IHG looking at JVs, brand partnerships

Written by Shweta Bhanot Mehrotra | Mumbai | Updated: Apr 30 2013, 07:14am hrs
To take cue from ITC in allying with 8-15 hotels.

Global hospitality chain IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) is looking at joint ventures and brand partnership in the country. The company currently has a joint venture with Duet India Hotels for its Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands. It is now scouting for partners for other brands.

Douglas Martell, vice president operations, IHG South West Asia, told FE, We are open to joint ventures and investment in India. We would not hesitate in forming a partnership with a hotel chain that is willing to work with us and believes in our brand.

We are not looking at a one-off property but are open to portfolio deals like eight or 15 hotels, he said.

Giving example of ITC, Martell said, ITC is a good example for a brand partnership. We will look at something like that in India. ITC has a partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for its The Luxury Collection brand.

IHG sees huge growth potential in its brands like Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. We expect 80% of the revenue to come from these brands, said Martell.

Asked about Intercontinental, Martell said, We are finding locations for Intercontinental and are working on two potential deals in India. We need to be cautious in the luxury market. Currently, there is only one Intercontinental in India at Mumbai.

IHG currently operates 13 hotels in the country including brands like Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental. The company plans to open five new properties this year and has 47 hotels in the pipeline.