Welcome to Five Star Insights with Arti Halai. The show where we speak to incredible people from a wide range of backgrounds and sectors, all of whom are making a real difference in society. Each show will start with an introduction about the guest and their achievements, before we dive straight into finding out more about the individual with their choice of a location, cuisine, music, literature and art. So sit back and enjoy!
My guest on Five Star Insights this month is self-made billionaire Surinder Arora. Surinder is an entrepreneur with an extraordinary and inspiring story. He is founder and chairman of Arora Group, one of the UK’s largest private hotel owner-operators.
Surinder arrived in the UK at the age of 13 in 1972 speaking no English. His parents had arrived a few years earlier and called for him from the Punjab once they had settled in West London.
Hard work runs in the blood. His mother held down three jobs and was extremely ambitious for her son. Surinder left school and had jobs with British Airways and Abbey Life. He saved and invested in property, buying derelict houses and converting them into bed and breakfast for airline staff.
He eventually bulldozed the houses and built a hotel from scratch, convincing both lenders and British Airways to give him the contract to run a hotel for the airline’s crew. It wasn’t long before he was on a roll both buying and operating hotels and the rest as they say is history.