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KV Simon retires as India VP, AHLEI

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The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute has announced the retirement of KV Simon, EI’s vice president for India since 1994. He is known and respected throughout India for his enthusiasm and commitment to hospitality education and professional development. During his 19 years with the Educational Institute, he made EI and its capabilities known throughout the hospitality industry in India.

“KV Simon has been the face of the Educational Institute for 19 years in India. From the humble beginnings out of his home, to the far corners of the entire country of India, his impact on academia and the industry can be felt,” said Robert L Steele III, EI’s president and COO. “We were fortunate to have representing EI a man who possessed a high degree of integrity and educational intellect, combined with his understanding of training and its importance to the growth of people. The name ‘Simon’ was all we had to say to get in the door, and for that, all of us at EI are eternally grateful.”

Simon got his start in hospitality in 1967, when he enrolled in a Mumbai hospitality management school – IHM Mumbai (Dadar Catering College). After completing his three year diploma, he joined the Reserve Bank of India as a catering supervisor for two years. He then moved to the Middle East and worked with the Gulf Hotel in Doha, Qatar. After moving to the United States where he completed his bachelor’s degree from Northwood Institute, Michigan, he returned to the Gulf Hotel in Oman to be their training manager for a year.

He returned to India in 1977 and joined his alma mater, IHM Mumbai, as a head of department and entered into the academic side of his career. He went on to become the principal at the college. He was then transferred to South India to set up a similar institution, IHM Kovalam and simultaneously held the position of being an officer on special duty at the Pondicherry Institute of Hospitality Crafts. While serving there, he had the opportunity to bring the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) into India in 1994.

Simon introduced EI’s hospitality management courses to Indian schools and established the Registered User Institute system for schools that offer EI courses, currently numbering more than 70. Through his efforts, the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) programme became a regular feature in India and the country has more than 400 Indian CHEs.

Other notable achievements during Simon’s career include agreements with the Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Associations of India (FHRAI) and the Hotels & Restaurants Association of Western India (HRAWI) to provide their members with access to EI’s hospitality management courses, training, and professional certification; an agreement with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to offer EI’s hospitality management diploma; and online training and professional certification for Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces.

“Everything about KV Simon reminds me of an evangelist – his passion for hospitality education, his drive to find solutions in challenging situations, and most importantly, his dealings with people. I can’t think of too many people that have all these qualities in abundance. He has made a big mark in the hospitality world and I’m sure he will continue to mentor many who will want to seek his guidance,” said Rustom Vesavevala, vice president, Learning & Development, The Indian Hotel Company (Taj Group).

EI’s operations in India will be now managed by Dennie Matthews, director of operations and country manager, headquartered in Mumbai.


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