Lifestyle Hotels Are a Sleeping Giant in India, and Ennismore Wants In

Skift Take

Ennismore doesn’t have any hotels in India right now, but Sharan Pasricha said deals are cooking and the market is ready.

India could well be the breeding ground for lifestyle hotels.

That is the view of Sharan Pasricha, the founder and co-CEO of Ennismore, who is a prominent figure in hospitality segment.

The majority of India’s largest hotel companies are classic luxury brands: Taj dates back to 1902, Oberoi to 1934, and Leela to 1986, for example. But a growing middle class, developing infrastructure, and high levels of entrepreneurship in India could create a new breed of hotel firm.

“I look at this place as an incredible opportunity,” said Pasricha at the Skift India Summit 2024 Wednesday. “It has the most exciting middle class. There’s an opportunity to create brands within India. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next Ennismore, the next wave of lifestyle brands, could be born in India.”

Ennismore is a joint venture between Pasricha and Accor, and it has 150 open hotels and another 160 in the works. The Ennismore Group began with The Hoxton hotel in London’s trendy Shoreditch area, and added independent brands to its portfolio, including Mama Shelter, 25hours, SLS, and more.

Ennismore in India?

With a focus on cool restaurants and appealing to the local neighborhood, Ennismore has a strong footing in markets across Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East. In India, however, it does not have a single hotel.

Pasricha said this could change as soon as this year when new signings could be announced.

“I’d love to build a hotel in Mumbai, in Delhi, in Goa; that would be really cool,” he said. “To my mind, every lifestyle hotel requires real localization. We’d love the opportunity to use one of our brands in the Indian context. We have a few deals cooking, maybe one or two this year in India.”

If and when Ennismore does enter India, it would do so with a strong focus on serving the local population while staying true to its principles of striving for stellar design and top-notch food and beverage.

“A few companies have tried to hire tattooed bartenders and call it a lifestyle hotel,” Pasricha said. “Ennismore is founder-led and founder-built. Mama Shelter is one of those brands; Hoxton is another. Our stable of brands is really rooted in a purpose.”

“You need well-designed products, a good price point, and a team who connect with your ethos,” he added.

Owing much of its appeal to the umbrella of founders it works with, Ennismore remains open to more conversations in the future with other entrepreneurs in the sector.

Pasricha said: “There’s no way you can build a global business on your own. You need to align with founders, entrepreneurs, and other businesses.”

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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