‘India is mil­len­nial-driven’

TravTalk - India - - HOTELS - TT Bureau

Hav­ing taken over the lead­er­ship po­si­tion at one of the top hotel groups world­wide just four months ago, Zu­bin Sax­ena, MD and VP Op­er­a­tions—South Asia, Radis­son Hotel Group, has no time to set­tle in, he is al­ready steer­ing the team to launch its sixth brand in India.

He has been with the hotel group since Fe­bru­ary 2018. Zu­bin Sax­ena, Manag­ing Di­rec­tor and Vice Pres­i­dent Op­er­a­tions—South Asia, Radis­son Hotel Group, was ap­pointed in his new role only in De­cem­ber 2018. He is for­tu­nate to be at this po­si­tion at such an in­ter­est he voices it. “This is a very We are ex­cited about Radis­son Red Mo­hali, which is our new life­style, se­lect ser­vice brand. It will be a 160-room prop­erty and is cur­rently in the ad­vanced stages of con­struc­tion. We are look­ing to launch it in the next 12 months. This will be We have also re­cently signed

a 350-room Radis­son Red in Noida which will open in four to

The Radis­son Red brand caters to the mil­len­nial cus­tomer which is one of the fastest­grow­ing seg­ments in India. Why Mo­hali? “Lo­cated near an IT Park, this hotel is be­ing de­vel­oped along with Bestech. The av­er­age age of India to­day is 29 years who take about 15 va­ca­tions per year. This is the seg­ment we want to tar­get with Red,” Sax­ena ex­plains. This means any city which has a lot of young, cor­po­rate base would make for a great lo­ca­tion.

Close on its heels is an­other brand of Radis­son that is get­ting ready to an­nounce its de­but in India – Radis­son Col­lec­tion, which is in the lux­ury space above Radis­son Blu. “We would love to have the Radis­son Col­lec­tion brand high-end re­sort in Goa, or even a city hotel in Ben­galuru with a large con­ven­tion cen­tre. We see the brand be­ing suc­cess­ful in var­i­ous for­mats across Tier I, II mar­kets as well as re­sort lo­ca­tions. Once we have the right lo­ca­tion and part­ner for this, we will an­nounce it,” Sax­ena re­veals.

Fo­cus on tier cities con­tin­ues

How­ever, Radis­son’s fo­cus on tiered cities will con­tinue. Re­ply­ing to a ques­tion as to which brand is per­form­ing well in India, Sax­ena says, “All well. We were 1.2 per cent above RevPAR in India. India is cer­tainly grow­ing in Tier II, III lo­ca­tions and al­most 50 per cent of our pipeline is com­ing up in these lo­ca­tions. So, dif­fer­ent seg­ments are grow­ing in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions. Our fo­cus will be on in­creas­ing our av­er­age rate growth through ro­bust rev­enue man­age­ment.”

and ARRs is not likely to sub­side any time soon. Sax­ena ex­plains this and says, “India has al­ways man­aged to ex­ceed sup­ply growth. You can see that trend over the last sev­eral years. I see that trend con­tin­u­ing this year as well. De­mand will con­tinue to out­pace sup­ply in the next few years. In the im­me­di­ate fu­ture, we should see an in­crease in oc­cu­pancy rates as well as ARRs.”

Ini­tia­tives

The group re­cently launched a new pro­gramme in South Asia called a ‘Hotel Cen­ter of Excellence’ – a work­shop for Gen­eral Man­agers in India. The group is also rolling out seven new global brand pro­grammes in­clud­ing Rad Fam­ily, Radis­son Meet­ings and Wel­come India, which is ded­i­cated to out­bound In­dian guests. And Sax­ena is over­see­ing this strat­egy.

The 160-room Radis­son Red Mo­hali, that is in its ad­vanced stages of con­struc­tion, will be launched in the next 12 months

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