US chain Starwood to open 7 hotels in India

Divya Trivedi New Delhi | Updated on March 10, 2018

India, along with China, is an important growth destination for US-based upscale hotel chain Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. It is the fourth largest market for the group at present.

“It may sound philosophical or historical, but in 1850 the two most important centres of economic growth were India and China and we believe that history will repeat itself in 200 years, when in 2050, these two countries will again dominate the global economy,” Mr Miguel Ko, Chairman and President, Asia-Pacific, Starwood, told Business Line.

In India, the company, whose flagship brand is Sheraton, plans to expand its market with the launch of seven new hotels this year. By the end of 2012, it wants to operate 50 hotels overseas from 37 at present.

By 2015, it plans to develop close to 100 hotels. The company will be adding over 2,000 rooms and plans to hire 2,500 people within the next year.

The company is mulling on whether to bring its environmentally-friendly hotel brand Element to India.

“India is a good market for the brand but at the same time it is a question of focus. The question is, do we spare more time, people and resources to build one more brand or invest in and build on the strengths of our seven brands that are already present,” said Mr Ko.

The company is in the process of setting up a call centre near Delhi soon, said Mr Vasant Prabhu, Vice-Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of the company.

Recently, Starwood brought its seventh brand W to Mumbai and plans to launch its ultra luxury brand St Regis within the next five years. Le Meridien, Westin, Four Points, Aloft and The Luxury Collection are its other brands.

The main growth drivers for the company are its mid-market brands – Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton.

It is planning to add three Alofts, in Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and Chandigarh and Four Points in Vishakhapatnam and Pune this year.

It has also tied up with cricket team Delhi Daredevils during the Indian Premier League.

Published on April 12, 2011

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