Sant Singh Chatwal, a controversial figure in the business and political circles in the US has finally decided to expand his presence in India, his country of origin. He recently announced plans to launch 52 hotels in India over the next five years. He has been in the hospitality business for almost a decade now and has a close association with global hospitality major Wyndham who have a 50% stake in his Vikram Chatwal Hotels. This rapid expansion will obviously not be possible through Greenfield projects hence they will be taking the franchisee route to roll out their brands across the country.
Vikram Chatwal made the official announcement. The young hotelier known for his flamboyant lifestyle was flanked by his father Sant Singh Chatwal and Wyndham Hotel’s President and CEO Eric Danziger. Wyndham owns popular brands like Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Ramada and will play a crucial role in this grand roll out. The plan is to create dream hotels in India. Sant Chatwal confirmed that they have already invested RS. 1,000 crores and have committed another Rs. 2,000 crores in future investments.
If you divide the total amount by 52, the average investment per property works out to only Rs. 60 Crores which is equivalent to about $12 million which is far lower than the industry average for super luxury hotels. But the Chatwals are moving fast as 18 hotels have already been finalized. They have handed out franchise contracts for 12 of these and are part owners in the remaining six. The American economy, at the moment, has very limited opportunity for growth where as the Indian economy is still growing at a healthy pace and that’s what has attracted the Chatwals to their country of origin.