Jasminder Singh

21 September 2006
Jasminder Singh

Overall ranking: 81 (new entrant)

Hoteliers ranking: 20

Jasminder Singh is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Radisson Edwardian Hotels, one of London's largest privately-owned hotel groups. It operates an award-winning collection of 12 luxury four- and five-star hotels (10 in central London, the others in Heathrow and Manchester) which range in size from 58 to 459 bedrooms.

The group, which is owned by Edwardian Hotels, has a franchise agreement with US-based Radisson Hotels Worldwide to run its properties under the Radisson Edwardian banner. The group has an annual turnover of £90m and a net worth in excess of £250m.

Jasminder Singh - Career guide
Jasminder Singh, who is of Punjabi descent, was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1951. He came to the UK in 1968 and qualified as an accountant with Hacker and Young and made his first move into the hotel market in 1975.

He founded Edwardian Hotels in 1977 with the acquisition of the Edwardian hotel in London, which is later sold.

Jasminder Singh - What we think

Singh's individual collection of luxury hotels were inspired by the art and culture of the Edwardian period but he aims to offer comfort in place of period formality.

Notable buys have included the Hampshire hotel in 1988 - the group's first five star property - the Skyway hotel at Heathrow in 1989 (now the five-star Radisson Edwardian at Heathrow), and the five-star May Fair InterContinental, which the group snapped up in 2003 for £115m.

Singh's marketing arrangement with Radisson Hotels Worldwide in 1991 was the first European franchising deal for its owner, the Carlson Hospitality Group and the world's first dual-branding deal - it gave Radisson Edwardian the marketing muscle of the US giant but allowed Singh to retain control over pricing, strategy and thus the individuality of the collection.

Most hotels are owned by the group except for the Manchester property, which was its first outside the M25 area and, arguably, the city's first five-star property.

However, Manchester was not its first foray into management - in the early days it sold two hotels, the Vanderbilt and Savoy Court (now the Sussex), to BCCI and managed them until the bank's collapse in the early 1990s.

It has two more management projects in the pipeline. Next year it will start to operate a four-star, 169-bedroom riverside hotel in London's New Providence Wharf, for property developer Ballymore.

In 2009, it will take on Coventry's first five-star property in the form of a 184-bedroom hotel with extensive conference facilities that will open in Oakmore Deeley's £130m Belgrade Plaza development.

Longer term, Singh is looking to team up with the 7th Lord of Northumberland to develop a 154-bedroom hotel with extensive conference facilities on the Syon Estate in London and wants to build a 145-bedroom hotel in Guildford town centre.

In the meantime, the Radisson Edwardian May Fair reopens this November with an additional 135 bedrooms and 2,000 sq ft of conference facilities. There are also plans to boost the bedroom numbers at Heathrow from 459 to 766, double the conference space to 5,000 sq ft and add a 20,000sq ft health spa.

Singh fosters a family culture within the group that does not stop with the directorships held by his brother Herinder and his wife Anrit (who is a qualified interior designer who is actively involved in the on-going refinement and refurbishment of the estate).

He's a hands-on operator who, with his senior managers, visits each property between 5.30 and 8.30 am each morning to support frontline staff. The company jettisons the property-based general manager's role to allow the heads of departments to work together to run each hotel. Its merit-based career paths, dedication to training (all senior management take Oxford and Harvard advanced management programmes) and incentives schemes made it a winner in Caterer's 2006 Best Places to Work in Hospitality awards.

Radisson Edwardian also plays an active role in the wider community. For instance, in 2003 it became a founder member of the Westminster CCTV Trust, linking its hotels' CCTV with those of the police to make the West End and Camden safer for guest, staff and the public.

The group was a bid sponsor backing the campaign to win London the 2012 Olympic Games and, this September, became the first premier partner to sign a four-year deal with marketing body VisitLondon. The group also sponsors the Hotel Management School in India.

Singh is a non-executive director of the HSBC, a board member of the Warwick Business School and a member of the Brunel University's Court.

He is regarded as one of the richest Punjabis outside India and his £350m fortune assures him regular appearances in the Sunday Times Rich List and the Asian Rich List.

Jasminder Singh - Further information

Radisson Edwardian profile on CatererSearch

Radisson Edwardian official websites

Read more about the CatererSearch 100, the list of the most influential people here

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