In a major development in the hospitality industry, HVS, a global hospitality firm, and its joint venture (JV) partner in India have mutually decided to terminate their twenty years old relationship as Manav Thadani has announced the launch of his own venture – Hotelivate. The entire HVS India team, around 42 members, have broken away to Hotelivate as well. The company will provide clients the entire spectrum of service, contrary to HVS – which was limited to executive search and valuation.

In an exclusive conversation, Manav Thadani explained the rationale behind the move, arguing that every role had a shelf life and “it was time to do something different and grow it entirely to a new scale.”

He asserted that HVS’s success in India was fuelled by a great team but had grown to its complete potential, staring saturation. “However, when it came time to grow outside of India we found ourselves not being able to do so due to internal issues which were stifling growth,” he reasoned. He added that Hotelivate was an opportunity to truly go on to become a regional powerhouse “with the same wonderful team that got them here in the first place.”   

He reflected on the fate of HVS, saying that he had immense respect for the company but could not relate to change in the system in the company. “I respect what HVS allowed me to do for their brand in India.  When the founder retired I felt there was a change in the system I could not relate to and it was time to move out,” he revealed.

He commented on the road forward, advocating “re-starting their practices,” but was quick to add that he had a head-start. “As their first employee it took me 20 years to build the business and I am hoping that I at least will have half of that time as a head start,” Manav Thadani said.  

HVS has also been in the conference space. HISCA, HOSI and THINC, conferences hosted under the HVS banner, have acquired significance as industry platforms for deliberations and networking. With HVS out of the fray, these conferences will also be hosted under the Hotelivate banner. When asked whether there was going to be any change in the way these conferences were held, he exuded confidence, saying that they were going to be more exciting. “Less panel discussions and more exciting speakers or interviews which will make the program more interesting.  We tried it at THINC Indonesia and it was very well received,” he detailed.

The Hotelivate team consists of Manav Thadani as the founder-chairman, Megha Tuli as partner and co-founder, Natwar Nagar as managing partner (executive search), Achin Khanna as managing partner (strategic advisory), and Saurabh Gupta as managing partner (investment advisory and asset management).