Minor Hotel Group
Dillip Rajakarier is Chief Executive Officer of Minor Hotels, a subsidiary of Minor International (MINT) and in April 2013 was also promoted to Chief Operating Officer for MINT. In this additional position, Mr. Rajakarier has a proactive role in the overall leadership and strategic direction of MINT, in addition to overseeing the Corporate Shared Services of Minor Group, including Legal, IT and Corporate Finance. Mr. Rajakarier has a strong hotel and finance background and as CEO of Minor Hotels he oversees the strategic direction, operations and business development of the hotel management division.
Mr. Rajakarier joined Minor Hotels in March 2007 as Chief Finance & Investment Officer and then took over the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2008. In September 2011 he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer. During his time with the company he has seen the core Anantara brand grow from just a handful of properties to become a leading operator and developer of luxury hotels, resorts and spas.
Anantara currently comprises 39 properties in operation: 13 in the home market of Thailand, three in the Maldives, two in Bali, two in Vietnam, one in Cambodia, three in China, six in the United Arab Emirates (five in Abu Dhabi and one in Dubai), one in Qatar, one in Zambia, two resorts in Mozambique, two in Sri Lanka, two in Oman and last year the first property in Europe was added in Portugal. In addition there are more than ten properties currently in the pipeline, including in new countries such as Tunisia, Malaysia, Brazil and Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Prior to joining Minor Hotels, Mr. Rajakarier held the position of Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises. Here he was a key member of the acquisitions team which completed the purchase of trophy assets including Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons (UK), La Residencia (Spain), Maroma Resort & Spa (Mexico), Hotel Ritz (Madrid, Spain), Grand Hotel Europe (Russia), and Pansa Hotel Group (Asia).
Since joining Minor Hotels, Mr. Rajakarier has been instrumental in the expansion of the hotel portfolio, including the addition of luxury tented camps and resorts ‘Elewana Afrika’ in Tanzania and Kenya, the acquisition of Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives, strategic hotel investments in Sri Lanka and the acquisitions of Life Resorts in Vietnam. Further acquisitions include six properties in southern Africa in a strategic partnership with Sun International and the acquisition in 2016 of the Tivoli Hotels & Resorts brand with two hotels in Brazil and 12 properties in Portugal, which was the largest ever transaction for the group. Two Portugal hotels were rebranded to other brands of Minor Hotels last year and Tivoli was launched in the Middle East at the end of 2017, with further Tivoli properties launching in 2018.
In 2011 Mr. Rajakarier oversaw the acquisition of Oaks Hotels & Resorts which currently operates 56 hotels across Australia and in New Zealand, the UAE, Thailand and India. The investment in Oaks was the group’s first foray into the Pacific and then doubled the company’s hotel interests, which currently comprises 158 properties and 20,000 keys in 25 countries across Asia, Australasia, the Indian Ocean, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Mr. Rajakarier also spearheaded the launch of AVANI Hotels & Resorts, Minor Hotel’s dynamic upscale brand which launched in late 2011 in Sri Lanka and currently has 21 properties, including AVANI Riverside Bangkok which opened in 2016 as the first new-build AVANI property. AVANI also debuted in Europe and Australasia in 2017.
Rajakarier is tasked with growing the hotel group to 252 hotels by 2021 and expanding the group’s home grown brands of Anantara and AVANI, in addition to strategic acquisitions across the group’s growing footprint. His strategic vision and deep knowledge of the hotel industry will ensure the continued success of the company, both now and in the years to come.