KAHINI CHAKRABORTY – Mumbai
Roots Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indian Hotels Company launched its first hotel in Mumbai recently. This 116 room hotel, which will cater to business travellers as its main focus, was inaugurated by Raymond Bickson, managing director and CEO, Indian Hotels Company. Prior to the hotel launch talking exclusively to Express Hospitality on the company’s expansion plans, Prabhat Pani, chief executive officer and director, Roots Corporation said, “Currently we have 26 hotels with approximately 2,600 rooms. By 2015 we want to develop 70-80 Ginger Hotels on pan India basis which would take the room inventory to about 8,000. On the investment aspect, if we build a hotel like the Mumbai property then the per room cost would be approximately Rs 11-13 lakh. The bigger cities in the country in our view can take multiple hotels, hence rather than building one huge hotel in a city, we think it makes business sense to build hotels closer to where the demand is.”
The company is scouting for locations to further strengthen its presence in the metro cities, tier I, II cities. “Wherever there is scope to add more hotels we would take this opportunity forward,” added Pani.
Giving a perspective on the demand and supply issue of room inventory in the current hospitality scenario, Pani said, “Although there is no denying on this issue, a hotel project takes up to four years for development depending on the nature of the hotel. Given the fact that India has moved to a different growth trajectory from the past seven to eight years, it is the economy which has grown faster despite the slowdown, in turn resulting in the emergence of many cities and new industrial locations coming up. Most importantly with people now having high disposal income and wanting to engage in short travel plans, there is a definite need for more number of rooms. Clearly the demand has grown much faster than the supply.”