The announcements follow the company’s recent opening of the Arora Tower, Arora Group’s first large-scale residential development scheme, situated on the prime riverside frontage of the Greenwich Peninsula, adjacent to Arora’s InterContinental London – The O2 hotel.
Finance Director – Devansh Bakshi
Devansh Bakshi has been appointed Finance Director, assuming the role on the 22nd of August. With over 15 years’ experience in Finance, Devansh began his career at the Hilton Group, where he held a number of roles including Finance Director as well as Cluster Finance Director. Devansh joins Arora from his most recent role as UK Head of Finance for PPHE Hotel Group, a position he held for five years. In this role, Devanshwas responsible for overseeing a complex portfolio of owned, managed and franchised operations for the company. Devansh holds a Masters in International Business from Schiller University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Devansh will work alongside Arora Group’s CFO, Carlton Brown.
General Counsel – Jackie Lewis
Jackie Lewis has been appointed to the position of General Counsel with effect from 31st October 2016. Jackie is a barrister with an impressive track record and over 20 years’ experience. She joins Arora following 15 years at the Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways), where she held various roles including Head of Legal and most recently the position of General Counsel and Company Secretary. During her time at the Trust, Jackie garnered extensive experience in commercial risk management advising in the fields of commercial contracts, commercial property and other areas of general commercial law. Previous to this, Jackie worked for the city law firm Clifford Chance where she spent 5 years before moving in-house to work as a legal advisor for RMC. [In her new role, Jackie will provide expert and strategic legal advice to Arora’s senior management, reporting to the Executive Board.
Head of IT – Bira Bains
Bira Bains has been appointed to the position of Head of IT, effective 5th September. Bira hasconsiderable experience in the IT sector, working in a number of specialist IT roles for various firms, over the course of his 20 year career. Most recently, Bira worked as a Programme Director for Cambridge University Press for four years where he was responsible for a number of business transformational programmes. Previous to this, Bira worked for SAP as a Development and Programme Manager responsible for implementing SAP and rolling it out across a number of companies. His appointment will afford, current IT & Purchasing Director Sunny Roda, the time and opportunity to focus on the development of the Group’s purchasing activities, ensuring Arora’s purchasing operations optimise all returns to support the Group’s growth and financial stability.
Advisors to the Group Board
Steve Pateman was appointed as Chairman to the Arora Group’s Advisory Board in September 2016. As CEO of Shawbrook Bank, and with extensive experience as an executive in banking divisions at both Santander and RBS, Steve provides the Group with valuable investment and investor relations expertise.
Patrick Holmes was appointed as an advisor to the Arora Group Board in April 2016 having worked alongside the Group since the development of its first hotel in 1999. A former partner at City of London law firm, Macfarlanes, Patrick brings with him a wealth of knowledge and legal expertise, particularly in areas of construction and urban re-generation.
John Donaldson was appointed as an advisor to the Arora Group Board in September 2016, having spent 15 years with the Group, latterly as Executive Director. John has over 45 years of experience in the hospitality industry and brings valuable expertise in a range of functions, including Estate Management, Operations, Public Relations, Communications and Sales and Marketing.
Commenting on the appointments, Surinder Arora, Founder and Chairman of the Arora Group said: “I am very pleased to welcome Devansh, Bira and Jackie to Arora Group’s senior management team. All three individuals bring with them a wealth of experience, bolstering the expertise of the leadership team of our business. I am thrilled that the Group is continuing to attract senior staff of such high calibre.
“We are also delighted to have appointed three excellent advisors to our Group Board – Steve, Patrick and John. We very much look forward to benefiting from their advice and counsel on their relevant areas of expertise as we grow the business.
“These strategic appointments will be critical to driving the Group’s wider commercial activity as we continue to expand, develop, and consolidate our diversified property asset portfolio, generating value for our business. Their appointments come at an exciting time for the Group as it breaks ground at Heathrow Terminal 2, and rapidly progresses with Crawley Gateway Redevelopment, with several new projects still in the pipeline.”