WORLD Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) has pumped US$21 million into India's Samhi Hotels in its maiden investment in the country's hotel sector.
The funds come in the form of convertible debentures and will enable Samhi to expand its portfolio in the mid-market segment through developing greenfield hotels and acquisitions in first- and second-tier cities.
Ashish Jakhanwala, managing director and CEO, Samhi Hotels, said: “This investment is an effort to strengthen the tourism infrastructure in India. Besides providing long-term financing, IFC will help us formulate environmental and social standards, and adopt green building design principles.”
Samhi is a privately owned hotel asset company specialising in the development, acquisition and ownership of branded hotels, having partnered with international hotel operators such as Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Accor and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
It has seven operational hotels in Greater Noida, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune.
Last month, India’s Ministry of Tourism announced a tie-up with IFC to roll out a five-year strategy to rejuvenate the Buddhist heritage circuit across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 18, 2014).
India’s potential for the mid-market sector is well-known and, according to HVS’ 2013 Hotels in India Trends & Opportunities report, budget and mid-market hotels account for nearly half of all hotel rooms in the country.