The Narrative of Mohan Singh Oberio – The Greatest Hotelier of India

Mohan Singh Oberoi was the founder of EIH Limited, the parent company of The Oberoi Group, India’s second-biggest hotel company, with 35 hotels in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Egypt, Australia and Hungary. MS Oberoi (August 15, 1900—May 3, 2002) was an eminent Indian hotelier broadly viewed as the father of twentieth century India’s hotel business. A centenarian, he was revered highly in his later years as a far-going visionary who gave a cutting-edge basic model to South Asia’s travel industry and hospitality services industry

Mohan Singh Oberoi’s life is a rags to riches story in real sense. He was born on August 15 1898 in Bhaun, a little town in the erstwhile Punjab, now a part of Pakistan. His father Attar Singh Oberoi was a little time contractual worker in Peshawar. Lamentably the young Attar Singh died soon due to cholera pandemic, abandoning his 18-year-old widow Bhagwanti and little half year old child. They came back to Bhaun where he and his mom were sheltered by his grandfather. 

Early life of MS Oberoi

In the wake of completing his fundamental education in the town school, he registered from DAV School in Rawalpindi. He at that point passed his intermediate examinations from Lahore. Afterward, he enrolled himself in a stenography course in Amritsar.

His first job was as an administrator in a shoe production line. Anyway, the production line shut down and he was left jobless. It was right now that he was married to Ishran Devi from his local town. In 1922. he chose to apply for a government job in Shimla. He didn’t get selected, however with his regular confidence he moved toward Mr. Woods, the supervisor of the luxurious Hotel Cecil and was hired as an assistant. Mr. Woods was succeeded by Mr. Clarke, who elevated the young fellow to the post of clerk and stenographer.

In the year 1927; Ernest Clarke, the then chief of the Cecil Hotel, was offered a 1-year contract to manage their Club in Delhi. He requested that MS go along with him there, to which he happily acknowledged.

How the Journey of MS Oberoi Unfolded

Around the same time, MS pursued Clarke to the run a 50-room Carlton in Shimla. Clarke had leased it from the bank for INR 9,000 per year and renamed it Clarke’s Hotel.

Now the year of 1930 started with wonderful news when Clarke made MS his partner at Clarke’s. What’s more, soon MS persuaded Clarke to purchase out the property as opposed to leasing it. The plan was made possible by loaning INR 135,000 from the Delhi contractual worker SardarBahadurNarain Singh (who had built the Imperial in Delhi).

Very soon, the business picked up popularity more than they had envisioned and yet the debts started to mount as well, as the lease of the Carlton had always come with battling Grand Hotel in Delhi. In 1933; Clarke was in enormous financial mess and the driving force – MS had thought of a plan to save the hotels. Not long after from that point onward, Clarke died and post his demise, MS Oberoi purchased his shares from his widow for 20,000 rupees.

With a blink of an eye; M. S. Oberoi was the sole owner of Clarke Hotels in Delhi and Shimla. What’s more, from here onwards began the heritage of The Oberoi Group!

An Entrepreneur who “Dared to Dream”

In the following couple of years MS paid back every one of the credits which were pending on Clarke’s, and in the meantime by sheer luck, he likewise got offered the Grand in Calcutta (Owned by Armenian land mogul – Stephen Arathoon) which was in a declining condition. 

In 1937, he assumed control over Calcutta’s once-rich Grand Hotel, which had been shut for a long time by fears of cholera in its water supply. Obtaining against his Shimla property, he started a redesign program and, he eventually assured the first visitor to move in, promising him soda water to drink and food cooked outside the hotel.

In the meantime, Mohan Singh consulted with Mercantile Bank (liquidators of the Stephen Arathoon estate) in all respects shrewdly, to decrease the lease of the Shimla hotel. They agreed to do so, yet kept a condition that a European director be named, his previous business at the Cecil, DW Grove. In addition to this, in 1938 Hotel Pvt Ltd. was framed with a venture of INR 1,00,000 with a contribution of INR 25,000 each from the former two alongside Shiv Nath Singh (owner of the Palace Hotel, Karachi) and Dr.Hari Ram.

