Women Of Substance

Priya Paul

Priya Paul
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Priya Paul

Priya Paul may be a partner, a mother, and specifically a spirited, frank and succesful entrepreneur. Today, she owns a glamour chain of six hotels present nationwide in major cities including Kolkata, New Delhi, Vishakhapatnam, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

The early days
Priya Paul may be a partner, a mother, and specifically a spirited, frank and succesful entrepreneur. Today, she owns a glamour chain of six hotels present nationwide in major cities including Kolkata, New Delhi, Vishakhapatnam, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

She was born in a very privileged business family in Kolkata on 13th April 1967, Priya Paul always knew at heart that she would eventually join the family business, the Apeejay Surrendra Group. Call it fate or coincidence, Priya was born the same year in which her father launched the first The Park hotel in Kolkata.

After she completed her graduation in Economics from Wellesley College in the United States, she headed towards the Financial Services Division at Park Hotel, Delhi. However, her father had a different plan chalked out for her. He steered her to hitch the selling Division instead. She joined the legacy of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels as a Marketing Manager at The Park, New Delhi in 1988. Perhaps, he saw one thing in his female offspring that convinced him that she would shine in selling.

Priya remembers her youth at The Park, trying to understand the nitty-gritty of the business. She had to initially report to her father, Surrendra Paul. Within merely 2 years, she became the Acting General Manager of The Park, New Delhi.

Challenging Times

The year 1990 brought in misfortune and testing times for the Paul family and also the Apeejay cluster. The company lost its Chairperson in 1990. The ULFA militant gunned down Mr. Surrendra Paul. The impact of this shock was more pronounced because the family had lost their young son, Priya Paul’s brother Anand, in a car accident in 1989. These deaths not solely left a vacuum in their hearts, but also a major gap to be filled in the organization.

At a awfully young age of twenty three, with just 2 years of experience, Priya Paul was faced with the challenge of filing a huge vacuum in their business. It was a challenge she took up proudly and has worthy it ever since. From managing a 220 space edifice, she was now handed over the three hotel chain of The Park.

At that point, the pct at The Park, national capital was a mere ten %. The hotels needed a major renovation. This is where Surrendra Paul’s judgment about his daughter paid up. What Priya Paul was getting ready to bring round the welcome business was nothing but a revolution. She single-handed brought within the idea store hotels in Bharat.

Her passion to travel round the world gave her this concept of launching refined and modern luxury store hotels. She soon recognized the gap in the hospitality industry. “We make sure that the hotels designed by us are not just another place for travelers to lay their heads, but becomes an active congregation of corporate meetings in the city that they are in. We create an environment such that our guests feel as if they are engaged in a local hub”, says Priya Paul. These factors in mind inspired her to feature a lot of happening components to the edifice business. She created a lot of changes in her hotels by adding amusing corners for guests to hold out like bars, lounges and in-vogue restaurants that were more experimental in their menu. They conjointly organized hi-end fashion events and funky music.

Her initiatives helped her edifice chain tackle the recession of early Nineties. She realised that people who visited the county had money but very few suitable places to stay. The recently changed and reinvented Park Hotels, with their contemporary design combined with five-star services, had just the thing to offer.

A Woman of Many Layers

Priya Paul is a blend of many shades. This busy business woman stretches her 24 hour day to as long as 36 hours with back to back meetings and press conferences. Yet, she seems unruffled at all times and exudes confidence born out of years of hard work and experience. She credits meditation as the tool that helps her stay aloof from the chaos and calmness to meditation.

She wont to learn yoga and meditation from her teacher – Tripta Bhanot till the day she realised that spirituality was one thing a lot of intense, something that cannot be achieved superficially, it comes from within. She unwinds herself with art and literature. The lifetime of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu, and Ian McEwan are some of Priya Paul’s personal favourites. She prefers non fictions and real stories which are more close to the world. She loves cooking, and is a complete foodie.

Glorified by Awards

Priya Paul’s contributions to Indian welcome business are recognized time and once more. Additionally, she juggles her numerous roles as Chairperson of Park Hotel, founder member of World Travel and Tourism Council – India Initiative, member of the board of trustees South Asia Women’s Fund, member of the National Tourism Advisory Council and member of the Advisory Board of Directors with great élan. Her latest honour has been the Padma Sri in January 2012. She was conjointly introduced in FHRAI Hall of Fame in 2010.

She is a superwoman of the 20th Century with numerous achievements. Priya Paul, despite all her achievements, is not even half way there. She has a lot more mountains to scale and landmarks to create.

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