Ila Prabhu refers to this milestone as a rebirth, as she found her IKIGAI during the course

Authored by
Ms. ILA Prabhu
General Manager
Welcomhotel Chennai

Married to an Army officer and a mother of two children, Ila is a gold medalist with an MBA and lived a good life as a lecturer for B. Com students until the hospitality bug bit big time!


Ila joined ITC in Sept 2006 as Welcomgroup Management trainee and successfully completed her tenure and graduated in October 2008.

Ila Prabhu refers to this milestone as a rebirth, as she found her IKIGAI during the course.


Life presented its own set of challenges as an Army officer’s wife, as I had to helm the home front all by myself, including bringing up my children. A set of different challenges emerged when I shifted focus to my career after the children became independent. Those, however, turned into a blessing and an opportunity as I joined ITC Hotels. A non-hotelier with no formal training in hospitality, I was hired by ITC under the Welcome Jawan scheme and trained for one year on a very structured schedule, including shop floor experience. Since then, my entire life has been one of learning, insights, invaluable experience, purpose, enrichment, and empowerment. ITC Hotels has offered me support, guidance, care, and encouragement every step of the way. The recognition from my organization has made me a most successful and confident woman. It takes a lot of courage for a woman to come out of her shell and claim that she has made a difference. The hotel’s cultural ecosystem allows for such special spaces for everyone as it is based on the ethos of inclusivity and diversity.


My first post was as Assistant Manager of Housekeeping at ITC Kakatiya. After spending 8 years there, I was entrusted with the responsibility of the pre-opening of ITC Grand Bharath, Welcomhotel Guntur, and Welcomhotel Coimbatore at the leadership level as Executive Housekeeper.

Very recently, I crossed a very special milestone: I was elevated to the post of General Manager—First Lady at Welcomhotel Chennai. The hotel reopened in a refurbished, reinvented avatar, bearing the legacy of being the first hotel in the ITC Hotels stable.


Follow your dreams, listen to your heart, answer its call, and passion and purpose will follow. Your own efforts will yield power, meaning, and identity. Keep learning, exploring, adapting. Lead from the front, rise to challenges, stride through adversity, build resilience. Exude a positive mindset. Start from a place of compassion. Win the trust of your colleagues, stay curious, enthusiastic, encourage growth, motivate people, help them reach their true potential.


ITC Hotels fosters a culture of growth for everyone. Inclusivity and diversity echo through the walls of this storied group, as all associates, irrespective of their gender, are offered equal opportunities to excel. Women-friendly policies are thoughtfully interwoven to enable a healthy work-life balance for everyone. A commitment to diversity starts right at the level of recruitment and reaches far into the entire ecosystem.