Wyndham Hotel Group, a part of Wyndham worldwide that has recently announced its plan of adding seven new properties in India is operating through Ramada and Days Inn brands here. In an interview, Ken Greene, President and Managing Director, Wyndham Hotel Group, Asia Pacific shares the success journey of his company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Tell us something about the inception of Wyndham Hotels?
Ken Greene (KG): Wyndham Hotels Group is the world’s largest hospitality brand with 200 properties worldwide, operating in 67 countries under 15 brands which are Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Wingate by Wyndham, Baymont Inn & Suites, Microtel Inns & Suites, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, TRYP by Wyndham, Howard Johnson,
Travelodge, Knights Inn, Planet Hollywood Hotels, and Dream and Night. We began the hotel group with two, three and four star space. We brought Wyndham brand four years ago. Our model entered India probably 20 years back.
RK: What inspired the company to take the franchise route for expansion in India?
KG: We took the franchise route for expansion because we really think that franchising works best for the Indian market and is something that Indian entrepreneurs are very comfortable with. We do not manage all our brands in India but we have a great portfolio of brands in India.
RK: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees?
KG: It varies from brand to brand. We are looking for someone who has a property or develops a property, whether they hire a manager to manage the property or do it themselves and as per the clients’ perspective. Our franchisees have to make sure that they have integrated systems as ours, utilisation of our brand name and logos in a correct way, engages a sales team and a training team, worries about our systems and how we operate, so, these are the properties they have to have in order to take up Wyndham’s property and maintain its standards and quality and provide the service to our consumers that we expect.
The most important is to find the right property, or a location to put the right brand in that location depending upon the consumer demographics that are driving the franchise business in that particular market place.
RK: How many franchised hotels do the company presently has?
KG: We have 12 that are open, 11 Ramada, one Days Inn. Recently, we announced seven new contracts six Ramada and one Days Inn. All together, we have 27 properties.
RK: What are the reasons for selecting India to expand the brand?
KG: Over the years, we are very focused on the growth especially in the last few years. We have seen two market places growing tremendously well in this part of the world, one is India and other is China. We have zeroed on India because we knew that these markets will be a significant contributor in our growth in the coming years.
RK: What kind of support and training a franchisee gets when partner with you?
KG: We provide training to our franchisees, put them into our reservation system, offer marketing support, operational support, and conduct inspection on regular basis to ensure the consistency in the products. We firmly believe that the training and support should be properly placed in order to maximise the profitability of the brand.
RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?
KG: In the Asia Pacific region in the last 12 years, we have opened 116 properties. Our growth is accelerating as India is a very fast growing market place, and our strategic plan is to enter two, three, four and five star market place and we are going to be aggressive in terms of our expansion through franchising in India.