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Business Connect is back with its exclusive monthly edition, ‘CFO of the year 2022’ in which we have featured out performing financial leaders in the business world. Our editorial team had an interesting session with the CFO & Head of Sustainability of Ascott Limited – India, Mr. Prasanna Raghavan. He shared insights about the company & the plans of Ascott in India.

About the Company: The Ascott Limited is an award-winning, international lodging brand with a global portfolio of over 900 properties across 40 countries. In India, we own and operate the Somerset Residence and Citadines in Chennai in addition to a managed property in Mumbai. We are expanding our footprint across the country, with multiple openings in the coming years.

Ascott acquired the Oakwood brand in July 2022, strengthening our position as the world’s leading player and operator of hotel apartments, expanding our portfolio to over 153,000 units across 900 properties. With our expertise in the ‘extendedstay’ space and a track record in delivering excellent returns to our partners, our core brands –Ascott The Residence, Somerset Serviced Residence, and CitadinesApart’hotelcontinue to stay as our prime growth vehicle. There is also a considerable peak in demand for co-living spaces within the urbanized, first-tier cities of the region. To cater to these travelers, our co-brand ‘Lyf’ offers a dynamic environment for guests to forge connections through a strong sense of community.”

He also informed us that “The Ascott Limited has opened 20 properties with more than 4,500 units in H1 2022 alone, a 56% YOY increase. In India, with the Oakwood acquisition, Ascott has added 4 properties to the current portfolio across Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune., We are also excited to launch four more properties, Ascott Ireo City & Citadines Paras Square in Gurugram, CitadinesArporaNagoa&Citadines Calangute in Goa. In addition, Oakwood will add 6 new properties across Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Vizag. Our growth curve is a testimony of our commitment to providing our guests with the highest quality of lodging, wherever they live, with Ascott.”

He further adds, “At Ascott, our major focus remains the long-stay segment, but also perfectly caters to leisure and corporate guests, featuring luxurious global amenities that appeal to vacationers and staycationers round the year. The property locations provide opportunities to tap into new source markets for business. Our guests don’t just return to a serviced space, they come home to familiar faces, welcoming surroundings, and the assurance that their needs will be taken care of.”

Ascott has been a consecutive recipient of the World Travel Awards globally, including MEAT and India. The Somerset Greenways Chennaiwonthe brand award, and ‘India’s Leading Serviced Apartments 2022’ for the 4th time. Oakwood Residence Kapil Hyderabad bagged the ‘Today’s Traveller 2022’ award in the Premium Lifestyle Serviced Apartments category and the ‘South Asia Travel Awards’ for Best Serviced Apartments. Citadines OMR was ranked among the top 5 best hotels for business travelers in Chennai by CNBC.

Ascott is heavily focused on ESG & sustainability. Clean wind energy & solar panels power our properties. Wooden key cards have replaced plastic. Electric vehicle charging stations, and sustainable water solutions are being rolled out. Sustainability at no compromise to guest comfort.

Before signing off, he says he enjoys working with new-age thinkers and their ideologies toward a safer, more sustainable future. He believes that organizations should work with teams that complement their goals. Instead of hiring the best resources, hiring talent with the right attitude,and passion for work will serve business interests in the long run.

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