International luxury, travel and lifestyle brand Karma Group is palnning its next phase of growth and expansion in India after 25 years of doing business in India. Karma Group, an international chain of luxury hotels, is eyeing expansion in the India market. Currently, the group owns and operates four properties in Goa and one in Rajasthan and Kerala each.
The indian expansion plan will be a mix of organic and inorganic, in destinations popular among Indian and international tourists.
Karma group was Founded by John Spence started as hospitality company plans to newly develop four new resorts in India over next 2 years. The Australia-based company is also looking out partners as private equity investment and looking to raise debt to fund its growth plans.
John Spence, Founder of Karma Group said, “As Karma Group, we have grown to 27 resorts across Europe, Australia and Asia, but India still remains an extremely crucial market. With four properties in Goa and one each in Rajasthan and Kerala, we are re-focusing on India and have exciting expansion plans on the cards, which include setting up two more properties a year, for the next five years. We want to do more in Goa as we think it’s a tremendous space with enormous potential. We also want to explore both North and South India. Going beyond Kerala, we are nurturing expansion plans along the East coast like Pondicherry, Chennai and Coorg.”
“Occupancy has been extremely good in the India properties this year. Depending on the time of the year, the average occupancy is 80 per cent. This year the rainfall was particularly heavy and for Kerala the occupancy did suffer. In general, our occupancy is been well headed, we were extremely pleased with not the number of guest but also with the quality of the guest primarily the people who stay in our resorts were old club members. We are not a private members club than we are a vanilla hotel company; hence RevPar is not what we use too so much. We plan to open two more properties India owing to the positive response,” Spence added
With the concept of holidaying having undergone a sea change, Karma is sharply focused on offering travellers an enriching experience, said Spence.
“We always say that we are not into just lodging business, but into entertainment. Our resorts offer a platform, canvas to provide entertainment,” he said. Some of the properties of Karma Group even make its own wine and olive oil, he said.
If you see other luxury international hotel chains across the globe, Karma group owns the assets through long-term lease leasing. Typically most of them comprise 30 to 100 rooms, and mainly focus on fitness programmes, spas, recreational facilities, including sports, entertainment.
In India, Karma Group has very tough competition from Mahindra Holidays & Resorts and Sterling Resorts.
A Google India-BCG survey report released last year projected the overall Indian travel and tourism market to reach $48 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 11 per cent to 11.5 per cent.