Advisory Board Bio – R.P. Rama

R.P. Rama

R.P. Rama

President, Sarona Holdings

As President of Sarona Hotels, Investments & Holdings and owner of the company, R.P. Rama is responsible for the operations of a multi-sector conglomerate of investments in over 22 hotels and several Technology Startup Companies. Rama has been in the Hospitality Travel & Tourism business for 42 years, and brings diverse, out-of-the-box ideas to any organization or board. He provides employment to several hundred employees, and comes from a diverse background, born in Malawi, Africa, educated in India, and achieving his American Dream.


With 42 years of owning and operating hotels he has vast experience in all areas from construction to operations and managing his own investments. He came to this country without any money, he borrowed from relatives, friends and banks to grow his portfolio of hotels.


Rama has spearheaded the company’s management using information technology infrastructure and planning projects, and successfully conceptualized and implemented Sarona’s Management Information System and Information Technology initiatives to succeed in this competitive market. Rama is credited for leading Sarona thru multiple IT change management processes through the years, allowing the holding company and its subsidiaries to stay current with industry trends and best practices.


Rama holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Accounting from the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University of Bardo in Vadodara, India. He is a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) by the Educational Institute of American Hotel & Lodging Association and holds professional designations as Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) & Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) by the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals Association and the Educational Institute of American Hotel & Lodging Association, respectively.


Rama serves on numerous boards and technical committees, including the South Carolina Hospitality Association, the Intercontinental Hotels Group Purchasing Committee, and the IT Advisory Board of Marriott International. From 2012 to 2013, he served as the President of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals Association (HFTP), an international organization with 5,000 worldwide members. Rama now serves as an International Board Member for the same organizations and has served on the Advisory Boards for the University of South Carolina School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, the University of Delaware’s Department of Hotel, Restaurant, & Institutional Management, and the Carolina Culinary Institute in Greenville, South Carolina.


Rama’s business acumen and expertise have made him deserving of receiving prestigious accolades including the Asian American Hotel Owners Association Most Innovative Technology Award, the HT Magazine Award for Innovative Technology Implementation, the Most Valued CIO Award by China Hospitality Technology Alliance, the Paragon Award by the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association Family Hotelier of the year by Proctor & Gamble. Most recently, Rama was inducted into the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals’ International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame.


Rama played Cricket and Soccer in his high school and college days, and played professional soccer for State Bank of India as well as the State Team in India. His passion is Cricket, Soccer and Football. He has also invested in a Cricket IPL Team in India.


As a contribution to the industry, the Rama brothers established the Rama Scholarship Fund in 10 universities across the United States. Rama also founded the Young Turks HFTP Student’s Scholarship fund to sponsor students to attend HITEC and HFTP events. Guiding and mentoring students has always been a passion of Rama’s, as his career development included teaching Economics and Business Management at the St. Francis of Assisi Convent School in Navsari, India.