Clarks Inn set to embark on the next phase of growth

Clarks Inn set to embark on the next phase of growth

Having made a remarkable journey of 12 years, Clarks Inn Group of Hotels is on the threshold of embarking on a new phase of growth under the leadership of its President & Co-founder SN Srivastava.  

India’s fastest growing hotel management company, Clarks Inn Group of Hotels is all set to reach another milestone in its journey of 12 years. The company looks all set to achieve its overall target of 100 hotel portfolio, including both operational and under development, by the end of the year. “2018’s month of December is going to be a landmark month for us as we will complete 100 properties by that month,” said SN Srivastava. Currently, the company has a portfolio of about 90 hotels across India that includes 50 operational and 40 under-construction properties.
Clarks Inn had launched its first property, Clarks Inn Pacific Mall, Ghaziabad, in 2006, and in the very first year of its operation, the property was a huge success. Since then there has been no looking back for the company. The first property still remains the flagship hotel of the group.

Reflecting on the tremendous growth that the company has witnessed since its inception 12 years ago, Srivastava views the Clarks Inn’s story building up primarily in two stages. In the first phase (2006 to 2012), marked by start-up challenges and not to forget the financial crisis that hit the industry hard, it was all about laying a solid foundation and letting the industry know of its intent and purpose. In the second phase, since 2013, the company has witnessed a period of rapid growth adding sometimes as many as 20 properties in a year.

Speaking about the challenges of the initial years, Srivastava said, “The first phase of our journey was somewhat challenging because when we entered the industry we had no prior experience of managing hotels and had no capital to invest. We entered the business and made a success out of it without making any initial capital investment.” He added, “It was also the period of global financial crisis that had gripped the most parts of the world including the emerging markets like India and many national and international hotel brands had shelved their Indian expansion plans. Amid all these challenges, we established ourselves and expanded our footprint with sheer determination, discretion and perseverance.”

In the first phase, the group had opened 15-16 properties and built a strong culture of hotel management, whereas the second phase witnessed a transformational growth with the company adding 15-20 properties each year between 2013 and 2018. The second phase was also marked by increased standardization and improved compliance with SOPs.

On the back of the strong foundation laid in the first phase and the second phase, Clarks Inn will embark on the next ambitious phase of its growth, with a resolve to grow at a much faster rate. “We will grow at a higher rate in the next phase as compared to our earlier phases. Starting from 2019, the next phase will be of three years, in which we aim to add 100 properties in our portfolio, thus having a portfolio of 200 properties by 2021. These would include 100 plus operational properties besides under-construction ones” said Srivastava. “We are ready for our next phase of the growth that would be more transformative,” he further said.

Besides speedy growth, the next phase will also focus on the upgradation of the Clarks Inn brands. That process is already on, with new upcoming properties of the company being larger in size, having more spacious rooms equipped with modern features, and larger meeting and banqueting spaces. “Making a clear distinction from the last two phases, in the next phase, most of our upcoming properties will be bigger in size with upgraded amenities and services including facilities like spa, gym, swimming pool, etc.,” said Srivastava.

Upcoming properties of the group will be more equipped to cater to MICE and social segments with their enhanced meeting and banqueting facilities. “We see immense potential in MICE and social segments. To tap these segments in a big way, our new properties will have bigger meeting and banqueting space facilities. In 2019 we will come up with at least three convention centres in our hotels; the size of each convention centre will be 20 thousand sq. ft.” stated Srivastava.

Talking about the growth of its brand portfolio, Srivastava said, “When we founded our company in 2006 we had started with just one brand: Clarks Inn. Gradually as we grew, we recognized the need for more brands; therefore, we came up with new brands. We launched Clarks Inn Suite and later Clarks Exotica for big hotels. To meet the demand for five-star brands, we came up with Clarks Premium. We have signed three hotels under Clarks Premier brand. Today we have five hotel brands. Besides, we also have a Clarks Residency brand for service apartments. We will soon launch another brand, Clarks Heritage.” Mainly a budget and mid-market hotel chain, the company in the next phase will also open five-star hotels.

Going ahead, the group also plans to go global by opening properties abroad. Negations to open hotels in Sri Lanka, Nepal and a few other countries are already underway. Clarks Inn recently opened a representative office in the Netherlands to attract inbound business from Europe.

SOPs Compliance

A key feature of the Clarks Inn brand has been the emphasis on the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs); especially in the last couple of years, the group has become very strict in enforcing its SOPs. The group has achieved more than 60 % compliance of its SOPs, which is a remarkable feat because while every hotel brand has its own set of SOPs, their implementation is lacklustre. “The compliance of the SOPs has made sure that our hotels always maintain a high standard of the guest services. Going ahead, we will continue to upgrade our SOPs and increase their compliance rate,” said Srivastava. “We have come a long way from the time we had to plead for a property. Now we sign properties on our own terms without compromising with our brand standards and SOPs” he added.

 

“We will grow at a higher rate in the next phase as compared to our earlier phases. Starting from 2019, the next phase will be of three years, in which we aim to add 100 properties in our portfolio, thus having a portfolio of 200 properties by 2021.”

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