Navin Suchanti, CEO and Managing Director, Sinclairs Hotels Limited is an Honours Graduate in Physics and has four decades of diverse experience spanning advertising, public relations, hospitality, administration, finance and taxation. He has held various important positions as committee member of Assocham and the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was also a member of Tourism Advisory Council of Government of West Bengal.
Sinclairs Hotels Limited owns and operates hotels and resorts at Siliguri, Darjeeling, Dooars, Ooty and Andamans. Its subsidiary Savannah Hotels Pvt Ltd is the owner of a 104 key upscale business hotel at Whitefield in Bengaluru. Sinclairs is presently implementing three greenfield projects at Kalimpong, Burdwan and Kolkata. The resort hotel at Kalimpong and the tourist resort with banqueting and club facilities at Burdwan are in an advanced stage of construction. On implementation of these projects, Sinclairs total room inventory will be around 600.
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Navin Suchanti says “Sinclairs will be focused in the current year to consolidate the operations of its six properties mainly by way of reinforcing sales and marketing efforts.”
Comment on your Bangalore acquisition.
This is an operational upmarket business hotel in Whitefield, Bangalore’s IT hub. ‘Savannah Sarovar Premiere’ stands on the main Whitefield Road and because of its strategic location caters largely to the IT sector and corporate houses. We have acquired majority ownership of the property. With this acquisition, Sinclairs is well placed to target the traditionally strong business and leisure segments in Bengaluru and its adjoining metropolitan areas.
Brief us about your expansion plans?
Sinclairs will be focused in the current year to consolidate the operations of its six properties mainly by way of reinforcing sales and marketing efforts. The exercise shall lead to higher occupancies and revenues.
After the recent acquisition of Savannah, a 104 room business hotel in Whitefield, Sinclairs has a portfolio of six properties in the country. These are located at Siliguri, Darjeeling and Dooars in West Bengal, Port Blair in Andamans, Ooty in Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru, giving us around 400 keys.
We are in the process of setting up three greenfield projects, which after being commissioned will increase the number of keys to around 600. A 46 room luxury resort over 5 acres of land in Kalimpong, a hill station in West Bengal favourite with tourists, is in a fairly advanced stage of implementation. We hope to start playing host to guests here early next year.
The tourist resort in Burdwan, West Bengal with extensive club and banqueting facilities and 20 rooms covering over 4 acres of land and is located on the National Highway. The property is close to a greenfield airport being set up at Andal, in collaboration with Changi Airport of Singapore.
Our third property a 100 plus room upscale business hotel in Kolkata’s IT hub at Rajarhat. Land has already been acquired and our drawings are awaiting sanctions from the authorities.
We are perhaps the largest chain in north Bengal and once our Kalimpong property is commissioned next year, our presence in the region will be further strengthened.
While the three new projects are implemented, Sinclairs is scouting for operational assets across markets, including Bengaluru, Mysore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Patna apart from the gateway cities of New Delhi and Mumbai.
Comment on your capex plans?
The three new projects will require an investment of around Rs 900mn. A large part of this funding will be done through the company’s internal resources. With six operational assets, Sinclairs has zero debt in its books and, therefore, funding the projects and new acquisitions will not be difficult. The company’s net worth is in excess of Rs 800mn and as such raising of funds through debts will not be an issue.
Are you planning to add more rooms?
With the implementation of our three projects, Sinclairs will have a total of around 600 keys. If we succeed in acquiring more properties in the meantime, the room count will be more.
Comment on your occupancy levels?
Occupancies vary from hotel to hotel. In leisure destinations like in Darjeeling, Chalsa, Port Blair and Ooty, occupancy is around 40% while in Siliguri and Bengaluru, this is in excess of 50%.
Are you looking to cover more regions?
Our strategy is to first build a cluster around our existing properties. Going forward, if we come across existing opportunities in other regions, we shall certainly consider investment.
Do you expect increase in average room rates?
Going forward as we invest in upscaling our properties, we see scope for an annual growth of around 10% in our ARR. Also with higher occupancies, our RevPAR will move up.
Brief us about your financials?
The company has announced the audited results for the year ended 31st March, 2012.
The consolidated total revenue was at Rs 224.7mn.
On a standalone basis, the company generated gross revenue of Rs 172.6mn as compared to Rs 191mn in the last year.
The company paid an interim dividend of 40% (compared to 35% last year) to shareholders and the board confirmed this as the final dividend.
Your promoter holding?
The promoters Dr Niren Suchanti and Navin Suchanti along with the family hold approximately 52% of the paid up capital. In addition, Xander Group has major stakes in the company. The Xander Group Inc. is a global investment firm focussed on the infrastructure, hospitality, retail and real estate sectors and has committed over US$ 1.8 billion of equity capital to the Indian market. We enjoy a very strong relationship with them and benefit from their extensive industry knowledge with global experience and relationships. Together we are committed to build and scale our operations and generate superior longterm returns for our stakeholders.