Dr Jyotsna Suri is a stalwart in the Indian hotel industry, who recently expanded her group's footprint to the UK with The Lalit London. 'India Global Business' caught up with this jet-setting Global Indian to get her views on Indian hospitality and its worldwide impact. Please give your overview on the Indian hotel industry and its growth patterns over recent years. The Indian hotel industry has been on an upswing in the last few years. The improvement in infrastructure and increase in spending power has resulted in growth of domestic travel as well as influx of inbound travel. Tourism growth has outpaced the GDP growth in the last few years, and this trend is projected to continue. What does the launch of The Lalit London mean for your group The Founding Chairman and the owner of Bharat Hotels, Mr Lalit Suri, yearned for a hotel in London, a city he loved so intensely that it became his final resting place in 2006. On 19 November 2016, which would have been his 70th birthday, we inaugurated The Lalit London fulfilling his dream. We are extremely proud to be the first Indian hospitality chain to fully own and operate a hotel in London under its own brand name. Does the launch make London a kind of second home London is a global city, an amalgamation of several cultures and nationalities. As a family, we have loved the city.
The children have studied in London and it has always been a second home for us. The launch of our hotel connects us to the city and its people even more closely. What are some of your company's future expansion plans The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group has rapidly expanded in the last decade. We have more than doubled our portfolio - from six to 13 hotels, with 12 in India and one in London. We recently launched The Lalit Suri Hospitality School to nurture fresh talent in the industry. The LaliT Ahmedabad is due to be launched in 2018 making it our 14th hotel. What sets Indian hotels apart in the global hospitality space Both traditionally and culturally, hospitality comes naturally to Indians. The uniqueness of greeting our guest with a 'Namaskar', belief in 'Atithi Devo Bhava' [guest is god] and 'service with a smile' are the dynamics that drives the Indian hotels in the global hospitality environment. What is the expected segment of growth for the industry With the infrastructural development and increase in travel domain, there are ample opportunities for all categories - luxury and mid-segment. As a former FICCI president, how would you characterise the Indian economy′s industry-friendliness The improving infrastructure, transparency and clarity in government policies have made the Indian economy as the fastest growing economy in the world today, with a GDP growth rate at more than 7 per cent (overtaking China). As per IMF, the sluggishness caused by demonetisation will gradually dissipate and the Indian economy would surge to 7.7 per cent by the next financial year. The ease of doing business is one of the important initiatives run by the government, which has led to India move up in ranking from 142 (2015) to 130 (2017). Dr Jyotsna Suri is Chair & MD, Bharat Hotels Ltd