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Hilton appoints Zubin Saxena as India country head


Hilton announced the appointment of Zubin Saxena as senior vice president and country head, India on Monday.

Saxena joins Hilton from Radisson Hotel Group, where he worked for over eight years, most recently as the managing director and area senior vice president, South Asia. He will be taking charge in January 2024 and sitting out of the Hilton’s corporate office in Gurgaon, the company said in a statement.

Saxena’s 24-year career in hospitality has included a four year stint at IHG as director of development for South Asia. He has also held senior advisory roles with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in India and HVS in New York.

Hilton said Saxena will oversee Hilton’s 25 trading hotels in India and lead the company’s expansion in South Asia with 20 properties in the development pipeline. He takes over the position from Navjit Ahluwalia, who leaves Hilton after six years.

During his tenure, Ahluwalia led the company in India, overseeing the opening of the Hilton Goa Resort, the Hilton Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park, a dual brand Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn, as well as a convention center, and most recently the DoubleTree by Hilton in Varanasi.

“Given the enormous opportunity that India represents and the strong momentum we are seeing, we are excited to welcome Zubin to the Hilton family, whose energy, expertise and leadership will be pivotal, as we supercharge our growth on the Indian subcontinent. We also thank Navjit for his many years of dedication in building our presence and culture in India”, said Alan Watts, president, Asia Pacific at Hilton.Saxena said he looks forward to ‘hitting the ground running’ at Hilton in January, getting to know the team and working for the ‘iconic’ brand in this ‘fast-developing’ region, which holds so much promise for the company. “Hilton is at a very pivotal moment in India, with its portfolio of market leading brands and ambitious growth plans. I am excited by the size and scope of the role and look forward to leading and delivering on our ambitious goals in this incredibly dynamic market,” Saxena said.

Hilton said in the coming years, the chain’s plan is to triple its estate to have 75 trading and pipeline hotels in India. This will see the company grow the presence of its existing core Hilton brand, along with Conrad, Hampton by Hilton, Double Tree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn. Hilton said the Waldorf Astoria Jaipur is slated to open in 2027.

Saxena has an MBA from Adam Smith School of Business, Glasgow. In 2019, he was enlisted in the ‘Economic Times 40 Under Forty list of Business Leaders’ in India.


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