How Meghraj Singh Royal Transformed from Chef to Business Mogul in the Desert

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“Born in 1958 in the village of Royal, Khandela, in the Sikar district of Rajasthan, my early life was far from luxurious. My father, a disciplinarian with dreams of seeing me become a teacher, could never have foreseen the path I chose in the hospitality and business sectors,” mentioned Meghraj Singh Royal

Meghraj Singh Shekhawat, popularly known as Meghraj Singh Royal, exemplifies the journey from humble beginnings to becoming a business magnate today. His story is a testament to resilience, vision, and relentless pursuit of success. Meghraj Singh Shekhawat, commonly known as Meghraj Singh Royal, transformed his career from a mere cook to now the head of a whopping 300 crore rupee business group. His MRS Group of Companies now spans infrastructure, mining, and hospitality sectors in India. “With just 1,400 rupees in my pocket, I opened my first restaurant; Which later led me to diversify and open Jaisalmer’s first five-star hotel in 1992, and named it Gorbandh Palace,” mentioned Meghraj Singh Royal. “My approach had always been to make stakeholders out of lenders and employees, fostering loyalty and ethical business practices. My passion remains in hospitality, with ambitious plans for future expansions,” added Singh.  

Despite the financial challenges and increasing debt, Meghraj’s innovative approach and determination helped him build a successful business empire, including the luxury Suryagarh Hotel. His sons, Manvendra and Raghvendra, are set to carry his legacy forward.

Culinary Beginnings

Meghraj Singh Royal's foray into the culinary world began almost coincidently. After missing a teacher’s training test in 1977, he enrolled himself in a hotel management course instead at the Food and Craft Institute in Jaipur. “This decision set the stage for my future endeavors,” recalled Meghraj Singh Royal. “By 1981, I was working in Bahrain, where I further honed my skills as a chef. Upon returning to India, I continued to work in prestigious locations such as the Ram Bagh Palace and the Governor’s House in Jaipur​,” added Singh.

Entrepreneurial Ventures - Expansion and Diversification

The pivotal moment in Meghraj's career came when he ventured into the hospitality business. In 1986, he opened his first restaurant, Trio, in Jaisalmer, a city that was emerging as a top tourist destination. This venture marked the beginning of his transformation from a chef to a business mogul. His keen business acumen led him to lease Narayan Vilas, a camel stable, and convert it into a thriving hospitality venture​.

Meghraj's success with Trio encouraged him to expand further. “I opened Gorbandh Palace, Jaisalmer’s first five-star hotel in 1992, however, my limitations were not only to hospitality; I diversified my business portfolio into liquor distribution, marble mining, toll collection, and road construction. Despite facing significant challenges, including substantial debts and industry resistance, my constant self-belief and re-assurance helped me to overcome all the obstacles that were posed my way,” said Meghraj Singh Royal.  

Today, Meghraj Singh Royal's business empire includes luxurious properties like the Suryagarh Palace, which has become a sought-after wedding destination for celebrities, and Narendra Bhawan in Bikaner. Beyond his business pursuits, Meghraj has also been involved in philanthropic activities through the Rajput Vikas Parishad, aiming to foster social and economic development in Rajasthan​

Meghraj Singh Royal's journey from a chef to a business mogul in the desert is an inspiring narrative of ambition, perseverance, and strategic vision. His story underscores the potential of innovative thinking and dedication in transforming challenges into opportunities.

This article is part of a featured content programme.
Published 08 July 2024, 05:47 IST

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