Taj's Kovalam partner to spread Rs 45 cr more on 2 hotels

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 1 | Updated: Feb 2 2006, 06:04am hrs
The Taj group's associate in its Kovalam beach foray - Muthoot Pappachan group - has decided to invest Rs 45 crore more in two hotel projects. The Rs 2000-crore turnover group, with core competence in financial services, had recently parked about Rs 105 crore on hospitality ventures.

The two hotel expansions, slated for the next fiscal are centred in Thiruvananthapuram. In Kochi, its Rs 40-crore electronic software park in special economic zone, is due for opening next month.

"About Rs 25 crore would be set aside for Thiruvananthapuram's first international convention centre, as part of the city-based business hotel Muthoot Plaza's expansion," Thomas John Muthoot, managing director of the group said.

This would be in addition to a new hotel block with 150,000 sq ft built-up space. The convention centre and the new block is scheduled to be complete in 20 months.

Muthoot Flight Kitchen that went underway in 2003, caters to Air India, Qatar Airways, Silk Air and Indian Airlines. Transit air passengers make the bulk of the group's city busines hotel.

Expansion projects of both Muthoot Plaza and flight-kitchen are pegged to the sudden increase in international flights in Thiruvananthapuram Airport.

The second project is the expansion of Taj Green Cove resort at Kovalam beach. "Spending Rs 20 crore, we intend to set up an ayurvedic spa and 20 floating cottages at the beach resort," Mr Muthoot said. In its financial services segment, the group has also spawned out to share-trading in the current fiscal.

Till recently, the century-old NBFC, had been known mainly for chitti operations and gold loans.