Dr Jyotsna Suri, the Chairperson and Managing Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group is the first Indian woman to be conferred with the ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’ by the Government of Japan – the country’s second-highest national honour. By Bayar Jain
Women of stature are increasingly gaining recognition in fields often sidelined or ignored by mainstream media, and Dr Jyotsna Suri, the Chairperson and Managing Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, is set to crush these biases. Earlier this year, on January 17, this power woman was conferred with the ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’ by the Government of Japan – the country’s second-highest national honour dating back to 1875. Held at the Embassy of Japan, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and current Union Cabinet Minister Piyush Goyal were present during the felicitation as well. This honour was bestowed on her due to her contributions in strengthening strategic ties between India and Japan in economic and tourism sectors. With this recognition, she becomes the first Indian woman to have received the Imperial honour.
As the Co-Chair of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Forum of Parliamentarians Council, during her more than three-decades-long career, she has been actively involved in the activities of the India-Japan Parliamentarians Forum. Her initiatives led to the resurrection of the India-Japan forum with the parliamentarians’ visit to Japan in 2017, after a gap of six years. She also took a lead in pushing Japanese tourism companies’ participation in the Great Indian Travel Bazaar held annually. Such initiatives have helped strengthen relations between the two countries, and in turn, lead to a rise in the number of Indians visiting Japan annually as well.
Speaking about hospitality being a male-dominated space, Dr Suri says, “While there are many women working in housekeeping, services, front office, and marketing and communications; there are not many occupying the top leadership roles.” She further adds, “Hoteliers work for 24 hours for all seven days of the week, and 365 days a year. At times, work-life balance becomes difficult for women to achieve.” However, having said that, she further advices women not to let challenges get in the way, and to always believe in yourself. “Be patient and persevere towards your goal, despite the roadblocks. At the end of it, you will achieve success.”