CG Corp Global Chairman Dr. Binod K. Chaudhary (fourth from left) with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the third Tourism, Hotel Investment and Networking Conference Sri Lanka at the Galle Face Hotel yesterday. Others from left: Galle Face Hotel Group Chairman Sanjeev Gardiner, Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga, CG Hospitality Lanka Chairman Tilak de Zoysa, HOTELIVATE Founder Chairman Manav Thadani, and Jetwing Hotels Chairman Hiran Cooray - Pic by Ruwan Walpola
- Contribution to hospitality industry recognised by new age hospitality consulting firm in Asia Pacific
- CG Hospitality expands hospitality footprint in Sri Lanka
The extraordinary visionary whose unbridled optimism and trailblazing foresight has seen him etch manifold chapters in building a formidable empire, Dr Binod Chaudhary, Nepal’s first billionaire as featured in Forbes, was presented with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award by HOTELIVATE at the Tourism, Hotel Investment & Networking Conference (THINC) in Colombo yesterday.
In recognition of his two-decade journey in Sri Lanka, and for paving the way for entrepreneurs around the world to emulate his unorthodox formula for success, Chaudhary today is a significant regional player in the hospitality industry.
THINC also took cognizance of the fact that Chaudhary plans on having over 200 hotels within his ever expanding portfolio within the next two to three years, and his infinite optimism in expanding in Sri Lanka, at a time when a raging civil war signalled a mass exodus of businesses and terrified potential investors away from the country. Elated at being conferred this Lifetime Achievement Award at an audience comprising leading hoteliers in the region and Asia Pacific, Chaudhary reiterated that as Chairman of CG Corp Global, he was very confident that Sri Lanka had the potential, and hence investing in this country was a given. “There was indeed an economic recession. The economy was in the doldrums, and the tourism sector specifically faced permeating catastrophic consequences. Foreign capital was non-existent and Sri Lankans themselves were cautious about investing in their home turf.”
It was the majestic five-star hotel, the Taj Samudra Colombo, that first caught his eye and in 2001, joining hands with IHCL, CG Hospitality which is CG Corp’s hospitality arm, made his first major investment into the hospitality industry globally. “My inherent ability to spot potential also gives me confidence to take calculated risk,” he explains. “I did that with the Taj and was proved right. It was time for me to look at other avenues.”
The next step was to partner Jetwing Hotels. Forming Jetwing Zinc Journey, a JV between CG Hospitality and Jetwing Hotels, he added Jetwing Vil Uyana Sigiriya and Jetwing Sea Negombo into its portfolio. These multi-award winning resorts, the triumph of which include Jetwing Vil Uyana crowned as Best Eco Luxury Hotel by Harper’s Bazaar, spurred CG Hospitality to next add 10 properties across the country in partnership with Ceylon Hotels Corporation.
Under the Ekho Zinc Journey banner, the Sigiriya, Weligama and Ella properties have gained a tropical fillip through its renovation process, and now stand as exotic signature properties. Kithulgala and Belihuloya will be next in this portfolio. Chaudhary is very appreciative of the role played by CG Hospitality Lanka Chairman Tilak de Zoysa for continuing to spearhead the Company’s journey onwards and upwards. He is also proud of his partnership with IHCL, Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray, Galle Face Hotel Group Chairman Sanjeev Gardiner, and Sunshine Holdings Group MD Vish Govindasamy, who have been towers of strength in Chaudhary’s tourism journey in Sri Lanka.
With the Taj Samudra being the first investment into the hospitality sector for CG Hospitality, the Group has a formidable portfolio of 125 hotels in 12 countries, 90 destinations and 6500 keys. Under its various brands and categories, it brings cutting-edge concepts and redefines standards across all tourism frontiers in hotels, resorts, residences and spas across Asia, Middle East and Africa. Joining hands with the Taj Group, CG Hospitality will soon provide unparalleled jungle experiences in Central India and Nepal and luxury offerings in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
CG Corp Global is a transnational conglomerate with an exceptional legacy of 140 years. Present in over 30 countries with 76 brands, 122 companies and with an employee base of 10,000 people, it is Nepal’s first and only billion dollar corporation that produces world-class products, brands and services. The Group’s notable areas of interests are fast-moving consumer goods, hospitality, banking, cement, integrated industrial parks, real estate, consumer electronics, telecom, education, energy, biotech, remittance and retail. Apart from business, CG is deeply involved in philanthropic activities through Chaudhary Foundation.