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From Delhi to Leicester

Sandeep Kaushik, general manager at Leicester’s Grand Mercure Hotel, discusses his career in the high-end hospitality industry, which began in Delhi, and led him to his current role, running one of the city’s most impressive venues.

Picture Credit: Pukaar News

Sandeep Kaushik, started his career in hotel management in 1998, when he decided to study the subject at Delhi University in India, the country where he was born.

Despite his parents wanting§ him to follow a more conventional career path, as a doctor or an engineer, Mr Kaushik decided to carve himself a successful career, at the heart of high-end hotels across the world.

He has worked at Bangkok’s Mandorin Oriental Hotel, as well as Northampton’s prestigious Hilton Hotel.

He took up the role of general manager at Leicester’s Mercure Hotel in 2020 – a luxurious and historic venue in Granby Street, which has hosted royalty and prime- ministers over the course of its 100 year plus history.

Mr Kaushik told Pukaar, that he is honoured to be in charge of such a beautiful building – an institution at the heart of a city he loves.

“Leicester has got so many hotels, but none of them are like The Grand,” he said proudly.

“Historically, it has hosted some of the biggest events in the city, which all began really with the Royal Aeronautical Society Ball in the 1930s. It has always been the go to hotel for The Royals in its prime,” he added.

“It is said that the Queen was here at some point, and under wraps, that Winston Churchill stayed here during the Wartime.”

Mr Kaushik spent the first 20 years of his life living in India, before moving to the UK back in 2002. He spent over a year running a restaurant in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, before moving to the UK mainland, and taking a position at the Hilton.

However, it wasn’t until 2020 that he actually moved to Leicester – a city he fell in love with thanks to its vibrant, and close knit Asian community.

“My wife is from Latvia, but she loves Indian food and we started coming to Leicester on a weekly basis,” he explained. “I thought, one day at some point in the future, I’m going to work here. So it was destiny in the end. This opportunity came up at The Grand, and I literally jumped at it.

“I had been here before for many conferences, internal and award ceremonies, and what can you say about the Grand?”, he added. “It’s an institution – a truly beautiful building, which has a lot going for it, and Leicester is such a vibrant city.”

“When you go into the city centre, you feel at home. It’s such an amazing place.”

Asked where he sees the future of The Grand, Mr Kaushik says that it definitely lies in holding big, and exciting events. And the potential is huge.

“Being the number one destination hotel, not just in Leicester, but in the whole of the Midlands”, he added.

“That is what we are working towards, by collaborating with Leicester City Council and Heritage England to begin restoration of the exterior of The Grand in order to bring it back to its former glory.”

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