Shaper: Tony Matharu

Show aired on 17th October 2015

Transcript

Tony is founder and Managing Director of Grange Hotels – ‘London’s Leading Independent Hotel Group’ and former winner of the “Best Small Hotel Company”. (Business Travel Awards)

He is responsible for designing, building and managing 18 luxury 4 star and 5 star central London hotels. Tony combines his passion for hospitality with philanthropy, sport and community engagement; acting as founder and Chairman of IODR UK – a children’s emergency relief and development charity with projects mostly in the Indian Ocean Region; as London Chairman of the Lord’s Taverner’s – “giving young people a sporting chance”; as Vice President of the Oracle Head & Neck Cancer Research Trust; as Deputy Chairman of the Corporation of London’s ‘City Together’; as Chairman of the City of London’s ‘Vibrant & Culturally Rich City Group’; and as a Director  of the London Business Improvement District (BID) – “In Mid Town”. Tony also holds a number of Board and other positions in the Arts, charitable sector, and sport – particularly cricket and hockey, and he continues to play at representative and international levels.

Tony has founded many successful start-up organizations and companies. He was awarded ‘Hotelier of the Year’ in 2013; received a ‘Special Recognition Award’  for his Contribution to London’s Success and a Technology and Innovation Award in 2014. He founded and sold a successful specialist sports brand, Ayrtek®, now co-branded with Adidas. He founded a global hospitality consultancy which has created a number of innovative and award winning technology solutions, together with two award winning spa and guest amenity brands: Ajala Spa and Redwood & Feller. Tony currently has two more landmark hotels under construction.

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“I hadn’t even stayed in a hotel, as far as I can recall, when I first started.”

“I think if you are determined and you put all your effort into making one thing work very well, it can reflect itself in the success of the business.”

“I think our approach has always been a measured, considered approach and so that might go with my calm exterior and interior.”

“We were able to take hold of properties that had come to the end of their useful lives in one form or another and turn them into hotels and breathe new life into them.”

“You convince yourself that you know better than the market – and if you do, then you make the right decisions.”

“Having a good corporate social responsibility head does well for the business. It is recognised, but I don’t do it for the recognition – it’s because I want to do it.”

“I don’t think that one can be just impulsive when you are dealing with the kind of sums of money that are necessary to build and design hotels.”

“Wherever the problem is, find a solution, move on, look forward.”

“When you are dealing with people who are severely disadvantaged….you realise that those beneficiaries need assistance far more than perhaps answering that call or looking at those emails.”