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Business News/ Companies / News/  Starwood Hotels to shift HQ from US to India for a month
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Starwood Hotels to shift HQ from US to India for a month

During the month, Starwood executives will travel to cities throughout India to meet with associates, customers, owners and prospective developers

Starwood currently operates 40 hotels in India with an additional 36 hotels under development.Premium
Starwood currently operates 40 hotels in India with an additional 36 hotels under development.

Mumbai: Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. on Tuesday said that it will relocate its global headquarters from the US to India in March for a month.

Starwood president and chief executive officer (CEO) Frits van Paasschen and the company’s top executives will split their time between Mumbai and Delhi, conducting day-to-day business from India.

Following the company’s relocations to China in 2011 and Dubai in 2013, this third leadership move underscores Starwood’s unique approach to cultivating a global culture and fostering relationships in key growth markets, Starwood Hotels said in a statement.

Over the course of the relocation, Starwood executives from around the globe will conduct business in India. During the month, the team will travel to cities throughout India to meet with associates, customers, owners and prospective developers, including Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kochi, and also throughout South Asia to Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives.

“This is a particularly exciting time for us to relocate to India. Its renewed focus on travel infrastructure is much needed, as travel demand is fueled by economic growth and a population expected to overtake China by 2030," van Paasschen said. “Our extended time there will allow us to immerse ourselves and appreciate new approaches to the business of hospitality."

Starwood’s legacy in India dates back to 1973 with the debut of its Sheraton brand in Mumbai. Starwood currently operates 40 hotels in India with an additional 36 hotels under development. Across South Asia, Starwood remains on track to reach its goal of 100 hotels under operation or development in the region by 2016, the statement said.

“Overall demand for hotels in India is growing and evolving as the domestic economy expands and international visitation increases," said Simon Turner, president of global development.

To meet growing demand, Starwood has signed seven deals this year in key cities across India such as Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Pimpri Pune and Delhi NCR, and in other parts of South Asia, including Kathmandu and Paro in Bhutan.

India has also become one of the world’s fastest growing outbound travel markets, with a projected size of 50 million travelers abroad by 2020. The country will play an outsized role in global travel within the next decade and continues to be among the richest sources of new loyal travelers for Starwood, with Indian enrollment in Starwood Preferred Guest, Starwood’s loyalty programme, doubling every two years since 2007.

Starwood Hotels runs brands including St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, and Element.

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Published: 30 Sep 2014, 06:56 PM IST
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