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.
TT BUREAU Premier
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.
Managing Director - South Asia Premier Inn