MUMBAI: Sofitel, a French luxury hotel chain managed by Accor Group, is eyeing 10 properties in India, mainly in prime luxury destinations, in a couple of years, a top company executive said.
"Currently, we have one property in India which has completed a year. We have two more hotels coming up under Sofitel Luxury Hotel and Sofitel So brands. We hope to sign another seven management contracts taking the total to 10 in a couple of years," Sofitel Luxury Hotel senior vice-president, Asia Pacific, Markland Blaiklock told PTI here.
Both the hotels are coming up in Mumbai and are expected to be operational by 2017, he said.
The company, which has aspirations for further development in India is looking at cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Goa for its 3 brands--Sofitel Luxury Hotel, Sofitel Legend and Sofitel So, he said.
"While Sofitel Luxury Hotel is about luxury, Sofitel So focuses on design with boutique hotels and resorts. Sofitel Legend one the other hand is a seal, a private club of timeless establishments, often with historical and century-old buildings," he said.
Blaiklock further said the company, though being a management contract firm, also supports the owner in terms of financing through loan at the beginning of development of a property or through equity investment if the location of the property is very important or strategic.
When asked about challenges that international hospitality brands face in India, he said, "the economic growth is not as strong it has been few years back. Further, there are challenges of lack of availability of skilled workforce and licensing requirements, which takes a lot of time."
Sofitel globally has 120 properties of which 40 are located in the Asia Pacific Region.
Currently, Sofitel has 500 people in its workforce, which will go up to about 5,000 when all the 10 properties will be operational. Globally, the company has a workforce of 25,000 of which 15,000 are in Asia Pacific.