Introduction to Hotel Industry

Hospitality in India traces its roots for thousands of years in form of traditional community feasts and movement of people for religious purposes and hunting.

Later people started moving for the purpose of business and trade. Gradually it started taking a proper shape.

India is full of religious shrines of different faiths. Some of which are frequently traveled by people of all faith.

As per Hindu mythology from Vedic text and literature. There have been many references of travel and accommodation facilities for the travel of pilgrims and traders by the king.

Atithi Devo Bhava “the Slogan of India Tourism, Government of India also speaks about our rich heritage and culture in context to guests. In Indian Culture Guest is treated as God.

Below is the evolution of hospitality facilities broadly categories in the following period

  • Ancient and Medieval Era
  • Colonial Era
  • Modern Era

Ancient and Medieval Era



Dharamshala & Chatrams

  • Protect the lives of travelers from robbers and wild animals.
  • Offered for free of cost.

Sarai & Musafirkhanas

  •  Build by Mughals to provide accommodation to travelers

Colonial Era



Inns and western-style hotels

Sarai was converted by Britishers as Inns and western-style hotels during their rule


Operated by people of foreign origin to cater to the needs of the European colonizers.


     Portuguese, Georges, Paddy Goose’s, and Racquet Court, which opened in Bombay between 1837 and 1840

Hope Hall Family Hotel

Western tradition Hotel

Sardar Griha

First Indian Style Hotel opened in 1900 in Mumbai


Indian Style Hotel opened in the year 1918

Modern Era



Taj Hotels


Oberoi Hotel


Park Hotels


ITC Hotels


  • EIH Ltd – East India Hotels Ltd
  • IHCL – Indian Hotels Company  Ltd
  • ITC ltd – Imperial Tobacco Company of India Ltd
  • Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels
  • The Leela Palaces Hotels Resorts
  • ITDC – Indian Tourism Development Corporation

International Hotel Brands

  • Wyndham Worldwide
  • Marriott International
  • InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Accor Hotels
  • Best Western Hotels
  • Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Indian Hotel Company Ltd (IHCL)

IHCL collage
The Indian Hotels Company Limited

Hotel Name

Taj Hotels

Parent Company


Year Started


Started by

Jamsetji Tata 


•      Taj 

•      Vivanta

•      Ginger

•      SeleQtions

•      The Gateway

Number of Hotels

200 PLUS

Countries of operation


Head Quarter

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Current President/CEO

Mr. Puneet Chhatwal

USP ( If any)

Tajness. You can feel with your eyes closed

Few Properties (Examples)

•        The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai 

•        Taj Exotica Goa 

•        Taj Mahal Palace, Jaipur

•        Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

•        Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, London


  • Started by Jamsetji.
  • The company got started in the year 1899 under the name of Indian Hotel Company Ltd.
  • The first property by IHCL was open in the year 1903 at Mumbai by the name of “The Taj Mahal Palace”. The first chain of Luxury Hotels in India

Source: (

EIH Ltd (Oberoi Hotels & Resort)

EIH Associated Hotels Limited

EIH Limited is a Public Limited Listed Company incorporated under the Indian Companies Act, 1913 and existing under the Companies Act, 1956 and the Companies Act, 2013. It has its Registered Office at 4, Mango Lane, Kolkata – 700 001, West Bengal and Corporate Office at 7, Sham Nath Marg, Delhi – 110 054.

Hotel Name

Oberoi Hotels & Resort

Parent Company

EIH ltd

Year Started

1934 ( First Property – The ClarkesHotel, Shimla)

Company Started- 1949

Started by

Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi


Oberoi Hotels ( Luxury)

Trident Hotels ( 5star) Maidens Hotel

Number of Hotels

30 plus

Countries of operation


Head Quarter

Registered office – Kolkata, West Bengal

Corporate Office – New Delhi

Current President/CEO

Mr. P R S Oberoi

Tag Line

Heart. Felt

Few Properties (Examples)

The Oberoi, New Delhi

The Oberoi, Mumbai

The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata

The Oberoi Zahra river Cruise, Nile River

The Oberoi, Vrinda River Cruise, Kerala


  • Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi was born on 15th august 1898 at Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan.
  • He got a job as a clerk at a hotel called Cecil Hotel, Shimla which is at present known as The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla in the year 1922.
  • Clarkes Hotel, Shimla was the first hotel which was purchased by Mr. Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi.
  • Cecil, Shimla was purchased later.
  • Formerly known as East India Hotels, the name was changed to EIH on November 1, 1996.
  • In January 1997, the company forayed into the overseas market by opening a luxury resort –– The Oberoi Lombok –– in Indonesia. Later in November 2003, the company started Motor Vessel Vrinda, a luxury cruiser in Kerala.

