Minor Hotels CEO Plans to Fill Portfolio Gaps in India, U.S.

Minor Hotels CEO Plans to Fill Portfolio Gaps in India, U.S.

Skift Take

Minor, with 540 hotels, aims to solidify its position as a major player. Expect it to expand its portfolio by 200 hotels by 2026, possibly through some M&A.

Minor International runs 540 hotels and aims to grow that count about a third by 2026.

“In the next three years, our strategy is about expanding horizons,” said Minor International and Minor Hotels CEO Dillip Rajakarier. “We have a target of adding 200-plus properties in different geographies, particularly in India. We plan about 40 in Northern Europe.”

Skift spoke with Rajakarier to learn more.

Dillip Rajakarier, Group CEO of Minor International. Source: Minor International.

Growth Strategy

Minor, the world’s 10th-largest hotel group and headquartered in Bangkok, has been introducing its European brands like NH Hotels into Asia.

  • “Our [$2.9 billion] acquisition of NH, a Dutch brand, in 2018 is a fantastic model,” the CEO said. “We took a niche European brand and have since brought it to Asia Pacific, where it’s popular. We’re bringing it to the Middle East and beyond.”
  • Globally, Minor Hotels has been shifting its mix toward upscale and luxury brands in the past few years. Last week, its luxury properties won 22 accolades at the Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2024.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Minor Hotels is open to opportunistic acquisitions that align with its strategic goals, the CEO said.

  • “Wherever we might find a hole in the marketplace and our portfolio, we would try and fill the gap,” Rajakarier said.
  • “In India, there is a big hole in our portfolio,” he said. “We need to get more hotels there. The U.S. is another gap.”
  • A Minor International source told Skift that the company had this spring considered acquiring a hotel company in India. Lemon Tree Hotels was said to be one of the companies on the shortlist.
  • “To be honest, we don’t have anything solid for me to say to you,” Rajakarier said. “We’re exploring a few options. … Of course, we’ve talked to many owners in different geographies about our expansion plan, not just India. When you look at the history of Minor, we’ve always been very opportunistic in terms of all acquisitions we’ve done.”

Is Minor open to acquiring a portfolio that may include real estate assets and not just brands?

  • “Our focus today is to grow, not asset-light or asset-heavy but what we call it asset-right.”

Owner-Centric Approach

  • Minor Hotels emphasizes “an owner mindset,” with a significant portion of its portfolio owned or leased. Its approach focuses on “creating value for owners rather than just collecting fees.”
  • Local adaptation of brands is a key way the company tries to compete in appealing to hotel investors and owners. “We’re more flexible on brand standards than the major hotel groups and our teams are more responsive,” he said.
  • The CEO said his hotel group stands out in the market by providing a holistic solution to owners and managing all aspects of operations, including food and beverage, wellness, and residential. He claimed his company avoids cost-cutting that compromises guest experience, instead focusing on top-line growth and quality of earnings.
  • Medical and wellness tourism are themes the company feels especially talented at handling. This month, Minor Hotels announced Layan Life by Anantara, a new concept “blending modern medical technologies with ancient Thai healing traditions.” A newly built facility at its Anantara Layan Phuket Resort will open later this year in Thailand.
  • “Our focus has always been driving top-line revenue and high-quality earnings that flow to the bottom line regarding owner profit,” Rajakarier said. “We want to be the most profitable hotel brand in the world which gives you the best guest experience.”

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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