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Kabir Suri takes over as the new President of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI)

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has a new President, Kabir Suri of Azure Hospitality, who takes over for a two-year term
NRAI new president Kabir Suri
Kabir Suri, NRAI’s new President. Image: Azure Hospitality

Kabir Suri, Co-Founder & Director, Azure Hospitality, took over as the new President of NRAI at its 39th Annual General Meeting held online on September 9. The appointment was made unanimously after Anurag Katriar, Executive Director and CEO of Indigo Hospitality’s two-year term came to an end.

Suri has been part of the industry for over 25 years. He has been pivotal in the growth and success of one of the fastest-growing hospitality companies, with popular brands under its wing such as Mamagato, Dhaba Estd. 1986, Sly Granny, Foxtrot, etc. His professional career began with commercial real estate finance in North Fork Bank in New York followed by Argent Fund Management in London as an analyst. His role required him to assist in providing investment strategies and in-depth research focusing on the hospitality segment. Suri’s personal interest in the hospitality segment led him to the hospitality sector where he spent three years with international award-winning restaurants Zuma and Roka. Initially involved with operations, he then shifted to business development, spearheading global expansion and brand development.

Suri has been associated with NRAI since 2017 and was appointed Vice President in 2019. He has been instrumental in handling and resolving pressing industry issues.

Expressing gratitude to the Managing Committee, Suri said, “I would like to thank the Managing Committee members for bestowing the trust in me to carry forward the 39 years legacy of our Association. I will strive to lead the Indian restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, participation and positive perception which advances and safeguards the entrepreneurial spirit. Our collective passion and shared spirit of hospitality will enhance the quality of life that we serve.”

“I would like to congratulate and thank Anurag for his incredible leadership over the last two critical years. I would like to assure him of my relentless quest in accomplishing the tasks at hand to make our industry vibrant and proud,” he added.

While signing off from duties, Katriar said, “I am honoured to have led NRAI over the last two years, a period which was very tumultuous and extremely difficult. However, thanks to the collective efforts of everyone, we were able to fight the adversities well. At NRAI, it is about responsibility by rotation and I am happy that the baton has now passed into the able hands of Kabir. I am sure he will navigate the Association in its journey ahead very competently. He is young, intelligent and also possesses the experience of being an office bearer over the last couple of years.”

Anurag Katriar now joins Hari Bhartia, Riyaaz Amlani and Rahul Singh on the Board of Trustees of NRAI.

Going with the policy of Responsibility by Rotation, the NRAI also announced a significant reshuffle to its Managing Committee with almost 20 per cent of members retiring and making way for fresh faces such as Abhimanyu Maheshwari (MD, Zing Restaurants Pvt Ltd), Akshay Anand (Director, Ayesha Hospitality Pvt Ltd), Avantika Sinha (Director, Tasteshop Pvt Ltd), Dinesh Arora (Director, MT Hospitality Pvt Ltd), Karyna Bajaj (Executive Director, KA Hospitality Pvt Ltd), Pankil Shah (Director, Neighbourhood Hospitality Pvt Ltd), Shaaz Mehmood (Partner, Olive Bar & Kitchen Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad) and Yash Bhanage (Director, Hunger Inc Hospitality Pvt Ltd).

Congratulating the new team, Suri said, “We’ve been successful in many of our endeavours but there’s a long way to go. The new body will take up issues affecting each segment with the relevant authorities nationally, locally and hyper-locally.” 

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