Luxury Hotels Group seeks ‘right’ hotels
Naresh Chandnani, Regional Director – Asia, Luxury Hotels Group, says the company sees a huge potential in the Tier-II and Tier-III cities of India. He says based on their understanding of the needs of hotels, they have come up with customised offers and
What prompted Luxury Hotels Group to come to India? How different will your services be from that of your competitors?
We see a big opportunity in India, not just in the big markets but also in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and also in the leisure market. We bring a lot of experience. Understanding the needs of the hotels, we have come up with customised offers and packages on which they'll see return on investments. We don't tie them down to a long term contract of 1020 years which hotels these days are sceptical to get into as there is a fee element involved and they want to make sure they see return on investments. Our contracts are very flexible. We deliver tailor-made programmes to hotels depending on their requirements, whether it is corporate business, MICE or leisure. At times, hotels just need some PR exposure; some need representation services in certain markets. So we deliver tailormade packages for them. We are very strong on the PR element and building the digital presence of hotels - whether it is social media or generating business from all resources on digital sites.
It’s interesting you mention Tier-II and Tier-III cities; how different is your approach in these cities?
Metros are strong on corporate business and the leisure side is also more or less covered. In Tier- II and Tier-III cities, we have to be a little innovative on our approach and we have to deliver business that is coming to the region - for them the MICE and leisure business would be very important. We are confident that we can drive a lot of business into the leisure segment. We are talking to small chain and independent hotels. For them, the Delhi-NCR region itself presents a big opportunity, their relatively smaller scale of operation would not allow them to set up dedicated offices in Delhi- NCR, plus they also need to take care of monitoring and resources. So, we give them representation offices even for the Delhi market so we can drive in business even from within India. And a lot of them need exposure and we can give that to them as we are strong on our PR and digital part.
For us, it is very important to consolidate our position. We don't want to rush in; we need more referral business, we want to make sure we sign up with the right hotels. I can't sign up with hotels where we can't add value. Now we've established ourselves and are discussing with hotels. So we see more success coming in now. For the last six months, it's been more about establishing our brand.
What is a ‘Right hotel’?
We sit down with the hotels and try and understand their business; what are the segments we can deliver; sometimes they come with a lot of baggage, maybe for poor services or shift of business to other parts. They have lost out on a lot of business and we don't have control over the hotels where we can monitor their business everyday.
Regional Director – Asia Luxury Hotels Group