Sarovar Hotels & Resorts is moving ahead with its plans to aggressively expand inventory during the next two to three years.
MUMBAI, India—Sarovar Hotels & Resorts is moving ahead with its plans to aggressively expand its inventory during the next two to three years.
Anil Madhok, managing director at Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, said the group is looking to extend its inventory from approximately 3,400 rooms to approximately 5,500 to 6,200 rooms.
“When Sarovar Hotels & Resorts started (16 years ago), the mid-market segment wasn’t a buzzword in India. This category was a neglected one and under-served … We definitely have had the first-mover advantage,” Madhok said.
In all, 29 Sarovar hotels are at various stages of development.
The group currently has 47 hotels under five brands:
- Sarovar Premiere (upscale full service 4 - 5 star hotels, 698 rooms),
- Sarovar Portico (full service 3 star hotels, 1299 rooms),
- Hometel (limited service and no frills economy brand, 490 rooms),
- Park Plaza (419 rooms) and,
- Park Inn (253 rooms).
Sarovar operates Park Plaza and Park Inn in India under a franchise agreement with Carlson Hotels Worldwide.
The hospitality industry in India is witnessing a major transformation as the hotel companies are working on giving shape to new brands straddling every market segment. For instance, Indian Hotels Company Limited, the Tata Group company that owns Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, is restructuring its overall brand architecture to reflect the variety of destinations and properties it offers and also to realign itself to a more global format of segmentation.
Sarovar operates 10 Sarovar Premiere properties across prime cities such as Bengaluru, Gangtok, and Mumbai.
Currently, 21 Sarovar Portico hotels are operational in cities such as Ahmedabad, Chennai and New Delhi. Recent additions to the portfolio include Sarovar Portico, Jaipur and Paradigm Sarovar Portico, Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh).
The group’s first Hometel was launched in Bengaluru, followed by Hyderabad and Mumbai. Hometel Chandigarh is Sarovar’s first owned and managed Hometel in India.
Park Plaza are located in downtown and airport locations of primary and secondary cities. Six Park Plaza operate across Agra, Gurgaon, Jodhpur, Ludhiana, Mussoorie and Noida. Park Inn has presence in Goa, Jaipur and Lucknow.
The group has plans for 450 rooms across 4 hotels under its Sarovar Premiere brand, 587 rooms across 11 properties under its Sarovar Portico brand, 450 rooms across four hotels under its Hometel brand, 877 rooms across eight hotels under Park Plaza and 195 rooms at two hotels under Park Inn.
During the past few years, the hospitality sector in India has seen several strategic alliances. Last year Gurgaon, Haryana-based management consulting company Technopak projected that the vast demand-supply gap of mid-segment hotel rooms would require a proposed investment of US$835 million for this hotel category during the next three years.
There is a boom in this market right now after a lull in 2009, Madhok said.
“There is a huge demand and even ‘big boys’ of this industry are trying to carve a niche for themselves. This category (mid-market) can see a number of players surviving,” he said.
On his group’s approach and strength, Madhok said, “We predominantly sign management contracts. Currently, we have only two properties—in Indore and Chandigarh—owned by the group. Another one is coming up in Chennai over the course of the next 15-18 months. We have focused on being a professional set up, be it for management and marketing. We have strong management expertise across various departments be it for service, housekeeping, HR, marketing, etc. Also, designing and development work on any property has been our major strength from the beginning. Overall, we are well equipped to capitalize on the opportunities at this juncture.”