Kamalini Paul, She Glorifying Businesses, Nari ShaktiW

Kamalini Paul: A Visionary Leader in Kolkata’s Hospitality Landscape

Magazine Women

“Hotel De Sovrani has evolved into a hospitality experience that transcends the traditional boundaries of a corporate business hotel.”

Kamalini Paul (MD, Paulis Group of Companies)

If you ever get a chance to go to Kolkata and crave your favourite coffee at a unique cafe, go to Serra Café – Kolkata’s first automatic retractable rooftop cafe. And when you stand in awe of it, you can thank Kamalini Paul, a trailblazer whose journey in real estate began at the tender age of 18, inspired by her father’s (Prasanta Paul) legacy. 

Over the past eight years, she has poured her heart into Hospitality and Real Estate, single-handedly steering multiple projects. Today, she is the Managing Director of Hotel De Sovrani, which makes it to the list of the top 50 hotels in the city. She has introduced two budget hotels in the hill stations of East India. Last year, she launched a business centre, and now, she’s behind the opening of Serra Cafe. 

When Young Kamalini Stepped Into Her Father’s Shoes

Kamalini Paul, MD, Paulis Group of Companies

Kamalini Paul never dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur. Despite her father, a renowned realtor known for unique architectural designs, mentioning the possibility of Kamalini managing the business as the eldest daughter in casual conversations, she was enjoying her carefree and happy-go-lucky youth but destiny unfolded its plan. Everything changed when her father, the backbone of the family and business, passed away from cancer just before Kamalini turned 18. 

In her own words, Kamalini shares, “Suddenly, I had to step up and handle my father’s real estate projects. It was tough, especially for someone so young. With the help of supportive friends, I fought through the challenges of the real estate world. After graduating, I fully committed myself to running Hotel De Sovrani. This decision led me into the hospitality industry.”

When Kamalini joined as an Executive Director, the hotel faced many issues like poor brand recall, bad online reputation, and dissatisfied customer feedback. Despite being surrounded by an experienced and professional management team, the support received was negligible. “In fact, an atmosphere was created where employees were subtly encouraged to present problems, hoping that, as a young woman, I might opt for an easier path abroad or through marriage. I refused to conform to these expectations and chose to carve my own path,” shares the entrepreneur. 

Kamalini didn’t have any formal hospitality management education but she learnt everything and anything she could. In 2019, the hotel won the title of the ‘Best Upscale Independent Hotel’. It was at that time when at the request of the team and family, she took the role of the Managing Director. Today, Kamalini proudly manages Hotel De Sovrani and its affiliated brands, including a café, food kiosk, and budget hotels—all successfully built and continuously overseen by her. 

In the past eight years, Kamalini has faced many ups and downs but these hurdles have not only turned her into an ambitious entrepreneur but also kept her father’s legacy alive.  

Hotel De Sovrani: A luxury Experience 

Hotel De Sovrani, a unit of Paulson Hotel & Resorts Pvt. Ltd. (a unit of DC Paul Group Initiative) is a 36-room state-of-the-art luxury business hotel with  4 banquets and 3 food and beverage outlets. It offers Executive Suite, Deluxe Rooms and Standard Rooms with a motto to curate everlasting memories for its esteemed guests through over-the-top hospitality. 

The airport is only 20 minutes away from the Hotel. It steps away from many popular city locations like Eco Park, New Town Coffee House, Nicco Park, Mother’s Wax Museum, and more. The Hotel provides Wi-Fi access, in-room twenty-hour dining, a swimming pool, a gym and other amenities to give an all-round living experience. 

The Hospitality Industry Was Hit Hardest During The Pandemic

When the storm hits, you can either seek shelter or find a new direction. That’s what Kamalini did when the pandemic hit the industry. Despite COVID-19 causing the closure of thousands of companies, she saw it as an opportunity to innovate amidst adversity.

Despite industry challenges, Hotel De Sovrani navigated the chaos successfully. It maintained a team of nearly 200 at such difficult times, which shows its resilience and commitment. Kamalini believes everyone has an inherent capacity to adapt, change and move beyond the challenges. Yet, it is more important to focus on bigger goals that lie ahead, instead of constantly pondering on the past. 

Innovations and Sustainability Efforts

Hotel De Sovrani recently collaborated with the Motor Sports Association to host an annual corporate car rally with 200-plus participants, continuing the legacy of Mr. Prasanta. The hotel also organises marathons, cooking competitions, children’s swimming events, and more. With a commitment to CSR, the Hotel uplifts underprivileged children and promotes girl child education. It also provides internships for girls and women, and feeds nearly 100 street dogs daily.

In terms of energy conservation, the hotel uses energy-saving motion lights, a heat pump for hot water, an Effluent Treatment plant, organic cleaning agents, and eco-friendly packaging, decorations & corporate gifts. It follows a zero-waste policy and promotes farm-to-table food experiences.

“You must see opportunity in every adversity. Regardless of challenges, maintaining faith is key. Good days will come, you have to keep going. If you are facing hardships at work, remember consistency is vital. Success is a journey. Dedication paves the way for remarkable accomplishments in life,” says Kamalini while she shares advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Read Full Magazine: She: Glorifying Businesses | Nari Shakti 


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