Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) has expanded its partnership with CG Hospitality to tap hotel development opportunities in Himalayan States, wildlife parks and the Indian Ocean region. 

The two groups have set up a platform called Ekyam that will have a portfolio of 25 hotels by 2025. This includes eleven existing properties, including resorts and wildlife lodges in Dubai, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Seven new hotels are being built in Bhutan, Dubai and Nepal by the CG group and will be managed by IHCL. Over the next twelve months IHCL will transfer seven more hotels to this platform. 

"Ekyam is not a hotel brand. It is a marketing and a development platform which brings alignment, transparency and growth opportunities for both groups. The platform will have separate leadership who will drive growth and business in these properties," said Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and CEO of IHCL on Thursday.

CG Hospitality has invested ₹1,250 crore in operational and upcoming hotels thus far and is committed to onboarding 14 more hotels under this partnership, said Rahul Chaudhary, Managing Director, CG Hospitality. 

Seven of the existing properties are run as a joint venture between IHCL and CG group, while the other four are management contracts. IHCL has invested around ₹500-600 crore in the JV hotels.

The total investment in 25 existing and upcoming hotels under the Ekyam platform will be around ₹4,000 crore.

Chhatwal said IHCL will consider investing in hotels along with CG group if there are good opportunities, but as of now, there is no such plan.

"We have net zero debt. As of last financial year, we had ₹2,200 crore of gross cash. If there is a need (to invest) we don't even need to borrow," Chhatwal said.

The groups are also planning to develop a hotel in Phuket in Thailand and will also explore opportunities in wellness tourism.

Binod Chaudhary, Chairman, CG Corp Global, said, “We are proud of CG Hospitality’s partnership with IHCL, spanning 25 years. This expansion underscores the confidence and trust we place in IHCL’s century old legacy which is globally recognised as the benchmark in Indian hospitality.”