STAFF at one of the North East’s largest leisure and hospitality and care groups were honoured by bosses at an inaugural employee awards ceremony.
Around 75 managers and staff attended the Malhotra Group plc’s event at the company’s recently refurbished Grey Street Hotel, Newcastle – with one receiving a special accolade from its chairman and founder.
Along with a portfolio of hotels, restaurants and bars, Malhotra Group is one of the region’s largest providers of residential care with 12 homes throughout the North East, operated by its Prestwick Care subsidiary.
And the awards night recognised the achievements and dedication of staff in 10 categories – with a special tribute from Meenu Malhotra, the Group’s chairman and founder, for maintenance manager Rajiv Vadhera.
Rajiv, aged 42 years and from Phillaur in the State of Punjab, began working for the Malhotra family in India, 20 years ago, managing their estate of properties.
Around 15 years ago he came to England to join the business in Newcastle, where he now heads a 21-strong maintenance team and Meenu Malhotra said: “I saw a look in his eye, and a steely determination to succeed even then.
“It has given me immense pleasure to see how Rajiv has grown within the business. Indeed, my own success would not have been possible without his support, hard work, dedication, and his ultimate ownership of all his responsibilities during these years.
“I am very proud of what Rajiv has achieved – he is a great example to all, and a deserving recipient of this award.”
Meenu Malhotra, who was born in India, came to the UK in 1979, where he worked in a newsagent’s and, following a brief spell in the clothing industry, ventured into property.
Malhotra Group now employs 1100 staff across all three sectors of the business, including more than 250 employees in the leisure sector and, in 2015, the Group gained PLC status.
Accepting his award, Rajiv said: “Meenu trusted me and had faith in me that I could do this job.
“He is my mentor, he taught and trained me and I am really grateful that he has chosen me for this award and I will keep the hard work going for as long as I can.”
Other winners announced at the ceremony were
Lifetime Achievement Christine Scott (Manager, Belle Vue House Care Home, Sunderland)
Outstanding Achievement Wayne Dowson, Manager, Butchers Arms & Duke of Northumberland
Excellence in Leadership Eve Tierney, Head of Care Operations
Team of the Year Belle Vue House Care Home, Sunderland
Excellence in Service Lainey Westgarth, Assistant Manager, Grey Street Hotel
Unsung Hero John Mossom, Finance Assistant
Newcomer Cat Unwin, Project Administrator
Shining Star Francesca Wood, Marketing Co-Ordinator
Living the Group’s Values Alison Oliver, Deputy Manager, Belle Vue House Care Home, Sunderland
Young Achiever Stacie Watson, Senior Management Accountant