Puneet Chhatwal, MD and CEO, IHCL, declared that IHCL was poised to add a hotel every month, adding 25 hotels to the portfolio in the next two years. Mr Chhatwal was addressing an intimate gathering of guests and partners at an evening reception hosted in the capital. The event coincided with the IHCL Sales Mission which, in its third year, has emerged as a “major platform” for the company to showcase its latest offerings and connect with a newer set of consumers.

Mr Chhatwal underlined the group’s policy of supporting the industry and young talent by announcing 12 new scholarships to overseas renowned hotel schools in the coming year. Above all, he did not subscribe to any possible negativity, while reiterating his understanding of possible headwinds. He stressed that the future looked very positive and robust and exuded confidence in IHCL Hotels growing triumphantly in the years ahead. He maintained that he personally took a long-term view of any country and destination that IHCL invested in. He noted that there were bound to be disruptions but they were a part of the routine and normal business anywhere, and for him the big picture was very positive.

On the success of the roadshows, and regarding the impressive jump in participation numbers, Renu Basu, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, IHCL, attributed this to “great value” for customers in the roadshow format, and that “the participation has also resulted from the growth in the number of hotels.” “We added Taj Aravali Resort and Spa and Taj Resort and Spa, Shimla, this year. Also, a hotel in Rishikesh and Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Agra, besides Cidade de Goa – IHCL SeleQtions in April to our portfolio. Also, Ginger Hotels in Dwarka, Sanand and Goa. We also added Ama Trails and Stays. All these developments enable consumers to view us differently and there is a visible excitement and interest,” she added.

With the theme titled ‘Unlocking Tomorrow’ – two roadshows, one in Mumbai and the other one in Delhi, were organised with 59 and 65 hotels, respectively, in attendance. The attendance at the roadshow in Delhi grew significantly from 1100 last year to upwards of 1700 this year.

Initiatives such as the IHCL Sales Mission were helping the company better align with the growth strategy and were intrinsically linked to its core objectives, we were told. The Delhi event was also attended by IHCL partners like Binod Choudhary whose Kathmandu Vivanta opened the doors recently. Speaking to us on the sidelines, Mr Choudhary shared that the Taj Dubai was slated for an October opening.

All is on course for the group, one would say, considering the buoyant mood witnessed during the evening, along with a rare visual gallery of the group’s hotel profile across industry segments of wildlife safaris, heritage palaces, and business hotels.