The Khatau Business House was among the pioneers of the textile industry in India way back in 1874 and cement industry in 1920. Being the leader in the manufacturing of various varieties of saris, the famous voile sari was at one time synonymous with the name “Khatau”.
As the scion of the 4th generation of the powerful Khatau Business House,Mr. Dilip D. Khatau was instrumental in venturing overseas to East Africa and South East Asia in 1964. Eventually, in 1990s, the Dilip Khatau Group further diversified extensively in India into the production of footwear, cement, power cables, chemicals and shipping. Since 1994, the Group concentrated on shipping, tourism and wildlife conservation.
An ardent wildlife lover since his childhood, Mr. Khatau’s passion took him to many wilderness areas such as Corbett National Park in India. During his 15 years of stay in Kenya, and later in South East Asia, his passion for wildlife hunting turned to serious wildlife protection and nature conservation.He later became an active member of the East African Wildlife Society. He was highly impressed by the way wildlife tourism had proliferated and gained popularity in Africa which had not taken off in India then. He dreamt of similar ventures in India where tourists can enjoy being in the wild, and at the same time, relax in the luxury and comfort of home. He is also a member of the National Board for Wildlife, India. With vast experience in both hospitality industry and wildlife conservation, the Group expanded its operations to the semi arid and unique landscape of Kutch, Gujarat. Thus, Infinity Rann of Kutch resort was established in 2008.The property with its elegant tented cottages is like an oasis in the desert! In October 2009, the group’s third resort, Infinity Bandhavgarh Wilderness, situated along the periphery of the famous Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, was opened. Infinity Bandhavgarh Wilderness is set amidst thick bamboo groves and natural vegetation. Infinity Kanha Wilderness, situated close to Kanha Tiger Reserve, was opened in April 2011. The luxurious resort boasts of huge Mahua, Terminalia and Kusum trees that attract more than 75 species of birds in the campus itself! The Group has launched its fifth luxurious wildlife resort near Kaziranga National Park in Assam. The resort has a natural lake, a dense bamboo grove and large number of trees that attract many species of resident and migratory birds within the campus.
Conservation Corporation of India Pvt. Ltd. (CCIPL) was set up in 2009 as a holding company for the various resorts that the Group owns or will own in future. The company plans to diversify to franchise its ‘Infinity Resorts brand name. Franchisees can look forward to a professional team heading its management, marketing and sales operations. Other expansion into food & beverage and travel-related services is also envisaged in the near future.
The Corbett Foundation (TCF), established in 1994, is a brain-child of Mr. Khatau. This Foundation is a testimony to his passion and heartfelt interest in the preservation of our natural heritage. With its mandate to preserve wildlife and nature with the involvement of the local communities, great work has been done at the grassroots-level work in and around Corbett, Bandhavgarh and Kanha Tiger Reserves and also in Kutch.
The Foundation’s programmes are mainly in the areas of wildlife conservation, environmental awareness, community outreach, veterinary services, watershed management and sustainable eco-development. Many of these programmes have been made possible due to the unstinted support from CCIPL and other donors such as WWF, US Fish & Wildlife Department, Mumbai Gaurakshak Trust, Millichope Foundation and many others. A Centre on Global Warming was established in Corbett to bring public awareness to the environmental issues related to global warming.
In conclusion, CCIPL and TCF are actually two sides of the same coin the former complements and provides synergy to the latter. CCIPL strongly believes that conservation can only be achieved by involving the local stakeholders, providing them with employment opportunities and finally to lead a sustainable and harmonious lifestyle with nature.
That’s why we say Conservation is our business!