Belfast Chamber honours Lord Rana's son for leadership
Rajesh Rana, director of Andras Hotels and son of famous founder Lord Rana, has been honoured for his business achievements - which may soon include a sixth Belfast hotel.
The Belfast-born businessman, who currently runs five Belfast city hotels, was recognised by Belfast Chamber of Commerce for 'business leadership' in milestones which include the recent £1.5m investment in the Ramada Plaza Hotel at Shaw's Bridge.
Andras Hotels has invested in the hotel market throughout the recession, including the construction of two new Ibis Hotels in 2009 and a renovation of the Holiday Inn Express in 2010.
The group has further plans to expand its portfolio and is now awaiting a planning decision on a proposal to build a new 179-bedroom hotel on Hope Street opposite its existing Days Hotel. Mr Rana said he could not yet reveal the planned franchise through which Andras will operate the venue.
But he said it would be a "budget to mid-market" hotel.
The company is also carrying out a £2.5m refurbishment and rebrand of the Days Hotel.
Mr Rana (46) was given the presidential recognition award by chamber president Paul McMahon. Mr McMahon said: "Andras Hotels is a prime example of a hotel group which is continually investing in Belfast, making our city a world-class destination for locals, business and tourists.
"Rajesh Rana has been an active member of the Chamber for a number of years, and in that time he has made a valuable contribution.
"His leadership and strategic direction knows no bounds, and I would like to personally congratulate him for the role he and his business play in Belfast and indeed the wider economy of Northern Ireland."
Mr Rana trained as an architect and worked in England for about 10 years before returning to Northern Ireland in 2008 and taking up a role in the family business. The hotelier said: "This is an exciting time for Andras Hotels, and indeed the wider economy of Northern Ireland.
"From the outset, we set our sights on becoming a leader in the hospitality industry in Belfast, which I am proud that we have achieved. This city is a fantastic place to do business and the Chamber is an excellent organisation, and I am both honoured and appreciative to be accepting this award."