New Delhi: Budget hotel chain Premier Inn, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Whitbread Plc., which also owns the Costa coffee chain brand, plans to enter into management contracts to operate properties in India after investing Rs 300 crore in the country in five hotels.
The company, which opened its first property in India in 2009, ventured into the country in 2007 with a joint venture with real estate developer Emaar MGF. In 2010, Whitbread bought the 50.1% stake held by Emaar. Whitbread is now developing hotels under the Premier Inn brand in India on its own.
It has two hotels that are operational and three under construction, which are likely to be ready in the next two years.
“Our strategy has been asset-heavy so far. We have invested Rs 300 crore in five properties. Now we are moving into an asset-right strategy, where we will be managing properties,” said Aly Shariff, managing director at Premier Inn in India. “85-90% of our developmental growth focus is there now. Going forward, we would close in between 8-10 deals a year.”
The company expects to enter 7-8 deals in the current year. Meanwhile, it said, it will continue to invest in hotel properties.