Oberoi Group is known to have some of the best hotels and resorts in India. Walk into an Oberoi property and you’d be assured of impeccable hospitality, exquisite rooms with luxuries and top-notch amenities. But did you know that Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi started his journey in the hotel industry with just ₹25 in his pocket? From a front desk clerk to building the second-largest hotel brand in India, here’s the inspiring journey of Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi.
Facing Hardships In Childhood
Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi hails from a Sikh family in Bhanau village in Jhelum district in Pakistan. At the tender age of just 6 months, he lost his father. Over the years, all the responsibilities of the family fell on his mother’s shoulders. So, when he was old enough Mohan Singh decided to step up and take care of his family. He dropped out of his studies and began working as a manager at his uncle’s shoe factory in Lahore in 1918. But due to riots, the factory shut down and Mohan Singh shifted gears. He married Ishran Devi and continued to look for employment.
Foray Into Hotel Industry
The region was infected with plague and Oberoi decided to move to Shimla in 1922 in the hope of a job with just ₹25 in his pocket. He got his first job as a front desk clerk at The Cecil Hotel, where he earned ₹50 per month. Over time he understood the workings of the hotel industry. And he acquired his first property, The Clarkes Hotel in Shimla. He did so by mortgaging his wife’s jewellery and other assets. Next, he leased 500 rooms in Kolkata’s Grand Hotel in Calcutta. He was determined to provide a good life for his family and also make his business venture a profitable one.
Becoming The Father Of The Hotel Industry
Mohan Singh Oberoi continued to give his 100 per cent to work to make his dreams a reality. His confidence, determination and foresight helped him climb the ladder of success. Over the years, he acquired one hotel after another and today, there are over 31 luxurious hotels and resorts that belong to the Oberoi Group. Hailed as the ‘Father of the Hotel Industry’, Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2001.
While Mohan Singh Oberoi isn’t in our midst anymore, his life is an example of how hard work and determination can truly help make one’s destiny and pave the path for future generations to come.