IRVINE, CA—WATG has promoted Raj Chandnani to chief development officer of the global design firm.
Promoted from VP of strategy, Chandnani’s expanded role includes guiding WATG’s global outreach and growth strategy, cultivating key client relationships across the globe, and extending the firm’s design leadership in innovation.
Chandnani will continue to collaborate with WATG and Wimberly Interiors’ design teams, leveraging his expertise on consumer trends, international travel and tourism, branding strategies and hospitality real estate.
“Raj’s sophisticated understanding of the hospitality industry, strategic perspective of the development landscape, as well as his established industry relations, will be instrumental in helping us continue our global growth trajectory,” said Anthony Mallows, president/CEO, WATG. “Equally as important, Raj shares an appreciation for the people, culture and values that define WATG—values that are fundamental in building and managing successful long-term relationships.”
Chandnani serves on the board of directors at WATG, is co-chair of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Hospitality Investment Roundtable and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Chandnani has also taught classes on strategic planning, financial management, real estate finance, hotel development and tourism at UCLA, USC, New York University, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and Cornell University. Chandnani is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Prior to joining WATG in 2001, Chandnani was as associate director with Insignia/ESG Hotel Partners, the real estate investment practice exclusively dedicated to the hospitality industry. He served as an asset manager of a portfolio of hotel investments on behalf of co-investment partners, with responsibilities including budget review and analysis, monthly operational reviews and competitive analyses, preparation of business plans, overview of capital expenditures, ownership meetings, contract negotiations, acquisition analysis and deal structuring. He also facilitated the brokerage and due diligence process for capital markets assignments, portfolio transactions, investment sales and financings.