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Business News/ Companies / Puneet Dhawan has been with Accor for 25 years and will be moving on to Minor Hotels as Asia head

Puneet Dhawan has been with Accor for 25 years and will be moving on to Minor Hotels as Asia head

Accor Hotels' senior vice president Puneet Dhawan resigns to join Minor Hotels, Garth Simmons to oversee South Asia. Dhawan to lead Asia operations from Bangkok.

Puneet Dhawan, senior vice-president, operations at Accor India and South Asia, will join Minor Hotels in Bangkok to head their Asia divisionPremium
Puneet Dhawan, senior vice-president, operations at Accor India and South Asia, will join Minor Hotels in Bangkok to head their Asia division

Puneet Dhawan, Accor Hotels' senior vice president for India and South Asia operations, has submitted his resignation, effective July. According to three people familiar with the matter, Dhawan will assume the role of head of Asia at Minor Hotels, headquartered in Bangkok.

Following Dhawan's departure, Garth Simmons, the chief executive of Accor's premium, mid-scale, and economy division in South Asia, is expected to oversee regional operations until a successor is appointed. The Fernch hospitality firm, which operates Pullman and Fairmont hotel brands, is in the process of identifying Dhawan's replacement, they added.

During his over 25-year stint with Accor, Dhawan has travelled to Hong Kong, Sydney, and Singapore during the first 10 years, before moving to India in 2012 as the company's area general manager for a four-year term. Following assignments in Dubai and Manila, Dhawan returned to India in the midst of the pandemic in August 2020, and has been serving in his current position.

Minor Hotels confirmed the development. From July, Dhawan will be responsible for the performance of all Minor Hotels properties in Asia, working in close collaboration with its senior leadership team and will report to CEO Dillip Rajakarier, said a company spokesperson.

However, email queries sent to an Accor spokesperson did not elicit any response till press time.

Also read: 'Need to prioritize, rethink Accor-InterGlobe partnership’

Minor Hotels owns and operates 530 properties across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe, South America and North America. Its brand portfolio includes Anantara, Avani, Oaks, Tivoli, NH Collection, NH Hotels, nhow, and Elewana.

The hospitality firm recently launched the Anantara brand in Jaipur, featuring 150 rooms, and suites. The hospitality firm seeks to expand its India footprint to 50 properties within the next decade, and is set to open its new office in Bengaluru.

Accor is among a handful of foreign hospitality firms to invest in hotel properties in India in collaboration with local partners. For instance, the Pullman property in Mumbai's BKC area was a co-development project. Accor also has a partnership with InterGlobe Hotels to develop Ibis hotels across India.

InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE) is the parent of both Indigo Airlines and InterGlobe Hotels. InterGlobe Hotels was set up as a joint venture between Accor Asia Pacific (AAPC) and IGE in 2004 with a real estate investment ratio of 60:40 and an operational investment ratio of 70:30. 

The budget hotel brand was strategically positioned to capitalize on the extensive traveler base of budget airline IndiGo. It seeks to establish a network of hotels across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. 

In a recent interview with Mint, Simmons had said that Accor is focused on the potential of "new world" markets such as India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Unlike developed markets, where hotel development is saturated, these emerging economies are showing a strong interest in building new hotels, he added. 

This presents a great opportunity for the company to expand its presence in India. Accord has announced plans for new hotels in Chandigarh, Goa, Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Mysuru.

Accor operates 62 hotels in India with around 11,000 rooms. The company is actively expanding its footprint with plans to add 5,500 rooms across 32 hotel properties.


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Varuni Khosla
Varuni serves as a Senior Assistant Editor at Mint. Her responsibilities encompass crafting compelling narratives that take a deep dive into hospitality companies, the business of art, luxury brands, the intricacies of the business of sports, advertising and marketing landscapes, gaming insights, tourism and travel industry trends. She also covers alcohol commerce. She is skilled at communication, meticulous research, and insightful analysis keeping contemporary shifts and advancements within the lifestyle and business domains at the heart of her work.
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Published: 15 May 2024, 08:01 PM IST
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