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Ginger Hotels Expansion Continues in India;
on Target to Have 30 Hotels in Portfolio by End of 2010

By Lalatendu Mishra, Hindustan Times, New DelhiMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Nov. 19, 2009--MUMBAI -- Buoyed by extraordinary response from cost conscious corporate clients, Ginger, the low-cost hotel chain from the house of Tatas, is planning to set up second hotels in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru apart from expanding in other locations.

Ginger, which has now grown from two hotels to 21 hotels in less than 42 months, is on target to have 30 hotels in its portfolio by 2010 end.

It would add another 30 hotels in the next two years, its chief executive said.

"We are going wherever our customers want us to be. Our 21st hotel is in Pune, which is the city's second hotel. We are growing rapidly," said Prabhat Pani, chief executive officer, Roots Corporation Ltd,

which owns and operates Ginger hotels. "The downturn affected us positively and in the last six months we have signed up with more than 500 large companies," he added.

At the moment business travelers occupy 50 per cent of its 2,050-room inventory and this ratio is growing.

"We normally have very high occupancy rates. It has gone up by 10 per cent in the last few months and I am yet to get the full benefits of all contracts signed," Pani said.

The chain that was originally planned for budget conscious leisure travelers with a room tariff of Rs 1,000 as an alternative to unbranded hotels has changed the format as per market need.

It is now offering restaurants, coffee shops, gymnasiums and conference facilities for the benefit of business travelers.

The room tariff ranges from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2000 and one could get a meal for Rs 200 at Ginger. "For places like Agartala and Guwahati, our hotels offer great value. Female executives while traveling alone feel secured to stay at our hotels," Pani said.

The company has so far invested Rs 300 crore through debt and equity to set up the hotels. Each new hotel with an average 100 rooms involves an investment of Rs 10 crore to Rs 15 crore without including land cost.

Having hotels in 20 cities, Ginger is now in talks with landowners to set up hotels in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.


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Copyright (c) 2009, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

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