Mumbai: Berggruen Hotels, a new hotel venture backed by Berggruen Holdings Inc, has announced that it will launch Keys, a new brand of boutique budget hotels in India. With an equity capital of $100 million, Berggruen Hotels says it will build 38 hotels in the next five years in India and is in negotiation for properties in 24 sites.
The launch of the first hotel is scheduled for June 2008.
Berggruen Holdings is a private company founded in June 1984 by Nicolas Berggruen. It manages and invests its proprietary capital that exceeds $1.5 billion in a range of asset classes including direct private equity, stocks and bonds, hedge funds, private equity funds, art and real estate. Headquartered in New York, it is one of the investment vehicles of the Berggruen Family, whose overall net assets well exceed $1 Billion
Berggruen, who was present at the press conference, said that India was a priority market and central to Berggruen's global emerging markets strategy. Berggruen Holdings is one of the first American companies investing in a team of Indian professionals launching and establishing a brand in India first, and then taking it global.
Until now its primary focus has been on the US and Europe, but it is now looking at opportunities in Asia, with particular focus in India. The company has offices in the US, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, India and is looking to set up an office in Singapore.
Sanjay Sethi, founding director and CEO, Berggruen Hotels, said at a launch press conference in Mumbai, "Our strategic advantages will be our financial strength, a robust business model, an enabled team and our unique product offering in this segment. We are ideally placed to capture tomorrow's opportunities."
"Keys will be a chain of category defining boutique budget hotels in India, providing a stylish, cheerful and cutting edge experience to our customers," says Partha Chatterjee, director and chief marketing officer, Berggruen Hotels.
"The planned scale of operations and unmatched efficiencies in processes and systems will allow us to offer an attractive value pricing for a good quality product. Boutique budget hotels are a win-win equation for both the customer and the company, and will give us the opportunity to provide the Keys experience to many more customers worldwide," Chatterjee added.
Berggruen Hotels will operate 4200 rooms from its 38 hotels evenly distributed across Tier 1, 2 and 3 locations pan India, each with 100 to 170 rooms. It is targeting crossing a Rs350 turnover in the next five years. The hotels will comprise double rooms with charges depending on occupancy. Initial pricing will be between Rs1,400 and Rs2,200.
"We look forward to aggressively invest in diversified India-focused businesses including greenfield start-up chain of full-service budget and mid-market hotels, resorts and service apartments; real estate projects, hospitality education, equipment rentals business and logistics," says Kabir Kewalramani, managing director, Berggruen Advisors and founding director, Berggruen Hotels.
The company says it is working on enabling booking through ATMs across the country in addition to a network of travel agents popular travel related websites. The hotels will have business centres and meeting rooms with the services of a