Vilas Pawar has been appointed Lemon Tree Hotels’ franchise division’s CEO, while Shivali Verma will be its vice president, commercial & franchise services and Rajinder Kapur will be its vice president for finance & legal
Lemon Tree Hotels Limited has announced its new franchise division to monetise its existing brands and expand its network of franchised hotels.
For this, it has made three new appointments — Vilas Pawar who will be the division’s CEO; Shivali Verma who will be its vice president, commercial & franchise services and Rajinder Kapur who will be its vice president for finance & legal.
Patanjali G. Keswani, chairman and managing director of the listed company, said, “In keeping with our asset-light growth strategy, we have created the franchise division, which will be led by Pawar and supported by Verma and Kapur.”
Lemon Tree will compete with brands like Choice, Wyndham and several others in this space. Of its 86 hotels in its portfolio, 40 are owned or leased and the rest 46 are managed or franchised. It currently operates about 8400 rooms in India and abroad, under its various brands like Aurika Hotels & Resorts, Lemon Tree Premier, Lemon Tree Hotels, Red Fox Hotels, Keys Prima, Keys Select and Keys Lite.
In an earlier interview with Mint, Keswani had said, the company, which operates in the upscale, midscale and economy segments, will take the franchise route to expand in smaller cities since about 80% of hotels today in India were either unbranded or standalone.
Pawar has worked for 36 years with hospitality companies like Taj, Hyatt, Radisson and TGI Fridays. His last stint was director and CEO of Choice Hotels International for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Verma was previously heading sales, marketing and brand management for Choice Hotels India as VP, sales and marketing and has about 25 years of work experience. Kapur was last vice president, finance and legal for Choice Hotels India. He has about 33 years of work experience.
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