India is undergoing a massive change when it comes to travelling destination; that's exactly the kind of message that came through during the JV announcement between HMS Host & Lite Bite Foods, at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mansingh Road in Delhi. With the polish of the premises, and a healthy generosity of food and information, announcements towards changing the domestic travel landscape were announced. Highway travel, airport travel, and even train travel will never be the same, and the companies mentioned, are trying to create 'One-stop-Shops' at various destinations where shopping to eating, and even refuelling can be done with ease. Stoppages on long journeys is going to be history.
Walter Seib (HMS Host CEO) and Amit Burman (Lite Bite Foods Chairman)
HMS Host is a worldwide name when it comes to production and distribution of foods, specific to the local taste palette, across airports, railway stations, and even highways. Unlike what is seen in India traditionally, travel in abroad nations, is a lot more happening and an organized scene, where by one-stop-shops for refuelling, eating, shopping, or even over-night stays are looked at along various spots of the journey. India is now opening up to this concept, and since it is something that has big potential considering the road travel we Indians take up, HMS is patterning with Lite Bite to create these food and other utility retailing destinations, for tapping into this market. Amit Burman quipped, " Rs 100-crore in 3 to 4 years in investments is what we are looking at, across railways, airports, and highways as main targets." That's the kind of scaling one can hope for.
The entire gamut of executives from both the companies
There seems to be a general gloom & doom around, especially after the world economics changed for the worse in recent times; Greek crisis, Chinese Yen devaluation, Indian share market crash, and the likes. Yet it seems, that India isnt really off the radar of enterprises for investments. Entering into 51% (HMS) to 49% (Lite Bite Foods) shareholding agreement, this JV is in for some serious business, as emphasized by Walter Seib, CEO of HMS Host, " The world is moving east, and we need to move there." With this mindset, all the infrastructure development taking place will be really strongly looked at, especially the railways. " As railway stations transform like what airports, and privatization takes place along the way, consumers will be spending more time there," Amit Burman added when probed on the infrastructure aspects of the project.
The scene before the announcements were made
The other thought which perhaps has HMS Host excited is the idea of integration, as Walter Seib quipped, " Integration is the way to go. It makes better sense." But the other aspect of business, which a lot of people seem to be gunning after these days, is transparency and Walter was strongly behind it mentioning, " Transparency is the word of the future."
Some Truffle pudding to satisfy hunger pangs
'Make in India' is something the government of India is pushing big time since 2014, as it looks to revive the growth story of the economy. Local sourcing is a big part of it, and HMS has that too in its fold. " We think global, but source local," is what Walter said. What this translates into, is that local business such as sellers of raw material for food, etc, will be a part of the giant setup, especially as it looks from now. So, to conclude, travelling around the country on bikes, and those long family trips are just about to get much better.
Some treats at the venue:
Some nice and healthy plum tomatoes with
homemade feta and balsamic vinegar
Addiction to small meals are salads are a given, and openly admitted!
Green vegetables pesto and micro-greens
Country roast chicken, mayonnaise potatoes and rosemary gus.