2012 will be remembered as the year Accor’s stepped up its expansion in India, with 11 hotel openings. The country, which is experiencing an economic boom, has become one of the Group’s priorities. Indeed, the Indian hotel market is as yet undeveloped and currently only represents 150,000 rooms or the equivalent of the number of rooms available in Shanghai alone! There is therefore significant potential in this country. The Group’s objective is clear: to become India’s leading foreign hotel Group by 2015 with 90 establishments*.
A Novotel/ibis complex in Bangalore
“We have very ambitious expansion plan for Novotel as we want to cater for growing demand in this market segment,” explains Denis Hennequin, Chairman and CEO of Accor. With the opening of its fifth Novotel in India, Accor is therefore clearly displaying its determination. It plans to add 14 other Novotel establishments to the network within the next three years.
Returning to a difficult market
The strategy chosen is designed to fill the supply gap in these segments: by 2015, Accor is determined to gain market share over its key international rivals.
The Group’s offensive comes at a time when the Indian market is not easy to access for foreign companies. Problems such as slow administrative procedures, countless official authorizations and very high interest rates, delay projects. To overcome this “barrier to entry”, Accor is entering into numerous long-term joint-ventures. In this way, it can rely on local partners to contribute their expertise in this complex market. For the ibis brand, for example, Accor has formed a partnership with Indian firm, InterGlobe, for the construction of 20 hotels.
French elegance adapted to Indian customers
For example, this year will see the launch of the Sofitel and Pullman brands in several large Indian cities. In April 2012, the country’s economic capital Bombay welcomed its first Sofitel, the Sofitel Mumbai KBC, which boasts 302 rooms and suites. Its interiors, facilities and six restaurants showcase a blend of traditional Indian and typical French art nouveau styles. Two other Sofitel establishments will also open in Bombay in 2015 including one So Sofitel.
Futhermore, Accor’s is expanding in India with its Pullman hotels. This brand’s also inaugurated its first establishment in India, the Pullman Gurgaon Central Park, in April in the North of the country. Four other Pullman schemes are also under way, including the Pullman New Delhi International Airport due to open in 2013.
Economy hotels at the forefront of expansion
The new phase of expansion has definitely got off to a particularly dynamic start.
*opened or under development
Source = Accor Hotels