You cannot inspire, unless you’re inspired yourself.
I feel incredibly lucky to be alive and work in an industry at a time when it is growing and helping move over 1.5 billion people across international borders each year. At a time when it has grown to being a real force for good. The untold joy of being in a position where I can apply my strengths to a sector that now operates in every corner of the planet. To make others make sense of an increasingly bewildering world and feel confident to take action. To break down complex ideas into concepts that make sense.
You cannot inspire unless you are visible.
I think of myself as a bit of an evangelist. So, I use my voice to tell stories, share unconventional wisdom and inspire change. Our brains are programmed more for stories than for abstract ideas. Stories make connections and storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate complex problems. So I do this by writing and speaking and “thinking out loud,” researching, teaching, presenting and facilitating conversations that matter.
“Conformity is a hazard. It hurts people and businesses. I like to think of myself as a constructive non-conformist and I enjoy being a rebel with a cause. Now I am not saying stir up shit, break all the rules or create chaos on the job for fun. Not at all. But the desire to conform compels us to go along; to get along. It’s easy, risk free and most polite. When the real prize lies in being authentic and your true self. My entire life and career is laced with examples of this and if I can be called successful by any stretch of imagination, it is because I have succeeded by breaking the rules. Let me show you how!”
Aradhana Khowala is a global expert and one of the most influential leaders in the hospitality, travel and tourism sector. Her career has spanned 20+ years, five continents and more than 75 countries. Today, she is the CEO of Aptamind Partners, a strategic consultancy, which combines hard data and decades of experience to advise governments, emerging destinations and public and private organisations on sustainable tourism development.
Previously she was the Managing Director of Tourism at NEOM - the US$ 500 Billion land of the future purpose built for a sustainable and new way of living in Saudi Arabia. She sits on multiple boards and currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Group Advisory Board of Red Sea Global a first-of-its kind regenerative tourism developer in Saudi Arabia. Aradhana also serves as a Board Member of Elaf Group, the leisure arm of SEDCO Holding where she also Chairs the Compensation and Remuneration committee. In the past, she has worked for Jones Lang LaSalle, a Strategy Consulting practice in Europe and Asia as well as in Hospitality Operations in India.
Her experience runs the gamut from luxury hospitality to strategy consulting, deal-making to marketing and advising destinations to lobbying governments. She is an entrepreneur at heart having founded multiple companies and actively invests and supports StartUps globally as Board Advisor. An accomplished public speaker and a multi-hyphenate with a passion for storytelling, she has spoken on the TEDx stage, and participated in global policy discussions in United Nations, as well as the G20 apart from speaking at some of the foremost Leadership Summits around the world.
Aradhana has won multiple awards and was featured amongst the 100 most powerful people in Global Hospitality as well as the 25 most Influential Women in Hospitality in 2022 by International Hospitality Institute. In 2021 she was featured as an Inspirational woman rethinking sustainable tourism by City Nation Place in the UK and also won the Chairman’s Award of Global Chamber of Page 1 of 5 Commerce, US for being a leader amongst peers. She won the 21st Century Icon Awards in 2017 in association with CNBC and the London School of Economics in London as an Inspirational Game Changer and in 2014, she was featured as one of the 50 most Influential Next Generation leaders who will define the future of luxury by Swiss Economic magazine Bilan. She is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach, has an MBA from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, and an International Director Board Certification from INSEAD.