Bangkok was the most visited city last year with 15.98 million international visitors and Deepak Ohri, Chief Executive of Lebua Hotels & Resorts leading the upsurge in Thailand’s tourism market. Lebua is a chain of luxury hotels and restaurants that includes several iconic properties in Bangkok. Deepak is the first employee of the hospitality company which did not start with the hotel business but first launched Sirocco on top of Thailand’s second tallest building the State Tower. It is still considered the world’s highest al fresco restaurant and is famous for offering stunning views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River. It was an overnight success and the elite guests who visited the dining establishment regularly requested Deepak to set up a hotel where they could stay.
Deepak took up the Meritu Hotel housed in the State Tower in 2006 and rebranded it as Lebua. It quickly became one of the best known hotels in Bangkok and was even chosen by the popular film Hangover Part II as location for filming on site. The suite where the bulk of the filming was done has been renamed as the Hangover Suite. Deepak who belongs to New Delhi, India works closely with Narawadee Bualert who is the President of the company and the only daughter of real estate tycoon Rasri Bualert. They approach the expansion plans very scientifically and analyze customer behavior before entering a new market. They don’t enter a new location without understanding well the purchasing behavior of the customer because their ultimate aim is customer satisfaction.
Deepak explained that the business of Lebua has been successful and has grown rapidly because its core is providing an emotional experience to its customers. The entire team at Lebua strives to provide an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else. This is what ensures that the guests come back again and again. Their focus for global expansion is China, India and Indonesia as their growing middle class will play a dominant role in the tourism market. They have taken over the management of three hotels in India and have many more in the pipeline.