Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, Chairman and MD of the HRH Group of Hotels, Udaipur Bestowed with the HIFI Hall of Fame Award
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, Chairman-and-Managing Director of the HRH Group of Hotels, Udaipur was bestowed the HIFI Hall of Fame Award at a glittering function organized by Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI) at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hall on January 12th, 2012.
Mr Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Urban Development, Government of India, presented the prestigious award to Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar amidst applause from the august gathering of hospitality professionals from India and across the world.
Mr. Vijay P. Thacker, Director, Horwath HTL-India lauded Shriji's endeavours to develop Rajasthan and India and institutionalize excellence in Udaipur, giving the heritage-city its identity as a centre for excellence in heritage management, hospitality, education, performing arts, fine arts, environment and sports.
It is through pioneering the new concept of ‘living heritage’ that Shriji has developed a constantly evolving model of managing heritage and keeping it alive, dynamic and relevant to the changing times. Heritage management had always been witnessed as inflexible, rigid and pertaining merely to preserving historic monuments. With ‘living heritage’, there is dynamism which facilitates further development of modern facilities in ancient environments. It is Shriji’s belief that this is the way forward in the twenty-first century to continue, to propagate and share ancient legacy. It is a sustainable model because of its broad-based participation.
Through the 1960s to 1980s, Udaipur was identified solely with one hotel property, the Lake Palace Hotel (the former Jag Niwas Palace converted in 1961 by Shriji’s father, His late Highness Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar into a luxury island-palace hotel in the middle of Lake Pichola); today with Shriji’s thrust on broad-basing the participation, the city of Udaipur has emerged as a ‘destination’ on the world map.
It is a testimony to successful implementation of the model that has resulted in Udaipur (founded by Shriji's illustrious forefathers, the Maharanas of Mewar in 1559) being adjudged by Conde Naste Travel in 2011, and by Travel + Leisure in 2009 as the ‘best lndian leisure destination’ and 'best city in the world to visit'.
These global listings were based on readership / tourist feedback and internal research and are a tribute to all stakeholders of Udaipur in the travel and tourism industry. Udaipur has witnessed holistic, comprehensive development, growth and enrichment of its local economy, enhancement of the quality of life in communities that has witnessed higher employment generation, stemmed the rural migration to urban areas and generated greater pride in traditional professions, crafts and culture.
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, as the 76th Custodian of the House of Mewar, has remained steadfast to the conviction the community has to be at the heart of business. His role as a Custodian not only of the business but of the territories, which are impacted by the business, has transformed the family and business. The personal legacy has been successfully converted into the business vision thereby ensuring sustainability for both the family and the business. It has demonstrated true long-term sustainability over its 76 generations.
Having achieved this transition of family legacy into a successful business model, it has not only provided a viable roadmap for the future of the family management spearheading it but the business continues to be self-propelled by modern corporate energy.
In his acceptance speech, Shriji exhorted, "Nothing excels like excellence and nothing succeeds like success. I sincerely hope this august body gathered here will take up the challenge of institutionalizing living heritage as part of their corporate vision and strategy. It is a proven alternative. Trust me, it is the new mantra for investment in hospitality industry in India."
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar has been the recipient of several prestigious awards: 2011 Hello! Hall of Fame Award "Royal of the Year"; In 2009: Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Hall of Fame Award; In 2007: Tata AIG Lifetime Achievement Award by Galileo Express TravelWorld; In 2001: ‘Agastya Award’ by Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI).
Tinnie M Sappal