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Shruti Shibulal, 

CEO and Director, Tamara Leisure Experiences
age: 39
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SHRUTI SHIBULAL, who has established Tamara as a luxury eco-friendly destination, believes domestic tourists will drive growth. The CEO and Director of Tamara Leisure Experiences says FY23 was an year when demand touched pre-Covid level with people undertaking more long distance travel. For instance, Tamara’s latest NABH-certified Ayurvedic hospital and resort, Amal Tamara at Alleppey, has 50:50 domestic and foreign tourists in spite of longer stay programmes ranging from seven to 21 days where ayurveda, yoga and meditation are bundled into a package costing more than ₹1.5 lakh. “Demand for wellness and well-being, especially ayurveda, has increased in last couple of years,” she says.
Tamara Leisure Experiences operates in three segments—Five-star The Tamara Resorts, upscale business hotels O by Tamara and mid-segment Lilac Hotels. In FY23, it added two more properties, a 141-key hotel under O by Tamara in Coimbatore and a 38-key property under Lilac Hotels in Guruvayoor. The company is also looking to open a property at Kumbakonam. According to MCA filings, revenue was ₹107.94 crore in FY23 compared with ₹60.19 crore in FY22. In FY23, it turned profitable with ₹4.3 crore profit compared to ₹20.42 crore loss in previous year. Tamara is also expanding through management contracts. Shruti says domestic travel, especially around spiritual and religious tourism, is a big market waiting to be tapped. “We have had that strategy for years,” she says. The company is now developing properties in Velankanni and Bodhgaya. “The spiritual/pilgrimage travel has been always strong in India and there is a huge opportunity to create experiences for people like us; and not necessarily in the luxury space,” says Shruti.