NEW DELHI: Hospitality major Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc will relocate its global headquarters from the US to India in March 2015 for a month-long period as the company seeks to enhance its operations here.
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 from India which has immense potential for outbound travel, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide said in a statement.
Commenting on the significance of shifting, van Paasschen said: "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 travellers."
He further said: "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."
During the month, the Starwood team will travel to cities throughout India to meet with associates, customers, owners and prospective developers, including cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Kochi, and also throughout South Asia to Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives where it sees new growth opportunities unfold, Starwood said.
"With South Asia as our home base, we'll be within a five-hour flight from nearly 40 per cent of our global pipeline for new hotels," van Paasschen said.
This follows the company's relocations to China in 2011 and Dubai in 2013. This third leadership move underscores Starwood's unique approach to cultivating a global culture and fostering relationships in key growth markets, the company said.
As a company with operations in over 100 countries, "we at Starwood know that there is no substitute for witnessing firsthand this huge transformation," van Paasschen added.
As the company looks at these growth markets, it will explore how to create opportunities for the thousands of people who will enter the global workforce through Starwood, he added.
Starwood currently operates 40 hotels in India with another 36 hotels under development.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc has nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties.