Hilton, Starbucks Add to Their India Portfolio

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May 14 – Looking to further break into the Indian market, Hilton Hotels has committed to expand its mid-market and luxury brands in the country.

Hilton, which already has established various hotels in India, recently acquired an additional number of properties on which it looks to open up and develop hotels for its luxury brand, Conrad, and its mid-market brands Doubletree and Hilton Garden Inn. Hilton is also looking to introduce its world-renowned Waldorf Astoria brand to India in the near future.

“We are on equal footing with our competitors both from the perspective of the number of hotels trading and the number of hotels that are actually going to come up in the next one or two years. By the end of this year, we expect 17 hotels to be trading, and we have the second largest pipeline of hotels in the Asia Pacific region with 21 hotels in various stages of construction,” said Guy Hutchinson, Hilton Worldwide’s Vice-President of India Operations.

“The mid-market brands are designed in a manner so that they can be scaled up faster. But there are equal opportunities across all our brands…we are interested in growing all of our brands. It’s all about measured growth, and there is a high degree of certainty that the hotels will be up and running,” he further affirmed.

India is considered Hilton’s biggest market, with Hilton president and global CEO Christopher J Nassetta stating that the goal is to have 50 hotels established in India by 2016.

Similarly, American coffee company Starbucks, by way of its joint venture (JV) with Tata Global Beverages, announced its plans to further expand throughout India.

“Until now, we have had a tremendous response to all our outlets in Mumbai and Delhi, [and] we will go where we find customer demand,” stated Avani Davda, CEO of Tata Starbucks.

Following customer demand, Starbucks hopes to expand and open up new outlets in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai, as well as the popular tourist destination of Goa.

To cater to the local market, which traditionally drinks tea, Starbucks offers lower prices on its products in India compared to its other worldwide locations. The lowest priced coffee on its menu costs just 80 Rupees (US$1.50), compared to US$3.00 (160 Rupees) per cup offered internationally.

Starbucks entered the Indian market in 2012 and currently operates a total of nine stores in the country: five in Mumbai and four in New Delhi. It plans to open 50 outlets in India by the end of this year.

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