Overall ranking: 71
Hotelier ranking: 17
Jasminder Singh - Snapshot
Jasminder Singh is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Radisson Edwardian Hotels, one of London’s largest privately-owned hotel groups. It operates an award-winning collection of 12 luxury four- and five-star hotels - 10 in central London, the others in Heathrow and Manchester - which range in size from 58 to 459 bedrooms.
The group, which is owned by Edwardian Hotels, has a franchise agreement with US-based Radisson Hotels Worldwide to run its properties under the Radisson Edwardian banner.
Jasminder Singh - Career guide
Jasminder Singh, who is of Punjabi descent, was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1951. He came to the UK in 1968, qualified as an accountant with Hacker & Young and made his first move into the hotel market in 1975.
He founded Edwardian Hotels in 1977 with the acquisition of the Edwardian hotel in London, which he later sold.
Singh is a non-executive director of HSBC, a board member of the Warwick Business School and a member of Brunel University’s Court. He has been honoured with a doctorate by the University of Stirling and was appointed OBE in 2007 for his services to the hotel industry.
Singh is regarded as one of the richest Punjabis outside India, and his £350m fortune assures him regular appearances in the Sunday Times Rich List and the Asian Rich List.
Jasminder Singh - What we think
Singh’s mission with Radisson Edwardian is to provide an alternative to “formal and stuffy” traditional hotels and “artificial, pretentious” boutique properties. “We believe our guests enjoy and expect beautiful spaces - but do not want to feel that they themselves are on display, or cannot fully relax,” he says.
He works to achieve this goal by taking a hands-on approach to management. Singh, with his senior managers, visits each property between 5.30am and 8.30am each morning to support frontline staff. The company jettisons the property-based general manager’s role to allow its heads of departments to work together to run each hotel. Its merit-based career paths, dedication to training and incentives schemes made it a winner in Caterer's 2006 Best Places to Work in Hospitality awards.
Singh is also one with an eye for the bigger picture. The marketing arrangement he signed with Radisson Hotels Worldwide in 1991 was the first European franchising deal for its owner, the Carlson Hospitality Group, and the world’s first dual-branding deal. It gave Radisson Edwardian the marketing muscle of the US giant but allowed Singh to retain control over pricing and strategy - and thus the individuality of the collection.
In 2008, a TV documentary that alleged shocking hygiene practices and substandard staff training at the hotel group threatened to momentarily derail Radisson Edwardian, but Singh has continued to impress the industry, picking up the Asian Business Awards’ Hotelier of the Year title in 2010.
Anyway, if former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson chooses to base himself at the group’s Manchester hotel while managing Manchester City, who are we to argue?
Jasminder Singh - Further information