Source: The Times of India via Indian Economic Business News
Hilton accelerated its pace of expansion outside its home market in the US after Christopher J. Nassetta, President and Global CEO, Hilton Worldwide, came on board in 2007, soon after private equity giant Blackstone purchased the chain. At that time, around 85% of Hilton’s pipeline was within the US. It’s changed since. Currently, more than 60% of its pipeline is outside the US. In the last six years, Hilton opened more than 1,100 hotels globally. Hilton entered India through a brand franchise agreement with Oberoi Hotels in 2004. Four years later, it charted out its own growth path, striking franchise and management contracts with Indian property owners. Nassetta said the chain, which currently operates 12 hotels with 2,000 rooms in India, has lined up another 20 hotels with 3,500 rooms which will open doors to guests in the next eight months. “Our target is to have 50 hotels by 2016,” said the Hilton chief, adding that almost all the Hilton brands, except its timeshare brand Hilton Grand Vacations, would dot the Indian skyline. The 94-year-old chain owns 10 brands such as Waldorf Astoria, Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites by Hilton. Of these, only four brands are present in India, operating in the upscale and mid-market space. The company is getting into the luxury segment with the launch of the 250-room Conrad in Bangalore shortly.