Shikhar Kumar: Revolutionizing India's Hospitality Industry With Unique Boutique Hotels | CEOInsights Vendor
  Shikhar Kumar: Revolutionizing India's Hospitality Industry With Unique Boutique Hotels

Shikhar Kumar: Revolutionizing India's Hospitality Industry With Unique Boutique Hotels

 Shikhar Kumar,  Managing Director

Shikhar Kumar

Managing Director

Over the past few years, India has witnessed a significant rise in the boutique hotel chain industry. As more and more travelers seek unique and personalized experiences, the demand for boutique hotels has increased exponentially. These hotels offer a distinct charm, combining luxury with local flavors, creating a sense of exclusivity and intimacy that is unmatched by traditional hotel chains. With its rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes, India provides a perfect backdrop for boutique hotels, each with its distinct character and charm. One of the unique nature-inspired resorts and hotels in India is Stone Wood Hotels & Resorts, established by Shikhar Kumar.

Shikhar Kumar is the Managing Director of Stonewood Hotels and Resorts, a boutique hotel chain with unique locations and lush green landscaping. Also, Shikhar Kumar is a visionary leader with a passion for creating more hotels and fostering strong relationships with his team members. He has successfully grown Stonewood Hotels and Resorts in a short amount of time and continues to strive for excellence in the hospitality industry.

Below is an excerpt of Shikhar Kumar’s exclusive interaction with CEO Insights magazine.

How has your entrepreneurial journey been so far? What is the motivation that fuels your daily routines?
As the founder of Stonewood Hotels and Resorts, I am extremely proud of the journey we have been on. It all started after completing my postgraduation when I decided to take the plunge and start my brand. We began with a humble 40-room boutique hotel in Goa in 2016, which
had a spa and banquet hall. From there, we expanded and opened two more hotels in Goa, and even during the pandemic, we continued building new hotels. As of now, we have 10 hotels under the Stonewood brand.

Our team comprises experienced individuals who have been in the industry for years, & as a young entrepreneur, I have much to learn from their experience

Our goal is to make Stonewood a pan-India brand, with a presence in all major cities and states. We have a unique concept of boutique hotels with a maximum of 60 rooms, which allows us to provide personalized services and create unforgettable experiences for our guests. Moreover, my daily motivation is to achieve this vision and make Stonewood a household name in India. I am grateful for the support of my team and our guests, who have helped us reach where we are today. We are excited about the future and cannot wait to see what lies ahead for Stonewood Hotels and Resorts.

How would you define Stone Wood Hotels & Resorts as an organization and its current position in the market?
At Stonewood Hotels and Resorts, we strive to create unique boutique hotels across India. As our name suggests, we are inspired by nature, and our properties are surrounded by lush green landscaping, with locations like the beach and river in Goa. We aim to give our guests a different experience, away from typical city hotels with common facilities and services. Our recent addition in Gokarna is a prime example, with 35 luxury wooden cottages and tree houses. In the future, we plan to expand to major cities like Jaipur and Delhi, focusing on the outskirts and staying true to our concept of unique locations and personalized service.

Tell us about your leadership approach, and the guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team.
As an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry, I believe in a relationship-driven leadership approach. As our industry is human driven, I value the importance of building strong relationships with all our team members. Our team comprises experienced individuals who have been in the industry for years, and as a young entrepreneur, I have much to learn from their experience. We operate like a small family, with open communication and a willingness to learn from one another. From one hotel with one GM to now having 10 GMs and 500 employees, we have grown together, always maintaining the belief in working as a team and being approachable to one another. This approach has helped us build a strong foundation and continues to guide us toward success.

Considering your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?
Believing in yourself and being proactive are key ingredients for success in any endeavor. It takes courage to pursue your passions and dreams, but the rewards are priceless. Do not wait for the perfect moment to act, as it may never come. Instead, take the first step towards your goal and trust that everything will eventually fall into place. Along the way, you will gain valuable experiences and knowledge that will help you navigate the challenges and obstacles that come your way. Remember that success is not a destination but a journey, and enjoy every moment of it. So, be bold, take risks, and have faith in yourself, and you will achieve great things.

Shikhar Kumar, Managing Director, Stone Wood Hotels & Resorts
Shikhar Kumar is a hospitality industry expert who earned his Hotel Management degree from the Welcome Group of Hotel Management in Manipal, India. After completing his fouryear undergrad program, Shikhar pursued his passion for hospitality by obtaining a Master's degree from Les Roches Switzerland. With his extensive knowledge and experience in the field, Shikhar founded the luxurious boutique hotel chain, Stonewood Hotels, and Resorts, in 2016, with its primary presence in the scenic region of Goa.

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