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Tatas launch sub-Rs 1,000 indiOne hotel

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The Tata group Chairman, Mr Ratan Tata, in front of the `indiOne' hotel in Bangalore on Friday. - G.R.N. Somashekar

Bangalore , June 25

A HUNDRED years after setting up the country's first luxury hotel, the Indian Hotels Company Ltd, today launched `indiOne', India's first `no attitude' hotel with tariff under Rs 1,000.

The Chairman of Indian Hotels Company, Mr Ratan N. Tata, told newspersons after inaugurating the hotel that this new segment will redefine the Indian hospitality industry.

The hotel is located at the heart of India's Silicon Valley at Whitefield near Bangalore. The company plans to open 150 such hotels across the world though a dozen of these will be set up within the next one year in India. The cost of the hotel near Bangalore is around Rs 10 crore.

Earlier, at a press conference, management guru Dr C.K. Prahalad, who co-created the concept for the Tatas, said the `Smart Basics' hotel would create a separate category of hotels. "Instead of replicating best practices, we have created next practices," Dr Prahalad said. The high tech, high-touch hotel concept took two years for concept-to-road fruition.

The IHCL Managing Director, Mr Raymond Bickson, said a new subsidiary - Roots Corporation - had been created for operating these hotels. This concept had tremendous scalability and would follow a no-discount policy, according to him. "We want to redefine the hospitality industry just as the Japanese did it for the automobile industry," Mr Bickson said. The Roots International Chief Operating Officer, Ms Sheila Nair, said indiOne would soon be seen in pilgrimage centres such as Hardwar, Tirupati, Rishikesh and smaller towns such as Coimbatore and Ludhiana.

Luxury hotels in China, S.E. Asia planned

Indian Hotels Company is planning to set up luxury hotels in China and South-East Asian countries. "Yes. We are right now examining it," Indian Hotels Company Chairman, Mr Ratan N. Tata, told newspersons.

He said the company also plans to set up similar luxury hotels in South-East Asian countries. "Not just in China, but also other cities in South-East Asia," he said.

Mr Tata said the company would not merely focus on no-frills hotels just because it was also looking at launching a Rs 1 lakh car. "Wherever there are opportunities, we will go," he said. Indian Hotels had earlier said the company plans to increase the number of its hotel properties abroad to 18 from the current level of 12 by 2005. As part of its restructuring exercise, the company plans to sell its underperforming properties and idle assets.

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