Bollywood actor Bhumi Pednekar
Image: Narinder Nanu / AFP
Bollywood actor Bhumi Pednekar has invested into the hospitality sector, joining hands with Chrome Asia Hospitality for Kaia, the group’s first boutique hotel in Goa.
Founded by Pawan Shahri, Dhaval Udeshi and Nikita Shahri, Chrome Hospitality has a multi-brand portfolio that runs brands like Shy!, Demy, Eve in Mumbai, and recorded a turnover of over Rs43 crore in FY23 with a year-on-year growth rate of 3x. In three years since its launch, the group co-owns eight restaurants and consults with 12 in the city. It opened five outlets in 2022, while, in 2023, it launched its flagship brand Shy! In Mumbai and made its foray into luxury living with Kaia in Ashvem, Goa.
“F&B and hospitality are two sectors that have always excited me. I am a foodie, and I love travelling,” Pednekar tells Forbes India
. “When this collaboration came along, what excited me most was the property was located in Goa, where I belong to and where I’ve spent many years of my life travelling. Plus, it was a brand that championed sustainability, something that is close to my heart.”
The actor adds that her expectation out of the investment is to build a one-of-a-kind destination that would offer luxury along with sustainable practices. “We want to move to other unique locations too that wouldn’t be easily accessible to people. We hope that through our brand, we can create awareness around these places,” she says.
Pawan Shahri, founder of Chrome Hospitality, says Kaia is looking to tap into young, upwardly mobile travellers who typically put up in premium hotels or Airbnbs. “We want to introduce a new segment that will focus on eco-conscious living and will offer localised experiences,” says Shahri. “Bhumi’s philosophy of slow living aligns with our brand vision.” While the Goa hotel opened its doors in June, Shahri wants to scale the brand to five locations in the next three years, eyeing geographies like Ranthambore, Coorg and the Kerala backwaters, among others.
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Shahri’s convictions about setting up a luxury hotel venture would be bolstered by post-Covid F&B turning “experience-driven” and the luxury hotel market in India going through an upswing. According to a report by Maximize Market, the luxury hotel market, which was worth $23.69 billion in 2020, is expected have a 8.92 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2021 and 2027, reaching almost $46.93 billion in revenues.
F&B ventures are a soft spot for her, admits Pednekar, who has already invested in a few such companies. That apart, she looks at whether the companies are “smart enough to adapt to the new ways of living”.
“When it comes to investments, I look for companies that look to go green, and also how I gel with the founders—whether I resonate with their vision and practices. So, along with making money, I look to make an impact with my investments,” she says.