Deval Tibrewalla

Deval is a fifth generation entrepreneur and is CEO and Director, Hotel Polo Towers Group, the largest hotel company in North East India which currently owns and operates 9 hotels.

The group’s first property, Hotel Polo Towers is Shillong's only four star hotel and one of the largest hotels in the North East region of India.

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view of Infinity Pool at Polo Orchid Resorts, Cherrapunji 8

Polo Orchid Resort in Cherrapunjee (the worlds ‘rainiest’ place) is an iconic hilltop boutique resort. The group has been a first-mover the tourism market in Meghalaya, a state, earlier irrelevant of the tourist map of India but which is now one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the country.

The investments in Meghalaya form the bedrock of the group’s far-sighted strategy of going into markets which may not be the most obvious transient accommodation markets but deliver superior returns over the long term.

Two great examples of this are the group’s hotels at Jabalpur and Allahabad under the Hotel Polo Max brand both situated within the main railway station complex. Incidentally, these cities once considered as old tired towns have now come under the Government’s Smart City program and are all set to transform themselves into regional hubs of commerce, religion and tourism. The brand has successfully changed the perception of train station hotels in India by providing a contemporary, safe, hygienic and consistent product at a price point suited to the market. The brand aims to be the “Indigo Airlines” of the hotel industry and prides itself on over-delivering on the basics of a hotel experience by providing efficient, quick check-ins, a great bed and a power shower and eliminating redundant and high-cost elements of the offering.

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Continuing its emphasis on correctly identifying market gaps and expanding to contrarian destinations, the group is close to opening a 150 room hotel in the heart of Agartala, Tripura, incidentally the only state capital in India without a standard hotel.

A second 100 room mid-scale beach resort is under development in serene South Goa at a stunning beach side location, a market currently saturated with only high end luxury resorts.

The new developments combined with the planned additions of nearly 100 rooms at existing hotels, put the company firmly on track to operate 12 hotels which would each be leaders in their micro markets. Apart from this, the group now intends to invest in ready, branded hotel assets.

Deval started his career at an early age at Hotel Polo Towers and worked as a trainee with Park Hotels and the Café Coffee Day Group to understand the nitty gritties of hospitality businesses. He went on to build Chrome Hotel (A member of Small Luxury Hotels) in Kolkata, India`s first design hotel and launched the hotel when he was just 23 years old.

With the exit and subsequent developments, Deval has worked across the entire hospitality value chain including conceptualising, financing, building, operating, exiting and then developing further assets. The group, under his leadership, has adopted an asset right approach and systematically focused on PPP projects with State Governments and the Indian Railways.

Taking a broader interest in tourism rather than just hotels, the group is also building a state of the art museum complex in their home market of Shillong that showcases Meghalaya and North East India as a tourism and cultural hub.

Deval graduated as valedictorian of the prestigious Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne which is the world's first hotel school. He holds a Bachelors in Commerce – Accounting and Finance from St. Xavier’s College Kolkata, India`s premier college for undergraduate business education.

He is also one of the youngest members of the Indian Angel Network apart from being a member of Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO). A keen runner, Deval is interested in distance running and fitness having recently completed his first half marathon. He also is passionate about cars and driving and has twice successfully completed the Raid de Himalaya, one of the world's highest altitude car rallies that drove through treacherous terrain in the Himalayas.