Our Honorable Speakers 2022

Nikhil Sharma joined Wyndham Hotels & Resorts as the Regional Director Eurasia in September 2019. In his role, Nikhil is responsible for supporting franchise and new hotel opening operations, national sales, revenue management and local marketing. Sharma is instrumental in further nurturing relationships with owners and franchise partners to drive system contribution, revenue, performance, quality, operational excellence and brand engagement. In his early career, Nikhil joined IHCL as a Hotel Operations Management trainee where before becoming a Revenue Manager with IHG. Prior to joining Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Nikhil spent 4 years with Ginger hotels, a TATA Enterprise, as the Chief Operating Officer. Sharma was also a founding member of the Lemon Tree Hotel Company, building India’s fastest growing upscale hotel brand as the Chief Operating Officer.

Nikhil Sharma

Regional Director Eurasia
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Mr. Vilas Pawar joined Choice Hospitality India as Chief Executive Officer in January 2006. He is responsible for developing and managing the operations of the company in the Indian region for Choice Hotel International. Choice Hotels India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Choice Hotels International, one of the largest and most widespread lodging franchisors of the world with over 7500 hotels worldwide. Choice Hotels India has over 41 hotels operational and another 18 under various stages of development in important business and leisure cities Pan India with the brand offering of Comfort, Quality, and Clarion. Graduated from the Institute of Hotel Management-Mumbai, and an alumnus of Mayo College, Ajmer, he has rich hospitality experience for over 35 years, in setting up, operating, and managing hospitality organizations. In the past, he has worked with Taj Group of Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, and Carlson Hospitality.

Vilas Pawar

Choice Hotels India

C.S. Ramachandran (Ram) serves as Vice President, Hotel Revenue Optimization for South Asia, Middle East, Africa & Australasia for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, he helps the hotels maximize the effectiveness of their online distribution channels and optimize revenue through better revenue strategies. Ram has over 22 years of rich expertise in hotel management, the majority of which has been dedicated to revenue management and digital marketing. He also is a member of the Revenue Management Advisory board for HSMAI Asia Pacific.

CS Ramachandran

V.P Hotel Revenue Optimization South Asia, Middle East, Africa & Australasia
Preferred Hotels

Atul is Chief Operating Officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts, an American hotel group having more than 4700 hotels in 100+ locations. He spearhead the operations for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. A Chartered Accountant by profession Atul has over 2 decades of experience in the hospitality industry. He comes with a wealth of experience in operating hotels, in depth local knowledge and the right credentials to lead, drive and support Best Western Hotels & Resorts aggressive expansion plans in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He brings with him a global perspective that has been honed through finance, operational and development roles across various hotel categories.  As a Chief Operating Officer, Atul’s vision is to expand Best Western foot prints in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, enhancing Best Western’s image in the region, driving quality and consistent growth for developers and investors, improving the guest experience and service culture. Prior to his current role, Atul was a part of leadership team of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in India. Under his leadership Best Western brand secured 1 st position as a preferred hotel franchise operator and 12 th position in Asia by Franchise Asia.

Atul Jain

Chief Operating Officer
Best Western Hotels & Resorts
India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh

Having a complete understanding of the Owners expectations, Brand Standards and Performance criteria’s brings in unique value to Hospitality Projects of all segments. She was a Part of Hilton Brand when it first arrived in India in 1995 and had the opportunity to be associated with Hilton Worldwide again in 2009 - 2013 in the capacity of Director Design & Projects and responsible for Design & FF&E for Luxury, Full and Focus Service Hospitality Projects in Indian Subcontinent. She has contributed towards the India Specific Prototypes for Hilton Brands Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn. She also wears many more hats : State President of WICCI Hospitality & Tourism Council for Delhi NCR Advisory board member of HPMF ( Hospitality Procurement Managers Forum ) Advisory Board member of PHA ( Professional Housekeepers Association ) Committee member ANZIBA ( Australia New Zealand India Business association )

Madhu Chandhok

State President
WICCI Hospitality & Tourism Council Delhi NCR
Director & Founding Partner
pip2020, India

Mr. Ashish Rakheja is Partner at AEON Consultants with post graduate degree in Thermal Engineering from IIT Delhi with over 28 years of work experience and has designed over 3000 projects including Hotels, Airports, Hospitals, Retail, Residential, Commercial, High rises and Industrial projects. Mr Rakheja specializes in high-performance buildings and has been actively involved in leading design activities of electro-mechanical services for ten Net Zero Energy Buildings, two Net Zero Water Townships and over sixty Platinum rated green projects in India. Mr Rakheja has won many awards and delivered over 1000 talks on various facets of building design across the world. He is an active member of over 20 Technical societies and regularly contributes his time on writing Standards, codes & position papers for Government bodies & Technical societies. He is involved in imparting training to budding Architects in the field of Building Services and a visiting faculty at leading schools in India.

Ashish Rakheja

AEON Integrated Buiding Design Consultants LLP

RITU’s introduction to hotels was from her growing years when her father was with the Oberoi hotel in Singapore. Her passion for hotels grew from experiencing hospitality with the finest Indian brands. Her career started at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel, Delhi thereby getting insight to hotel operations. Designing for hotels was therefore the natural course and TID India was born in 1995. Alongwith the international team and her associates in India, her journey of twenty five years has been an amazing experience. With a young team of design professionals, she has journey edacross India and neighbouring countries to work on hotel projects ranging from budget , business to luxury hotels and resorts, from new build to renovation and also specialised areas such as Spas and fitness clubs. She has worked with top hotel brands in the country, such as Taj, ITC Fortune, International brands such as Accor, IHG; Marriott, Hyatt and also hotel owners of Kenilworth Hotels and Swosti Hotels. Her other creative pursuits include reading and writing. She has recently launched her late father’s book “Hotel Futurama & Other Stories” which she had edited and compiled. It is available on Amazon and kindle ebook. Ritu is also part of the National Council Advisory team to WICCI Hospitality Tourism Council in India (Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry)

Ritu Bhatia Kler

Managing Director

Tajinder is a dynamic professional having 2 decades of experience in Sales & Marketing, Service Operations and Revenue Expansion activities within the Hospitality Sector. He holds strong business acumen with an ability to execute a wide range of Global Sales and Marketing strategies to establish market presence as well as increasing revenues and profitability for the company. He hold extensive multiple brand experience from luxury to mid-scale hotel segment covering all aspects of the sales & marketing cycle including pre-opening, opening & post-opening, re-positioning and re-structuring. He has been associated with some of the finest Global Hotel Chains and in the past has worked with Marriott International, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Accor Hotel Group and Starwood Worldwide Inc. at various corporate profiles and roles. He is an active contributor to many editorials and speaker at various forums like ITB Asia – Messe Berlin, NDTV Good Times - India International Travel & Tourism Summit (IITT), South Asia Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE), FICCI MICE Conclave and Digital India. He is been a Jury member at DMA Asia CMO Choice Awards.

Tajinder Singh

Sr. Area Director WWS
India and South Asia
BWH Hotel Group

Sunil Baby

Country manager - India