Ahmedabad, August 10

The hospitality sector is now demonstrating robust growth and revival from the pandemic-induced disruptions, indicated top hospitality player ITC Limited's Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Puri after inauguration of the group's latest 291-key premium luxury hotel- ITC Narmada in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

"During the pandemic hospitality sector was impacted. But the sector has now demonstrated robust growth and revival. Since the third quarter of last year, the recovery has been clearly visible," said Puri during a media interaction after the launch of ITC Narmada.

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Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inaugurated the iconic property, inspired by some of the well-known monuments of Gujarat including stepwell of Adalaj, Sun temple of Modhera and Toran from Vadnagar.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel (centre) after inaugurating the 19-storey ITC Narmada at Ahmedabad

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel (centre) after inaugurating the 19-storey ITC Narmada at Ahmedabad

The 19-storey hotel is the 12th ITC property in Gujarat and first hotel having LEED Platinum certification for environmental and sustainable parameters.

However, Puri underlined the slow revival in the international travellers stating that it is still to be fully stabilised, but "We are very optimistic. Overall, it is a good time for the hospitality industry," said Puri.

Inflation concerns

On inflation concerns, Puri stated that while there were pressure on account of multiple factors including supply chain disturbances due to pandemic and geopolitical situations, they impacted energy and food costs.

"Primarily, it has impact on our FMCG business as we buy these commodities. Because of the high inflation, there is bound to be some impact on volumes. Though, despite the pressure, we have experienced robust growth last quarter, we still see growth coming. But volume growth could have been certainly more."

However, Puri admitted that given the extent of inflation and its pressure on costs, "it is not possible to manage it with whatever efficiencies we can bring in. To some level, price correction are being done." "But that will be the last thing we try to do to pass on the price. First, we try to manage as much as possible by efficiencies internally," he said, adding that there were some green shoots visible on inflation situation with cooling off in edible oil prices. "There are some green shoots with inflation slightly getting better," he said.

Investments on track

Commenting on the prevailing economic uncertainties globally, Puri assured that the investments plans at ITC are on track without getting hampered due to the disruptions.

"India has demonstrated robust performance and I believe that long-term growth story of India is intact. All the enabling factors are very much in place and the government has also been taking purposive reforms across many areas. Therefore, I think the growth story is very much intact. We are optimistic. We continue with our investments as per our plans."