Sunil Wadhwani is a respected figure in the hospitality industry, known for his expertise in managing successful hotels. He is the owner of eight hotels in McAllen, Texas, with a ninth one currently in progress. However, his journey to success was not a straight line. He had to overcome many challenges and obstacles to get where he is today.
Born to immigrant parents, Wadhwani grew up in Texas, where his family moved in search of the American Dream. After high school, he worked with his parents at their retail store, where he gained valuable skills in entrepreneurship. Wadhwani believes that hard work leads to success, and his parents’ example of working hard to achieve economic stability and prosperity had a profound impact on him.
At the age of 25, Wadhwani ventured out on his own and opened a retail store in McAllen, Texas. The store sold electronics and name-brand watches, and he later expanded the business to online retail. However, he faced stiff competition from Amazon and decided to move into real estate development.
Wadhwani embarked on a 20-acre housing development project just as the housing market was crashing, resulting in a short-lived career as a real estate developer. However, he did not let this setback discourage him. Instead, he decided to move into the hospitality industry, becoming one of the first new franchisees of La Quinta at the age of 35.
In the year 2000, he opened his first hotel with 65 rooms and has since expanded his portfolio to eight hotels with almost 1,000 rooms across South Texas. His portfolio includes the brands La Quinta/Wyndham, Motel 6, and Marriott. Wadhwani is widely respected within the hospitality industry and has received various awards and accolades, including being voted as the Franchise of the Year multiple times within the La Quinta and Motel 6 brand families.
As the CEO of his company, Wadhwani prioritizes the satisfaction of his customers and the development of his management team. He visits all of his properties daily, meeting with his General Managers to address any issues or challenges that may arise. He empowers his management team to implement solutions independently while staying informed of all the activities happening on his properties. Additionally, he is constantly planning for the future, looking for new opportunities to expand and improve his business.
Sunil Wadhwani’s success in the hospitality industry has not been without its fair share of obstacles. One of the most significant challenges he faced was the dependence on Mexican travelers and cross-border traffic when he started his company. However, when this stream of customers began drying up, Wadhwani had to quickly shift his marketing and business strategies to attract new clientele. Another hurdle he faced was the overbuilding and market saturation in the South Texas area, which made it challenging for his business to stand out. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the tourism industry hard, and Wadhwani had to swiftly adapt to implement safety protocols and find new ways to attract customers. Nevertheless, Wadhwani persevered by remaining committed to his vision, being strategic in his planning, and adapting to changing circumstances. His dedication to finding new target markets, offering unique experiences, and prioritizing safety measures enabled him to successfully lead his company through challenging times.
Despite facing challenges and obstacles, Wadhwani’s tireless effort, resolve, and ability to adapt to changing market conditions have led him to success. He is a role model for others to emulate, demonstrating that with perseverance and determination, anyone can achieve their goals and find success. As he continues to expand his business with the opening of a new TownePlace Suites in San Antonio, Texas, Wadhwani’s story serves as a reminder of the importance of hard work and persistence in achieving success.
For those who are just starting out in the hospitality industry, Sunil Wadhiwani has some advice: “Listen and learn before speaking. Accumulate as much experience as can be had and do it by working from the bottom up.” These words of wisdom reflect the importance of gaining a deep understanding of the industry and the work that goes into it. By starting at the bottom and working your way up, you gain valuable insights into how the industry operates at every level. This knowledge will be invaluable as you progress in your career and take on greater responsibilities. Remember to be patient, work hard, and stay open to learning new things. With dedication and perseverance, you can achieve great success in this dynamic and rewarding field.