Power List 2017, Ashish Jakhanwala, MD and CEO, SAMHI Hotels

A privately owned hotel asset company that specialises in the development, acquisition and ownership of branded hotels, SAMHI Hotels is on a growth trajectory that is set to change the hospitality landscape in the country. The company has set its sights on increased development in FY 2017-18 and continues to expand its portfolio both organically and inorganically.
“In terms of organic growth, we foresee the opening of Fairfield in Coimbatore, and the completion, if not the opening, of Fairfield in Sriperumbudur in Chennai. The renovation of what will become Renaissance in Ahmedabad is in process and we have undertaken a substantial renovation at Hyatt Regency Pune. The Formule1 Hotel in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills is imminent day anytime now,” revealed Ashish Jakhanwala.
Speaking of inorganic growth, the deal has been closed for five hotels adding 600 new rooms to the portfolio. Another marquee deal been signed to open the group’s maiden hotel in Goa.
SAMHI owns 4308 keys, including rooms under completion and renovation. Jakhanwal admitted, “We continue to be an active buyer of hotels in India, as there is a need to institutionalise the discipline of hotel ownership companies for a market that will witness growth within three to five years.”
However, he feels the industry should reclaim the economically viable pricing as Average room rates have been at the lowest and no sizable investment can come in for further development at the current room rates. “I also feel that Indian hotels need to realize that operating costs are going up and the whole operating model needs to be rationalised. The staff to room ratio is very high across hotels in India and we believe that hotels have not taken sustainability as a serious business which is the need of the hour,” he concluded.
By Vinita Bhatia

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