NEW YORK--November 15, 2010--Former AH&LA chairman John Russell is partnering with the Auromatrix Group from India and a team of lodging veterans to launch Advaya Hospitality. Speaking before an audience of industry insiders this week at the International Hotel Motel + Restaurant Show, New York, Russell said the new global company aims to bring the next generation of lifestyle hotels and related products to major cities worldwide.
Advaya will develop, acquire, franchise and operate full-service and select-service hotels. The brands will launch simultaneously in the U.S. and India, starting in the second quarter of 2011 and then debut in cities around the globe. Advaya’s hotels will feature iconic style and breakthrough amenities. They will be located in key cities, with targets that include: New York, Miami, Atlanta and Phoenix in the U.S. and Chennai, Tuticorin, Kakinada, Vizag and Vellore in India. Later expansion is planned with an eye on China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Brazil.
“We are increasingly becoming a transparent world, and there is demand for tremendous lifestyle products in economic centers around the globe,” Russell says. “The economy is starting to come back, and the timing is right. Advaya will make the most of these opportunities with exciting new approaches for expansion in the U.S. and internationally.”International Powerhouse
Overseeing Advaya will be hospitality veterans in the U.S. and India with wide-ranging industry experience. In the U.S., CEO John Russell is a founding partner of NYLO Hotels and former chairman and CEO of the Hotel Division of Cendant Corp., now Wyndham Worldwide. Chief development officer Chris Jones co-founded NYLO Hotels and gave that brand its unique urban style. General counsel and chief administrative officer David Klein has represented leading hospitality companies worldwide. Chief real estate services and development officer David Young launched the International Hotel Division for Hospitality Franchise Systems/Cendant as part of the team that spurred HFS’ explosive growth in the 1990s.
The U.S. group is joined by senior executives with one of India’s top lodging companies, Chennai-based Auromatrix. Launched 20 years ago, Auromatrix today is a diversified, technology and hospitality-centric company with more than 750 employees in India, Sri Lanka, Iceland and the U.S. Serving as Advaya directors, the Indian group is led by Auromatrix founder, chairman and CEO, Kumar Sitaraman, and members of his senior executive team.
Educated in the U.S., these executives began their careers here and then used what they learned as a template to drive India’s burgeoning hospitality industry. Along with Sitaraman, Advaya’s Indian group includes: Udday Kumar Krishnan, Shekar Sitaraman, Krishnan Sitaraman and Bala Kamallakharan. Acting as managing principal in the U.S. for the Indian group is Sonny Khalil, a real estate executive and Chicago resident for nearly two decades.
“There are incredible synergies between the U.S. and Indian groups, making Advaya one of the most versatile global networks our industry has seen,” Kumar Sitaraman says. “This partnership creates an exceptionally knowledgeable company, catering across the board to all hospitality needs, from real estate and development to hotel operations and more. I am delighted to be part of this venture.”Well-Funded
“The common thread among all the Advaya partners is our focus on strategic expansion around the world,” Russell explains.
Having the assets required to fuel international growth, Advaya is committed to building 10 hotels in India over a two-year period, starting in the second quarter of 2011.
The company also will create and manage a U.S. fund for real estate acquisitions to accelerate brand growth in key cities, such as New York, Miami and Atlanta. “During these next 18 months, we will see an excellent environment for acquiring hotels particularly in gateway cities,” Russell notes. “With access to capital, Advaya will aggressively leverage these outstanding opportunities for growth.”Cost-Defying Design
Chief development officer Chris Jones has earned a reputation for creating high-concept design hotels at a cost to construct that defies their aesthetics. Jones says Advaya will continue in this tradition of cost-defying design.
The company will acquire, franchise and build full-service and select-service sister brands. In the U.S., newly constructed properties will have 60 – 155 rooms, a restaurant, bar and lounge, meeting space, gym and business center. The hotels promise an upbeat vibe; the latest technology; and fun, unexpected design flourishes throughout. They will cater to business and leisure travelers with a passion for music, technology, design and cuisine.
The Full Gamut
Additionally, Advaya will assist in the management and growth of hospitality-related businesses, including eco-resorts, contemporary business hotels, destination restaurants and companies serving the lodging industry. Among these businesses are Sparsa Resorts in India and Hospitality Furniture Collection, Burlingame, Calif., one of the industry’s leading furniture, fixtures, and equipment companies.
About Advaya Hospitality
Advaya is a global, full-service company, providing services across the full hospitality spectrum, from development (franchising, project management, design, and procurement) to operations (hotel management, finance, sales, and marketing), to real estate (brokerage services). Led by an international team of industry veterans, the company will launch and grow the next generation of lifestyle hotels and hospitality-related businesses, first in the US and India and then in major economic centers around the world