Patanjali (Patu) G Keswani
Director, Lemon Tree Hotels
Patu Keswani received his Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi in 1981. He subsequently received his Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from IIM Calcutta in 1983.
Patu joined the TATA Administrative Service (TAS) in 1983 and worked with the TATA Group for over 15 years. His last assignment was as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Taj Group of Hotels. He subsequently worked with management consulting firm, A.T. Kearney Inc. as Director in their New Delhi office.
Anticipating the enormous yet latent demand for mid-market and economy hotels in India, Patu promoted Lemon Tree Hotels in late 2002 and Red Fox Hotels in mid 2006 and subsequently merged the two companies in 2012. He is the Chairman and Managing Director/CEO of the group which currently owns and operates 21 hotels with 2500 rooms across 15 cities pan India, with ~ 3000 direct employees and a net worth of ~ US$ 200 million. Another 6 hotels, aggregating another 1100 rooms are currently under development.
An Initial Public Offering is planned by mid-late 2014 when the annual operating profits of the group will be in excess of US$ 100 million.
Patu has also recently promoted two new companies, one in the affordable housing sector and the other in the vocational education/skilling space. He strongly believes that businesses should be both commercially viable and socially relevant/responsible.
Patu is the pioneer of the mid market hotel segment in India and has created the ‘low cost carrier’ equivalent of the hotel industry.
Patu was inducted into the FHRAI (The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India) Hall of Fame in 2010, awarded the SATTE Hotelier for ‘Best Mid-Market Developer’ of hotels in India in 2010 and inducted into the Hotelier India Hall of Fame in 2012.
Patu has also been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by his two Alma Maters - IIT Delhi in 2011 and IIM Calcutta in 2012.