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IAAPI elects EsselWorld & Water kingdom CEO Shirish Deshpande as the 10th President

Mumbai:  Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI), the apex body representing the interests of Amusement Parks, Theme Parks, Water Parks and Family Entertainment Centre in India, has announced the appointment of Mr. Shirish Deshpande, CEO, EsselWorld and Water kingdom as the industry body’s new President.  A veteran in the entertainment and amusement industry, Mr. Deshpande takes over from Mr. Ajay Sarin as the 10th President of IAAPI.

As President of IAAPI, Mr. Deshpande will drive IAAPI’s agenda of creating and sustaining an environment conducive to the development of Amusement sector in India in collaboration with the stakeholders. Under his leadership, extending the agenda of beyond business, IAAPI will also play a crucial role in promoting tourism, generating employment, taking forward the safety aspects of the industry, and creating a sustainable platform for enable potential investors to invest in this sunrise industry.

Commenting on the appointment, Former President of IAAPI, Mr. Ajay Sarin said’I would like to congratulate Shirish on being elected as the new President of IAAPI.  He is an innovator and a great leader who has been closely associated with the industry for a long time now and understands all the nitty-grittys. I am confident, that through his thoughtful strategies and a planned approach he will take the industry to great heights. I wish him all the success.’’

Mr. Shirish Deshpande, the current Chief Executive Officer of EsselWorld & Water Kingdom, is credited with taking the brands to new heights. He also led the brand’s foray into the hospitality & family entertainment centre known as Downtown EsselWorld at Seasons Mall in Pune.


Mr. Shirish Deshpande, President – IAAPI and CEO – PIPPL said, ‘’At the very onset  I would like to express my gratitude towards Mr. Ashok Goel, Promoter & Director, EsselWorld & Water Kingdom for entrusting me with the responsibility of India’s most popular and largest amusement park. It is his constant encouragement which has motivated me to take up such a challenging responsibility at IAAPI.”

 ‘’I feel extremely honoured to be given the opportunity to lead IAAPI, which is an institution in itself. The entertainment and amusement park industry is one of the most unique yet challenging sectors which promise huge potential. Through significant investments in technology, the sector is at a cusp of a major transformation which will enhance customer experience and keep them engaged. I am very excited about my new role and with looking forward to work closely in taking this industry to new level.’’

 About Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI)

Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI) is an apex body representing the interests of Amusement Parks, Theme Parks, Water Parks and Family Entertainment Centre in India. IAAPI is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in development of this sector. Founded in 1999, IAAPI is India’s premier business association having over 300 members from the private sectors including small and medium enterprises consisting of park operators and equipment manufacturers. IAAPI is also recognised and affiliated by various international trade bodies operating in the Amusement sector.

About Pan India Paryatan Pvt Ltd

Pan India Paryatan Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of USD 6 billion Essel Group, is the holding company of EsselWorld, the largest amusement park in the country and Water Kingdom, one of the largest Theme Water Parks in Asia. The twin parks have set a new benchmark in the Indian amusement park industry by entertaining more than 22 million visitors over the past 26 years. The Group’s mission is to redefine the traditional means of entertainment and above all meet the fast changing consumer needs for active entertainment.

About EsselWorld

EsselWorld is a refreshing gateway to a whole new world of excitement and fun for families and friends with its plethora of rides catering to all age groups. It has total number of 59 attractions spread over 42 acres of thrill and excitement. Some of the special attractions at EsselWorld are Aqua Dive, Enterprise, INS Prabal The Killer (Indian Navy war ship), Arctic Circle (Ice-Skating Rink) among others.

About Water Kingdom

Water Kingdom offers over 33 attractions spread across 22 acres of clean fun with 90 lakh liters of water. Some of its prime attractions are the world’s largest Wave Pool which is spread across 100 meters with cool blue water and lush gardens,  India’s Largest Aqua play pool – Lagoon, What-A-Coaster, Drifting River, Mamma Miya among others.


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