Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ginger Hotels : Luxury of Simplicity

Brand : Ginger
Company: Roots Corporation ( Taj Group)


Brand Count : 209

Recently I was intrigued by a simple ad of a hotel in Television with the tagline " Please Help Yourself" because seldom we see hotels advertise and decided to read more about the brand Ginger. There was many surprises in store for me about this brand. Ginger is the new version of Indione chain of hotels touted as the budget hotel chain from the Taj Group. Owned by the TATA's Ginger brand is expected to shake up the hospitality industry for the better.

Indione launched in Bangalore in June 2004 was Taj's first foray into Budget hotels. The hotel chain was expected to tap in the growing population of Business and leisure travelers and expected to satisfy the need for a hotel that offers service at affordable price. The Bangalore property was a test market of this concept.The test market results was encouraging and the Bangalore hotel averaged 85% occupancy rate. After testing and fine tuning the process and service, the company nationally launched the chain of hotels.

Tata's however decided not to use Indione for the chain of hotels ( for some reasons). The brand Ginger was chosen to this new chain of hotels. The brand Ginger was developed with the help of Internationally renowned Brand consultancy firm Landor Associates. Ginger brand radiates simple unique,basic, lighthearted,very different, Indian, innovation as its Brand values. The company wanted the brand to radiate Freshness and Ginger communicates that freshness.
Although the concept of budget hotels looks attractive, it is not easy to sustain the cost and the service expectations. Hence Taj conducted an extensive consumer research to fine tune the service delivery and the ambiance.The national rollout of Ginger Hotel was on March 2006. The brand already has its presence in 6 locations.

Ginger differentiates itself from other budget hotels by its SMART BASICS feature. Smart Basics concept was co-created by Ginger with the help of the Renowned Management Guru CK Prahlad. Smart Basics provide a value proposition of a different kind. It represents a Next Generation category that signifies Simplicity, convenience,informality,style ,modernity and Affordability.The hotel offers a mix of high end facilities with an affordable price tag. Ginger offers a customer following facilities: A/C, electronic lock,comfortable beds, work area, 17" Flat TV,Direct Dial with STD, Gym,cyber cafe etc at a rate of Rs 999 for single and 1175 for double room.The hotels operate with skeletal staff but is highly process oriented so that most of the necessities of the customers are taken care. Some of the services are outsourced but available to the customer on call. As the tagline says " Please Help Yourself", most of the services are self service ( to reduce cost) including check in. The trick is to be process driven so that customers will just have to follow the process and things will be taken care by the process.That also gives the company an option to charge for specific services demanded for the customers.

Ginger effectively fills a gap that existed in the hospitality sector, a need for a budget hotel that delivers reasonable/assured service. Ginger helps that decision making easier for the customers.
Ginger is an example of Masstige service and holds huge potential in the Indian market. The budget hotel market in India is estimated to be around Rs 6000 crore and Ginger is all set to conquer this market.

Source: hospitalitynet.org,gingerhotels.com,businessline, economictimes