India

Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi  

  • Executive Chairperson, EIH Limited (Hospitality, tourism)
Born Delhi, India, 1929. Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (1952).
“[I]t is not only the physical attributes of a hotel that are important, it is important to have good people, good service, and I think that’s been our success, good service.”

Video Clips

Oberoi discusses what he feels is a hotel’s greatest asset: high quality of service.

Oberoi speculates that one of the biggest challenges in the future of the hotel industry will be changes due to technology.

Oberoi reflects on the issue of corruption, and some of the systematic shifts that are occurring in India in response to it.

 Full-length video (accessible to holders of a valid Harvard ID)

Transcript

P.R.S Oberoi, chairman of the iconic Indian company, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, discusses the evolution of the tourism and hotel industries in India, the changes in his family, and the role of people in delivering exceptional service. He describes how three generations of the Oberoi family have put distinctive stamps on the organization: his father (the “businessman”), himself (the hotelier), and his son (the operator). He explains the development of the luxury hotel industry in India as well as the impact of the 1990s liberalization of the Indian economy on the business and the broader role of government in facilitating tourism. He focuses on his company’s investment in training managers for the industry, including pioneering professional careers for women.

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Resources

  • Oberoi Hotels: Train Whistle in the Tiger Reserve [HBS Case]
  • Trimming the Fat: Your Operating Model--Learn from Competitors to Rethink Your Operating Costs [HBP chapter]
  • Bachi J. Karkaria, Dare to Dream: A Life of Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi. Viking, 1992.
  • "Oberoi Launches Hotel in Dubai," Mail Today (New Delhi, India), June 12, 2013
  • "P. R. S. Oberoi to Give Up Active Role in Company," Business Standard, January 31, 2013
  • "We'll Build a Hotel in New York, Luxury Homes in India: P.R.S. Oberoi" (Interview), Economic Times, September 24, 2012
  • "An Eventful Life of Luxury," Financial Times, June 20, 2010
  • "Oberoi Hotel Reopens for Business," The Times of India, April 22, 2010
  • "The Raja of Rooms," Forbes, December 25, 2008
  • Chairman of the Oberoi Group, PRS Oberoi TalkAsia interview transcript, November 13th, 2004, CNN.com
  • Video file of this interview available at Baker Library Historical Collections, histcollref+hbs.edu. Harvard ID holders can access the full-length video above.

  • Interview citation: "Interview with P. R. S. Oberoi, interviewed by Ryan Buell and Ananth Raman, August 25, 2015, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/businesshistory/emerging-markets/."