India Loses 2 Tycoons This Diwali- PRS Oberoi and Kedarnath Aggarwal PRS Oberoi, Chairman Emeritus of Oberoi Hotels Private Limited, the major shareholder of EIH Limited, has been credited with putting the group on a global map. While Kedarnath Aggarwal, along with his brother, came to Delhi to expand their family business, finally earning the title "Bikanervala"
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As the Diwali weekend came to an end, India woke up to the news of the demise of two industrialists- PRS Oberoi, the Oberoi Group and Kedarnath Aggarwal, Bikanervala.
Oberoi was 94, while Aggarwal was 86.
The doyen of the Indian hospitality sector
"It is with profound grief and sorrow that we wish to inform you of the peaceful passing of our beloved leader, Mr. P.R.S. Oberoi, Chairman Emeritus earlier today. His passing is a significant loss for The Oberoi Group and the hospitality industry in India and overseas," read the group's official statement.
Born on 3rd February, 1929, PRS Oberoi was fondly known as "Biki" and was the son of late Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi, founder, The Oberoi Group.
Having done his studies in India, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland, he was the Chairman Emeritus of Oberoi Hotels Private Limited, the major shareholder of EIH Limited.
He is credited with revolutionising the hospitality sector in India and placing Oberoi hotels on the global map. He played an instrumental part in developing the Oberoi Hotels and Resorts.
Firmly believing that people were the most valuable asset of any organization, he established the Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development in New Delhi in 1967 to uphold the quality of hospitality management.
P.R.S. Oberoi has received numerous awards and accolades in his lifetime, including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th International Hotels Investment Forum in Berlin, in 2003, Padma Vibhushan in 2008, and Lifetime Achievement Award at ILTM in 2012.
He held the position of chairman and director of EIH Limited till May 3, 2022.
The street vendor turned snacking king
The Bikanervala group stated that Kedarnath Aggarwal's demise "marked the end of an era that has enriched palates and touched countless lives."
Born in Bikaner, Aggarwal fondly known as "Kakaji" hailed from a family who owned a sweet shop 'Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar' in the city lanes since 1905. Having bigger ambitions, he migrated to Delhi in the early 50s along with his brother, Satyanarayan Aggarwal.
After an initial struggle, the duo set up a shop in Chandni Chowk to offer their family recipes of sweets and snacks to a large target audience. Delhi's Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar soon became popular for its Moong Dal Halwa, Bikaneri Bhujia and Kaju Katli, with it famously acquiring the name 'Bikanervala'.
"As we bid farewell to a legend, we carry forward his legacy with a deep sense of responsibility. Bikanervala will continue to be a reflection of his values a place where every dish tells a story and every customer is part of our extended family," said Radhey Mohan Aggarwal, Director, Bikanervala Group and eldest son of Kakaji.
''Kakaji's departure is not just a loss to Bikanervala; it's a void in the culinary landscape. His vision and leadership will forever guide our culinary journey,'' said Shyam Sunder Aggarwal, Managing Director, Bikanervala Group.
In a bid to attract global customers, it established Bikano, a packaged food products division.
Bikanervala has over 60 outlets in India and boasts of a presence in the USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Nepal and the UAE and has a turnover of INR 1300 crore presently.