The Indian Hotels Company Limited recently held its second Capital Markets Day. The Company shared key updates on its five-year business strategy, Aspiration 2022. It is the company’s aspiration of become the most iconic and profitable company. 

Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL, said “the management is pleased with the progress in its first year of Aspiration 2022. The reimagined brandscape with its portfolio of distinct brands allowed us to deliver a robust development pipeline.” He added that “the Company scaled up its inventory with the signing of 20 new hotels adding approximately 3000 rooms across key cities such as London, Dubai, Makkah, New Delhi and Kathmandu. Strong fundamentals helped us drive higher returns through focused initiatives for margin expansion and asset management. All our employees have rallied around this one unifying goal and have helped the Company stay motivated on executing the strategy.”

Key pillars of the strategy have been enumerated as Restructure, Reengineer and Reimagine:

Restructuring:

For the last nine months of the fiscal year, the Company sustained a positive performance quarter on quarter over the last year. It reported a 230 bps increase in EBITDA margins. The debt equity ratio has improved to 0.47.  

Reimagining:

The Company reimagined a multi-product, multi-segment brandscape to have a value proposition for customers at different points in their lifecycle. The new brandscape will have Taj, SeleQtions, Vivanta and Ginger. Ginger underwent a major repositioning and unveiled the brand’s new look in the lean luxe segment at Ginger Panjim, Goa. The addition to its portfolio of brands, SeleQtions will be rolled out by March end.   

This has been a significant year for IHCL. The Company reinforced its iconic status by retaining the landmark Taj Mahal, New Delhi; renewed a long-term agreement for the legendary, Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur; and won the bid for The Connaught in Lutyens’ Delhi. Commencing April 2019, it will also take over the management of the famed 207 key Cidade de Goa. The Company entered a new segment, plantation trails and stays with the launch of Ama Trails & Stays, the first branded product in the homestay market in India. It signed a management contract with Tata Coffee for nine heritage bungalows in Coorg and Chikmagalur and will add two of its own bungalows in Goa by mid next year. 

The Company opened four hotels – Taj Aravali Resort & Spa Udaipur, Taj Theog Resort & Spa, Shimla, Vivanta Kathmandu and the rebranded Vivanta Katra. The historic Taj Connemara, Chennai dating back to 1854 reopened after undergoing an extensive renovation and redesign.

IHCL announced an enhancement for its award-winning loyalty programme, Taj InnerCircle with an exciting new partnership with Sixt, a global car rental company with a network of 2,200+ locations worldwide in over 105 countries.

Reengineering:

The Company continued to create an environment of operational excellence with an emphasis on guest delight whilst delivering high profit margins by a strong and diverse team of 32,000+ engaged employees.

IHCL upped its sustainability quotient with focused efforts on conserving water, reduction in carbon emissions and renewable energy use. It raised over INR 4 Crores for the Kerala and Kodagu floods and Taj Public Service Welfare Trust.

In line with Aspiration 2022, IHCL will continue its focus on growth and exceeding the expectations of all its stakeholders.