VIKRAM CHATWAL to open over 50 luxury hotels in India

A decade after getting into the hospitality business in the US Sant Singh Chatwal & son are set to launch 52 hotels in India over the next five years. With global hospitality major Wyndham on board, the Chatwals are betting on rich, entrepreneurial Indians to realise their dream hotels, reports CNBC-TV.

Flanked by his father Sant Chatwal, and Wyndham Hotel’s president  and CEO Eric Danziger, Vikram Chatwal announced the launch of 52 hotels in India over the next five years mainly via a franchisee route.

Sant Chatwal says, "We have already invested US$ 250 million  and we will be investing US$ 500. If need be we can also invest more capital." So US$ 750 million for 52 hotels would work out to be only 14 US$ million, which is far lower than the industry average for super luxury hotels. Of the 52 planned hotels, 18 have been committed and the chatwals have handed out franchise contracts for 12 of these and are part owners in the remaining six. Wyndham, which holds a 50% stake in Vikram Chatwal Hotels and is the owner of brands like Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Ramada, will play a crucial role.

Controversy and Chatwals are no strangers. While Sant Singh Chatwal has made news for his political connection his son hit the headlines for his flamboyant larger than life lifestyle. With the US economy in trouble, the Chatwals are finally looking to up their presence in the country of origin.

Vikram Chatwal operate four hotels in New York, one in Bangkok and one in Cochin. The most recent opening was The Dream South Beach (Miami), which was inaugurated last summer.

Vikram Chatwal is no stranger to the luxury market in India. Vikram Chatwal’s wife Priya Sachdev Chatwal runs TSG, which is the exclusive distributor of  Marc Jacob’s India and licensee of Moschino (TSG used to distribute exclusively Alberta Ferreti, Jean Paul Gaultier which closed down in 2010).