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This article was first published 17 years ago  » Business » JB group to foray in hospitality, mulls banking

JB group to foray in hospitality, mulls banking

By Raghavendra Kamath in Mumbai
April 09, 2007 10:17 IST
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Joining the big league of the global hotel chains expanding in India, Hong Kong-based $2 billion JB group will set up as many as 20 hotels and shopping malls in the country over the next three years. The group, run by NRI Surani family, will invest between Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion) and Rs 2,500 crore (Rs 25 billion) in the venture.

The group will set up these hotels in Kolkata, Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai and other cities. Among 20 hotels, it is planning 10-12 three-star hotels, 4-5 four-star hotels, and 3-4 five-star hotels in the country.

According to the international hospitality consulting firm HVS International, there are over 150 hotel projects under various stages of development.

The global hotel majors Starwood, Istithmar Hotels, Wyndham group, Hilton International, Four Seasons have all announced new investment in the hotel sector in the country. Indian realty firm DLF has tied up with Hiton International to develop and own 75 hotels and serviced apartments over the next seven years.

"India needs a total of 150,000 hotel rooms in the next five  years. However, keeping in mind the kind of developments we are seeing in the country, I still foresee a short supply of over 50,000 hotel rooms. Thus, there is a huge opportunity for the Indian and international hotel companies, " Amitabh Kant, joint secretary, tourism ministry said.

The JB group plans to enter various sectors including banking and mining in the country. It is awaiting the Reserve Bank of India's nod to enter the banking space. The group, which has mining operations in China and upcoming mining venture in Indonesia, is also exploring opportunities in the mining sector in the country.

"We are seeing a great potential in the Indian hospitality space. We will build IT parks, residential and commercial complexes apart from the hotels and resorts in tier-I and tier- II cities", said JB group chairman Bhupen Surani.

The group is planning to invest Rs 1200 crore (Rs 12 billion) in Goa with five projects in 300 acre of land, which it has bought in Goa. It will have India's first Sofital resort, which is Accor's Five-star brand, under this project. It is under talks with various global chains to set up another hotel chain in the land. It already has 40-room Coconut Groove Hotel in Goa.

Besides this, the group will set up 300 Timeshare villas under the Accor Premier Vacation Club in Goa. It is also planning to build 800-fractionally-owned villas under the project apart from a marina, a bay to park large and medium sized yatches, in Goa Surani said.

Globally acclaimed firm Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo, which has built the Sun City in South Africa, has designed and prepared the masterplan for these projects. The first phase of the project is expeted to be completed by the end of 2009.

In Kolkota, the group is developing a leisure boutique hotel under the name Raj Mahal. It will have the feel and touch of Rajasthani architecture. The group is investing about Rs 125 crore (Rs 1.25 billion) in the venture to build 125 suites.

The group runs a hotel under the brandname 'Gulf' in Oman and building two other hotels in Dubai with 150-room and 350-room capacity. It has coal mining operations and Methanol refinery in inner Mangolia region of China. It has a joint venture with SanWei group called IM JB Resources, which has invested $150 million in the venture. It is also getting into coal mining in Indonesia.

"I have lived in Hong Kong for the last 15 years and seen how China has progressed in the last 15 years. NRI investments ensure that the foreigners develop the confidence to invest in the country. We will explore various opportunities to invest in the country," he said.

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Raghavendra Kamath in Mumbai
Source: source

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