(Shivani Gupta, Director of Crown Group of Hotels, Canada, was honoured recently by the Indo-Canadian Arts and Culture Initiative at their Sixth Celebrating Womanhood Gala in Mississauga for her pioneering work as Entrepreneur in various fields.)
By Bala Menon
“Employees of a company are the key to its success, no matter what the industry”, says Shivani Gupta, director at the booming Crown Group of Hotels of Canada. As a quintessential Human Resources person, Shivani knows what makes a company hum on its way to continuing growth.
After graduating from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in 2010 Shivani completed her Human Resources Management specialization from Sheridan College. She gained experience in recruitment and employee management in a fast-paced setting in the Human Resources sector where she had the opportunity to recruit dozens of women in various areas of operational work.
“I believe in equal pay for equal work and always ensured that the women whom I recruit are paid the same as their male counterparts in the positions they are recruited for.” Of course, this was way before the mandatory ‘equal work, equal pay’ became a legal requirement in Ontario just a few days ago (on April 1, 2018).
Shivani also completed a Management Training program after joining the hospitality industry which helped her get a deep insight into key hotel metrics such as revenue management, staffing resources, guest expectations and business profitability.
The experience became crucial when her family entered the hotel industry after acquiring the Quality Hotel Burlington and she had to take up the challenge as its General Manager. She quickly proved herself and in the next year, the hotel was given the Gold Award by Choice Hotels Canada.
She continued to empower women and promoted three of her female staff members as managers, leading them and guiding them to excel in their new positions.
That same year, her family’s new company the Crown Group of Hotels came into being and she was inducted as director – responsible for overseeing five properties with more than 300 employees. It was a challenging couple of years because she had to deliver excellence in a cutting-edge service industry. But Shivani was able to execute her vision to grow the family business with just one hotel into a conglomerate with a turnover of more than $20 million in just under five years.
“I intend to sustain this growth by effectively managing the current portfolio from the company’s new head office on Derry Road,” she said. “As part of our growth plan, I have just completed the drawings and designs for a $2 million renovation for Crown Group’s Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton in Barrie.”
Shivani has also taken up the challenge of helping her husband Devesh Gupta’s law firm Prudent Law in Human Resources management and looking after all staffing needs.
Devesh credits the growth of his law office to Shivani’s efforts. “She has been a major contributor to the firm’s tremendous growth and has ensured that women form an integral part of prudent Law, in an industry that continues to be male-dominated.” Prudent Law has a unique distinction of closing more than $100 million in commercial real estate transactions in 2017.
Under Shivani’s management, the Crown Group of Hotels has celebrated several achievements. Awards and Recognition classified by individual properties:
• Recipient of the Gold Award by Choice Hotels in 2014. Recognized to be in the top 10% of all Choice properties in Canada.
• Recognized by Hotel Planner to be in the top 50 hotels in all over the world.
• Ranked 14 out of 233 Choice properties in 2015.
• Shivani ensured all 5 properties are recipients of Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor since 2013.
Shivani has been a strong supporter of charities. Throughout the journey of acquisitions of hotels, Shivani implemented donation drives throughout the year, educating guests and employees on contributions to society. She set up donation drives for Quality Hotel in Burlington for charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity Canada, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, Canadian Feed the Children and Sleeping Children Around The World, and was happy to be able to raise more than $30,000 in 2 years (2014-2016).
Today, Shivani is a proud supporter of health foundations and hospitals including William Osler, Trillium, etc. Crown-owned Best Western Brantford is involved with Heart & Stroke Foundation and her team rides the “Big Bike” each year to donate and support. Crown Group of Hotels has been a sponsor for Miss India Canada every year since 2013. Courtyard Marriott Brampton has been the Bronze sponsor for Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce for 2015 and 2016 – following that, Crown Group of Hotels has now become Silver Sponsor for 2017 and 2018.
Shivani has also been actively involved with the Indo- Canada Chamber of Commerce and served as Director in 2015-2016. She is involved with film festivals, multiple non-for-profit organizations and most recently sponsored an athlete in the Special Olympics 2017.
Crown Group of Hotels is an annual supporter of Volunteer MBC which focuses on helping organizations with volunteers in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon – most recently sponsored event was attended by Mayors, MPPs, MPs and Chief of Peel Regional police.
In 2016, Shivani was blessed with a baby daughter. Being in a family business, she faced the same challenge that many other women entrepreneurs and professionals face, balancing her work with her personal life and this presented an extreme challenge.
However, Shivani rose to the occasion and, with the support of her family, continued to help in the growth of Crown Group of Hotels and Prudent Law while at the same time, nurturing her daughter and spending time with her at home.
Shivani continues to be a force in the corporate world and an inspiration to women. She also continues to encourage, support, and guide women in her professional capacities and in her personal life.
She intends to push on with the expansion of the Crown Group, looking at properties and ventures in Calgary, Vancouver and other provinces.
Shivani loves to cook – mainly Indian and Italian and is also fond of travelling. In fact, she looks after the menus at the various restaurants within the Crown properties. “Currently, I am devising a brand new menu for the Courtyard Marriot in Brampton – with a focus on Italian, Greek and other European cuisines.”
The restaurant in the Brantford Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre (offering 158 rooms) was one of the first which Shivani handled (the restaurant is called Myra Bar and Grill – named for her daughter) and is today one of Brantford’s top choices for dining.
What about holidays?
“Business is a tough proposition and we need our breaks – this year we had a wonderful trip to Dubai, a really gleaming and living city. “We also travelled to India and one of the highlights was a visit to the sprawling and scenic Khadakvasla Military Academy where we were able to mingle with the cadets and see how tomorrow’s officers of the Indian Armed Forces are groomed. It was a great experience.” Pics: Nisarg Media Productions.