Starwood is focusing its attention on the Indian subcontinent. The company has announced that it will relocate its global headquarters from the U.S. to India in March 2015 for a month-long immersion. According to MarketWatch, Starwood President & CEO Frits van Paasschen and the company's top executives will split their time between Mumbai and Delhi, conducting day-to-day business.
"This third leadership relocation, post the company's successful stints in China (2011) and Dubai (2013), aims to foster relationships in key growth markets," the Hindu Business Line reports. "During the month, the team will travel to cities throughout India to meet with associates, customers, owners and prospective developers, and also throughout South Asia to Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives where Starwood is seeing many new growth opportunities unfold.
“This is a particularly exciting time for us to relocate to India," van Paasschen tells MarketWatch. "Its renewed focus on travel infrastructure is much needed, as travel demand is fueled by economic growth and a population expected to overtake China by 2030. We all know of India as a hotbed of technological innovation and global services. Coupled with the rise in entrepreneurship and investment, millions of people are joining its middle class every year. And, of course, this means millions of new travelers. At the same time, India is both unique and immensely diverse. Our extended time there will allow us to immerse ourselves and appreciate new approaches to the business of hospitality.”
Starwood made a similar move back in 2011 when it moved its global headquarters to China for a month.
Starwood first appeared in India in 1973 with the opening of its Sheraton brand in Mumbai. Today it currently operates 40 hotels in India with another 36 hotels under development. Across South Asia, Starwood is on track to reach its goal of 100 hotels under operation or development in the region by 2016.