The next five for Radisson

Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer – South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, talks about the exciting times that lie ahead for the group post rebranding.

What’s new at Radisson Hotel Group?
Radisson Hotel Group has embarked on a five-year plan which is focused around technology, where the brand is investing in technology to drive the top-line of our hotels. Also, to make sure the new loyalty name, Radisson Rewards, is well accepted by the guests, we are steadily growing, adding seven to nine hotels each year and signing 14-15 hotels. We have 90 hotels over 60 cities in India. As the UDAN scheme takes off and as infrastructure grows, especially road connectivity, we look forward to adding more hotels on the leisure as well as business front.

Any particular brand you are concentrating on for expansion?
Our core brands – Radisson Blu, Radisson, and Radisson RED have high acceptability due to their high brand recall in the country. In secondary and tertiary markets, Country Inns & Suites by Radisson as well as Park Inn by Radisson are well embraced and they provide good returns to investors.

Do you see a trend on the cards in the industry?
After several months of occupancy gain, rate is growing, which is very important for the industry and because once the rate grows, then the bottom margin increases. It’s time India benefited from this upcycle which I expect to be strong for the next four to five years. Fortunately, the excess supply has been absorbed. I read from some industry statistics that for the next few years, the supply is likely to grow by eight per cent, but demand is growing to grow by 12 per cent and this gap of about 4-4.5 per cent should continue to yield better margins, especially with recovery which is going to be average rate-led.