Noppen Conferences & Exhibitions Pvt Limited along with BMGI, strategic advisor, hosted the third edition of the India Hotel Expansion Summit on 29th- 30th August at the Westin Hotel in Mumbai. This Summit was supported by prestigious companies like Zyxel Technology, Asian Paints, Tyco Security, Alko Therm, Duni Benelux BV, Crompton Greaves, HSIL Limited, Aquanomics. Senior management from the likes of Starwood Group, Marriott International, Holiday Inn, Svenska Design, Berggruen Hotels, Sahara Hospitality and many more attended this Summit to understand more about the ever changing trends in the Indian hospitality market.
The Summit kick started with Mr. Naresh Raisinghani, CEO & Executive Director of BMGI’s Indian office discussing about the macro trends of the growing foreign tourist arrivals and domestic visits in the light of increasing available rooms and current occupancy rates. He identified several key factors that led to the growth for business such as MICE tourism and increased GDP per capita in Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities. He also shed light on the challenges faced due to development costs, capacity expansion, and skilled manpower.
Ms. Benaifer Jehani, Director with CRISIL, discussed the new oversupply situation at certain locations in the premium hotels segment. She pointed out that REVPAR growth will be marginal (premium) or flat (business) and increased competition will lead to stable ARRs.
Mr. Rajiv Puri, Vice President for Design & Project Management from Marriott International shared his thoughts on branding for creating end user value and how stakeholders as well as owners should be educated on operational and technical aspects, global alliances and new trends in creating brand visibility. He also stressed on the need of incorporating consumer feedback in designing the brand proposition, dispelling the myths of brands associated with higher spending.
Next, Mr. Anurag Bhatnagar, Area General Manager with Westin Hotels spoke on how and where a brand should expand. He explained the scenario of hotel investments made in the branded segment to an oversupply situation.
Representing the Asian market, Rudiger Froehning from ALKO Therm GMBH, spoke on new cooling technology for air conditioning and ventilation to lower life cycle costs and increase sustainability. These life cycle costs comprise of investment, energy, maintenance, cleaning and displacement costs. He stated the possibility of sustainable reduction in these costs by “On Demand Use” ability without compromising on comfort.
Later Mr. Rajnish Ohri, Managing Director for Coram India & Mr. Sanjay Sapra, CEO for Aquanomics Systems showcased their company’s specialized solutions for water management of spas and swimming pools. They laid emphasis on the importance of balancing the PH value and also focused on the new age energy saving pool technology for all kinds of applications.
Day 1 came to an end with a panel discussion with panelists – Mr. Rajiv Puri, Mr. Rushabh Shah, Mr.Beni Agarwal and was moderated by Mr. Ambarish Raj. The topic of discussion was how to capitalize on growth opportunities through innovative investment options. Mr. Shah initiated the discussion by pointing out that the industry demand is being fueled by medical tourism, institutional demand and MICE segment. Mr. Puri added that with infrastructure improvement at airport terminals, there will be a need to establish world class infrastructure to cater to the possible increase in tourist traffic. The second theme of discussion was about alternate investment routes for an “asset light” model like franchisee stated by Mr. Agarwal, as compared to investments with “fee based” model suggested by Mr. Puri. It was felt that a “single window” licensing system, industry subsidies from government and a new and improved tourism policy to cover challenges of infrastructure development will be key enablers for growth of the industry.
Day 2 commenced with the presentation of Emlyn Brown, Director of Spa Operations for Goco Hospitality who spoke about ways to create a profitable spa in India. He indicated that the spa industry is worth 60.3 billion USD worldwide and provided the audience with insights on how consumers today are looking at “Quick Fix” spa options with immediate results and ways one can achieve high value as against cheaper options. He also shared his ideas in alleviating spa experience by introducing spa memberships, integrated family solutions for creating unique customer experience.
Another esteemed speaker, Mr. Param Kannampilly, Chairman for Fern Group of Hotels addressed the issue of environment depletion due to the ever growing tourism industry and how it is the responsibility of the said sector towards the environment’s sustainability. New technology like the use of passive solar architecture, daylight harvesting, rainwater harvesting, energy efficient air conditioning, garbage management should be considered as some of the possibilities for a “Green Hotel”.
Mr. Rajesh Mohan, Head of Strategy Planning for Sahara Hospitality, outlined the conditions for Revenue Management. He also illustrated Gross Operating Profit per available room as against RevPAR as profit oriented metric and stressed on the importance of leveraging cloud based hotel technology for optimizing costs on hotel operations. He brought forth an interesting comparison of the reservation systems of hotels with airlines and the dynamic pricing system of airlines.
Next, Mr. Partha Chatterjee from Advisor Key Hotels Resorts & Apartments provided interesting comparisons on construction time and cost per key across various segments- Budget, Midscale, and Upscale & Luxury. He presented a case study on Ginger Hotels and mentioned on how the budgeted cost of room development was much lower than the prevailing benchmarks at the time was achieved.
Mr. Beni Agrawal, General Manager of Business Development for Berggruen Hotels, shared key factors in determining the location, Product profiling and positioning, Food & Beverages as well as provision for meeting & conferencing facilities besides Value Proposition. He ended his presentation by covering aspects in building a business plan for hotels in India.
The 2 day Summit concluded with a networking tea break session where the attendees shared their perspectives on the hotel industry and future business possibilities.