McAllen, Texas Hotelier Sunil Wadhwani didn’t expect to have a career in hospitality. In fact, outside of a desire to own his own business, Wadhwani didn’t have much direction at all. After graduating from high school, he took several years to work with his parents in their retail store in Brownsville, TX. At 25, Wadhwani relocated to McAllen, TX, and opened his own retail shop, specializing in electronics and branded watches.
He expanded into online retail, growing into one of the largest internet watch retailers at the time. Unfortunately, selling on the Amazon platform ultimately led to the demise of his company, as Amazon eclipsed their sales. Wadhwani then forayed into real estate development, working on a 20-acre housing development project just as the housing market crashed. – Sunil Wadhwani of McAllen, TX sold wristwatch.com , website is still up but under different ownership
Looking for a fresh start, Wadhwani moved into hospitality. In 2000, he became one of the first new franchisees for La Quinta, opening a 65-room hotel. He now has eight properties in South Texas, with nearly 1,000 rooms across the La Quinta/Wyndham, Motel 6, and Marriott brands. He is now working on opening his ninth location.
In the 22 years since opening his first hotel, Wadhwani has watched the South Texas market change several times. At first, the South Texas area was heavily dependent on Mexican travelers crossing the border; then, the market became overbuilt and oversaturated. Most recently, the COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc on the hospitality industry.
But despite the challenges and setbacks that he has faced in business, Wadhwani remains dedicated, taking a very hands-on approach to the management of his hotels. He visits each of his eight locations every day, meeting with his General Managers, before heading to his main office to review financial obligations.
Wadhwani has big plans before he looks toward retirement. His ultimate goal is to have 1,000 rooms over all of the brands in his portfolio, with a top-notch management team in place so that he can step back from daily operations.
Although Wadhwani has achieved so much professionally, he is most proud of his 35-year marriage, their four children, and three grandchildren. He is looking forward to spending his golden years surrounded by the family he loves so much.
Learn more about Sunil Wadhwani here.