It’s all about man­age­ment

Premier Inn, the Uk-based com­pany which, till now, has been in­vest­ing and own­ing ho­tels in In­dia is now look­ing at mov­ing in the as­set-right strat­egy to man­age ho­tels.

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Inn, the part of UK’s largest ho­tel and res­tau­rant group Whit­bread PLC, has its eyes set on the mid-mar­ket ho­tel seg­ment in In­dia. The group which also owns the Costa Cof­fee chain brand, will en­ter into man­age­ment con­tracts to op­er­ate prop­er­ties in In­dia af­ter in­vest­ing around 300 crore in the coun­try in five ho­tels. Ac­cord­ing to Aly Shar­iff, Manag­ing Di­rec­tor - South Asia, Premier Inn, the group’s strat­egy in In­dia has been as­set-heavy so far. ship, the com­pany is look­ing at pre­ferred but not ex­clu­sive part­ners. It will close in be­tween 8-10 deals a year. Mean­while, the group will continue to in­vest in ho­tel prop­er­ties as well,” he in­forms.

Talk­ing about for­eign hote­liers strug­gling to get reg­u­la­tory ap­provals for their projects lead­ing to slow­down, Shar­iff pointed out, “The growth of prop­er­ties in In­dia is much slower than other parts of the world. This is bad news but the good news is that the more we grow, the bet­ter it will be. Be­cause more for­eign­ers will come and the In­dian ad­min­is­tra­tion will match up to the de­mands of the hos­pi­tal­ity mar­ket.”

The com­pany, which opened its first prop­erty in In­dia in 2009, ven­tured into the coun­try in 2007 with a joint ven­ture with real es­tate de­vel­oper Emaar MGF. In 2010, Whit­bread bought the 50.1 per cent stake held by Emaar. Whit­bread is now de­vel­op­ing ho­tels un­der the Premier Inn brand in In­dia on its own. Cur­rently, it has two owned ho­tels that are op­er­a­tional in Ben­galuru and Delhi. The com­pany will open three owned ho­tels next year – Pune and Chen­nai in the first half of next year and 131-room Goa prop­erty in the sec­ond half of 2013.

Aly Shar­iff

Manag­ing Di­rec­tor - South Asia Premier Inn

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