With the recent acquisition of the Sarovar Hotels, Louvre Group of Hotel has now taken a giant stride in the mid market segment in India. Now, with close to 100 hotels in India, Vimal Singh, Managing Director, Louvre Group of Hotels (South East Asia) speaks about the way forward in this market.
How will the recent acquisition of Sarovar Hotels impact the Indian mid-market hotel industry?
The acquisition of Sarovar Hotels is going to create a large international platform for mid market hotels in India. It provides a large distribution channel for existing Sarovar Hotels. Mid market is a high growth market segment and since we have over 100 hotels in this segment, we will have major impact on the global distribution system, sales and marketing and reservations pipeline.
This portfolio acquisition of a management company could be the turning point for the Indian hospitality industry. What is your take on this?
International chains have already consolidated their local positions by acquiring India based master franchise to acquire the balance off share to make it a wholly subsidiary of a parent company. In the international market acquisition of a management company is not unusual. However, we acquired an Indian domestic brand to create larger foot prints, unlike the other hospitality brands.
How do you want to bring alignment between these two groups?
We are currently working on bringing synergies between both the brands and we see tremendous opportunities in distribution, reservations, sales and marketing and all back end operations.
What is the overall expansion plan of Louvre and Sarovar in India?
We are looking at mutual growth for both Louvre Hotels and Sarovar. We will continue to nurture and provide support to each other and take the experience and the depth of both the organization to expand the brand within the region and globally. For instance, Sarovar has hotels in Africa and we are going to use that platform to grow our brand in African region and similarly Sarovar will be using Louvre platform to grow the brand presence in various international markets.
Apart from Golden Tulip, Louvre Hotel Group has five other established brands globally, any plans to introduce these brands in India market?
Louvre is planning to introduce the 3 more brands in India – Première Classe, a limited-service budget hotel that focuses on comfort, connectivity and convenience Campanile and Kyriad are the other mid-market brand that we will bring to the region soon.
In the recent years there have been a lot of acquisitions in the hospitality industry, is this the way forward?
Hospitality as an industry has been changing by day. The hotel companies are getting larger through mergers and they are driven by developing greater distribution platform, brand loyalty and customer acquisition so they can offer a wide range of brands and prices to the customers. Louvre Hotels Group is a subsidiary of Jin Jiang International Holdings Co., Ltd. and with the acquisition of Sarovar Hotels; currently we have over 100 million Loyalty members which is a huge pipeline for our business both globally and in the region.