Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s CEO (South Asia) Raj Rana today said the company plans to operationalise 170 hotels in the country in next three years. “The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has been India for almost 15 years. Right now, we have 84 operating hotels. We have plans up sleeves to operationalise 170 hotels in India by 2020,” he told PTI here.
He was in the city to open Radisson Blu Atria, which will introduce the brand’s internationally renowned, service philosophy with sophisticated design and premier accommodation. “This is third hotel in the city and altogether we have six in Karnataka,” he said.
The company has hotels in 60 cities, including 16 in state capitals, and the strength of their growth has been because of the trust the hotel owners have in them, Rana said. On investments, Rana said the company invests in brands, distribution systems and revenue-driving platforms, and for brick-and-mortar units, the company relies on their partners. The company also had signed a deal with Best Tech, a hospitality company which will build 49 park-ins and Radisson Hotels, Rana said.
Asked about acquisition plans in India, Rana said they don’t have real estate acquisition and their growth is organic – that is hotel by hotel growth, Rana said. Rana also said to begin with, the company’s growth was dominantly in northern states, but for the last two years they have been foraying into the south market, in order to get Pan-India tag. “As much as 30 per cent of our inventory now is in the south,” he said.
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Rana further said corporate business was their niche market as it brings higher average rates, but are equally strong in leisure and particularly focused on religious destinations.
“We typically follow a sort of hub and spokes strategy to expand base,” he said. The hub and spokes strategy is where the company first forays into unexplored market and then expands in other cities of the state, he explained.
Talking about the difference in hospitality industry in India and other countries like US and Europe, Rana said in India, seventy per cent of hotels were unorganised and unbranded, and this gave an opportunity to tap the huge market.