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India's Potential In Hospitality

Zia Shiekh, CEO, Svenseka Hotels, speaks about the idea of operating & owning a business by own self, just like Svenska has been doing

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BW Hotelier Indian Hospitality Awards & Summit 2017 was held at The Leela Ambience Hotel, Gurugram. The two-day event is up for March 23rd & 24th 2017 and the conclave theme for this time is 'Owners' Forum.'

The second session on day-1 was called 'Owner-Operator Relations: Eternal Dilemmas, Changing Expectations.'

Where Hoteliers like Umesh Saraf, MD, Unison Hotels Limited (The Grand Vasant Kunj); Luv Malhotra, Director, CHL Ltd (The Suryaa); Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, The Bird Group (Roseate Hotels & Resorts); Zia Shiekh, CEO, Svenseka Hotels. The session was moderated by Bikramjit Ray, Executive Editor, BW Hotelier.
While discussing the big challenges in the hotel industry, Bikramjit asked Umesh Saraf about his personal observations as a hotel owner. Umesh clearly stated, "In the last decade I have seen, that distribution is no longer a domain that is there. There is no monopoly if you have distributors nor do I see any benefit from the practice."

On the same lines, Luv Malhotra was asked to reveal his plans to expand his hotel business, to which he said, "He was excited to take his business to countries like Tajakistan that have great potential and scenic beauty. He went on to say that ownership-branding and partnership branding all which has been the reality for a brand like The Suryaa, happens when people think of making a mark in an unknown land, where partnering with renowned brand name there would be wiser, otherwise building a brand in one's homeland should be by ownership."

Zia, on the other hand, spoke about the idea of operating & owning a business by own self, just like Svenska has been doing. He rightly pointed out how owning property is a big deal in India but since they had long-term plans to stay in the hospitality industry, they chose to invest in assets by themselves. Zia also said, "Most of the times the risk division between an owner-operator is disproportionate and that can be a pain-point. Hence, we chose wisely."

Ankur Bhatia also brought out a different light in the discussion and said, "I feel the cost of establishing a business and brand communication has come down a lot due to the internet and social media. I also see the evolution of boutique brands and restaurants in India soon, just like it is the case in mature markets in Europe and US."

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