Former AAHOA Chairman MP Rama passes away

The 74-year-old co-founded Auro Hotels with his brothers

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MP Rama AAHOA chairman
Manhar P. “MP” Rama, AAHOA past chairman and co-founder of JHM Hotels that later became Auro Hotels in Greenville, South Carolina, passed away Sunday at age 74.

AAHOA PAST CHAIRMAN Manhar P. “MP” Rama passed away Sunday at age 74. Rama was a co-founder with his brothers of JHM Hotels that later became Auro Hotels in Greenville, South Carolina.

Rama was born in Africa and raised in India, according to Auro Hotels. He completed high school in Gurukul Supa, Navsari, and graduated from M.S. University of Baroda with a degree in civil engineering. In 1973, he came to the U.S. and attended California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California, where he earned a master’s degree in engineering. He worked with the city of Pomona before entering the hotel business.

“In the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, we learn that life is a journey of the soul, and my brother, M.P., lived this journey with unwavering devotion, love, and integrity,” said HP Rama, Founder of JHM/Auro Hotels. “His contributions to our family and the hospitality industry are immeasurable. We will honor his memory by continuing to embody the values he held dear. M.P.’s spirit will remain a guiding light for all of us.”

MP Rama served as AAHOA chairman from 2005 to 2006, according to a statement from the association. His brother is AAHOA founder HP Rama and AAHOA past chairman Jayanti P. “JP” Rama, who passed away in February 2022.

At AAHOA’s 2022 Convention & Trade Show in Baltimore, Maryland, Rama received the Cecil B. Day Community Service Award. At that time, he said, AAHOA allowed him to develop himself “professionally and as a person,” and gave me an opportunity to expand my skills and the ability to think ahead and handle more responsibilities.”

“I’ve known MP Uncle for many years now, and he’s always been a very big advocate for young professionals, providing me personally with guidance in my journey at AAHOA,” said AAHOA Chairman Miraj Patel. “On behalf of the AAHOA Board and leadership, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and all who knew and loved him.”

Rama is survived by his wife, Surekha, and children, Sima and Vinay Rama, along with his two brothers, HP and Raman “RP” Rama, and his sisters, Madhu Vivek, Hansa Deva, Pushpa Lala and Pravina Thakor.

He also served as president of the Vedic Center of Greenville, according to Auro Hotels, and was an active member of the advisory council of Marriott and the board of directors at the University of Central Florida Foundation.

Rama served on the advisory council of Hampton Inn by Hilton, the board of directors of the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the board of directors of the South Carolina Hospitality Association. He received the “Entrepreneur Success Award” from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 1995. He was also the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Mahatma Gandhi Diversity Breakfast held in Orlando, Florida.

AAHOA is asking its members who knew Rama to share stories and memories of him with them. Interested parties also can email testimonials of 200 words or less to Asian Hospitality at [email protected].