News for the Hospitality Executive
MUMBAI (November 1, 2011) – Taj Group has promoted Deepa Harris to the position of Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, formerly held by Ajoy Misra. After 31 years with Taj Hotels, Misra is joining Tata Global Beverages, part of the hotel company’s Tata Group parent and India’s premier business house, as Deputy CEO and Executive Director, on the board.
“We are sorry to see Ajoy leave Taj Hotels after his many years of dedicated service. He led many key initiatives, including our recent brand architecture restructuring, and brilliantly supported our aggressive worldwide brand expansion. He is a tremendous leader, mentor and colleague,” said Raymond N. Bickson, CEO and Managing Director, Taj Hotels.
“Fortunately, while Ajoy will continue to make important contributions within the Tata family of companies, Deepa, his extremely talented former marketing team colleague, is well able to successfully lead and enhance our critical hotel sales and marketing programs in India and abroad. I am excited to see her increase her imprint on our activities around the world. She will continue to help the department achieve new heights as a strategic powerhouse and deliver brand recall and relevance among all audiences that meet or surpass the outstanding results we see today.”
In her new role, Harris will report directly to Bickson and oversee all sales and marketing initiatives for Taj Hotels worldwide, celebrated as India’s original and finest hotel chain offering inspired hospitality, culinary innovation and more. This includes 109 hotels around the globe under four brands: The Luxury brand of 27 hotels under Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces which includes the flagship, Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, city hotels across key metros, three hotels in the U.S., Taj Safaris and authentic royal palaces in India; 23 Vivanta hotels and 10 Premium properties under upper upscale brand in India and beyond; 25 Gateway Hotels and Resorts with its footprint across India and South Asia and 24 Ginger’s, India’s Value brand.
Previously Vice President of Marketing, Harris has spent 28 years with Taj Hotels. She is the only specialist to have served separately as Vice President of Sales and also of Marketing before taking the lead job to oversee both functions. Having worked across all functions, she has played an integral role in Taj growth in all markets of India and abroad, including the roll-out of the new Vivanta by Taj and Gateway brands. She serves on key industry boards, including PATA, Experience India (the India Ministry of Tourism’s private/public think tank partnership), the Luxury Marketing Council of India, and on the marketing advisory board of directors for Leading Hotels of the World.
Harris is also the first hospitality executive representative to be named by a leading business publication to India’s prestigious list of the top 50 women (two years in a row) whose proven leadership skills have helped them successfully break through the glass ceiling to triumph in their fields.
She began her career as a features editor with India’s only fashion magazine of the time, where she spent two years shaping editorial coverage and trends. She holds post graduate degrees in English from Delhi University, one of India’s top colleges, along with a degree in Mass Communications.
Ajoy Kumar Misra, B.E. (Hons.), Civil, MBA has been appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Tata Global Beverages Limited. Previously, Misra was Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, for Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces. Misra joined the company from Tata Administrative Service in 1980. His 31-year tenure included a variety of notable positions, from Sales and Marketing to Operations. A key milestone following the recent inception of the Taj Hotels Brand Architecture restructuring that he orchestrated as Sales and Marketing chief was its selection for a case study by the Harvard Business School.
Misra represented Taj in industry organizations like The World Travel and Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTC), World Tourism Organization (WTO), Hotel Association of India (HAI), Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Confederation of Indian Industry (Cll). He served as General Manager of the Taj President Hotel in Mumbai and Area Director in the Sri Lanka and Maldives regions. He is also Chairman of Northern India Hotels Limited and as a Director of Piem Hotels Limited, Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts Limited, Roots Corporation, NourishCo Beverages Limited, Mount Everest Mineral Water Limited and Taj Madras Flight Kitchen Private Limited. He holds a degree in Civil Engineering from BITS Pilani, and an MBA from The Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University and Advanced Management Program (AMP-174) at Harvard Business School, Boston.
About Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 93 hotels in 53 locations across India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Grand Palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. For over a century, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, the iconic flagship has set a benchmark for fine living with exquisite refinement, inventiveness and warmth. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business house. www.tajhotels.com
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