        Source: (EIH ltd, 2020)

ITDC (Indian Tourism Development Corporation)

India Tourism Development Corporation

Hotel Name

Ashok Group of Hotels

Parent Company


Year Started

October 1966

Started by

Government of India


Ashok Group of Hotels

Ashok International Trade

Ashok Travel & Tours

Ashok Consultancy

Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism


Ashok Events

Ashok Catering

Number of Hotels


Countries of operation


Head Quarter

New Delhi

Current President/CEO

G Kamala Vardhana Rao

USP ( If any)

A government of India Undertaking 

Few Properties (Examples)

•      The Ashok, New Delhi

•      Hotel Samrat, New Delhi

•      Kalinga Hotel, Bhubaneswar

•      Pondicherry Ashok


ITDC came into existence in October 1966 and has been the prime mover in the progressive development, promotion, and expansion of tourism in the country. Broadly, the main objectives of the Corporation are:

  • To construct, take over and manage existing hotels and market hotels, Beach Resorts, Traveller’s Lodges/Restaurants;
  • To provide transport, entertainment, shopping, and conventional services;
  • To produce, distribute, tourist publicity material;
  • To render consultancy-cum-managerial services in India and abroad;
  • To carry on the business as Full-Fledged Money Changers (FFMC), restricted money changers, etc;
  • To provide innovating, dependable, and value for money solutions to the needs of tourism development and engineering industry including providing consultancy and project implementation.

The Corporation is running hotels, restaurants at various places for tourists, besides providing transport facilities. In addition, the Corporation is engaged in the production, distribution, and sale of tourist publicity literature and providing entertainment and duty-free shopping facilities to the tourists. The Corporation has diversified into new avenues/innovative services like Full-Fledged Money Changer (FFMC) services, engineering related consultancy services, etc. The Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management of the Corporation imparts training and education in the field of tourism and hospitality.

Presently, ITDC has a network of four Ashok Group of Hotels, one Joint Venture Hotels, 1 Restaurant, 12 Transport Units, and 13 Duty-Free Shops at Seaports and one Sound & Light Shows.

Besides, ITDC is also managing catering services at Western Court, Vigyan Bhawan, and Hyderabad House.

Source: (ITDC, 2020)

Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels (The Park Hotels)

the park
Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels

Hotel Name

The Park Hotels

Parent Company

Apeejay Surrendra Group

Year Started


Started by

Late Surrendra Paul


•      Zone by The Park

•      The Park Hotels

•      The Park Collection

Number of Hotels


Countries of operation


Head Quarter


Current President/CEO

Priya Paul

Tag Line

“ Anything but ordinary”

Few Properties (Examples)

•      The Park, New Delhi

•      The Park Kolkata

•      The Park Bangalore

Apeejay is one of India’s oldest and largest business conglomerates. The Group’s businesses are spread over Tea (Plantations & FMCG brands); Shipping; Hospitality; Real Estate (Commercial & Business Centres); Retail brands (Bookstores & Tea Rooms); Marine Cluster; Logistics Parks and Knowledge Parks.

Source:  (Apeejay Group, 2020)

The Leela Palaces Hotels & Resorts (The Leela)

hotel photo
The Leela Palaces Hotels & Resorts

The Leela story begins with its founder Late Capt. CP Krishnan Nair who at the age of 65 years when most people begin to think of retiring he started to build The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts which today form one of the biggest and most celebrated indigenous group of hotels in India. and a deep hunger that fuelled his ambitions.

The Leela Mumbai opens in 1986

When actively scouting for land in Mumbai to construct his first hotel, he and his wife stumbled upon a vast tract of 11 acres situated close to the international airport. There was no other commercial establishment around it, except for a taxi stand that catered to travelers arriving at the airport.

The Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre by The Leela

Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre by The Leela, Gandhinagar is located in close proximity to the famous Dandi Kutir and well-connected to UNESCO’s World Heritage City of Ahmedabad.

Hotel Name

The Leela

Parent Company

The Leela Group

Year Started


Started by

CP Krishnan Nair


•      The Leela Palaces

•      The Leela

•      The Leela Ambience

Number of Hotels


Countries of operation


Head Quarter



Anuraag Bhatnagar

Tag Line


Few Properties (Examples)

The Leela Palace, Bengaluru

The Leela Palace, Chennai The Leela, Mumbai


Source:  (Leela Hotels, 2020)

Types of Food and Beverages Operation

Primary catering Operation – The organizations under this category primary business is concerned with the provision of providing food and beverages to customers/guests. Their main business is related to the production and service of food and beverages. Example Restaurants, Take away, Bar, etc.

Secondary Catering Operation – The organization in which the provision for food and beverages service is not the primary activity, but it’s a secondary business to facilitate and provide comfort to its, staff and guests. An example is Transport Catering, Institutional Catering, Industrial catering, etc.

Classification based on Profit Motive

Catering organizations are classified on the basis of the Profit motive of the organization.

