In a significant move, hospitality giant Hilton has named Zubin Saxena, former Radisson Hotel Group Managing Director for South Asia, as its Senior Vice President and Country Head for India. Saxena, with an extensive 24-year career in hospitality, including roles at IHG and senior advisory positions with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in India and HVS in New York, will succeed Navjit Ahluwalia, who departs Hilton after six years.
Saxena’s tenure at Radisson, spanning over 8 years, culminated in his role as Managing Director and Area Senior Vice President for South Asia. Holding an MBA from the Adam Smith School of Business, Glasgow, Saxena is set to assume his new role at Hilton in January 2024. In his capacity, Saxena will oversee Hilton’s 25 operational hotels in India and spearhead the company’s expansion in South Asia, with an impressive 20 properties in the development pipeline.
Hilton’s strategic vision includes tripling its estate in India over the coming years, aiming for a total of 75 trading and pipeline hotels. This growth strategy involves strengthening the presence of existing core Hilton brands, including Conrad, Hampton by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, and Hilton Garden Inn. Additionally, the company plans to introduce new brands, such as the highly anticipated Waldorf Astoria Jaipur, slated to open its doors in 2027.
Alan Watts, President, Asia Pacific at Hilton, expressed enthusiasm about Saxena’s appointment, highlighting the vast opportunities in India and the pivotal role Saxena is expected to play in driving Hilton’s growth in the region. Watts also extended gratitude to Navjit Ahluwalia for his dedicated years in building Hilton’s presence and culture in India.
Saxena shared his excitement about the new role, citing India’s immense potential and Hilton’s ambitious growth plans. He looks forward to leading the team and delivering on the company’s ambitious goals in this dynamic market. Meanwhile, Ahluwalia, during his tenure, notably oversaw key openings, including the Hilton Goa Resort, Hilton Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park, and the DoubleTree by Hilton in Varanasi, contributing significantly to Hilton’s growth in India.