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Lalit Suri

Lalit SuriLalit Suri (15 April 1947 – 10 October 2006) was the ‘uncrowned hotel king’ of India and a member of the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of India’s Parliament). Lalit Suri was elected to the Rajya Sabha as an Independent from Uttar Pradesh in 2002.

Born on April 15, 1947 in Rawalpindi (Pakistan), Lalit Suri was an alumnus of St Columbus and Sri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi. He represented both his school and college in swimming and athletics at the state level.

Lalit Suri was trained as an automobile engineer and started his career manufacturing vehicle bodies. He joined the family-run Delhi Automobile Ltd in 1971 but he struck gold when the group diversified into hospitality business in 1982 with Suri as its Joint Managing Director.

Suri commissioned his first hotel in the capital in 1988 and went on to become one of the prominent hoteliers in the country having a network of hotels across the country. He was the Chairman of the Bharat Hotels chain and was the single-largest hotel owner with over 1600 rooms. Bharat Hotels chain comprises seven hotels which include the flagship InterContinental The Grand in Delhi, and six Grand at Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Udaipur and Khajuraho.

Suri was also the owner of the Midday newspaper in Delhi. Suri also won a number of prestigious awards and has been responsible for pushing a number of policy recommendations on the tourism sector.

Death

He attended a reception in London on Monday, October 9, 2006, hosted by the Indian community in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Lalit Suri complained of chest pains and was taken to London University Hospital, where he died the following day, aged 59. He is survived by his wife, Jyotsna, and their four children.

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