Tata-controlled Taj group of hotels, Indias
largest hotels chain, has appointed the US-based
Landor Associates, the WPP groups pre-eminent
branding and design consultancy firm, to undertake
a brand restructuring of the group.
The Taj group has 65 properties in the country
and overseas, and has a presence in three segments
of thehospitality sector luxury, business and
While the luxury division is the largest unit
of the group accounting for close to half of the
groups revenue, business hotels will be its next
big focus over the next three years.
In addition, the group is also looking at acquiring
upmarket hotels in leading cities globally to
boost the Taj image.
Jyoti Narang, chief operating officer of the Taj
groups business hotels, said, The company has
appointed Landor for the hotels brand architecture
Landor, a division of Young & Rubicam Inc,
is part of the WPP Group. Its clients include
BP, Unilever, FedEx, Land Rover, Microsoft, Procter
& Gamble, Siberia Airlines, Austrian Airlines
among others. Landor provides a complete end to
end solutions in terms of branding and designing.
The Taj groups move is in line with the practice
followed by international hospitality chains that
have distinct brands for various categories of
hotels, especially in the luxury segment where
the brand is a hallmark of product and service
For example, Six Continents owns brands such as
Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Parkroyal, and InterContinental,
or the Carlson group owns the Regent, Radisson
and Country Inn brands.
For the group, most of its hotels are under the
Taj umbrella. Be it Taj Residency in Bangalore,
Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, Taj Exotica in Goa
The group views the Taj brand as a core asset
of its business, which has certain standards,
values and service quality levels. Part of the
plan is to restrict the Taj brand name to super-premium
properties under the luxury and leisure segments.
For others, which would include a range of business
hotels and others that do not fit the top-end
bill, the Taj tag may be withdrawn.
The group which is planning a major presence in
the budget hotel category, will also have a separate
The Taj group is planning to add another 12 hotels
in next three years as part of its expansion plans
in the business hotels category.
Narang added that the expansion will be through
a mix of acquisitions and management contracts
in the domestic market.
The plan is to up the groups presence in metros,
mini-metros and smaller towns. This would lead
to an increase of about 30 hotels in the near
The business division of the group currently has
18 hotels spread across 17 destinations in the
country and has 5 hotels internationally.
The group does not have any immediate plan to
expand in this category overseas. This is because
of the groups strategy to be a global player
focusing mainly on premium properties.