Sarovar Hotels to expand in Africa, India
Chennai, June 21 (IANS) Sarovar Hotels Pvt Ltd, a fast-growing hotel chain, is in the process of expanding its African and Indian presence in managing and owning properties, a top company official said.
"We are looking at managing two more hotels in Africa, taking the total to four hotels there before 2012. Africa is a potential market as there is a large Indian population there," Anil Madhok, the company's managing director, told IANS.
Both hotels will be in Kenyan capital Nairobi, one aimed at business travellers and the other a leisure travel focussed property. Both will be managed properties and there will be no investment from Sarovar Hotels.
The company already runs one hotel in Nairobi and another in Tanzanian capital Dar es Salam.
Sarovar Hotels manages and franchises 59 hotels and resorts across 40 cities in India and overseas under Sarovar Premiere, Sarovar Portico, Hometel, Park Plaza and Park Inn brands. The brands cover 3-star to 5-star hotels.
The company operates Park Plaza and Park Inn in India under a franchise agreement with Carlson Hotels Worldwide.
While Sarovar Hotels is not interested in looking at any other overseas markets now, it is training its eyes on southern India, adding eight more hotels to the existing 13 properties.
Out of the 2,331 new hotel rooms that will be managed/owned by Sarovar Hotels across the country, 955 rooms in eight hotels will be in southern India.
Except the Sarovar Portica - a 3/4-star hotel in Sriperumbudur, around 55 km from here - the other seven new hotels will be managed by Sarovar Hotels.
"The 170-room Sarovar Portica at Sriperumbudur will be our own hotel involving an outlay of around Rs.90 crore," Madhok said.
According to him, the investment per room will be around Rs.50 lakh and the hotel is expected to break even in seven years.
Of the remaining seven new hotel properties in southern India, three are coming up here -- Park Plaza (140 rooms), Hometel Chennai (100 rooms) and Hometel Vandalur (100 rooms).
The other four properties, falling under the Sarovar Portico brand, are coming up in Bangalore (two hotels), Thekkady in Kerala and in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
According to Madhok, the eight properties in the south will go on stream during 2012-2014, thereby taking the total number of rooms under Sarovar Hotel's management in southern India to 2,250.
Currently, the company, with a revenue of around Rs.300 crore, has 13 operational hotels in the south with a total room capacity of 1,295.
According to Madhok, southern India has become a major business hub attracting a large number of business travellers.
"But owing to the Telangana issue in Andhra Pradesh, the hotel business gets affected when there is an agitation," he said.
Apart from those in the south, nine more hotels with a total room capacity of 1,376 are coming up in different parts of the country to be managed by Sarovar Hotels.
"More than owning hotels, our focus is on management of hotels," Madhok said.
(V Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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