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Former IHG director Khanna joins Unite Students

George Sell Uploaded 23 March 2021: UK: Unite Students has appointed Karan Khanna as chief customer officer.

Khanna was previously managing director for UK and Ireland at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), where he was responsible for more than 350 hotels and 3,000 team members.

Prior to IHG he worked at McKinsey and Cadbury Schweppes. He replaces John Blanshard, who left the business earlier this year and will take up the role of director of operations at Grainger later this month.

Richard Smith, Unite Students chief executive, said: “We have an exciting time ahead of us as we recover from the immediate impacts of Covid, and longer-term as we look to benefit from the opportunities that are ahead of us. I am excited and confident that Karan’s experience and leadership will support our continued success.”

Khanna said: “I am delighted to join Unite Students at this critical time in its growth journey. I have been very impressed with the business that Richard and the team have built, including its strong development pipeline, industry-leading operating model and a deep commitment to its core purpose of building a ‘Home for Success’ for students.”

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"ULF is a long needed innovative approach. The blend of content demonstrates that hospitality provides the increasingly crucial thread through so many real estate classes and not only refers to traditional hotels and serviced apartments but has already permeated the residential markets in their increasingly varied formats. Now these services are expanding into the residential innovative care and office markets in the UK and overseas. We are witnessing the market converging at pace as investors seek optimum yield across a variety of urban asset classes. These are exciting and pioneering times and I look forward to expanding my horizons at this unique event"

Laurence Geller CBE, CEO Geller Capital Partners

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