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IHCL for equal ratio of asset-light, owned hotels in future

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Tata Group-backed Indian Hotels Company Ltd prefers to equal proportion of asset-light and owned properties in the coming days, an official said here on Saturday.

IHCL, which owns the ‘Taj’ brand of luxury hotels, currently has 46 per cent of properties on asset-light mode, he said.

“The aspiration is to make it to 50 per cent for asset-light and the remaining for owned or leased,” IHCL managing director and chief executive officer Puneet Chhatwal said at the launch of Taj City Centre at New Town here.

“The company today has 177 properties in the country, including all of its brands like Vivanta, Ginger,” he said.

Most of the hotels, which are in the pipeline, are on the asset-light model, except four or five, Chhatwal said.

IHCL is exploring bringing new brands to Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal, he said, adding that preliminary talks with the state tourism department have taken place to introduce the homestay brand ‘Ama’.

The hospitality major has entered into a partnership with the Kolkata-based Ambuja Neotia group for six properties.

“We want to raise it to ten with the group,” he said.

Ambuja Neotia group chairman Harsh Vardhan Neotia said the Taj City Centre was a Swissotel brand, which existed from 2010 to 2020.

This is the second ‘Taj’ luxury property in the city, after Taj Bengal.

Neotia said it was a business hotel, now made into a luxury one with 137 rooms and ten suites.

The cost of the makeover to a ‘Taj’ brand will be around Rs 80-90 crore, he added.

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