Kunal Pahwa Rejoins ITC Grand Central as General Manager

Kunal Pahwa Rejoins ITC Grand Central as General Manager

By Author

Published on October 27, 2023

In a heartwarming return to the place where his career commenced at the young age of 18, Kunal Pahwa is back as the General Manager of ITC Grand Central.

Kunal's journey in the hospitality industry began when he graduated from the first batch of the Welcomlegionnaire Programme in the year 2000 at the prestigious ITC Welcomgroup Management Institute, the nation's premier hotel management training institute.

His commitment to the field has been unwavering, with a notable three-year stint as the Assistant Manager, Food & Beverage at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai, from June 2004 to June 2007. This marked the beginning of his journey, and he continued to excel in the industry, serving as the Food & Beverage Manager at ITC Mughal from May 2013 to February 2016.

In February 2021, Kunal Pahwa embraced the role of General Manager at Welcomhotel Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Now, after nearly three years at this property, Kunal returns to the place that holds a special place in his heart – ITC Grand Central, Mumbai.

Born into a family with a background in defense, Kunal imbibed the values of discipline and adaptability, which have been his guiding principles throughout his career. His profound love for travel has been a driving force, enabling him to thrive in diverse environments.

Beyond his professional achievements, Kunal is an avid enthusiast of outdoor sports, particularly basketball and golf, passions he has nurtured since childhood. His journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his belief that it's a field driven by passion, and for success, the fire within must always burn bright.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts Advances Hospitality Leadership with New Upskilling Program

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts Advances Hospitality Leadership with New Upskilling Program

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 29, 2024

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, renowned for its luxurious offerings, has launched the Leela Leadership Development Programme (LLDP) – Class of 2025. This initiative is a strategic move to cultivate future leaders in the hospitality sector. The program kicked off on May 19 with a new batch of candidates at The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel and Residences.

In collaboration with the Indian School of Hospitality (ISH) and Les Roches, a global leader in hospitality education, the LLDP offers a robust 15-month curriculum. Participants engage in a mix of boot camps, classroom sessions, online courses, and practical experiences across various Leela properties.

Anuraag Bhatnagar, CEO of The Leela, emphasized the program's role in fostering a legacy of excellence within the hospitality industry. "Through the Leela Leadership Development Programme and our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity initiatives, we are crafting a pathway for aspiring hospitality professionals to reach their potential and lead the industry forward," he stated.


The LLDP aims not only to enhance skills but also to fast-track participants into managerial roles, preparing them to handle the complexities of luxury hospitality management. Since its inception in May 2022, the program has already seen two cohorts graduate, poised to make significant contributions to the industry.

Further enriching its commitment to inclusivity, The Leela has also expanded its training initiatives with the Shefs at The Leela programme, launched in 2022 to inspire and support women in culinary arts. This has evolved into a comprehensive development program, aiming to diversify talent in professional kitchens and empower female chefs globally.

For more information about The Leela's educational and professional development offerings, visit The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts.

Shane Watson Celebrates 'The Winner's Mindset' at Bon Voyage, Bangalore

Shane Watson Celebrates 'The Winner's Mindset' at Bon Voyage, Bangalore

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 25, 2024

April Moon Retail Pvt. Ltd. (AMRPL), a prominent player in India’s travel retail sector, successfully hosted an exclusive book signing event with cricket legend Shane Watson at their Bon Voyage store in Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore, on May 20th. This event celebrated Watson’s newest publication, "The Winner's Mindset," which delves into the mental strategies that propelled his illustrious career.

The signing event provided fans and travelers an exceptional opportunity to interact with Watson, who enthusiastically engaged with attendees, signed books, and participated in photo sessions. His latest book offers insights into the psychological resilience required in cricket, applicable to personal and professional challenges alike.


Gaurav Singh, CEO of AMRPL, expressed his enthusiasm about the event: "Hosting Mr. Shane Watson was an honor. His engagement with fans and the overall positive atmosphere he created are reflective of our efforts at AMRPL to deliver memorable experiences. This event further establishes Bon Voyage as a go-to location for high-profile celebrity book signings."

Watson shared his appreciation, stating, "The AMRPL team did an outstanding job creating the perfect setting for this book signing. Bon Voyage's spacious and thoughtful design made it an ideal venue for connecting with readers."

Event Details:

What: Book Signing of "The Winner's Mindset" by Shane Watson

When: May 20th

Where: Bon Voyage, Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore

This event marks a significant achievement for AMRPL, reinforcing its position as a leader in the travel retail industry and a favorite among celebrities for promotional events. For more information on upcoming events and collaborations, visit AMRPL's official website.

Visit: April Moon Retail Pvt. Ltd. for more details on upcoming signings and events.

Kempinski Hotels Welcomes Barbara Muckermann as New CEO

Kempinski Hotels Welcomes Barbara Muckermann as New CEO

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on May 25, 2024

Kempinski Hotels, Europe's oldest luxury hotel group, is excited to announce the appointment of Barbara Muckermann as their new Chief Executive Officer. With an impressive background in the luxury travel industry, Muckermann brings over 25 years of experience to this prestigious role. She previously led Silversea Cruises, part of Royal Caribbean Group, which is renowned as the world's largest ultra-luxury and expedition cruise line.

Muckermann joins Kempinski at a pivotal time. The iconic hospitality brand, with its 127-year tradition of excellence, is preparing for significant global expansion. Currently operating 82 hotels in 36 countries, Kempinski aims to add 34 more properties to its portfolio in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa over the next few years. This strategic growth is intended to further cement Kempinski's reputation for providing unparalleled luxury and exceptional service.

René Nijhof, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Kempinski Hotels S.A., expressed his confidence in Muckermann's leadership. "Barbara has always been at the forefront of luxury. Her proven ability to elevate the guest experience while maximizing profitability for leading travel brands made her the ideal choice to lead Kempinski Hotels. Her dynamic, forward-thinking approach will be vital as we continue to usher in a new era of luxury for our brand."

Muckermann is the first woman to lead Kempinski Hotels in its 127-year history. She expressed her excitement about joining the company, stating, "I could not be more thrilled to be joining Kempinski Hotels as CEO during such a pivotal time for the brand. I am delighted to play an integral role in this incredibly iconic brand’s next chapter while honoring its rich history. I look forward to working with amazing colleagues globally to continue to make the Kempinski name synonymous with individual luxury."

Throughout her career, Muckermann has significantly enhanced sales and profitability while upgrading customer experiences for global luxury brands such as Loro Piana, MSC Cruises, and NCL. Her extensive international experience, having lived in Italy, France, and the USA, and her proficiency in five languages, underscore her global perspective and capability. Additionally, she holds a Doctorate in Political Sciences and Economics and an MBA from both Columbia and London Business School.

Kempinski Hotels is known for its unique and legendary properties, each reflecting the cultural traditions of their locations while maintaining the high standards expected of the brand. As the company looks forward to expanding its presence, Muckermann's leadership is expected to guide Kempinski through this exciting phase, reinforcing its position as a leader in luxury hospitality.

With this new appointment, Kempinski Hotels continues to build on its rich heritage, combining tradition with innovation to offer the finest experiences in the world of luxury hospitality.

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