Commercial catering Operation

  • Residential Catering
  • Non-Residential Catering

Welfare Catering Operation

Commercial Catering Operation is those operations whose objective is to make a profit by selling food and beverages and providing services. Examples of commercial catering operations are as follows: Restaurants, Bar, Food and Beverage operations of Hotels, Standalone Restaurants, Pubs, Coffee shop, Transport catering, etc.

Commercial Catering is further classifying into two types

  • Residential catering – Food and beverage services provided at Hotels, Resorts, Inns, etc. This organization basically provides accommodation facilities to the guest along with food and beverages services.
  • Non Residential catering – Food and Beverages service provided at Standalone Restaurants, Pubs, Bar, Fast Food outlets, and so on. These organizations just prove guests with food and beverages services, no accommodation facilities are available.

Welfare catering operations are those catering operations which provide food and beverage service at no profit and no loss basis to people. These types of catering operations are primarily run by government organizations, religious trust, and management, and private companies as a part of their corporate social responsibilities and staff welfare. Examples are Institutional catering, Military catering/garrison Catering, Catering at Prison, Hospital Catering, etc.

Captive market/customers

The customers do not have a choice where to eat and have to avail services provided by a particular catering outlet. For example, residential school children, college students staying in hostels, hospital patients, people staying in old age homes, prisoners and industrial workers

Non-captive market/customers

The customers have a choice where to eat. The type of restaurant chosen may be a fine dining restaurant of a deluxe hotel, stand-alone restaurant, coffee shop, fast food outlet, specialty restaurant, or a popular restaurant depending on the following:

  • Reason for dining- Birthday party, Valentine’s Day, Wedding anniversary, or Business meeting
  • Time available to eat- Some customers have more time to spend in a restaurant while others have very little time, which influences their decision on the selection of the type of eatery, Executive class clients need executive lunch during lunch hours as they have less time to eat.

Semi-captive market/customers

The customers have a limited choice of where to eat. In such a market, the customers have a choice before selecting the food and beverages. Once the choice is made, the customers have no choice but to be content with what is on offer. The examples include the following:

  • Passengers traveling by train may take food prepared in the pantry car; from food outlets at railway stations or wait till the destination is reached.
  • Those who travel by car on the highway have a limited choice of taking food from any of the outlets located on the highway. Those who wish to travel by air have a choice of selecting the airlines and have a choice between vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. Once these choices are made, they have to take what is offered.

Railway Catering

Catering services provided on trains and railway stations are termed railway catering.

In India, the organization responsible for railway catering is IRCTC, which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Railways.

railway catering hotel manament study eshopitalitystudy

IRCTC is the body that is responsible for the execution of catering services at railways. But apart from catering services IRCTC is also responsible for ticket booking facilities, water treatment, and packing and tourism promotion.

Railway catering is basically divided into two parts. One segment deals with providing food and beverages services to the people who have boarded trains traveling to its destination. By proving Tea/Coffee, snacks, breakfast, lunch, Dinner on their seat or at pantry buffet.

Another segment of railway catering deals with the static catering business, it means the food and beverages service facilities provided at railway platforms and railway stations in a form of Food plazas, fast food units, refreshment rooms, Jan Ahaar Kendra, cell kitchen, and base kitchen to provide packed meals.

Source 🙁IRCTC, 2020)

Airline catering

Airline catering is the catering services which is provided to onboard services passengers on airlines. Like other modes of catering services, there is no provision to cook food onboard flight. Thus, inflight catering foods are cooked at the base kitchen at the airport or any hotel within which the airline has a tie-up and then these cooked foods are packed properly to get served to the passengers during their flight.

The first airline meals were served by Handley Page Transport, an airline company founded in 1919, to serve the London–Paris route in October of that year. Passengers could choose from a selection of sandwiches and fruits.

The menu planning for the airline catering differs from country to country, as it has the local influence of both the source from where the flight takes off and the destination for which it is scheduled.

The leading flight catering agencies in India are as follows:

Taj Sats Air Catering – It started in the year 1976, Taj SATS is the market leader in Airline catering and serves over 65,000 meals daily to over 40 domestic and international airlines. It is owned by IHCL.

It caters to various clients like

  • Air Inda
  • Go Air
  • Spice Jet
  • Vistara
  • Indigo and many more can be checked for more details. 

Source: (TajSATS, 2020)


Catering Private Limited is an airline food catering company, established in 2002. Skygourmet cater to leading domestic and international airlines along with institutional segment.

Gate group is a market leader in its industry and partner with over 250 airline customers with a portfolio of comprehensive above-the-wing offerings: Catering and Hospitality Solutions, Aircraft Provisioning and Logistics as well as in-flight Solutions. They operate in 35 countries on five continents.

Operating locations in India:

Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Goa, Pune, Ahmedabad

Source: (skyGourmet, 2020)

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