Aiming mid-segment growth in NE

With 44 hotels already in its kitty, Lords Hotels & Resorts is set for expansion. COO Pushpendra Bansal says they are aiming 100 properties by 2026. 2023 has been a remarkable year for Lords, but sourcing experienced staff remained a daunting task for the industry, he adds.

Janice Alyosius

With 44 operational hotels in its portfolio, Lords Hotels & Resorts stands poised for a promising future. Pushpendra Bansal, COO, Lords Hotels & Resorts, shared valuable insights into the current state of the company and its future. “2023 was a significant year for us, marking a remarkable upsurge of 100 per cent in business compared to the turbulent times during COVID-19,” Bansal said.

The occupancy rates, averaging between 70 per cent and 80 per cent, showcased the resilience of leisure destinations, with even city hotels showing exceptional performance. The occupancy figures were achieved despite challenges on weekends.

Acknowledging the ongoing challenge of manpower shortage, Bansal said that sourcing experienced staff remains a daunting task despite the presence of a sizeable number of hotel management institutes in Surat. “To address this recruitment challenge, we are intensifying our training programmes. We are exploring recruitment from Northeastern and Northern India, where there is an abundance of talent. We are also investing in more trainers. Although, retention remains an issue as trained staff tend to seek other job opportunities, we anticipate this trend to persist, necessitating more hiring than initially planned. Thus, we need to be prepared to face these challenges head-on,” he said.

Lords’ focus remains on the mid-segment hotels. “My focus primarily revolves around the mid-segment, as we lack large five-star properties suitable for weddings or major events. While our smaller properties—around six to eight—already boast of significant bookings, my emphasis remains on the mid-segment, targeting city hotels in tier II and tier IV cities. We are strengthening our presence in Rajasthan and the Northeast, focusing on the mid-segment, which may cater to backpackers or bike riders,” he shared.

Highlighting their expansion plans, Bansal shared, “Unfortunately, we don’t cater to international tourists, but our properties in Nepal—three currently operational and a fourth under construction in Kathmandu, featuring 60 rooms and potentially a limited casino—stand testament to our international expansion. We have recently opened a motel in Atlanta, USA, with 46 rooms. We are exploring further expansions in international cities and countries, including an offer from Bhutan.”

He added, “Currently, we have a total of 54 signed and contracted properties, with an anticipated increase to over 65 by 2024. My aim is to reach 100 properties in the next three years, both domestically and internationally.

 

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