Category Archives: Business

Coorg/Kodagu business news.

The Spa at Club Mahindra

Svaastha – the Harmony Spa, was inaugurated at Club Mahindra yesterday by none other than the Mahindra Group honch, Mr.Anand Mahindra.
Svaastha is a 9000 sq ft spa with six indoor & two outdoor spa therapy rooms, a gym, beauty salon, relaxation, yoga and meditation deck.
Watch out! Sudarshan Kriya is coming to Coorg as Mahindra has tied up with the spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living for Yoga and Meditation classes.

The Luxury spa may well add to the bottom line of Mahindra Holidays.

If you thought this is the first spa in Coorg, then you are mistaken.
Amanvana Spa Resort at Kushalnagar is the first spa commissioned in Coorg.

Orange County to expand beyond Coorg.

By Gayatri Vijaykumar

About Orange County
Orange County, the brand name of Orange County Resorts and Hotels, a public limited company is part of the Ramapuram Group. Orange County, Coorg is the flagship property of the group. From 2002, Orange County, Coorg has consistently achieved the “RCI Gold Crown Award” year after year for surpassing international standards of excellence in Resort Quality and Hospitality.

An epitome of luxury, Orange County luxury resorts continue to attract guests in search of an experience which is true to the spirit of the land they are located in. George T Ramapuram, managing director of Orange County Luxury resorts speaks about the company’s future plans as well as his vision for the hospitality industry.

The Orange County luxury resorts function around a core theme which is clearly stated in the words of its managing director, George T Ramapuram, who says, “Our vision is to be the most sought after ‘true to the land of origin’ experience in every product we offer. Our mission is also to provide an exquisite holiday experience, while preserving the purity of nature and culture of the land.” Focusing on the high end luxury segment, Orange County luxury resorts has grown from a single property in Coorg, Karnataka. In 2007, the group set up Orange County, Kabini, its second property.

Focus India

The group has already chalked out its plans for Karnataka. According to Ramapuram, Orange County Resorts and Hotels plans to set up three more properties in the next four years. “We have already acquired land in Hampi, Karwar and Bangalore and plan to set up properties in these areas by 2012,” he said. Eco friendly operations are a core value for the group. “We believe in operating in an eco friendly manner, hence we mostly use eco friendly material wherever we can. We have discarded plastic as much as possible and avoid plastic carry bags, using paper carry bags instead as much as possible.” According to Ramapuram, Orange County promotes eco friendliness amongst the guests and have taken this up as a campaign. The properties use wind-generated energy from their own windmills. Solid waste management is also practiced.

Orange County Luxury resorts has almost frozen on its future plans. “We wish to have five resorts by 2012 and seven by 2020. However, the locations have not been finalised as yet,” Ramapuram reveals. The group is planning to invest approximately Rs 160 crore for the three properties. According to Ramapuram, the properties will be renovated and upgraded on a regular basis. “As the years go by, requirements change. As time goes by and more eco friendly technology and automation comes in, we will be forced to review all our projects and upgrade them.” Orange County, Coorg is already undergoing renovation and the work is expected to be completed by October 2008. “The look and feel of the properties will change and will be more in tune with the spirit of the land,” explains Ramapuram.

According to Ramampuram, the Orange County brand vision is aimed at the luxury resort segment. “However, we might start some ancillary services to cater to the luxury segment. The high end clientele that we cater to do not want to go through the hassle of arranging their travel plans; thus, we might consider starting ground handling, airport transfers and tour operations for our guests,” he reveals.

Way ahead

Ramapuram believes that the travel industry is growing in leaps and bounds and will continue growing at a tremendous pace in the years to come. According to him, the inbound market has grown to 4.3 million last year from 2.6 million; this segment is expected to grow at least six times by 2020. Ramapuram also envisages that the high end segment, in particular in the inbound market and more so in the domestic market is expected to grow. Ramapuram also foresees a growth in the mid-market segment. “More people have access to disposable income and do not have any hassles in spending this income on leisure activities,” explains Ramapuram. He also predicts that more hospitality players would migrate into the high end segment. However, he adds that there is a shortage of supply to meet this growing demand.

“If demand keeps spiraling up and prices in the high end segment keep increasing, people would prefer travelling abroad. Hence we would have to focus on developing more properties to cater to this demand,” cautions Ramapuram. This would also mean that there will be an increased demand for personnel.

“At the current rate of attrition, there will be a shortage of manpower. However, by 2020 most hospitality organisations will have their own trained pool to pick from. We have training programs for our staff too,” he states.

Ramapuram feels that as one climbs higher up in the luxury resort segment, trends will focus more on exclusivity with lesser requirements. “Higher up the ladder one climbs, people look for quietness and wish to experience the spirit of the land. As we go into the higher end segments, we find that there are more FITs who practice responsible travel. People in this segment are generally more eco conscious,” explains Ramapuram.

Achieving the vision

“I believe that people who appreciate the ‘true to the land experience’ of a destination should be focused on the niche segment rather than the masses. Goa is a classic example of the negative effects of mass tourism. We have to assess the carrying capacity of any place and arrive at a balance to avoid any problems. We stand to lose out on our culture if we do not control the numbers,” cautions Ramapuram. Opportunities should be given to those tourists who wish to experience and enjoy the feel of a place, believes Ramapuram. He feels that in order to tap the potential of the country without harming its culture, foreign visitors should be able to experience India in its natural form. “I have noticed that people who have travelled a lot go for experience rather than thrills and that is what I would like to target. Our country has a vibrant culture and we should be able to tap that and work on the potential. Our art forms are a wonderful experience to foreigners and we should showcase it in its originality,” explains Ramapuram. In order to achieve this vision, Ramapuram said that Orange County luxury resorts will focus on providing its guests with the true to the land experience and will ensure that the environment is not tampered with in the process.

