In her article titled "How the legends were born", Ms. Saumya Ancheri highlights "Hotelier Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi's first property was the Clarkes Shimla, but he had already come a long way. Having fled a plague in Pakistan, Oberoi and his wife arrived in Shimla, the summer capital of the British, looking for work in 1922. He joined the swanky hotel Cecil as a clerk." She emphasises that "A few years later, the Cecil's manager Ernest Clarke acquired a Shimla hotel and asked Oberoi to assist him. When Clarke returned to England, he offered the Clarkes Hotel to Oberoi, who mortgaged his wife’s jewellery and borrowed funds to make the bid in 1930. Over several years, Oberoi took over Calcutta's Grand Hotel and shored up shares in India’s leading hotel company (whose properties included the Cecil), eventually controlling it and expanding abroad."
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The stories behind the first outposts of the worlds leading hotel chains in India How the legends were born Cond Nast Traveller India