Rajveer Singh Jhala is a hotelier from Udaipur. From a modest guest house with a handful of rooms to a group of properties hosting domestic and foreign tourists, he has helped his family business, Raj Group of Hotels, grow exponentially. We hosted Rajveer for an interview as part of our special series, NewsX India A-List. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
We opened the interview by asking about how the Raj Group of Hotels came to be and how it grew into what it is today, to which Rajveer replied, “My father started the hotel… That was the time when Udaipur was picking up as a major tourist destination.” He further said, “We started with 4-5 rooms and then it became a 25-room property by 1990. So that was the parent property. Then we came up with a small guest house near Lake Pichola.”
Rajveer told us that Raj Kuber, which started operations in 2015, is the latest of the marvellous properties owned by the group. He also revealed that the design elements of the properties owned by the family are inspired by Rajveer’s ancestral home. “The whole concept came from our ancestral home,” said Rajveer.
“Raj Palace and Raj Niwas fall in the old city. So we came up with Raj Kuber because we were totally dependent on European tourists who mostly stay in the old city,” said Rajveer while revealing that the traffic problems faced by tourists in the old part of Udaipur prompted the group to come up with a property in a less-congested part of the city. He continued, “So we came up with Raj Kuber, which is on a hillock. It’s more accessible by vehicles.” Moreover, he said, “We targeted the domestic tourist so that they can easily access the hotel and we could give them the same heritage renaissance kind of feel in our new property.”
Describing the flagship property of the group, Rajveer said, “Raj Kuber, as of now, in the city, is at the highest point. So we’ve got three different terraces – two for the restaurant and one for the pool. A lot of guests are attracted by the swimming pool and the open restaurant we have.”
He also told us about the first hotel of the Raj Group of Hotels and how it grew to be a 25-room hotel from a modest five-room guest house. “We started with five rooms, then we came up to 15 rooms, then 20, and then Raj Palace is now a 25-room hotel,” said Jhala.
We then asked Rajveer about the boutique property, Raj Niwas, owned by the group. Rajveer “It was a very small land we had in the old city near Lake Pichola.” “My father had the idea of bringing up three suite rooms. That’s a bed & breakfast only. We do not run a restaurant over there. But that is what my father thinks is the best business he has ever done.”
Telling us about himself, Rajveer also told us that he doesn’t have a degree in hotel management. He jokingly said, “I’m a hotelier by force, not by choice.”
Watch the full interview here: