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Doyen of the Indian hotel industry The Oberoi Group Chairman emeritus PRS Oberoi dies at 94 Biki Oberoi
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Doyen of the Indian hotel industry The Oberoi Group Chairman emeritus PRS Oberoi dies at 94

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 Nov 2023, 01:16 am

Mumbai: Hotel industry veteran Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi died on Tuesday morning at the age of 94.

Chairman emeritus of The Oberoi Group, who was popularly known as Biki Oberoi, was one of the leading figures of the Indian hotel industry with the credit of putting Indian hospitality on the world map.

In May 2023, he stepped down as executive chairman of EIH LTD and EIH Associated Hotels Ltd.

In a statement, his son and nephew Vikram and Arjun said, “It is with deep sadness that we inform the peaceful passing of PRS Oberoi earlier today (November 14). A luminary in the hospitality industry, Oberoi’s legacy transcends borders, leaving and indelible mark on the global landscape. A visionary leader (his) unwavering dedication and pursuit of excellence elevated The Oberoi Group to international acclaim. His influence extended beyond corporate success, touching the lives of countless hoteliers through mentorship and a commitment to unparalled standards.”

He set higher goals for the Oberoi Group and worked on building more sophisticated hotels with finer luxury offerings.

While working under the leadership of his father and company founder, Rai Bahadur M S Oberoi, the company partnered with Sheraton and Intercontinental to develop hotels in Delhi and Mumbai.

However, in the 1980s, Biki observed that luxury standards had evolved beyond these brands. Rejecting the need for international validation, he simply named his new hotel at Mumbai's Nariman Point "The Oberoi" and revamped Calcutta's Oberoi Grand to blend Raj heritage with Asian luxury.

Contrary to The Oberois' cautious approach toward resorts as risky ventures, he not only reversed this policy but also increased the stakes.

The opening of Jaipur's Rajvilas in 1997 marked the most expensive resort hotel ever built in India on a room-to-room basis.

He also led from the front as a mentor. In 1967, he established The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development, where numerous leading hoteliers graduated and now hold prominent positions in the industry. Some have even gone on to establish their own successful brands.

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