NEW YORK (TIP): Hoteliers of Indian origin, who independently own over 8,000 properties in America valued at around $54 billion, are now keen on investing in various sectors in India including hospitality, healthcare and education. “Hospitality is where our members see the biggest value when making investments in India. For us, it will be very easy to replicate the business model that we have followed successfully in America for so many years. There is a huge requirement of rooms in India and the budget hotel model that we are looking at is different from the ones already there in India.

For us budget properties mean quality hotels, which are safe, secure and clean and the opportunity in India, especially smaller cities, is huge,” Alkesh Patel, chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) of America, said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event in Kochi. Patel is president of the familyowned Trupadi Inc., in Washington state, which manages branded and boutique properties and strip malls. “This is a very good time for Indian origin hoteliers in America to diversify their portfolio and enter the Indian market. In fact, it’s also a good time for business persons in India to tap opportunities in the US in the hospitality sector for a good return on investment through partnerships with us,” Patel added.

Indian American hoteliers are looking at entering the Indian hospitality market through five-star management deals, new builds and conversions of old properties, both in smaller cities and metros. “Some of our members, such as the Lords Hotels group, have already made significant investments in India over the last couple of years. We are looking at more investments running into millions of dollars in the coming months. We run thousands of properties in America and have also been promoting the larger theme of tourism in India at our hotels to our guests in America,” Patel said. While many of the AAHOA members, who have their roots in Gujarat, have already started ventures in their home state, they are looking at investment opportunities all across India.