Our TeamPrincipals and Managing Partners: Mukesh "Mike" Patel
|Mukesh “Mike” Patel
Getting things done is an accomplishment, but getting things done right is an achievement. Even at the relatively young age of 46, Mike Patel has an impressive record of getting things done right and of achieving impressive results.
For example, he is president of Diplomat Hotel Company, an Atlanta-based firm founded in 1981 with his brother, R.C. Today, Diplomat operates a number of hotels in the southeast, including several in the immediate area of the Atlanta airport. The firm also owns related businesses in travel, commercial insurance, real estate, and hotel software.
Mike moved beyond being franchisees to becoming the first Asian franchisors in the hotel industry when in March of 2007 they purchased the Budgetel brand and announced ambitious plans for establishing these upper economy properties throughout the United States.
Mike has also made major contributions of time and talent in leadership positions with a wide variety of industry groups. He was instrumental in founding the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) in 1989 and has served in numerous roles, including as chairman during 1998-99.
Mike’s term as AAHOA chairman resulted in historic success on such issues as membership growth, expanded opportunities for women and independent hoteliers, increased initiatives in professional education and government relations, and taking the association’s message into Canada with first-ever conferences in Toronto and Vancouver. In fair franchising reform, Mike helped author AAHOA’s 12 points of fair franchising.
Mike’s work on behalf of AAHOA was recognized at the association’s 2000 Annual Conference in Las Vegas when he was presented with the prestigious “Award of Excellence.”
In May of 2000, Mike was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as a commissioner on the White House Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Today, Mike continues his strong working relationship with Mr. Clinton, having traveled with the former president to India several times to raise funds for Gujarat earthquake relief and rebuilding.
In addition, Mike serves on the advisory committee for Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality and is a member of the State of Georgia’s Minority Business Council. He is also a trustee of the American Hotel Foundation and a member of the Board of Councilors at The Carter Center. Previously, he has been chairman of the Ramada Inn Operating Committee.
Within all these groups, Mike is known and respected for turning good ideas into meaningful programs that produce measurable progress. He is a graduate of the London Business School, who played soccer professionally in England and the United States before launching his career in hospitality. He and his wife, Hasmita, live in Atlanta and have two grown children -- son Rishi and daughter Ayesha.