<p>Global hospitality chain Starwood Hotels and Resorts today said it hopes to manage around 100 hotels in India by 2015 as it looks to tap Indian owners, who are increasingly looking for international brands to manage their properties.
"We have a very strong pipeline for growth in India. By 2015, we expect to have 100 hotels, either operating or developing into India in various stages," Starwood Hotels and Resorts' Managing Director Dilip Puri said on the sidelines of World Economic Forum on India here.
At present, the chain has 34 hotels operating India under various brands.
"Next year, we will open another seven brands," he said.
Puri said that the presence of almost all international hospitality brands in India is reflective of the fact that the Indian owners are becoming increasingly choosy of the brands in order to get good business from other geographies.
"(Indian) owners are becoming more and more choosy. That's why they are choosing us because they could be guaranteed the quality of the brand and global distribution system. They can guaranteed of the business coming from all over the world," Puri said.
Bullish on the prospects of international brands in India, he said, "More or more (Indian hotel) owners are moving away from the domestic brands and are focusing on international brands and that's why you see all the international brands are in India and they are only going to go up."
Commenting on the company's strategy in India, he said, "We will expand just the way we have been. But, it will depend upon finding the right partners, finding the right locations and the kind of signing management contracts."
The company does not invest into real estate in India.
"Principally, we are a management company with a distinctive set of brands," Puri added.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts offers management services, branding services with local owners and takes on management contracts.
It manages around 1,000 hotels in over 100 countries under nine brands -- St Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element.