Atithi Devo Bhava, the age-old adage, best epitomises the future for the over Rs.4,000 crore Indian Hotels Company (IHCL). An iconic name in the hospitality industry, the Tata group company is the indisputable market leader with marquee properties, such as the Taj Mahal Palace, among its vast list of hotels in India and abroad. These properties have hosted some of the most prominent global leaders and personalities from all spheres of life. Some properties such as the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, and Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur give tourists an insight into India’s cultural narrative. IHCL owns seven of the country’s top 20 hotel properties. In fact, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel recently got an ‘image trademark’, making it the first building in the country to get an intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design.
Over the years, given the changing industry dynamics, IHCL broad-based its business model to take advantage of the growth prospects across the travel and tourism value chain. It operates under the brand of Taj and Vivanta — catering to the luxury segment, Gateway in the mid-category and Ginger in the budget category. The group, which currently has 137 hotels with 16,848 rooms, has added nearly 3,000 rooms over the past five years at a CAGR of over 4%.
Prior to the financial crisis, IHCL had undertaken aggressive international expansion to establish marquee properties in key geographies. The management has, since then, taken steps to rectify some of the decisions which adversely impacted its financials, primarily owing t