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Postcard Hotels' Kapil Chopra wants to build an iconic luxury hotel group in a hurry and from scratch, but without risking it all

1 Jam, 49 Menit

Postcard Hotels' Kapil Chopra wants to build an iconic luxury hotel group in a hurry and from scratch, but without risking it all

16 Mei 2024

Kapil Chopra, the founder and CEO of Postcard Hotels told me the following statistics. Of the 10 million foreign tourists who visit India each year, roughly 10% - one million - are classified as luxury.  “So we've kind of made entire Rajasthan and Kerala as two big sectors for one million tourists,” he said. In comparison domestic trips made by Indians was around 2.3 billion a year, a few years ago.  Even if just 1% of those could be upgraded to luxury travel, that’s 23 million. Chopra wants to make that happen with Postcard Hotels, his luxury boutique hotel chain. Launched in 2018 with 3 hotels, it has 9 today, and 23 in the works.  He wants them all to be in what he calls the “transformational” category. What’s that you ask? The first level is commodity. A bed, an air conditioner and a bathroom. The second level represent hotels that offer differentiated “products”. The third level are the luxury hotels come, differentiated by exceptional service. The fourth level is experiential. It’s what Airbnb does when it offers you the ability to stay in Paris at a place that overlooks the Eiffel Tower. The fifth level is for “transformative experiences”. “When you combine all of them. If you're able to give a good product, great world class service, great experiential experiences, soak in the destination. If you add all of this together, it becomes transformational,” says Chopra. He lists three luxury hotel brands in the fifth category – Aman Resorts, Six Senses and One & Only. “And I looked at them and said, what is common?  They were all founder-led. And the founders were amazing. But the founders all lost control of the brands they had built,” he says. Kapil Chopra doesn’t want to join that group. Kapil also has strong opinions on why he believes the luxury hotel business has become sterile and unexciting over the years, and how Postcard is changing that image. Apart from Postcard, Kapil Chopra is also the founder of the table reservation service, discovery and payment platform, EazyDiner. Over the course of our conversation he also talks about: How luxury travel and travelers are evolving in India Why did he choose to leave the Oberoi Group at the height of his career How he’s become calmer after starting Postcard Hotels How he’s doing fundraising, investments and expansion in way that doesn’t endanger the parent company Why ESOPs and wealth creation needs to be more prevalent in the hospitality and travel industries Welcome to First Principles–The weekly leadership podcast from The Ken. Let’s get started. ____________________ If you love listening to First Principles we’re sure you will enjoy reading our Sunday newsletter aptly titled First Principles as well. Sign up here, it’s free. Also write to us with your feedback, suggestions and guests you would want to see on First Principles. And if you'd like to listen to the First Principles Summer Playlist you'll find it here! ____________________ Also have you checked out The Ken’s new app. It’s packed with a lot of new features. Read all about it here. If you haven’t downloaded it already here are the links to both iOS and android.


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