From 5 dollars to a Billion dollars

Former Head of South West Asia of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) shares his learnings with his first book: Believe A best seller at

Internationally acclaimed hospitality veteran, management consultant and leadership coach, Shantha de Silva launches his first book: 'BELIEVE: Helping Leaders UNLOCK their true potential'.

Derived from his remarkable and a stellar experience of transforming businesses for one of the largest hospitality companies in the world, BELIEVE condenses a wealth of wisdom and practical insights from Silva's experience spanning over 3 decades. The book talks about seven powerful steps aimed at inspiring, motivating and challenging leaders to discover the extent of their own capabilities.

During his tenure as Head of South West Asia at InterContinental Hotels Group, Silva was instrumental in doubling the portfolio size of IHG in India and led significant signings of management agreements with key business partners in the region as a result of transformative leadership, groundbreaking commercial and operational strategies.

His vision to create a thriving culture across 27 hotels in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was realized with his innovative associate engagement and recognition program that soon became a movement in the region. This led to IHG’s phenomenal success in the Great Places to Work survey, making the brands skip over 50 ranks to be one of the top 15 brands to work for in India.

He has been a recipient of innumerable awards including the prestigious Internal Flame Award, a biennial global recognition awarded to a senior executive at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for contributing to the development of people. He said, “Today’s leaders and those who aspire to be tomorrow’s game changers are all too aware of the fact that we are increasingly surrounded by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. We can’t know for sure what tomorrow holds, but one thing that we can be certain of is that it will be different to today.”

So, what can we do today to help us stay relevant and responsive? “What I have learnt from my own experience and from many great leaders in business is simple: we need to believe that we can and will succeed, but at the same time remember to face our current reality. This book guides the reader through its process; motivating them through the example of real life. This is my attempt to pay forward to inspire others, so that they can realize their true potential, and at the same time be an inspiration to others. Ultimately, the only person that stands between you and success is you,” shared Shantha de Silva.

Silva began his career in hospitality at the Inter-Continental Colombo, Sri Lanka’s first-ever international five star hotel. He quickly rose through the ranks to head up many regions where he was responsible for over 100 hotels in operation and under development with an annual turnover of nearly 1 billion AUD and the direct leadership of over 8,000 associates.

His passion for the community saw him serve as Chairman for a Government sponsored programme for the employment of those differently able in Singapore, where he initiated a national recognition programme. Shantha was the head of IHG hotels, India for 3 years and has extensive experience in the global hospitality industry across multiple brands and diverse geographies in Asia, Australasia including South East Asia, South West Asia and South Pacific.

Marshall Goldsmith, a New York Times #1 bestselling author and Thinkers 50 #1 Executive Coach and the only two-time #1 Leadership Thinker in the world, while talking about BELIEVE commented, “An amazing resource for leaders who are searching to unlock their true potential! Shantha provides practical steps, accompanied by real life examples and inspirational stories, that will help encourage and bring out the best in leaders.”

Shantha de Silva is passionate about inspiring people & transforming organizations through hospitality management consulting, leadership mentoring, and executive coaching and as a leadership author.

‘BELIEVE: Helping Leaders UNLOCK their true potential’ is internationally available on and the book has become no. 1 bestseller within one week of the launch.


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