Profile HAI Secretary General

R. K. PURI IPS/IRTS (retd.)

Career Sketch

Entered the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1961 and the Indian Railways Traffic Service (IRTS) in 1962. Served in the Central Government for 35 years in senior capacities in the Ministries of Railways, Commerce, Foreign Trade, Tourism, Army Headquarters, India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM).

Represented India as a Delegate in numerous UN-ESCAP, International Conferences and Multilateral Trade meetings.

Had the unique privilege of being the Negotiator and Signatory for India to the “First Agreement on Tariff Preferences Among the Developing Member-Countries of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific” on 31st July, 1975, also known as the Bangkok Agreement.

Deputed abroad as Director, Tea Promotion, London for U.K., Ireland and Scandinavian countries (1977 – 80).


As the first Director of Tourism, Railway Board (1980-82), conceptualised and launched the popular tourist train “Palace-on-Wheels”.

As Founder Director, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) – 1986-90 authored the curriculum of “Post-Graduate Degree in Tourism Management (PGDTM).

Planning Commission utilised his expertise in tourism as Member-Secretary of the high powered National Committee on Tourism tasked with evolving a Long Term Tourism Plan for India, presented to the then Prime Minister in 1990.


  • “Vishisht Yogyata Padak” awarded by the Ministry of Railways, 1974;
  • “PATA Gold Medal - Grand Category” awarded at the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Annual Session at Vancouver, Canada, 1990;
  • “IATO Hall of Fame Award” awarded at the Indian Association of Tour Operators Annual Session, 1997.

Superannuated as Additional Member, Tourism and Catering, Railway Board in September 1996.

Appointed Founder Secretary-General, Hotel Association of India from April 1997.