Mahindra Holidays keen to acquire stressed assets across country, including Kashmir

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2020

Kavinder Singh, MD & CEO of Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India (file pic)

Mahindra Holidays is looking at acquiring stressed assets in the hospitality sector across different parts of the country, including Kashmir.

Kavinder Singh, MD & CEO of Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd, told BusinessLine: “There are great opportunities coming on the horizon of stressed assets in India. Most of the assets are coming from financial institutions and banks. It’s a great opportunity for us to buy assets at a good price, refurbish them and create destinations.”

Mahindra Holidays has over 55 resorts in India and 52 internationally, with over 2.51 lakh members. According to Singh, there are several properties that are currently stressed or debt-laden but hold good potential, whether in renowned destinations or not.

Expansion plans

Mahindra already has a strong presence in the North and the South, so the aim now is to expand in other regions. “We want to look at stressed assets in Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Guwahati, between Mumbai and Pune, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Internationally, we are looking at the acquisition of stressed assets in Phuket and Dubai, where Indians travel,” said Singh.

Mahindra Holidays is confident of maintaining an 8-10 per cent growth on a year-on-year basis, he added. The firm is set to inaugurate four properties under the Club Mahindra brand by the end of FY21.

“For Club Mahindra we will explore new destinations. A Rs 200-crore property in Goa, an expansion plan worth Rs 150 crore in Kandaghat, Shimla, and a Rs 150-crore property in Ganpatipule and three other properties which we cannot speak about at the moment (are in the offing),” he said.

The company is also set to inaugurate a property in Gujarat.

Management contracts

Mahindra Holidays had earlier announced that it was looking at management contracts to shore up revenues. Singh explained that the contracts will be routed through a separate management company. “We are in the midst of finalising the brand image of the company. It will have the credibility of the brand name Mahindra,” he added. A formal announcement is soon expected.

Speaking about the industry’s Budget expectations, Singh said the government needs to start more tourist circuits launch a central tourism board. Along with this, a single-window clearance system is needed for approvals for hotels and resorts, he added.

The number of approvals required to set up a resort or a hotel should be brought down, and accomplished through a single window, he said. For the tourism industry, the cap for ‘mega projects’ is greater than Rs 200 crore. This should be brought down to Rs 50 crore so that more players can get benefits and subsidies from the government, he added.

Published on January 23, 2020

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