With a multitude of properties all set to open their doors this year and a number of works-in-progress to come up in the next few years, the Best Western International group seems poised to make strong inroads into diverse customer segments, including the business class sector. The company currently has 34 properties in operation and at various stages of construction in India. EXEC speaks at length with Sudhir Sinha, President & Chief Operating Officer, Best Western India
Sudhir Sinha President & Chief Operating Officer, Best Western India
What cities will you be concentrating on?
The hotels will be spread across the country in Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with a special focus on key manufacturing and trading cities, for which the company has already identified 150 cities that have great potential. These are towns and cities that are growing exponentially but have limited or no supply of branded hotels services.
When will the first of these hotels open?
A number of properties will start their operations in March this year, like The Best Western Rock Regency at Ahmedabad, Best Western Discover Motels at Neral, Best Western Takshashila Galleria at Ahmedabad. In April, we will have The Best Western Plus Levana at Lucknow and Best Western Horizon Leisure Hotel at Indore. June will see another two properties, The Best Western Oasis Mall N Multiplex at Ajmer and The Best Western Shital Hotel & Resorts at Jalandhar, opening. The property in Delhi, The Best Western Premier De Aqua, will be launched by the end of August.
What is the strategy to stay ahead of the competition?
Since most Multinational Corporations, and Fortune 500 and Canada Post 200 companies already have a long-standing association with our parent company, Best Western International, Inc. US, we will be leveraging on that strength to forge partnerships with their Indian operations as well. Best Western offers its accounts varied accommodations in over 100 countries with 4200 plus hotels at very competitive pricing and ease of reservations through GDS, leading travel portals and central reservation systems. We have also introduced mobile apps for direct reservations into any of the 4200 hotels worldwide.
What is The USP of the hotels?
Personalised service, quality and hygienic accommodation and business-friendly facilities, like complimentary high-speed Internet access, all at a very competitive pricing is what the brand promises, complemented by the innate Indian sense of hospitality. We have found these to be better incentives for conference organisers than any short-term freebies.
Comment on the emerging trends in the hotel industry
There is tremendous growth in the mid-market hotel segment and nicer products are being offered in the market. Every hotel chain is gearing up to capture the phenomenal opportunities offered by this segment. Because of its nature of investment and low entry barriers, several first-time hoteliers are also foraying into the hospitality industry, which is further accelerating the growth of this segment.