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INTERVIEW

“Hospitality RevPar has grown by 2.6% over the last year”
Monday, 23 March, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Although the Indian economy is moving slowly, the low consumer demand seems to have had no impact on the hospitality sector, whose RevPar has witnessed a growth of 2.6 per cent over the past year. Gaurav Shetty, managing director, MRG Group, in an e-mail interaction with Kimberley Fernandes delves deeper into how the sector is faring now and his company’s plans for the year 2020. Excerpts:

What are your views on the current economic scenario and hospitality industry?
It has been noticed that Indian economy is moving at snail’s pace indicating slow consumer demand but on the contrary hospitality RevPar has grown by 2.6% over the last year. This deviation from economic behaviour can be attributed to the commercial real estate market, which has witnessed a 20% growth in office stock absorption and 1% decline in vacancy rates across the top seven business cities in India.

Brief us about your company.
The MRG Group is a conglomerate of not just fine dining restaurants and hotels but has added to its stables resorts, educational institutions, infrastructure companies, etc. Contemporary hospitality conjures up images of great hosts, wonderful entertainment and fine etiquette. The group believes that hospitality is a serious personal responsibility. Ever since the founding of Banjara The Restaurant in 1993, the group has continued to add to its stables, a chain of some of the best fine dining restaurants in India with brands that have become synonymous with food that satiates the connoisseur’s palate.

Each restaurant has carved out a niche for itself with its line of mouth-watering delicacies, whether it be coastal cuisine from Sana-di-ge or North Indian Kababs from Kabab studio, the consistent quality of dishes they serve have become household name.

Goldfinch is today recognised as one of the finest boutique and business hotel chains in India, with its elegant, contemporary and uniquely themed style of hotels that stand out for their understated luxury and sophisticated interiors.

How was the last fiscal? 
The year 2019 has been a good year for the group overall. Food and beverage revenue showed minimal growth due to the increasing number of standalone restaurants which have the guests spoilt for choices, however because of our keen focus on maintaining high standards of service and supreme quality of food for the value of money on offer Goldfinch hotels hold an edge on its nearby competition hotels.

What kind of sales are you looking at in the new fiscal? 
We totally understand the current situation in India and look for a healthy increase in our RevPar across all our hotels.

Give us details on your collaboration with Marriott. 
We are signed up with two properties with Marriott recently. Total we will have three Marriotts with us.

Give us details on your collaboration with Hilton. 
Hilton, currently, we have one Doubletree by Hilton brand in Goa by the Mandovi river.

What are your expansion and investment plans for 2020? 
In 2020, we plan to open our first Sanadige in Mumbai along with couple of Goldfinch Express hotels in tier 2 cities of India.

Do you have any plans for the launch of standalone restaurants?
We indeed will be bringing flavours of our famous Sanadige restaurant to Mumbai and Gurgaon very soon.

What are your target regions? 
We are now focussing on tier 2 and tier 3 cities with an aim to provide personalised yet affordable hospitality to these cities wherein we will be launching Goldfinch Express.
 
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