PUNEET CHHATWAL, MANAGING director and CEO of Indian Hotels Company Limited, the owner of Taj Hotels, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality. He succeeds ITC executive director Nakul Anand, who retired this week, FAITH said in a statement.
Several national tourism and hotel associations, including the National Associations of Tour Operators, travel agents, hotels, transport operators, conventions & exhibition operators, and restaurants and tourism attractions, are members of FAITH.
“With the backing of all members, my commitment is to develop this into a focused policy advocacy organization addressing issues in the tourism and hospitality industry, continuing the legacy established by Anand,” said Chhatwal.
Meanwhile, Anand also stepped down from the executive committee of the Hotel Association of India. Chhatwal, re-elected as HAI president in 2022, will continue his role in the organization.
A 45-year-long career with ITC
Aged 58, Anand concluded his 45-year-long career with ITC as a director on its board since January 3, 2011. His role extended beyond overseeing hospitality, travel and tourism, also including responsibility for the lifestyle retailing business from December 2014.
An economics honors graduate from Delhi University with an AMP degree from Bond University, Australia, Anand began his career with ITC Hotels’ Management Training Programme in 1978. He additionally held the position of managing director at the former ITC Hotels Limited from 2003 to 2005.
With a career spanning three decades, Anand played a role in introducing the concept of “responsible luxury” to the hospitality sector. Under his guidance, ITC Hotels attained LEED Platinum certifications for all its super-premium luxury hotels, establishing itself as a “Green Luxury Hotel Chain.”
Anand’s contributions surpassed his professional roles, highlighted by his chairmanship of the CII National Tourism Committee and the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality. Moreover, he previously served as the President of the Hotel Association of India.
Meanwhile, Rama family’s Gujarat JHM Hotels, with U.S.-based Auro Hotels, recently signed an MOU with the Gujarat government to develop JW Marriott Surat Resort & Spa. The $120 million investment aims to create 800 jobs, improve city infrastructure, and position Surat as Gujarat’s commercial capital.