With a hotel management degree from IHM Pusa and an experience that spans over two decades, Sanjay Sethi, MD &CEO Keys Hotels India is the man behind the Keys Hotel’s exponential growth. With a recent launch in Goa, Sethi believes that the scale of the Keys Hotel will define and drive the success. He talks to EXEC about the hotel’s future plans and why he believes it is important to say no to guests sometimes.
What is the demographic for Keys Hotels?
With a growing corporate travel market, the business travel segment has become wider and more varied. From the assistant manager, GM of large companies to a management trainee, everyone travels now. And then there are traders. Our hotels cater to both CEOs as well as management trainees. We offer attractive prices and services that can compare to the international standards. Currently we have 12 operating hotels in India, which includes three leisure hotels and nine business hotels.
What is the USP of the hotel?
We have two distinct USPs. First we are full service business hotels that offer the highest standards of service at attractive prices. Secondly we have created meeting spaces in our hotels so the traveller does not have to go out for business meetings. That saves him a lot of time. Our restaurants offer some of the finest world cuisine options and appeal to both local and international palette.
What is the growth plan for the hotel?
We have got two primary verticals – the hotels we own and the management contracts. We have signed six new properties in Mumbai, Pune, Amritsar, Goa, Alibaug and Noida and are actively pursuing more opportunities across the country. The number of existing and developing Keys hotels have reached a total of 27 properties with 13 owned and 14 managed hotels. The six new Keys hotels that have been added to the Keys portfolio are Keys Hotel Rosewood – Mumbai, Keys Hotel Cypress – Pune, Keys Hotel City Park – Amritsar, Keys Resort Ronil – Goa, Keys Resort Albertsville, -Alibaug and Keys Hotel Ajnara – Noida. We plan to operate 50 hotels by 2015-16
What is the strategy to stay ahead of the competition?
We plan to grow very aggressively on the asset side. We have been in the business for a long time and are committed. We expect to leverage our strong domain knowledge, widely appreciated and efficient product concept, distribution channels, reservation systems and our robust employee talent pool to create and develop value for owners that entrust their hotels in our hands. We have spread ourselves across various markets and hedged our risks considerably. This makes us a viable option for management contracts.
What’s the hotel’s philosophy or business mantra?
The scale will define and drive our success.
What’s the hotel’s stand on MICE?
We have a strong focus on MICE. Our resorts, Dukes Retreat at Lonavala-Khandala, Evershine, a Keys property in Mahabaleshwar are one of the most popular resorts. They offer large open spaces and are an ideal location for MICE events.
What are the hotel’s tech-friendly features? (Complimentary Wi-Fi?)
We have key cards for our guests staying in the hotel. This increases security as well as gives our guests 24/7 access to gyms, fitness centres etc. Another plus with key cards is it can be traced and the guests can pay the charges of using hotel facilities at one go, when he’s leaving. These cards can also be used on the vending machines. The hotel has wifi and can be used free for limited periods of time.