MOVING UP AND MOVING ON AS RAHUL SOOD RELOCATES TO DUBAI
(Posted 07th August 2017)
In today’s business environment companies come and go, are formed and then fold, but the opposite was the case with Sun Africa Hotels. The company was incorporated in 2010 at which time Rahul Sood joined SAH, a hotel group he has since then driven from success to success.
Rahul made his first impact in East Africa as General Manager of the Metropole Hotel in Kampala which opened ahead of the 2007 Commonwealth Summit and which he in a short time turned into a crowd favourite in Kampala before he moved on to Dar es Salaam for a stint at the then Moevenpick Hotel.
From there it was Nairobi calling and the opportunity to turn a new hotel group into something special.
Now comprising 7 hotels, resorts and lodges, plus a balloon operation in the Masai Mara, has Sun Africa Hotels established itself as a premium operator which reeled in award after award over the years Rahul was at the helm of the company.
With over 730 employees and a combined turnover of nearly 40 million US Dollars per annum has SAH gained a size which poses great opportunities to Mohammed Hersi, who since August this year has taken over the CEO responsibility from Rahul.
Another hotel is due to come on line later this year in the Hurlingham area of Nairobi when the 5 star Sun Africa Hotel will open its doors to the public and the Kiboko Luxury Camp, a sister operation to the same brand on the shores of Lake Naivasha, is due to open in the Masai Mara next year.
The various properties of Sun Africa Hotels, while under the watchful eyes of Rahul, have received major accolades in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 under the World Luxury Hotels Awards. TripAdvisor and Booking.com too have handed awards to Sun Africa and its properties, which have accumulated a total of 45 trophies since its 2010 launch. In addition was Sun Africa Hotels voted the best Hotel Management Company in Africa for the third year in a row.
Sun Africa Hotels Management Company was also honored by being awarded the prestigious Haute Grandeur Awards for the Sovereign Suites in LImuru, which is an All-Suite luxury hotel. Sovereign Suites Hotel was recognized for the exemplary service extended to their guests.
For 2017 are 12 nominations pending for awards in various categories for 6 of their hotels, resorts and safari lodges.
Notably does one of the SAH properties date back to as early as 1927, when the Sparks began to take in guests in their modest home at the shores of Lake Naivasha before then embarking on building a hotel proper which eventually opened in 1933 as per the article written about this development in 2011 by this author.
Sun Africa Hotels recently celebrated their 7th anniversary on which occasion Rahul then said: ‘We feel proud and privileged to complete 7 years of successful integration and growth of Sun Africa Hotels as a brand. We have brought World Class hospitality to the East African hospitality market creating employment and growing local talent. I’m delighted to add that 96.5% of the employees are local and this is our key focus to grow the local talent and economy. Throughout its existence, Sun Africa Hotels has earned a reputation as a leading brand by offering exceptional service to our guests ensuring each guest leaves as an ambassador‘.
Rahul himself however will in due course relocate to Dubai as new Group CEO of the Sun Corporation, under which Sun Africa Hotels now falls, ostensibly to create a second pillar of owned and managed properties for the principal owners of SAH and SC under a well mapped out diversification plan.
To Rahul therefore who is a valued professional and a very dear friend, my best wishes for the new challenges ahead and until we meet again!