Captain C.P Krishnan Nair, founder chairman and chairman emeritus of Indian luxury group Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has died aged 92 afer a brief illness.

He is survived by his wife and sons – chairman and managing director Vivek Nair and co-chairman and managing director Dinesh Nair.

A young freedom fighter and officer of the Indian army, Capt. Nair set up the first Leela hotel in Mumbai in 1986 and signed a marketing alliance with Kempinski.

The group now has eight luxury properties in New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Gurgaon-Delhi, Udaipur, Goa and Kovalam; with more planned for Jaipur, Bangalore, Noida, Agra and Lake Ashtamudi in Kerala.

Long before “environment” and “ecosystem” became buzzwords, Capt. Nair had a vision for green zones and luxuriant planting.

Over the years, he and his wife personally handpicked plants and saplings of trees and supervised the greening of each hotel systematically one sapling at a time.

Their daily gardening turned entire deserted areas into a green oasis that spilled into the adjoining neighborhoods.

Each Leela hotel contributes towards protecting the environment and conserving natural resources through its own sustainable design and operations.