• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Business

Auro Hotels co-founder Manhar P Rama no more

The veteran hospitality entrepreneur, who passed away at the age of 74, was born in Africa and raised in India before he went to the US where he studied further before entering the hotel business. He was also the chairman of AAHOA in 2005 and 2006.

Manhar P Rama

By: Shubham Ghosh

MANHAR P “MP” RAMA, who co-founded JHM Hotels, now known as Auro Hotels, and a former chairman of Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) passed away on Sunday (7). He was 74. The Greenville-based company confirmed the news on Monday (8).

Rama is survived by his wife, Surekha, and children, Sima and Vinay Rama, besides brothers Hasmukh P “HP” Rama and Raman P “RP” Rama, and sisters — Madhu Vivek, Hansa Deva, Pushpa Lala and Pravina Thakor. Two of his brothers, Denu “DP” Rama and Jayanti P “JP” Rama, have already passed away.

Born in Africa and raised in India, Rama went to the high school in Gurukul Supa in Navsari in the western state of Gujarat and graduated from MS University in Baroda in the same state with a degree in civil engineering. He reached the US in 1973 and went to California State Polytechnic University in Pomona in California. There, he earned a master’s degree in engineering. He worked in Pomona before entering the hotel business with his brothers when they co-founded JHM Hotels.

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Rama actively contributed to various organisations, including serving on the Advisory Council of Marriott and the board of directors of the University of Central Florida Foundation.

He was the president of the Vedic Center of Greenville and served prominently within the AAHOA, where he chaired the Ethics and Enforcement Committee and held the position of the chairman in 2005-2006.

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He was also on the Advisory Council of Hampton Inn by Hilton, the board of directors of the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau, besides in the board of directors of the South Carolina Hospitality Association.

In 1995, he was honoured with the Entrepreneur Success Award by the US Small Business Administration. He was also the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Mahatma Gandhi Diversity Breakfast held in Orlando, Florida. He received the Cecil B. Day Community Service Award at AAHOA’s 2022 Convention & Trade Show in Baltimore, Maryland.

Paying a tribute to his brother, “HP” Rama, founder and chairman of JHM/Auro Hotels, said, “In the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, we learn that life is a journey of the soul, and my brother, MP, lived this journey with unwavering devotion, love, and integrity.

“His contributions to our family and the hospitality industry are immeasurable. We will honor his memory by continuing to embody the values he held dear. MP’s spirit will remain a guiding light for all of us.”

AAHOA chairman Miraj Patel said in a statement issued by the company, “I’ve known M.P. Uncle for many years now, and he’s always been a very big advocate for young professionals, providing me personally with guidance in my journey at AAHOA.”

“On behalf of the AAHOA Board and leadership, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and all who knew and loved him.”

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