to this, Navjit spent over 13 years with Marriott International in key leadership roles, including Senior Vice President, where he grew the company’s various brands across South Asia. He has also worked with HVS in New York and New Delhi, as well as worked for over a decade in hotel operations with numerous leading hotel chains including Oberoi and ITC Hotels in India, and the Claridge’s and Dorchester hotels in London.

Navjit is an alumnus of the Oberoi School of Hotel Management, and graduated from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, and holds an MBA in Hospitality Management from the Institut de Management Hotelier International (IMHI) in Paris.

Vicky Ratnani Gourmand, Food Connoisseur, Celebrity Chef

Vicky has always been an explorer & a lover for flavour & taste. Being a chef for the most prestigious ocean liner company Cunard and helming the largest kitchen at sea, Vicky has travelled to some of the most exotic places, worked with 37 nationalities and cooked for Queen Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela, Rod Stewart, and developed a style of cooking where produce is king.

Global influences, local ingredients and modern techniques are the trinity of his cuisines. Aurus & Nido in Mumbai were the restaurants where Vicky created some exceptional food, and with both restaurants considered among the top eateries in the country. Television is another medium where Vicky shares his recipes and belief that people can cook & eat at home very well. His vegetarian cook book ‘Vicky Goes Veg’ won the prestigious Gourmand Award for Best Vegetarian Cook 2015.

Avi Arya Chief Mogul @ internetmoguls

Avi Arya, father of two girls, 6 dogs, and a street car racer turned hotelier, created 2 iconic boutique hotels in Delhi and Goa and then founded Internet Moguls - known as Asia’s digital agency for the hospitality industry and ranked among the top 100 digital icons of the region and top 25 online influencers by Influencive.

Avi spends his time conducting workshops for hospitality brands across the planet. His award-winning agency has 225 moguls that help hotels, restaurants, travel companies, tourism boards and airlines find digital revenues and create strategies for their teams and clients. His online courses have had 11,000 students enrolled and he is busy speaking on many stages, evangelizing both digital and social. His business cards says, "social media is the biggest opportunity in the history of business". His favourite 3 words are "Thank You God".

Zubin Saxena Managing Director and Vice President of Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group

Zubin Saxena is Radisson Hotel Group’s Managing Director and Vice President of Operations, South Asia. He is also a member of the company’s Asia Pacific executive committee.

With more than two decades of global hospitality experience, Zubin has held senior and leadership positions with prominent multinational companies such as InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and HVS-New York.

Prior to his current role, Zubin was Radisson Hotel Group’s Vice President of Development, South Asia and successfully spearheaded the company’s regional expansion. During this period, he was instrumental in adding more than 50 hotels to the group’s portfolio, making Radisson Hotel Group one of the largest and fastest growing international hotel chains in South Asia.

A strategic thinker and skilled executor, Zubin will now provide counsel to the South Asia team, whilst also being responsible for implementing new brand standards and improving the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the hotels,in line with Radisson Hotel Group’s global strategic vision.

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