Hoteliering and Guts, The Chaudhary Formula
This is a winning formula which has mean't success for Binod Chaudhary, Nepali Billionaire and hotelier for over two decades now. He spoke with BW Hotelier exclusively on the re-branding of his India partnership and what lies ahead.
BINOD CHAUDHARY, the industrialist in his hotelier avatar spoke with BW Hotelier about the rebranding of CG Hotels & Resorts (CG stands for Chaudhary Group), what he sees in the hospitality business, which he confessed wasn’t renowned for the returns it gave.
“Sometimes I ask myself, why did I think of getting into the hospitality? It's not an easy business to be in. The only time you make money in the business is when you exit the property,” he told us with a chuckle.
The group has done very well for itself, as Chaudhary has taken to hospitality like a duck to water. “We have four brands in 120 hotels in 76 different cities in over 14 different countries,” he said, about his global hospitality brand.
The thing that this billionaire was most interested to speak about was the rebranding of Fern Residency and Beacon brands, which from April 1, 2017 becomes CG Hotels & Resorts, the India arm of CG Hotels worldwide.
“The company has done extremely well. We have built 43 flags under Fern Residency and Beacon brand. The rebranding also takes the erstwhile Concept Hospitality which has built this company into a truely regional player, with the potential to become a global player in time to come,” Chaudhary said.
He went on to say that the current company is also one of three truly global Indian hospitality companies (he did mentioned that Sarovar, which has started operating abroad is still growing). “We already have 16 properties in Sri Lanka as well as hotels in China and Indonesia”, he said.
“We are very happy with this development. It is a strong platform and we have done extremely well. Growing from a company of 20 hotels to now having 43 flags. Our plans are quite aggressive and we will also be bringing in the capital angle now, starting a propco investment firm, essentially brand agnostic, but everything remaining the same we will support our own company to grow,” he said explaining his future path.
CG Hotels worldwide meanwhile, has evolved to having a very diverse portfolio of hospitality related businesses, ranging from various joint ventures under different segments, to its own operating company and asset owning company.
“This is where we are distinctly different from most hotel companies which are either asset companies or operating companies, very few have the whole range in terms of segmentation. From Beacon, which is a budget hotel brand, to the top of the line hotels, under the Taj or Leela banner in Maldives and Bali. We own one of the world's most respected wellness destinations, including The Farm at San Benito in Philippines. Along with our partners Taj, we run some of the most popular and luxurious wildlife safaris both in Madhya Pradesh and Nepal,” Chaudhary said.
The company also operates Zinc Journey an experiential destination managing company, similar to what is done by the likes of Aman, he added.
What is the secret of success when it comes to the hospitality business, we asked him? “Understanding of the market, a gut feel of where the market is going; where the tourism industry is going and also guts to say that a hotel needs to be repositioned and I will raise it to the ground.
“Getting advice is important and I am eternally grateful to late Homi Aibara, who played a very important role in our growth strategy and advised us from time to time, but I would say that most of my current business in the hotel segment, is about gut feel and having the guts to do what I want,” he concluded.
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