Hari Harilela

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Hari Naroomal Harilela, GBM, GBS, OBE, JP (born August 10, 1922),[1][2] is Chairman of the Harilela Group in Hong Kong. The group runs businesses ranging from hotel and real estate investment to import and export trading.


Hari Harilela opened a clothing store/tailors in Hong Kong and supplied custom-made suits by mail order. The Hariela Group was founded in 1959 by Harilela with his two brothers, George and Peter, when they moved into real estate.[3][4] The Harilela Group of hotels in the Asia-Pacific region includes properties in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Penang, Bangkok and Sydney.[3]

Harilela is a Life Regent at Pepperdine University in the United States,[5] and is an Honorary Court Member of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.


Harilela served as Hong Kong's Affairs Advisor to the Chinese Government and was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and the Gold Bauhinia Star (GBS).[3][6] He is a recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from the Government of India.[4][7] Harilela won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 4th Annual Asia Pacific Hotel Industry Investment Conference on March 27, 2001.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Harilela was born in Sindh, India (now Pakistan), and moved with his mother and two brothers to Canton in 1930 to join his father.[3] His father was Naroomal Lilaram Mirchandani, who owned an antiques store in Hong Kong. Naroomal was working in Singapore in the mid-1920s, and he renounced his family name after not being able to pay his respects to his mother before she was cremated when she died in India; Harilela is a combination of Lilaram and Haribai, the names of Naroomal's father and mother. He left school aged 10 to help in the family business.[4]

Harilela lives with his wife Padma, whom he married in 1947, his four living brothers and two sisters in a mansion in Kowloon Tong, built in 1970.[4][9] Over 100 members of his family live in the extended complex.[4] He has one son, Aron, and had 11 grandchildren in 2009.[4]


The Padma & Hari Harilela Lecture Theatres, with seating capacities of 250 and 150 respectively, were named in honour of the Harilelas in recognition of a HK$5 million donation to the Hong Kong Baptist University.[10]

HKUST receives HK$5M donation from Dr Hari N Harilela to Enhance Teaching & Research Excellence.[11] The lecture hall C (LT-C) was named "The Padma & Hari Harilela Lecture Theatres" in honour of the donation.


  1. ^ "Dr Hari Harilela, Chairman of Harilela Group, in RTHK's "View from the Top"". RTHK. 23 August 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Kuensel - Volume 17. Bhutan: Department of Information, Ministry of Development at the Royal Government of Bhutan Pres. 1982. 
  3. ^ a b c d Mehta, Ramkiran (8 July 2007). "Richest Indian in Hong Kong". Spectrum (The Tribune of India). Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Paul, Pradeep (14 August 2009). "The family man". AsiaOne. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Board of Regents". Pepperdine University. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Chen, Bonnie (2 July 2009). "Chief's top men lead the way as 444 are honored". The Standard (Hong Kong). Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award - List of Recipients". Prime Minister's Office. New Delhi. 9 January 2003. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Dr. Hari N. Harilela Wins Lifetime Achievement Award At 4th Annual Asia Pacific Hotel Industry Investment Conference Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and Arthur Andersen Jointly Sponsor Event". Hospitalitynet.org. 27 March 2001. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "The family album". Times of India. 15 December 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  10. ^ http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~cpro/pr_04/pe20051006.htm
  11. ^ http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-receives-hk5m-donation-dr-hari-n-harilela-enhance-teaching-research-excellence/

External links[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Henry Tang
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Succeeded by
Joseph Yam
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal