NEW YORK CITY A former chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association AH&LA chairman is partnering with India’s Auromatrix Group to launch Advaya Hospitality. John Russell says his new company aims to bring “the next generation of lifestyle hotels” to major cities worldwide.
Advaya will develop, acquire, franchise and operate full-service and select-service hotels. “The timing is right,” Russell says. “The economy is starting to come back, and there are many properties and sites out there that present outstanding opportunities.”
The brands will launch simultaneously in the United States and India, starting in the second quarter, and then will expand to cities elsewhere around the globe. Advaya is targeting key cities including New York City, Miami, Atlanta and Phoenix in the United States and Chennai, Tuticorin, Kakinada, Vizag and Vellore in India. Later expansion is planned with an eye on China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Brazil.
“We are increasingly becoming a transparent world, and there is demand for tremendous lifestyle products in economic centers around the globe,” Russell says. “Advaya will make the most of these opportunities with exciting new approaches for expansion in the U.S. and internationally.”
Advaya’s business concept is to merge all aspects of hospitality in one multifaceted platform. The company will acquire, develop, franchise, manage and consult across the full hospitality spectrum: land acquisition, design, construction, hotel management and tech support. It also will serve as a primary supplier to the hospitality industry.
Having the assets required to fuel international growth, Advaya is committed to building 10 hotels in India over a two-year period starting in the second quarter. The company also will create and manage a U.S. fund for real estate acquisitions to accelerate brand growth. “During these next 18 months, we will see an excellent environment for acquiring hotels particularly in gateway cities,” Russell says. “With access to capital, Advaya will aggressively leverage these outstanding opportunities for growth.”
The company will acquire, franchise and build full-service and select-service sister brands. In the United States, newly constructed properties will have 60 to 155 guestrooms, a restaurant, bar and lounge, meeting space, gym and business center. The hotels promise an upbeat vibe, the latest technology and fun, unexpected design. They will cater to business and leisure travelers with a passion for music, technology, design and cuisine.
“Our hotels will be a lavish departure from others in their price category,” says Chief Development Officer Chris Jones. “The bars and lounges will be destinations in themselves. With their rich textures, vibrant bars, and lobbies that are great places to meet friends and relax, these hotels will be a refreshing new experience and fun interjection to business travel.”
Strong leadership core
The U.S. division is led by Russell, a founding partner of Nylo Hotels and former chairman and CEO of the hotel division of Cendant Corp., now Wyndham Worldwide. He is joined by Jones, who cofounded Nylo and gave that brand its unique urban style. General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer David Klein has represented leading hotel companies worldwide. Chief Real Estate Services and Development Officer David Young launched the international hotel division for hospitality franchise systems at Cendant as part of the team that spurred the group’s explosive growth in the 1990s.
The U.S. group is joined by senior executives with one of India’s top lodging companies, Chennai-based Auromatrix. Launched 20 years ago, Auromatrix is a diversified technology- and hospitality-centric company with more than 750 employees in India, Sri Lanka, Iceland and the United States. Serving as Advaya directors, the India group is led by Auromatrix Founder, Chairman and CEO Kumar Sitaraman, and members of his senior executive team.
Along with Sitaraman, Advaya’s Indian group includes: Udday Kumar Krishnan, Shekar Sitaraman, Krishnan Sitaraman and Bala Kamallakharan. Acting as managing principal in the United States for the India group is Sonny Khalil, a real estate executive and a Chicago resident of nearly two decades.
“There are incredible synergies between the U.S. and Indian groups, making Advaya one of the most versatile global networks our industry has seen,” Sitaraman says. “This partnership creates an exceptionally knowledgeable company catering across the board to all hospitality needs, from real estate and development to hotel operations and more. I am delighted to be part of this venture.”
Related Advaya ventures
Advaya also will assist in the management and growth of hospitality-related businesses, including a mix of eco-resorts, contemporary business hotels, destination restaurants and furniture, fixtures and equipment companies serving the lodging industry.
Sparsa Resorts is a unique portfolio of eco-conscious properties set in leading spiritual, adventure and vacation locales. Among the Sparsa destinations is Pasikuddah on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast, which beckons with Buddhist temples and elephant wildlife safaris. Kanyakumari, at India’s southern tip, is edged by mountains and the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
Hospitality Furniture Collection serves as a strategic partner for Advaya businesses. This Burlingame, California-based furniture, fixtures, and equipment company has supplied product to such leading brands as Westin, Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont properties worldwide. HF Collection combines the skills of artisans and master craftsmen with precision technology to produce high-quality furniture at an affordable price.