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.

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Talk­ing

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

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