Institutional capital will alter the landscape of ownership in Indian hotels: Manav Thadani

It has been two successful decades of operation for HVS in India. In an exclusive interview, Manav Thadani, Chairman – Asia Pacific, HVS reflects on the successes of the years gone by, noting that HISCA conference played a pivotal role in boosting the organisation’s credibility. Taking stock of the future course of hospitality in the country, he argued that with stronger inflows of institutional capital in times to come, the landscape of ownership was up for a paradigm shift.


After 20 years, what next for HVS in India?

Rather than HVS, I would like to say that the team of HVS India has been instrumental in creating new service lines and businesses, and it is in our DNA to create new things that are pertinent to the hotel sector in the country. So we believe Asset Management and training and development are going to be the need of the hour, and therefore we have already started shifting resources towards that. For me, the core of the issue is the people you bring into run these businesses.

You have modules under the brand of THINC, in Sri Lanka and Bali. How are these different, and where next is the THINC edition?

We created the HICSA brand which became an iconic conference brand in Asia Pac. However, unfortunately could not be used outside of South Asia. Therefore, we created a THINC (Tourism Hotel Investment & Networking Conference) brand which could be carried across different countries. Today we have THINC Indonesia, THINC Sri Lanka and THINC Africa. Our next edition of this conference is going to be called THINC Innovate and will be in Bangkok next year in May. THINC Innovate would be just as the name suggest very different from the current conferences that our out there. We would have a lot more Ted type talks which will be THINC Talks and there would be very few panel discussions. In fact, we will bring in subject experts rather than sponsors to speak so that we keep the interest alive and fresh.

At the HVS 20 years celebration bash held at the Leela Palace Hotel in the capital, Jean Michel Casse, COO, ACCORHOTELS – India and South Asia engrossed in a conversation.
In the picture, among others, Rajiv Kaul, President, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts; Auduth Timblo, MD, CIDADE DE GOA and Ajay Bakaya, MD, Sarovar Hotels.
In the picture, among others, Rajiv Kaul, President, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts; Auduth Timblo, MD, CIDADE DE GOA and Ajay Bakaya, MD, Sarovar Hotels.

In attendance were industry stalwarts, including KB Kachru, Sushil Gupta, Kapil Chopra and Vivek Nair, among others.
Invitees intently listening to Manav Thadani's speech
Invitees intently listening to Manav Thadani’s speech

What do you think would be the single biggest success for HVS in India?

Our consistent ability to create leaders across the industry who then have gone on to become great brand ambassadors. Also, we have been successful in being involved with over 100s of hotels where we did the feasibility and they are doing well. However, if, I was to choose a single thing it would be our conference HICSA which helped us gain huge credibility.

Where do you see India’s hospitality story right now? Has it begun?

We believe that we are at the beginning of an upcycle and that the next 4-5 years will be very strong years which will bring a lot of confidence back to the sector. You will also see a lot of institutional capital flow into the business like never before and this will start to change the landscape of ownership of hotels.

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