Source: Express Hospitality

Govt to acquire Jamma Malai lands in Kodagu | Thursday February 15 2007| SOMWARPET:

The State Government will acquire the Jamma Malai lands in Kodagu district and will send a proposal to the Union Government under CAMPA developmental works action plan and will take steps to provide compensation if the Union Government releases funds, said Forest Minister C Chennigappa.

He informed this in a written answer to Somwarpet legislator B A Jeevijaya during the Legislature session. To another question posed by Jeevijaya, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy informed that the State Government has released Rs 45.96 lakh for the Harangi-Somwarpet drinking water project.

The Union Government has released Rs 45.96 lakh and Rural development and Panchayati Raj Department Rs 112 lakh for implementing Harangi-Somwarpet Drinking Water Project. These details were released to the media by MLA BA Jeevijaya.

He also informed that there is no proposal pending before the Government on establishing an IT Park in Kodagu. To another question, PWD Minister H D Revanna informed that the road from Shirangala to Makutta will be repaired on a priority basis.

He also informed that the Government is verifying a proposal for upgrading Basavanakoppa-Beetikatte road as district major road and upgrading Shanivarasanthe-Sakaleshpura road as State Highway.

To another question raised by B A Jeevijaya, Water Resource Minister K S Eshwarappa informed that the government will not rehabilitate seepage affected Janardhan Halli village following a report of Mysore Divisional Commissioner that if drains were dug to keep homes dry, no rehabilitation is necessary. He said Kattepura village will be rehabilitated by shifting to Yelakaner rehabilitation colony.

Rural Development Minister C M Udasi informed that under Prime Ministers’ Gram Sadak Yojana, the State Government is getting Rs 105 crore annually for repairing roads.

The roads have been repaired already and the government will release the second instalment after 60 percent of work is completed. A fresh proposal of Rs 151.85 crore has been submitted to the Union Government.

To another question of legislator B A Jeevijaya, Education Minister Basavaraja Horatti answered that the State Government is waiting for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from Union Defence Ministry to establish a Sainik School in Kudige near Somwarpet.

Tourism-cum-coffee fest in Madikeri on April 15

Madikeri Chambers of Commerce and Industry along with Coorg Eco-Tourism Promotion Council are jointly organising the Coorg Tourism-cum-coffee festival at Madikeri on April 15. 
This event will provide a forum for the tourism industry and the plantation sector, including home-stay ventures to explore joint opportunities. 
According to a press release, the festival will have stalls of resorts, hotels, travel agencies and adventure tourism operators. Seminars and open forum discussions with the government departments concerned have been arranged as part of the festival. 
The festival will have video presentations of home-stays and tourist-worthy locations. The Coorg food festival will also be a part of this festival. The festival will also highlight the rich culture of Coorg and the history of the Kodavas. Coorg jewellery, art and handicrafts, traditional Coorg costumes, Coorg weaponry and period photographs on display will narrate their stories. 
There will be a pictorial narration of Coorg’s history and Coorg dances and other cultural programmes.

Source: Business Standard

Asian Coffee Prices Mostly Down;Mkt In Wait-And-See Mode

(Comtex Finance Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)SINGAPORE, Mar 21, 2006 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex)

Asian coffee prices mostly fell in the week to Tuesday, pressured by another week of losses in international coffee futures.

On Monday, the May robusta contract on the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange finished $8 lower at $1,111 a metric ton, or down $6 from a week earlier.

In Vietnam, trading activities were mainly dominated by sporadic domestic sales, said a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader.

“Farmers were keen to sell, perhaps a little concerned over the downtrend in the London market,” he said.

“But local exporters were not in a hurry to buy, with foreign buyers mostly on the sidelines, waiting for prices to drop some more,” he added.

Offers for robusta grade 2, 5% black and broken, were quoted around $1,060-$1,070/ton, FOB, Ho Chi Minh City, compared with $1,080-$1,090/ton, last week.

Another trader said farmers have been selling quite aggressively in the last few weeks to finance irrigation and fertilization for the new crop.

“But the weather is good, so sales have slowed down and farmers are holding on to their remaining stocks for higher prices,” he said.

He added that there had been some unseasonal rains in Lam Dong province and heavy rains late last year have helped replenish reservoirs and ponds, after years of prolonged drought reduced water reserves.

Lam Dong, Daklak, Gia Lai, Kontum and Dak Nong provinces in the central highlands coffee belt produce 80% of Vietnam’s coffee.

In Indonesia, trading activities came to a crawl as farmers refused to discount their stocks further, said one Lampung-based trader.

“The market is quite slow. Supply is there, but no one is interested to buy at current levels,” he said.

Arrivals will start to increase as harvesting activities intensify. So with supply pressure on prices looming, most buyers prefer to wait, said the Indonesian trader.

Offers for robusta EK1 grade 4 80 defects were quoted around $1,070-$1,080/ton, FOB, Lampung, compared with $1,100/ton a week earlier.

Offers for Mandheling grade 3 arabica coffee were quoted little changed around $2,850-$2,950/ton, FOB, Medan.

In India, the volatility in international coffee futures continued to damp trading interest, said a Bangalore-based trader.

“There’s not much trading interest at this point. Most sellers are holding back and buyers are only purchasing their shorts, until there’s a clearer direction in the market,” the Indian trader said.

Indian robusta cherry AB, was offered around $1,270-$1,280/ton, FOB, Cochin, compared with last week’s $1,300/ton, while arabica plantation A was offered at $2,180/ton, compared with $2,340/ton last week.

Credits : -By Shahira Yusoff, Dow Jones Newswires; 65-6415-4086;

-Edited by Ryan Woo/TMC