The more than
100-year-old Indian hotel chain, Taj Hotels, Resorts &
Palaces, is looking to grow its presence in North America, a direct
response to efforts by U.S.-based hotel chains to increase their
market share overseas.
“For 30 years we managed to keep the Indian market all to
ourselves,” said Raymond Bickson, Taj Hotels’ managing director and
CEO. “But now that all these international chains have moved into
our backyard, it has forced us to expand outward. If we want to be
a global player, we have to go where they are.”
Currently, Taj has a portfolio of 58 properties, including 18
outside of India. Of those, just The Pierre in New York City is in
the North American market. The company took over that hotel in July
2005, ousting Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts from a multiyear
Bickson says he is most eager to repeat the success of the
Pierre acquisition. “We want to go from an $800 million company to
$2 billion company in the next two years,” he said, noting that the
chain now is looking to invest in resorts on the West Coast.
“We think we are an attractive alternative to existing brands
that are out there,” Bickson added.