New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Salil Panigrahi, a native of Odisha and the founder and Managing Director of Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, has been conferred with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians.
Salil was among the 30 NRIs, and Indian-origin people and organisations, who received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind during the valedictory session of the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations on Saturday. He received the award for his service in the field of tourism.
The award is the highest honour conferred by the President of India as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conventions on a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (PIO), and organisation or institution established and run by NRIs or PIOs.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention was held virtually on Saturday. The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while the 2021 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards were conferred by President Kovind.
[caption id="attachment_508188" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Salil Panigrahi, Founder, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts[/caption]
A jury-cum-awards committee, with Indian Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu as the Chairman and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as the Vice-Chair and other distinguished members from various walks of life considered the nominations for the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards 2021 and unanimously selected the awardees.
A Chartered Accountant from Bhubaneswar, Salil started his career about 25 years back at Oberoi Hotels & Resorts in the finance department.
After his stint at Oberoi, Salil worked at Six Senses Group, founded by Indian-British hotelier Sonu Shivdasani. In early 2003, Salil partnered with investors from the Maldives to form EoN Resorts, a company that engaged in resort development and consultancy for luxury resorts in the Indian Ocean holiday destination.
At EoN, Salil spearheaded the development and launch of several iconic resorts including OZEN Reserve Bolifushi, Constance Halaveli, Six Senses Laamu, among several others.
In 2012, Salil wanted to embark on his next phase and launched with his Maldivian partners a brand called Atmosphere, to partially own but primarily take on management contracts of resorts within the Indian Ocean.
Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts’ first property, Atmosphere Kanifushi, opened its doors in December 2013. The group opened its second property, OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli in November 2015; followed by OZEN Life Maadhoo in July 2016; OBLU Select at Sangeli in July 2018; and VARU by Atmosphere in October 2019.
In 2020, Atmosphere launched The OZEN Collection, an award-winning, uber-lux hospitality brand.
OZEN Maadhoo, the first resort under the brand, opened in July 2016. OZEN’s success story continues in the Maldives with the addition of OZEN Reserve Bolifushi, which opened in December. OZEN Life Tangalle takes the brand to the south coast of Sri Lanka and is scheduled to be launched in 2023.
(Edited By Pradeep Singh)