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Neeraj Govil, a consummate strategist and an outspoken hotelier, is executing a vibrant roadmap for Marriott International in India, which will take the hospitality group to the top of the line. There are very few in who understand the Marriott brands as well as he does, including their distinct personalities and DNA.
The group doubled its portfolio in India after the acquisition of Starwood Hotels two years ago. Govil says the group is now seeing growth in the resort segment. “We have also begun seeing the emergence of micro-markets within the cities. The infrastructure is stressed, the travel time from one area to another is too much, and people tend to hang out in one part of the city.”
Today the brand has over 118 operational hotels in India. “For us, it is not just about the number of hotels; it is about the number of keys, it is about ensuring the best F&B experiences, and it is about ascertaining that we are available to Indians as a big outbound market, which is a very large segment,” he says.
Besides possessing legendary strategy skills, Govil is known as a finance wizard in the hospitality circles and brings a wealth of international experience and expertise to the table spanning several disciplines. In a bid to add gravitas to the team, Marriott International is investing in specialists for several positions, including for backend domains such as engineering and IT.
The company is poised to further grow its leadership presence in India, with more than 50 signed projects in its pipeline. It recently launched the Tribute Portfolio in India, with the opening of Port Muziris, a property with 54 artistically designed rooms. Govil adds, “The addition of the Tribute Portfolio in Marriott International’s brand footprint for South Asia reinforces our continued focus on providing a diverse collection of prime, distinctive properties across high potential markets in the region.”
This is just the beginning of what Marriott International plans for India as Govil and his team push through aggressive expansion plans that will see fruition in the coming years.