Vardaraj Shetty has built one of the region’s largest home-grown hospitality chains, the Ramee Group of Hotels, Resorts and Apartments, with more than 30 properties across the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and India. He also has a shopping mall in Chennai in his portfolio.
The desire to expand, though, remains and in 2016 he acquired 100 percent of Bahrain’s Ramee Grand Hotel and Spa, where he previously owned 40 percent. He also built the $18m Juffair Views apartments on the island kingdom. By 2019, the group will open a $95.2m Ramee Grand Hotel and Spa in Dubai’s Business Bay and add three more hotels in Oman and eight in India.
Shetty’s entrepreneurial journey began when he invested in the Al Ras hotel in Deira. When it turned profit, he launched the Ramee Group of Hotels, Resorts and Apartments and, some 20 years later, the company operates 42 hotels, apartments and resorts in India, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Muscat and employs more than 5,000 people.
In addition to hospitality, Shetty is the founder trustee of the Ramee Foundation and Charitable Trust, which is engaged in charitable activities such as helping the needy in the fields of education and medical help. Believing in “education to all”, the Ramee Foundation has supported many students financially to complete their studies. In Koteshwara, Kundapur, Udupi District, he constructed a college and proudly handed it to the government. Now, 2,000 students study for their certifications there.