Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Feb 16, 2007
Country Club plans to enter service apartments segment
`We have plans to expand to South East Asian countries with a strong Indian population'
First such project has started in Mumbai and 10 apartments are ready for occupation, according to its head of operations, Mr G. Pavan Kumar.
Serviced apartments are fully furnished apartments or flats that offer services such as cleaning, laundry, telephone connection, Internet and television access.
"We plan to brand our serviced apartments on the lines of our resorts and clubs. We will promote it in India and abroad," he said.
The company plans to set up about 250 serviced apartments each in Bangalore and Hyderabad, and in New Jersey, US, over the next few years. "The Malaysian government has also invited us, and we are doing a feasibility research on this," said Mr Kumar.
Apart from serviced apartments, the company is also looking at setting up `motels' within 50 km of metros and major cities across India.
"We also want to cater to religious tourism by locating our resorts on the way to religious places," he said. The company is planning to set up a resort between Shirdi and Nashik.
Country Club on Wednesday announced the launch of its Rs 5-crore resort Mango Grove, located about 60 km from Chennai on the way to Tirupati.
This is the company's second `eco-friendly' leisure infrastructure project after Coconut Grove resort near Hyderabad.
It plans to set up 50 properties, including 10 international ones, over the next three years, according to Mr C.V.S. Ravi Prasad, Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales), Country Club.
"We have plans to expand to South East Asian countries with a strong Indian population," he told Business Line. Recently, the company acquired a Sri Lankan hotel.
On the domestic front, there are plans to set up six resorts around Chennai.
The company has identified four properties and also looking to acquire existing properties, said Mr Prasad.
The company's expansion plans would be funded through its recent issue of FCCBs that raised Rs 100 crore, besides internal accruals.
About Rs 25 crore has been earmarked for developing projects in Chennai.
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