The New Meaning of Luxury

The New Meaning of Luxury
The South Asian Digital Travel Conversation is a digital conversation organized by the South Asian Travel Awards to discuss in-depth, to create awareness and to voice the challenges that are being faced in the Travel Trade & Hospitality Industry of the South Asian region.

The conversation has been purposefully designed as a series, spread across multiple episodes of 60 minutes each, with special guests from the South Asian region’s Travel Trade & Hospitality Industry. Each episode will highlight a specific topic, and industry professionals will be sharing their voice with regional factual data.

The conversation will be guided by a moderator who will ask questions based on the topic of the day, and the guests will share their views, experiences, opinions and hindrances. The show will be viewed live on Facebook ( Different episodes will be presented with diverse industry stakeholders and moderators.

Episode Twelve will be hosted by the VP of South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) Mr Suraj. The topic of episode 13 is; The new meaning of Luxury

Guests for Episode 13 are:

Refhan Razeen - General Manager, Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya
A dynamic trendsetter in the Hospitality Industry counts more than 30 years.  Presently he is the General Manager of Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya, which is owned and managed, by the Tangerine Group of Hotels. However, majority of his career has been with the Aitken Spence Group of Hotels and the last stint was as the Executive General Manager at Heritance Kandalama. Holding a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from University of Derby, UK he has also completed Business & Organizational Psychology from Colombo Institute of Research & Psychology Colombo. Mr. Razeen is a Member of the Institute of Hospitality UK and an Associate Graduate Member of Ceylon Hotel School. He is also an Honorary Advisor for Omega Global and the Emirates Academy.
Raja Gopaal Iyer - CEO, UDS hotels
With 35 years of strong experience in Hospitality sector. Iyer has graduated in Commerce, and Catering Diploma from PUSA in Delhi with an MBA from Madurai Kamaraj University.  He is an entrepreneur with mastery in intersection of technology, consumer marketing, entertainment, and hospitality throughout his career. His specialty is breakthrough Marketing. He has built substantial improvement to the service delivery, Standardization and business systems performance as a Founder of Raj Hospitality and CEO of UDS Hotels.

Rajesh Ramdas - General Manager, Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
With over 20 years in the hospitality industry, He has worked across various functions within Rooms division. Currently he is working at Hyatt Regency Kathmandu as General Manager for the last two years. His last stint was with Hyatt Regency Ludhiana for three years, also as General Manager. A hotel management graduate from Mangalore University, He started his career with The Leela group as a Management Trainee in 1995.  He then joined the preopening team of Burj Al Arab, Dubai in 1999. He started his career with Hyatt as Director of Rooms at Hyatt Regency Mumbai, before moving to Hyatt Regency Ludhiana. In my current role at Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, He works with a team of dedicated associates taking care of 280 rooms, newly renovated restaurants and event venues at the property which sprawls over 37 acres of manicured gardens.

Riaan Sinclair Drever - General Manager, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
Riaan Born in South Africa has been working in the Maldives since 2012, with a break in 2015/2016 to head up our Centara resort in Bentota, Sri Lanka. For him it’s been about passion for this industry, especially the top end and resort environment of Maldives. He has worked for various properties in countries across Africa, America, Middle East and Asia within groups such as Orient Express, Fairmont, Movenpick and Jumeirah.