Randhir Narayan is an accomplished entrepreneur and hospitality expert with nearly three decades of experience in the industry. He has worked for top-tier companies like Holiday Inn (Crowne Plaza), Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, and Kuoni (India), as well as one of India’s largest private equity firms, where he focused on investing in the hospitality sector. Randhir focuses on AM Hotel Kollection, which provides management services for independent hotel owners. His dynamic leadership, understanding of the hospitality business, adaptability, and love for people are the driving forces behind the success of AM Hotel Kollection. Randhir has cracked the code of effective operational management, and the company today does not outsource any facet of the business. In fact, for some more prominent hotel brands, AM Hotel Kollection is a third-party hotel operator, operating not only for other hotel brands but for itself.
Randhir Narayan grew up in a joint family in a small town in central India. Reflecting on his childhood, he says, “I often felt the push and pull of frequent comparisons between family members and relatives, which motivated me to choose a path that differentiated me from others.” Randhir says he craved for finer things in life and wanted to stand out from the crowd. It was this motivation that led him to explore the world of hospitality.
Reflecting on how he chose his career path, he reminisces fondly, “Early in my senior school years, I discovered my passion for the hospitality industry while visiting the city’s only 5-star hotel. The experience had an immediate and profound appeal, and I knew that pursuing a career in the hotel industry was my calling.” He continues, “With the help of a classmate’s father, Mr. Udesh Sharma, who happened to be a Hotel General Manager, I could attend a Hotel School in Europe that he recommended. During my time there, my desire to be a part of the industry became deeply rooted and evolved into a strong vision with a mission to make a significant impact.”
Randhir’s career in the hospitality industry began with the renowned Oberoi Hotels & Resorts (India), where he gained valuable experience. He went on to work with well-known companies such as Kuoni, Holiday Inn (Crowne Plaza), and one of India’s largest Private Equity Firms, where he focused on investing in the hospitality sector. These experiences gave Randhir a deep understanding of the industry, which proved invaluable in his entrepreneurial venture.
In 2014, Randhir embarked on his entrepreneurial journey with the goal of creating opportunities for both himself and others. This led to the establishment of his hospitality company, which has provided innovative solutions and exceptional value for its customers.
His entrepreneurial spirit has led him to establish several ventures, including AHS India, AM Hotel Kollection, Indicus Hospitality Ventures, Modern School, and Kaimur. Notably, Kaimur, a primary school established in 2002 in Randhir’s hometown, provides quality primary education and generates employment.
Randhir’s belief in creating his path inspired him to found AM Hotel Kollection in 2018. The tagline of the collection, ‘Unique Hotels, One Extraordinary Kollection,’ reflects his vision of providing guests with exceptional experiences at each property. AM Hotel Kollection is not just a brand but a collection of hotels and resorts, each with its unique identity and charm. Through AM Hotel Kollection, independent hotel owners can access professional management services to achieve greater operational efficiencies and enhance their guest offerings. With hotels in 18 locations across India, the company wants to expand internationally while forming partnerships that align with its core values and vision.
As the founder of AM Hotel Kollection, Randhir introduced the first hotel collection concept in India to cater to hospitality assets. He says, “While this concept has been prevalent in other parts of the world, we were the first in India to provide an option for independent hotel owners who may not be suitable to be part of a brand and management due to their size.” He continued, “The impact of our unique concept can be seen in our impressive results. As they say, “proof is in the pudding,” our hotels have consistently delivered a 20% increase in revenue and customer satisfaction. Today, we operate 18 hotels with a workforce of 800 that has remained strong even during the pandemic. “
His organization has successfully maintained exceptional standards and is known for operating its hotels under stringent benchmarks, which include:
-A 1:1.2 room-to-staff ratio
-A 50% gross operating profit (GOP) target, which helps to stabilize above 40% GOP
-A 20% increase in revenue within the first year for newly converted hotels.
Randhir’s conservative philosophy toward business operations has ensured that the company operates ethically while delivering value to its customers. Randhir says, “As I build a differentiated management company, which is not a brand but a collection, I have taken a quiet approach to its development without much exposure to media or external communication.” Despite operating quietly, Randhir’s approach has not hindered the success of AM Hotel Kollection. In fact, it has been a contributing factor, with the company receiving numerous guest review-based awards over the years. Their guests have been their biggest advocates, and their enduring success has been validated through successive Traveller’s Choice awards. Ten of their hotels have consistently received these awards, a testament to the tireless efforts and unwavering dedication of their team.
As the founder of AM Hotel Kollection, Randhir has always been driven by his commitment to delivering exceptional value and creating unforgettable experiences for guests. He says, “We strive to deliver exceptional value and create unforgettable experiences for our guests. Our commitment to providing unique and authentic experiences at each of our properties drives us to constantly innovate and explore new ideas to enhance our guests’ stay and ensure their loyalty.”
As a seasoned leader in the hospitality industry, Randhir’s advice to new leaders entering the industry is: “Prioritize ethics, have clarity in communication, maintain a positive and flexible attitude towards customers and service teams, recognize that we are in a people business, see technology as an enabler, and always focus on the basics such as providing a good night’s sleep and wholesome meals to customers.”