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.”