Terror threat is also a big concern
Senior Director, Design Management for Marriott International
What are the challenges you’ve experienced in completing new hotel projects in India?
The challenges we face are appointment of unskilled consultants by owners, delay in deciding the brand and not getting operators’ input during early stages of planning. The lack in project management, quality control and delivery commitment from the contractors post a great barrier to the growth of the industry. The stringent approval and licensing procedures of the government do not help our growth either.
After the success of the Pune Marriott receiving the LEED Gold certification, in which of its other hotels in India is the Marriott Group working towards green initiatives?
Currently, Marriott is partnering with all owners to deliver LEED certified hotels. Marriott and Marriott’s partners are committed to the green initiatives and we are progressing well in this direction.
What are the biggest challenges that the Indian hospitality industry is facing in today’s day and age?
There are loads of them. Lack of infrastructure remains the biggest challenge that we are facing for the development of the hospitality industry. Lack of delivering the projects in time, law and order situation with strikes, bandh, protests also deters tourists arrival. Terror threat and safety is also a big concern. We were discussing the same at Hi-Aim 2012, a recent hospitality summit that there are so many issues within the industry that need to be addressed to make the sector much more organised and professional in its approach.
It was announced that 10 JW Marriot hotels will come up in India by 2015, is that plan still on track. If so, which are the cities you have zeroed in on and what is the kind of investment we are looking at?
The plan is still on track. We have opened Jw Chandigarh, one of the newest five-star hotels in the city. Other plans like the Jw Delhi airport, Jw Chennai, Jw Kolkata and Jw Sahar are under construction and many others are in design and at feasibility stage.
Which segment of the consumers is Marriot International targeting and why?
There is a lot of room for all segments in India and currently we have seven brands in India and we are in the country with our brands from Fairfield by Marriott to Ritz Carlton.