Eyeing corporate tie-ups
Having entered the Indian market in 2002, Preferred Hotel Group is aiming at corporate level partnerships across hotels in the country.
about the growth of the India portfolio till the year-end, Saurabh Rai Bhatnagar, Regional Director, South Asia & Middle East, Preferred Hotel Group says, “In line with our global strategy in 2013, we will continue our growth campaign and establish a footprint in new destinations. Moreover, we will be focussed on rolling out new and innovative consumer marketing initiatives for our member hotels.”
The group is currently in the eleventh year of its presence here. “We had exponential growth in the first decade,” he adds.
According to Bhatnagar, the development strategy in the region is to have two to three corporate level partnerships in India across different categories of hotels, which will give presence in cities where the group has business support capability such as Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, South Mumbai and even Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Regarding new challenges that the group is facing in India while providing competitive advantage to independent hotel owners, he informs, “Such challenges can be bifurcated. These concerns could be the lack of brand equity at an international level, underpenetrated access to global trade partners and consumers, purchasing muscle for vendor pricing, access to cutting edge distribution technology and quality assurance services. These are all key objectives of our partnership with our member hotels, which we continue to successfully address. Other than these, external challenges faced by independent hotel owners are largely similar to trials that any other branded hotel would face. These are largely to do with external business environment like the overall economy, market competitiveness, profitability ratios, cost of land acquisition and debt, paucity of quality human resources, etc.”
The group plans to have a twin city roadshow in September covering New Delhi and Mumbai. “We typically organise two such platforms every year. One is usually in April at the onset of Indian summer holiday season and another one in later part of the year,” he adds.
Saurabh Rai Bhatnagar Regional Director, South Asia & Middle East at Preferred Hotel Group