Director and Group Management Committee Member of Apeejay Surrendra Group
Ms Priya Paul is Director and Group Management Committee member of Apeejay Surrendra Group, an industrial and services conglomerate with operations spanning Tea, Shipping, Hospitality, Real Estate and Retail.
Established in 1910 by her family, the group completed 100 years in 2010. Ms Paul spearheads the Hospitality business as the Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited and leads with her family the corporate social responsibility initiatives under the umbrella of Apeejay Trust. Ms Paul is widely recognized as the pioneer of the boutique hotels concept in India and her leadership has seen Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited established as India's first and only collection of contemporary luxury boutique hotels.
Born on April 30, 1966, Ms Paul received her Bachelors in Economics from Wellesley College and went on to complete further studies at Harvard Business School and INSEAD. She started her career at The Park, New Delhi in 1988 as the Marketing Manager, taking over as the General Manager and thereafter appointed as Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group and Chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited. Ms Paul is Executive Committee Member and Ex-President of the Hotel Association of India, Member, National Tourism Advisory Council and Member, National Council of Science Museums. She is a Trustee of the India Foundation for the Arts, Chairperson, South Asia Women's Fund, a member of Harvard Business School's India Advisory Board and Vice Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council – India Initiative.
An art collector and design aficionado, Ms Paul has seamlessly combined her passion for boutique hotels and her love of contemporary art and design towards creating unique experiences for guests from across the globe. Under her leadership, The Park Hotels, has transformed into India's most stylish, edgy, fun and warm collection of luxury boutique hotels with luxurious services, signature dining, trail blazing entertainment and nightlife and award winning spas. Individually, each hotel has received various awards; the latest in the collection, The Park Hyderabad, has been rated as the 'greenest building' of 2011 by CNN-IBN for rigorous focus on sustainability parameters and awarded as the 'Best Hotel for Overall Design and Development' of 2011 by Hotel Investment Conference South Asia. Collectively, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited is recognised by peers for operational best practices, appreciated by guests for unparalleled hospitality and loved by employees for people friendly practices.
Over the last 25 years Ms Priya Paul has received numerous awards and honours. She received the FHRAI (Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India) Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2000, was recognized by Forbes online as one of India's 100 most powerful business women in 2006 and one of India's 50 most powerful business women by Fortune Magazine in 2011. She took home the Zee Astitva Award in the Business category in 2008. She has also been awarded the 'Spa Personality of the Year' for the year, India Today Woman in Business Award and PHD Chamber-Distinguished Women Entrepreneur Award for 2009-2010 and has been inducted into the FHRAI Hall of Fame in 2010. She was been awarded for "Excellence in Design Innovation 2011 " by Conde Nast Traveller India. Ms Paul received the AatithyaRatna Award by Hotel Investment Forum India, 2011 and the "Hall of Fame 2011" was bestowed to her by Hotelier India. In 2012 The President of India conferred the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honours on her.