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As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!

Samir Kuckreja

Trustee, NRAI

Founder & CEO, Tasanaya Hospitality

A former president of the NRAI, Samir has 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has worked in a variety of leading domestic and international brands and partnered with a private equity fund. His key skills include operations, business development, franchising, strategy, concept creation, interiors, kitchen design, menu strategy, fund raising, financial management and a strong industry network.

Samir set up Tasanaya Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. in September 2012, a company that specializes in advisory/consultancy work for the hospitality and retail industries. Areas of work include advising start-up concepts, foreign chains on entry strategy, existing chains on menu and cost optimization, new store planning, systems and franchising, restaurant companies on fund raising, PE/VC funds on acquisitions, service providers on market penetration.

He completed his high school from The Doon School, Dehradun and has done a BA in Economics Honours from St. Stephens College, Delhi. This was followed by a BS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, USA. After graduating from Cornell, he worked with the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, USA and subsequently with a chain of bar & grill restaurants in North Carolina, USA.

Samir worked at Nirula’s in Delhi for nine years and looked after Operations, Business Development and Marketing. He also headed a consultancy company for the group in which he successfully completed numerous kitchen design projects and handled distribution of a range of imported kitchen equipments.

He was the Business Development Manager for the Indian Subcontinent with Yum! Restaurants in Delhi for 3.5 years and set up over 100 Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants in the region. This included site selection, restaurant design and construction and franchising.

Samir was the Joint Managing Director of Mars Hotels & Restaurants in Mumbai for two years and was responsible for expanding their Gordon House Hotel chain, Not Just Jazz by the Bay, Birdy’s Cake Shops and other brands to Pune and Bangalore.

He was also CEO & Managing Director of Nirula’s from June 2006 till April 2012. Samir was a co-investor with Navis Capital Partners in the business. Nirula’s has business hotels, casual dining and quick service restaurants, express units and ice cream parlours across India. Some key achievements during his tenure were growing the footprint from 35 outlets in two cities to 85 outlets in eight cities, creation of successful new concepts, contemporizing the brand, significant gross margin improvements and creation of brand manuals and franchising models.

Samir has been the President of National Restaurant Association of India since September 2009 where he successfully spearheaded the Association’s key initiatives including publishing the ‘India Food Services Report 2013’, successful changes in licensing norms and increasing the membership base by creating regional chapters.

Samir received the Indira Super Achievers Award in 2008, an honour given to talented professionals for significant achievements in their industry and valued contribution to their organization. He was awarded the Most Admired Retail Professional of the Year, Food Service at the Images Food Forum in Mumbai in March 2011.

Samir is the member of Governing Council of Tourism and Hospitality Indian Skill Council. He is also a member of Board of Studies of Hospitality Management Programme of EMPI Business School.

Samir is the Food Service Industry Expert with a monthly blog on ETRetail.com and his article on ‘Multi-Generational Eating Out – Trends & Opportunities’ was published in Business World’s Marketing White Book in April 2014.