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Indian Hotels reverses luxury brand-focused strategy in latest market move

Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. is abandoning an earlier plan to exit its sub-brands by upgrading and consolidating all of its 53 premium hotels abroad under its flagship luxury brand, India's Mint reported, citing CEO Puneet Chhatwal.

Chhatwal said the change in the company's game plan comes as it recognizes that it cannot pursue growth in margin and profit by focusing only on its Taj brand in India. Chhatwal was quoted by the paper as saying that "the majority of the growth in the last 10 years and going forward in the domestic market is coming from midscale, upscale and the economy segment. So, we cannot be playing in isolation."

Despite the amendments to the hospitality company's strategy, Chhatwal maintained that the hotelier is still looking to exit some of its sub-brands including Gateway and President, noting that its focus will now be on its Taj, Vivanta and Ginger brands. Chhatwal said the reinvented plan is supported by Indian Hotels' board members and management team.

Aside from the new strategy, Chhatwal also spoke of Indian Hotels' goal of increasing its room inventory to roughly 23,000 rooms by 2022 from the current 16,992 rooms. The Feb. 17 report, citing Chhatwal, reported that the company would also be open to forging alliances with other parties, including rental or shopping companies.

Furthermore, Chhatwal said the company is considering options for its real estate assets, which includes land, apartments and other nonperforming assets. Chhatwal said opportunities to capitalize on its land bank will be unlocked via partnerships with capital investors, private equity companies, insurance or through its internal resources in parent Tata group.