Source of Wealth:Hotels
Gulshan Bhatia left school at 12 and was unable to speak English when she arrived in Britain from Tanzania in 1976. She said: “I took over the management of my father’s textile business when I was just 12 because he was ill.” She came to the UK with her husband, Pyarali, and four children when the political situation in Tanzania became turbulent. She bought a small B&B in Paddington for £190,000 and charged £3 a room. Her husband died and she had to work 16-hour per day to survive. She eventually acquired five hotels in Paddington then sold three to buy the station-side GWR Hotel for £10m in 1986. Now managed by Hilton, the hotel has been re-branded to Hilton London Paddington after a £60m facelift. Bhatia also runs the Holiday Inn at Gatwick under franchise and in 1998 bought the Grand Hotel in Bayswater for £16.5m. Her son Asif, 42, runs the London Plaza and in late 2002 bought the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham. In 2007, Gulshan Bhatia bought London’s famous Waldorf Hotel in a £175-million deal. The two main Bhatia companies, Prestmade and Tradesup, have net assets of £51.8m in 2009. The family has other wealth.
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