Hilton, with a portfolio of 14 brands comprising more than 5,100 properties with nearly 838,000 rooms in 103 countries and territories, is definitely on the rising curve. Jatin Khanna, Vice President, Operations—India, Hilton, talks about how important India as a market is for the brand, growth strategy in the country and more.
Q. What is your strategy for the Indian market?
We have a two-pronged strategy plan for India. One is for the big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc, where we want to bring some of our iconic brands like Conrad and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. Also, we don’t want to lose out on Tier-II and Tier-III cities which are currently booming with expansion. So, we have a robust plan for the country where we are not going to overlook smaller cities. It will be a uniform growth. We have a plan where we do not want to miss out on any of the brands or any other positioning in any city.
Q. Which of Hilton’s brand is the biggest revenue generator?
We run 17 hotels in India. Conrad Pune and Hilton Chennai are iconic hotels in their respective cities. Also, when we talk about the most successful brand, it’s more about how successful the F&B business is in that particular hotel. Over the years, we have observed that hotels which do well have great F&B outlets and loyal patronage.
“The world is now all about partnerships and consolidation. I think, that’s the way forward for businesses like ours. Mergers and acquisitions have become a trend”
Q. How important is India as a market for you?
India is an extremely important market for us. We have made a few corrections and announcements in our India structure. I think it’s very important that we put a lot of local resources closer to the market which shows how important India is for us. In the coming months, we are going to add a few positions in the market to reflect its growth potential.
Q. Do you think mergers and acquisitions are going to shape the future of global hospitality industry?
You can say that. That’s the flavour of the season. Mergers and acquisitions have become a trend not just in hospitality but also in other sectors. The world is now all about partnerships and consolidation. I think, that’s the way forward for businesses like ours.
Q. India as an evolving hospitality market. What are your views?
India is still not as matured as the American or European hospitality sector. Having said that, it has grown to a different level. Today, India is not just about four metros or big cities. Also, different brands in different segments have found more acceptability in comparison to the scenario that existed seven or 10 years ago where India was perceived as a five-star hospitality market. People have started identifying brands of various segments. So, the evolution is on the right path and soon enough, we will be at par with other top hospitality markets.
- Out of Hilton’s 17 hotels, a couple of hotels are resorts which mostly witness leisure base. But some of the other properties are corporate or MiCE hotels like Conrad Pune and Hilton Chennai