Anil Madhok, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd, talks to EXEC about the group’s plan of action for the coming years and its down-to-earth business mantra
With a portfolio of 60 hotels across 40 destinations, Sarovar Hotels is strongly rooted in the Indian hospitality scene today. The company aspires to achieve the 100-hotel target by 2020. In 2011 Sarovar Hotels launched 12 hotels across Navi Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Faridabad, Hyderabad, Rajkot, Roorkee, Bangalore, Pune, Ahemdabad, Ghaziabad and Bengaluru, and in 2012, Sarovar Hotels launched four hotels in Chandigarh, Vayalar – Kerala, Bengaluru and New Delhi. By the end of this year, two more properties The Heron Portico, Nairobi – Kenya (September) and Shahdara – New Delhi (December) will open too.
Sarovar Hotels operate hotels under the following brands:
Sarovar Premiere – Upscale hotels across the four-five star spectra. They are located in city and leisure locations, and characterised by contemporary architecture and interiors, cosmopolitan ambience, innovative food & beverage and state-of-the-art business & conferencing facilities.
Sarovar Portico – Full-service three-star hotels, which comprise a multi-cuisine eatery, and a modern resto-bar, in addition to meetings and banquet facilities of moderate capacity.
Hometel – A limited service and no frills economy brand providing the business traveller with modern facilities, at value-for-money pricing. The brand is for the budget conscious traveller who refuses to compromise on quality.
Park Plaza- Operated under a franchise agreement with Carlson Hotels, these hotels are located in downtown and airport locations of primary and secondary cities. These are five-star hotels with rooms, suites, meeting facilities, catering, restaurants, room service with outstanding service standards, excellent value, and a range of business facilities.
Park Inn- Also operated under a franchise agreement with Carlson Hotels, these are three-four star hotels that offer clean, comfortable rooms, friendly, helpful staff and special amenities and services.
Value for money and equal consideration to guests, employees and associates. In a fast evolving business environment, the greatest challenge remains to continue to deliver consistently. Our portfolio of hotels across leisure and business destinations gives us an edge over other players in the market. Sarovar today stands on its own merit, well recognised in the industry for efficiency and delivery of top-line and bottom-line revenues.
We have done well at most locations, in terms of year-on-year occupancy and revenue growth. Apart from expanding our strong hospitality base in India, we are also focussing on expansion in East Africa. At present we operate three hotels in Africa – Ole Sereni in Nairobi, New Africa Hotel in Dar-es-Saleem and The Heron Portico in Nairobi. The company also provides corporate hospitality services at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Hindustan Unilever Limited Corporate Training Centre in Mumbai, and The Indian School of Business at Mohali. We will launch 25 hotels across the following cities in India in next two years: Nairobi, New Delhi, Shahdara, Shantiniketan, Jaisalmer, Solapur, Thekkady, Bhiwadi, Jalandhar (2 properties), Dera Bassi, Zirakpur, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Raniganj, Vadapalani – Chennai, Vandalur- Chennai, Tirupati, Bodhgaya and Rishikesh.
Sarovar Hotel is the pioneer in the mid-market hotel segment, and its properties range from five stars to mid price and economy hotels. We are also the fastest growing hotel management company in India.
The MICE market is expanding into new horizons and companies are simultaneously looking at newer offbeat destinations. Undoubtedly, the MICE segment plays an important role in contributing to the success of a business hotel. Sarovar’s hotels offer state-of-the-art conferencing facilities backed by latest technology and equipments serviced by a dedicated operations team. From board meets, annual conferences, dealer meets, incentive programs to wedding receptions, each event is handled with great precision and customisation as per requirement. Currently, MICE contributes to 10 – 15 percent of total business. To cater to the growing demand of this segment, a dedicated Sarovar Conference Cell has also been appointed at Delhi.
New trends in the hotel industry
The Indian traveller today is a global traveller and hence his expectations from hotels has dramatically changed, whether it is Food & Beverage facilities, linen and the room design or other creative and innovative service concepts. Also, most domestic brands are moving out of the metros and exploring the potential in tier II, III & IV markets. In these cities, the demand is excellent for three and four star hotels as travellers here look for a comfortable stay rather than a luxury hotel. With a low project cost, urbanisation and opening of the economy, growth in the mid market segment in Tier II and III cities is escalating