Ranjan Gupta, Head Operations, Le Sutra
Le Sutra Hospitality recently launched ‘Le Sutra’ the world’s first hotel based on Indian philosophy. In an interview, Ranjan Gupta, Head Operations, Le Sutra shares the future plans of his company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Tell us about the inception of Le Sutra Hospitality and its various brands in India?
Ranjan Gupta (RG): We are in the business of hospitality since a decade and created interesting brands like Out of the Blue, Indian Art Café, Masalah Mafia, Mafia Bar, and Dusk a Bar Grill. The recently launched ‘Le Sutra’ is the world’s first hotel based on Indian philosophy. Le Sutra Hospitality is the culmination of years of hard work, heart-head application, and the beginning of a charter to engage customers and create business opportunities for entrepreneurs like us. Our brands have always evoked a strong emotional response from customers. Le Sutra is an innovative creative art hospitality company creating projects appealing to the Indian sensibility. It offers franchise, management, and consultancy services for restaurants and hotels within its portfolio; existing properties looking to be re-launched and new projects. It also has a separate division Dr Art and Design, the aesthetic design management studio headed by Mitali Bajaj, which brings the art to Le Sutra Hospitality and other small or large scale projects.
RK: What inspired Le Sutra Hospitality to take the franchise route to expand the presence of its Indian Art Cafe in India?
RG: Indian Art Café in many ways was the easiest baby to deliver. The appeal of the place, its uniqueness of katch-katch art, aesthetics and contemporary cuisine like fondue and appam, smooth implementation and many event possibilities, makes it a great franchise property.
RK: What will be the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees?
RG: Intended franchisee should be open to modern management thinking and operating practices. Financially stable background and last three financial year’s business statement filed. He should be able to sustain the business model till breakeven period, adhering to the standard operating procedures at all times. Our restaurants brands would be suitable in a four star hotel as a specialty restaurant or as standalones driving in footfalls. The premises should be well located in areas of medium to heavy traffic or created destinations.
RK: How much investment is required to take up the franchise business of Le Sutra Hospitality?
RG: The investment could range from Rs 50 lakh to one and a half crore rupees depending on the size and the brand of the restaurant.
RK: How many outlets does the company presently have? What are your target locations to expand the brand in India?
RG: In September 2010, Hyderabad had the first South Indian Bistro, ‘Indian Art Café’ at Inorbit Mall. In Vizag, our Palm Beach Hotel and Resort has the ‘Masalah Mafia’ buffet restaurant, Mafia Bar, and Dusk a Bar Grill. Kafé Out of the Blue is going to open in Powai soon. Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Mumbai are our target locations, and we are also open to projects outside India.
RK: What training and support does a franchisee get after partnering with your company?
RG: The scope would include concept, its adaptation to site interiors, facility planning, turnkey execution and supervising, approving of furniture, fixtures and furnishings and specialised equipment, procurement of curios and object d’art, menu development and adaptation, formulation of standard recipes, setting standard operating procedures, recruitment and training of personnel, planning/marketing strategies, scheduling pre-opening activities, coordinating the launch, post opening consultancy, management training and ongoing audits.
RK: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
RG: The company is looking to expand its hotel and restaurant brands across the country via franchise route. We are looking to franchise Indian Art Café, Out of the Blue, Kafé Out of the Blue, Masalah Mafia and the Le Sutra Indian Art Hotel based on local culture. In the next one year, our target is to open three operational restaurants and two hotel projects via franchising.
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