International hotel chain InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has elevated Shantha de Silva to the role of head of South West Asia to oversee India, Bangladesh, Nepal & Sri Lanka operations, as per a statement.

He currently serves as director of operations & general manager at IHG for Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines and reports to Pascal Gauvin, COO at, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG.

De Silva started his career at the former InterContinental Colombo more than 30 years ago and during this period at the group he held several leadership roles in many emerging markets in the region, including Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Shantha takes the helm of our India leadership team with a proven track record in driving growth in emerging markets. In his previous roles with IHG he has demonstrated his ability to galvanise teams to deliver at the highest of levels,” Gauvin said.

In India, the hospitality chain currently operates through 18 hotels across four brands namely InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.

“India is one of the most dynamic countries in our Asia, Middle East and Africa region and its hospitality sector is going through exciting times with a number of new government initiatives to boost travel and tourism. The South West Asian region is also expected to see some strong growth and it is a personal milestone, and honour, for me to have the opportunity to head up our operations in this part of the world,” De Silva said.

He will play an integral role in driving IHG's plans to have 150 hotels open or in the pipeline in India within the next 10 to 15 years. The company has 46 hotels in its development pipeline, due to open in the next three to five years.

The multinational hotels group franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,700 hotels and 693,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries, with almost 1,200 hotels in its development pipeline.

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