Dhoni to foray into hospitality business

MUMBAI: Former India captain M S Dhoni's company Rhiti Travels and Ticketing Limited is planning to invest an estimated Rs5 billion in a new five star hotel coming up in Ranchi soon.

The hotel will come up on a five-acre piece of land, owned by the state tourism board, and will be located close to the Judicial Academy at Dhurva near Ranchi.

Arun Pandey, Dhoni's business partner and confidante, told Hindi newspaper Jansatta that apart from the hotel, Dhoni was contemplating investing in a chain of 275 sports stores across the country by 2020, the first of which has already been opened at the Nucleus mall in Ranchi.  Plans are also afoot to open a sports university and a sportswear factory, according to the report.

Dhoni is the brand ambassador of the Momentum Jharkhand project and has participated in the Global Investment Summit in that capacity. In 2012, Dhoni had launched fitness centre chain SportsFit, in partnership with Pandey, with a plan to set up 200 gyms across the country. The investment projected was Rs20 billion.

He also became a co-owner of a football team Chenaiyin FC in 2014 along with Bollywood star Abishek Bachchan and is the co owner of  Hockey India League team Ranchi Rays. He has been featured in the Forbes 100 List of Highest Paid Celebrities. In 2016, his earnings from salary and winnings was only $4mn while he earned $27 million from endorsements. 

The 36-year-old wicketkeeper last week announced that he would be setting up his own cricket academy at the Dubai Pacific Sports Club in the United Arab Emirates, called the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy (MSDCA).