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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mahindra Holidays to add 1,000 rooms

This story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

Vacation ownership company Mahindra Holidays plans to add over 1,000 apartments to its existing portfolio of 2,500 in the next two years.

Though the company didn’t share investment details, a top official said it had spent Rs 500 crore on adding a similar number in the last two years.

Rajiv Sawhney, CEO, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, said, “We currently have 10 sites with development potential. While some are pure part of our land bank, a few others are existing properties with potential for room additions. The 1,000 rooms added in the last couple of years were on the base of 1,400 rooms, which is over 70% increase in room availability for our members.”

A part of the Mahindra Group, the company currently owns 70% of the 2,500 rooms in its portfolio, while the balance is on long-term lease.

The additions were made in a concentrated manner across domestic destinations including Goa, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Jaisalmer and Udaipur. Bangkok and Dubai were were added in overseas destinations.

“We are actively pursuing something in Sri Lanka and will take a call on it in a year,” said Sawhney.

Targeting customers in the 30-35 year age group, the company will aggressively use the digital medium to reach out and convert them into memberships. Mahindra Holidays has also restructured its product offerings by discontinuing Zest (for senior citizens) and Mahindra Homestays vertical.

It has been consistently adding 17,000 members in the last two fiscals and currently has a total membership of 165,000. The cost of buying a Club Mahindra membership is in Rs 2-18 lakh range and has increased 10% year on year. Sawhney said the increase is mainly due to inflation.

It has made structural changes in terms of customer acquisition and will largely look at referrals, social/digital and company websites for fresh membership acquisition.

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