Spotlight on Khushnooma Kapadia: Marketing Head at Marriott International in South Asia


April 12, 2023

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“Marriott gave my passion, foresight and creativity the ‘wings’ and my abilities the ‘roots’!”

….Says Khushnooma Kapadia, Senior Area Director, Marketing, South Asia, Marriott International


Khushnooma Kapadia, Senior Area Director, Marketing, South Asia, Marriott International,

Hotelier India, this month, features India’s ace Corporate Communications’ leaders in the hospitality industry who are not only passionate about  their jobs, but also ensure that their brands remain top-of-the-mind when it comes to all things hotels and hospitality.

This article spotlights Khushnooma Kapadia, Senior Area Director, Marketing, South Asia, Marriott International, and her journey in hospitality so far…

The Trigger

“When I wanted to pursue communications as a career, I was faced with a lot of resistance from my family because it was not even considered a mainstream option.  Besides, my father was extremely keen that I equipped myself with a degree.  I finished my MBA in marketing and then decided to pursue public relations. Marriott was just entering the country; and I was pregnant with my first child when they called me for an interview to take on the marketing of JW Marriott Juhu. The rest, as they say, is history.

“It was a learning curve that was steep, scary and intense.  With no real educational background in hospitality, most of my learning has been on the job.”

My biggest strength

“Resilience. I just simply do not give up. Over time, age and experience, I have realised that this attitude has held me in good stead through many challenging situations. I believe there is always a solution, we are often quick on thinking that the problem is external but the aspirational changes of one’s life can only be achieved with a change in attitude, perspective, and the ability to be agile.

“The incessant need to be better than my best, the restlessness to constantly be ‘ahead of the pack’, to maintain utmost loyalty to the organisation, make sure you are trustworthy and responsibility worthy, entrust and empower your team and impart all the knowledge to grow the next tier of leaders. That’s my recipe for growth.

Article in Hotelier India


Khushnooma Kapadia, Senior Area Director, Marketing, South Asia, Marriott International.

My most challenging, and rewarding moments

The most rewarding moments are always the ones where you see the effort that you put into creating campaigns having a direct effect in moving the needle on the business.  It’s so satisfying to see that happen. We have been instrumental in creating so many successful IPs whether it’s Masters of Marriott Bonvoy or Shaadi by Marriott Bonvoy and each time the scale of what we have attempted to achieve has been higher and higher.  As I said earlier, there are no boundaries to creative execution and hence as a marketer, I find myself free to innovate and create.

“The pandemic would definitely categorise to be the most challenging time in my career. I spent nights awake on how to navigate through those unprecedented times, how to keep your team morale high, and the flag still flying high.

“The process of adapting to a new normal whilst balancing the creative, technical and corporate resources to deliver the best business outcomes within the daily dramatic turn of events was something highly stressful. But diamonds are produced under severe pressure. We all evolved and emerged as professionals with a stronger vision and a greater resilience.”

A day in my work life

“A typical workday would be attending to conference calls, team meetings, strategic meetings especially as we work through our Global, Continent and Regional offices.  If we are in the midst of huge projects or campaigns, then those days are typically high pressured for everyone around me because the expectation is nothing less than perfection. On the job thoroughness is acquired discipline and I champion that heavily within my team.”

The best thing about working for an organisation like the Marriott Group

“In my 19 years here, I have never felt unchallenged or stagnant. Marriott gave my passion, foresight and creativity the ‘wings’ and my abilities the ‘roots’.  Additionally, I have had the good luck to work with leading stalwarts within the company who are not only progressive and inspirational but who are committed to investing in the next generation of professionals that can carry the legacy. Marriott is in my DNA. Change and churn are essential to growth and this organisation fosters a highly performance driven environment, propagating flawless execution and celebrating excellence.”

Marriott, to me, is

“Marriott has been at the vanguard of the hospitality industry providing customers products and experiences that truly reflect the brand manifesto. The purpose of our brand stands at the forefront of ‘connecting people through the power of travel’.  Our powerful network across 30 brands, being a global hospitality major lands us with a huge competitive advantage and we do not take that for granted. Our products, processes, people and promotions are engineered to live and breathe the vision.”