This week witnessed the introduction to Sri Lanka of the largest vacation ownership company outside the USA, namely Club Mahindra, which was introduced by Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL) and Ideal Retreats (Pvt.) Ltd.
Speaking on the occasion, Ideal Group Chairman Nalin Welgama said, “Today, Club Mahindra will join forces with Ideal Group of Companies, the sole agent for Mahindra & Mahindra automobiles in Sri Lanka, to bring to Sri Lankan holidaymakers a host of superlative offers that are truly unbeatable in the leisure sector.”
He added, “If you look at the companies that are the cornerstones of the Ideal group, you will find that its vision clearly identifies diversification into niche fields. Inbound tourism, especially from India, was foremost on our agenda when we incorporated Ideal Retreats. It is at this time that we were also negotiating an alliance with Club Mahindra Holidays to represent them in Sri Lanka and we succeeded in partnering with them. Ideal Retreats will certainly expand its portfolio into numerous facets of hospitality and we aim to be the best and most innovative. In other words, we will be constantly turning a page.” Founded in 1996, MHRIL is the leisure and hospitality arm of the Mahindra group, a US $ 19 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India.
“When Club Mahindra was first introduced in India, it was a new concept and Mahindra was among the first few to identify the opportunity as worldwide the concept was backed by companies who were high on trust, transparency and credibility for which Mahindra was endorsed and known in the market,” said MHRIL Customer Acquisition International Business Head Pankaj Agarwal, speaking on the occasion.
“As of September 30, 2017, MHRIL has ~225000 vacation ownership members and operates 53 resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has ~50,000 members and 32 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Over the years, we have grown exponentially in terms of our global footprint and member additions and today we have affiliations with Resorts Condominium International (RCI), a global holiday exchange network of 4500+ resorts in 100 countries, which is the world’s largest exchange company.”
As to Club Mahindra’s future plans both in Sri Lanka as well as internationally, Agarwal said, “We plan to start with our sales office through Ideal Retreats and look forward to having a Club Mahindra property in Sri Lanka in the coming months. We are already in touch with the OZO group of hotels to start the first tie up for our
Ideal Retreats MD Richard de Zoysa addressing the gathering said, “We will be responsible for promoting membership of Club Mahindra to families, individuals and to the corporate sector. We will initially work in compliance with the strategies set by our principles with a few deviations of our own since we are more aware of the local market trends. We also benefit by the presence of a senior management representative of Club Mahindra who will sit in our offices permanently.”
As to whether the concept of vacation ownership is lucrative and sustainable, de Zoysa said, “It is being introduced to Sri Lanka for the first time and this certainly will generate a lot of enthusiasm. Club Mahindra is perpetually adding on to its 80 plus resorts and this will no doubt sustain the growth in membership and we are confident of achieving a hundred plus membership in our first year.”
Ideal Group Deputy Chairman Aravinda de Silva said that Club Mahindra’s focus was on families and promoting quality time amongst the immediate as well as extended families. “In today’s fast-paced corporate culture, quality family time is fast becoming a thing of the past. Ideal Retreats together with Club Mahindra intends to focus on what is the cornerstone of society, quality family time; hence we are sure that this will be an undoubted success in