Hil­ton aims for up­ward climb

Hil­ton, with a port­fo­lio of 14 brands com­pris­ing more than 5,100 prop­er­ties with nearly 838,000 rooms in 103 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries, is def­i­nitely on the ris­ing curve. Jatin Khanna, Vice Pres­i­dent, Oper­a­tions—In­dia, Hil­ton, talks about how im­por­tant In

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Q What is your strat­egy for the In­dian mar­ket?

We have a two-pronged strat­egy plan for In­dia. One is for the big cities like Delhi, Mum­bai, Hyderabad, etc, where we want to bring some of our iconic brands like Con­rad and Wal­dorf As­to­ria Ho­tels & Re­sorts. Also, we don’t want to lose out on Tier-II and Tier-III cities which are cur­rently booming with ex­pan­sion. So, we have a ro­bust plan for the coun­try where we are not go­ing to over­look smaller cities. It will be a uni­form growth. We have a plan where we do not want to miss out on any of the brands or any other po­si­tion­ing in any city.

Q Which of Hil­ton’s brand is the big­gest rev­enue gen­er­a­tor?

We run 17 ho­tels in In­dia. Con­rad Pune and Hil­ton Chennai are iconic ho­tels in their re­spec­tive cities. Also, when we talk about the most suc­cess­ful brand, it’s more about how suc­cess­ful the F&B busi­ness is in that par­tic­u­lar ho­tel. Over the years, we have ob­served that ho­tels which do well have great F&B out­lets and loyal pa­tron­age.

Q How im­por­tant is In­dia as a mar­ket for you?

In­dia is an ex­tremely im­por­tant mar­ket for us. We have made a few cor­rec­tions and an­nounce­ments in our In­dia struc­ture. I think it’s very im­por­tant that we put a lot of lo­cal re­sources closer to the mar­ket which shows how im­por­tant In­dia is for us. In the com­ing months, we are go­ing to add a few po­si­tions growth po­ten­tial.

Q Do you think merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions are go­ing to shape the fu­ture of global hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try?

You can say that. That’s the - ers and ac­qui­si­tions have be­come a trend not just in hos­pi­tal­ity but also in other sec­tors. The world is now all about part­ner­ships and con­sol­i­da­tion. I think, that’s the way for­ward for busi­nesses like ours.

Q In­dia as an evolv­ing hos­pi­tal­ity mar­ket. What are your views?

In­dia is still not as ma­tured as the Amer­i­can or Euro­pean hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor. Hav­ing said that, it has grown to a dif­fer­ent level. To­day, In­dia is not just about four met­ros or big cities. Also, dif­fer­ent brands in dif­fer­ent seg­ments have found more ac­cept­abil­ity in com­par­i­son to the sce­nario that ex­isted seven or 10 years ago where In­dia was per­ceived mar­ket. Peo­ple have started iden­ti­fy­ing brands of var­i­ous seg­ments. So, the evo­lu­tion is on the right path and soon enough, we will be at par with other top hos­pi­tal­ity mar­kets.

The world is now all about part­ner­ships and con­sol­i­da­tion. I think, that’s the way for­ward for busi­nesses like ours. Merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions have be­come a trend

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