Home35Under35 2023The Pritam Group of Hotels: A Family-Owned Hospitality Business with an Expanding...

The Pritam Group of Hotels: A Family-Owned Hospitality Business with an Expanding Footprint and a Strong Brand Ethos

“Coming from a long line of hoteliers, going back almost four generations and having been exposed to the industry all my life, I can say there is total veracity in the statement that hoteliering is in my DNA. Ever since I was a child, whenever we hosted dinner parties at home, I would love sitting with the guests and hosting.”

In an exclusive interview with Entrepreneurs Today, Jaibir Kohli talks about his professional experience as a Hotel Asset Management Consultant in Dubai, where he worked with luxury brands such as Fairmont, Waldorf Astoria, St. Regis, W, Sofitel, and Versace Palazzo. He highlights the level of detailing and financial planning required to build, own, operate, and manage hotels with a set of values and a brand DNA that cannot be altered even with several owners involved.

Now, let us get to know about The Pritam Group of Hotels

The Pritam Group of Hotels is a family-owned hospitality house with over 1000 employees. They have a diverse portfolio of restaurants, cafes, hotels, and mixed-use developments, including commercial and residential real estate projects. Some of their well-known F&B brands include Pritam Restaurant in Dadar, Grandmama’s Cafe chain, Terttulia, Pritam da Dhaba, Ginkgo Pan Asian Kitchen, MRP, Native and Tori. They also own Hotel Midtown Pritam and the boutique Hotel Parkway in Mumbai and both commercial & residential real estate spaces in Maharashtra. The group is rapidly expanding, with other projects in the pipeline.

The group was founded by Kulwant Singh Kohli and is now seeing 4th generation entrepreneurs like Jaibir Singh Kohli and his brothers at the helm. Jaibir studied International Hospitality Management in Real estate, Investments, and Hotel Development. The Gen-Next of the group, have added brands like Ginkgo, a cloud kitchen, and Tori, a high-end Latin-Asian dining space to the groups portfolio. Under Jaibir’s leadership, the group has expanded the iconic Pritam name by opening a second location in Juhu on the restaurant’s 80th anniversary and is planning to open a third location in Navi Mumbai soon. The group has also ventured into the real estate sector with warehousing and building projects and has an international expansion plan in the next 5 years.

More about the Director, Jaibir Kohli

Fourth-generation hotelier Jaibir Kohli has a strong enthusiasm for the hospitality sector. As a result of his family’s nearly four generations of running and owning hotels, he grew up surrounded by the industry. Jaibir’s interest in food and hospitality began when he was a small child. He actively helped with dinner parties that his family threw and delighted in the opportunity to connect with guests.

Jaibir’s love for the field was further solidified after he finished his studies at the Glion Institute of Higher Education. He had the chance to investigate various facets of the hospitality sector and identified a special passion for hotel development. He chose to focus on real estate, corporate finance, and the development of worldwide hotels and resorts because the domain fascinated him.

Challenges faced and how the Pritam Group mitigated them

He also walked us through the impact of the pandemic on his family business, which primarily operates in the hotel and restaurant industry. The shutdown of hotels and restaurants resulted in a massive hit for the Pritam Group, which employs over 1000 people and has several stakeholders and suppliers. However, instead of laying off employees to preserve costs like other companies, the Pritam Group chose to support and sustain their employees during the unpredictable first wave of the pandemic. “We retained some of our chefs who could not head back home in the pandemic and offered up our kitchen to Roti Bank, and served 15 million meals in collaboration with them to the needy” he said.

Innovation in the face of crisis

Jaibir Kohli also mentioned the expansion plan the Pritam Group engineered amidst the global economic chaos, setting up two new brands while simultaneously growing their established ones. One of the new brands, Ginkgo, a cloud kitchen, was created to meet the need of the hour during the pandemic as people ordered in to experience the thrill of “eating out.” Ginkgo quickly became a success despite the challenging circumstances.

“Tori was started once lockdown restrictions eased and immediately became the new “it place” as one of the only new restaurants to open during a pandemic. I worked closely with my brother Abhayraj on setting up Tori and set up Ginkgo soon after.”

We asked Jaibir what sets The Pritam Group apart from the competitors, 

According to him, The Pritam Group stands out from its competitors because of its robust brand identity and distinctive offerings that have pioneered the hospitality industry. The Pritam Group has a long history and a significant market share in the sector. Offerings from the group are closely related to its long-established brand ethos.

The Pritam Group was the first of its type in Bombay, popularising butter chicken and building enduring icons like Grandmama’s, the city’s first authentic all-day café serving homely fare to all. In a similar vein, Ginkgo is one of the city’s only one-stop shops for all things Asian, while Tori was the first of its kind as ann eclectic Latin-Asian dining establishment. The Pritam Group wants to keep breaking new ground and dominating the hospitality industry.

Jaibir’s thoughts on success

Success for a businessman, in the opinion of Jaibir Kohli, involves more than just the bottom line. He feels that vital key performance indicators (KPIs) for any organization are staff satisfaction and retention. Employee retention and employee happiness are directly tied, according to Kohli. As a result, it’s critical to maintain employee satisfaction and provide them with a secure workplace. Pritam group has seen second and even third generation staff members working till today. “My grandfather made it a point to keep his staff happy, ‘if we grow, they grow & one cannot grow without the other’ he used to say.”

Customer satisfaction is another crucial KPI for success, according to Kohli. It’s important to keep clients satisfied in the hospitality sector. A company is considered to be successful when its patrons automatically choose it as the location for celebrations, banquets, and family gatherings. According to Kohli, success includes not only profitability but also employee and customer satisfaction.

Let’s see what Jaibir Kohli has planned out for the future

“I do see taking the group not just on a national, but on an international platform. We opened Pritam in Juhu after 80 years, and the response was so overwhelming, we’re opening a third in the city. I think Bombay has the appetite for about 4-5 more of these outlets before we move to a state and national level.” 

By the end of the decade, the Pritam Group wants to franchise in places like Dubai, London, and New York to grow internationally. A luxury residential housing project and two new commercial real estate projects are also being worked on by the group, which will be their entry into these markets. Within the upcoming 18 months, several projects are anticipated to get underway.


Snigdha Basu
Snigdha Basu
A multifaceted writer, Snigdha Basu is a freelancer and a columnist at Entrepreneurs Today. She also spearheads Chic Life Edition - her own Digital Magazine with sustainable fashion, beauty, and culture at its core. Reach out to Snigdha at [email protected] for inquiries.
- Advertisment -

Most Popular