When it comes to running a hotel chain and preserving heritage at the same time, Digraj Singh Shahpura perhaps comes at the top of the game in India. His royal venture, 15 Shahpura hotels, is the perfect epitome for that.
Shahpura who traces his lineage to the royal Shahpura clan was listed in Forbes India's 100 Richest Indians in 2018. It was not too long that he started to handle his family business as the director and was able to transform into heritage hotels and expand his business by delving into designer clothes and jewellery. His style, according to him, is heavily influenced by Rajasthan style.
Shahpura Hotels started its journey by launching Shahpura House in Jaipur in 1991. The hotel has 65 rooms and is unique in the sense that it gives you the feeling of royalty. That journey has led Shahpura hotels to expand massively.
But why are his hotels so different? Digraj Singh Shahpura says that he transformed royal heritage buildings in Rajasthan into luxurious, heritage hotels. This move really clicked with an increasing middle-class society of India. He was soon able to chip in investment and extract profit from it too.
"Our forts and palaces are the exact faces of the historical era. Trusting our legitimate ancestral approach, we made all these things stay together. To protect the indigenous chronicles we went through the bygone roots of our Shahpura clan. We were inspired from what our forefathers actually formulated in that era, how their following generations preserved and from that we also cultivated the methods of preserving but in modern ways", he said.
Not only focusing on the business aspect of hotels, but Shahpura also gave a proper thought to make his hotels environment-friendly. He established the first hotel having an in-room automation and sensor system in Rajasthan in order to save electricity. But Shahpura also says that it is not always easy to run the business.
"At times it is difficult to convince your partners as to why heritage hotels will run when hotel chains like Oyo are doing great. But when I show them the output, they understand why heritage hotels are important to preserve both heritage and also attract high-end customers at the same time," he said.
Shahpura now seeks to expand his business by acquiring several heritage forts and palaces and then converting them into successful heritage hotels.
Shahpura hotels today boast of both national and international visitors who certainly wish to foray into the royal culture of Rajasthan. The hotel chain recently opened Shahpura Kumbhal Villas.
It is located in the picturesque Aravalli Hills, which is close to the historical landmark of Kumbhalgarh Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
"The patrimony is the focal way which should inspire everyone in order to safeguard our chronicles with perfection. I believe our hotel chains are sustainable in the longer since our culture and heritage has lasted for centuries", Shahpura added.
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