Track2Realty Exclusive: Critics who had till very recently criticised the projection of Noida as a corporate city on the grounds that the city lacks commercial activity and an international airport may soon have reasons enough to eat their own words. Scaling up from just being an affordable destination the seemingly poor cousin of Delhi-NCR is today giving its superior peer markets a tough competition in its march to emerge as a landmark corporate hub.
Noida can now boast of luxury and ultra luxury projects, quality office spaces, high end retail spaces in the making and, hold your breath, some of the best hospitality chains redefining the market to a new identity.
Noida is finally getting the attention that it deserves and corporate, leisure and lifestyle option are increasingly making inroads in the city. The city is witness to an interesting phase of corporate evolution where the best of international hotel chains are looking up to this market with renewed interest and most of the developers are either offering their services to these hotel chains or are themselves foraying into full-fledged hospitality business.
While there are already few established operators in midscale and upscale hotel business in the market, a lot of new development that is coming in this segment seems to change the market dynamics altogether. Analysts are hence curious whether Noida is on its way to emerge as India’s Las Vegas in the time to come.
Facts speak for themselves. Hospitality giants like Marriot Hotels, Accor, Renision Courtyard, Sheraton, Four Seasons, Westin Resort, The Lalit Grand, Grand Hyatt all have entered into this market with grand plans. Among the developers right from Brys Group to Supertech and 3C Company to Jaypee Group, it seems all the established developers in the market today endeavour to scale up their market presence and brand positioning with foray into hospitality. As a result, Noida and Greater Noida will have additional more than 4000 rooms by the year 2015, as per a Cushman & Wakefield report.
This raises a fundamental question as to whether Noida will give a tough competition to the established hospitality locations of Delhi-NCR. Analysts tracking the local economy suggest that Noida will not eat into Delhi or Gurgaon market; rather it is going to be accommodation of enhanced demand than stealing from the other. This market is poised to attract some of the new streams of business for the regional economy.
For example, the upcoming hotels in Noida that are getting developed on the expressway are expected to get accommodation or occupancy by tapping into the Agra market as well. Agra will cater and remain a large incentives and meeting markets and this has the potential to gradually shift the tourism market to Noida and Greater Noida. The larger chunk will nevertheless remain to be the commercial market.
Navneet Gaur, Director, Brys Group does not find it surprising that hospitality is the in-thing in Noida, citing reasons from quest for luxury in the city to investors’ interest level and the emerging corporate expansion in the city. According to her, hospitality and real estate have historically shared a symbiotic relation where the real estate players are the ones to create infrastructure and the hospitality chains do manage it at the operational level. However, in Noida the rules of the game are changing and the developers nowadays want to themselves create a sub-brand in hospitality with a business serious plan in mind.
“I would say just two factors, luxury and commerce, has changed the outlook of the city and it is time Noida finally emerges out of the shadow of a low cost market. Emergence of luxury residential property is a great traction point. Moreover, the way multinational companies are increasingly setting up their bases in the city the MICE segment (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) is all set to grow. Once this happens, both inbound and outbound leisure trips will also be in demand. It is precisely this market reality that we as developers want to establish our hospitality vertical as a serious business here,” says Gaur.
Nikhil Hawelia, Managing Director of Hawelia Group also believes that the way Noida is growing the demand may exceed supply even with the projected figure of fresh supply by the next year. He, however, is not sure about the feasibility of developers running the hospitality chains themselves. According to him, the developers in the city must provide the best of infrastructure for the hotels and then hire the best of hospitality chains to catalyst the emergence of Noida as a professional city altogether.
“If only an international airport comes up in the vicinity of Noida (even Dadri) there is no reason why Noida cannot shape up not only as India’s best corporate city but can also be India’s answer to Las Vegas. With an inherent potential to emerge as the best corporate destination, added with the best of infrastructure, Noida has waited for long to have a trigger point that could change the outlook and collective consciousness about Noida. I feel the entry of big ticket hospitality chains have proved to be that catalytic force,” says Hawelia.
Karan Sahoo, Head of Marketing with ATS Group finds the growth of hospitality to have a result of corporate entry in the city. Terming it a conscious decision of the developers to make the city ideal for corporate culture, he points out that with the up-gradation of infrastructural facilities like roads, highways, uninterrupted power supply and business friendly policies Noida-Greater Noida is likely to emerge as commercial and manufacturing destination for leading national and multinational companies.
“Hospitality being a service industry in itself will further enhance the development of such business clusters. Even if Noida does not have an international airport, in the long-term perspective, Noida-Greater Noida business cluster will automatically attract attention to develop an efficient means of communication in Delhi NCR and decongest the existing hubs,” says Sahoo.
Even within the Noida city the pockets of hospitality growth is emerging fast and it seems the hospitality giants have already zeroed in on the locations that suit their hotel business. The area around Sectors 15 and 16 in Noida has emerged as the ideal choice for international hospitality giants such as Renision Courtyard, Sheraton and Four Seasons.
Analysts believe the way Noida has suddenly started attracting the interest level of the corporate sector and the multinational companies there are certain pockets that will establish their claim as the Central Business Districts (CBDs) of the city. Similarly, the Secondary Business Districts are also emerging out of the advent of corporate and hospitality, of late.
Industry estimates suggest that for quite some time there was only one claimant in Atta Market, that is Sector 18, to be called the CBD of Noida. But then Sector 32 also emerged well in due course of time and now Sector 62 is also shaping up well. Then, the sectors along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway are an ideal haven for the commercial activities and the growth of hotel business.
Moreover, the Taj Expressway connectivity to Greater Noida is all set to boost the entire stretch and the region is poised to get all round developed fairly well. With the Taj Expressway connectivity and with some spurt of tourism, Noida will not be just the centre of commercial activity in terms of office space accommodation but hotels will be among the major gainer to flourish in the entire region.