This was followed by the buy of the Grand for INR 89 lakhs. Oberoi then paid off Kapur, Dr Rim and lastly Shiv Nath. Also, with that the Oberoi clan started leaving its impressions wherever possible. 

The Rise of MS Oberoi – The Hotelier

In 1943, Mohan Singh got a renowned title of RaiBahadur from The Majesty. Mohan Singh was developing his empire and assumed control over the Associated Hotels of Indian chain and leased Delhi’s Hotel Imperial. In 1947, they opened The Oberoi Palm Beach Hotel. In 1948, his elder son and RipuBhagat his friend went on to establish a travel agency Mercury Travels.

In 1949, Mohan Singh registered The East India Hotels Ltd (EIHL). At that point he combined every one of the hotels that were under EIHL. There were very few contributors, however the company was open, Mohan Singh himself, his son Tilak Raj, MotilalKhaitan, N Haksar, RipuBhagat, E Brett and Man Singh.

In 1951, the 65 room Everest Hotel, another Arathoon Hotel in Darjeeling was acquired which was completed by the end of the association in 1952 of Hotel Pvt. Ltd. In 1955, Mohan Singh leased the previous Palace of the Maharaja Hari Singh for an expense of INR 5,000 every month for the following 20 years, which had been empty for about 10 years. In 1956, Mohan Singh purchased the Swiss Hotel opposite the Maidens which was earlier the abode of Lord Curzon and now possessed by Chunamals.

The Expansion of the Oberoi Hotels 

The time of 1966 saw many accomplishments after the younger son of MS Oberoi entered the business. Mohan Singh tied up with ITT Sheraton to build another 34 or 36 story hotel on an luxurious plot of land in Bombay, which was completed in the year 1973 and was made at an expenditure of INR 180 million.

In the same year, Oberoi had additionally come up with a hotel management school in India to further promote the industry and fill the existing gaps. He made Sven Jorgensen, the all-around famous Intercontinental F&B chief, responsible for the school. The scope of the school was working very well with a huge number of applicants each year for three hundred seats that were rolled out. 

During the period of 1973 and 1978, the Oberois extended their business to Sri Lanka, Australia and Bali. In Sri Lanka they built The Lanka Oberoi. They won the offer of The Windstor, Australia and The Bali Oberoi, Bali.

The Oberoi Group was one among the principal hotel networks in India to spread its availability into upscale/mid-market segment. He built the Trident Hotels in 1988 by opening the first hotel in Chennai, India. From that point forward, the group has developed into a chain of nine hotels incorporating two in the Middle East. Further, the Group has aligned with Hilton International to co-brand the product while joining the marketing aptitude of Hilton International with the administration ability of the EIH. 

MS Oberio’s Life as Politician

MS Oberio additionally had an effective political career. He was chosen to the RajyaSabha twice, in 1962 and 1972 and was an elected member of the LokSabha in 1968.

Demise of MS Oberoi

Soon after everything was returning to typical the family and whole India got another stun by the downfall of Mr. Mohan Singh Oberoi at 103 years old, who was a legend as well as the dad of the Indian Hotel industry. Since at that point, Biki, younger child of the family has assumed control over the situation of Chairman of the group and proceeded with his journey towards unimaginable success. 

Grants and Honours

  • In 2001 he was granted with “Padma Bhushan”, third highest civilian award in India.
  • In 1943, he was granted with the title of RaiBahadur by the British Government.
  • In 1955 he was chosen President of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India.
  • In 1960 he was named as the President of Honora of the Federation forever.
  • In 1965, he opened India’s first present day five-star hotel, The Oberoi Intercontinental in Delhi.
  • Won races to the RajyaSabha for two terms, from April 1962 to March 1968 and from April 1972 to April 1978.
  • He was chosen to the fourth LokSabha in April 1968 and was a part till December 1970.
  • He was granted the PHDCCI millennium award in the year 2000.
  • He was perceived by Man of the World by the International Hotel Association, New York.

Oberoi Group – The Present Situation

The Oberoi Group, established in 1934, presently employs more 12,000 individuals worldwide and possesses and oversees more than thirty hotels and five extravagance cruisers. The Group has various hotels around the world, with most recent additions being in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Egypt and Africa. The Hotel chain is growing with each passing day and it expects to further increase its presence in other parts of the world.