CASE 6 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. What are the drivers of India’s economic boom? Will the Indian government continue being cooperative and welcoming to foreign investors?
2. What are some of the challenging issues facing the development of tourism in the country?
3. Some venture capitalists are bullish on consumerism in India? Do you agree? What makes India more welcoming than other Asian countries?
4. Do the deeper pockets (e.g., cash and other resources) of international hotel chains give them a competitive advantage over domestic chains? Why or why not? If an advantage does exist, is the advantage of deep pockets a sustainable advantage?
5. Is Starwood’s plan to open 50 hotels in India by 2010 a real strategic commitment or a ploy to create barriers to entry for possible competitors?
6. As the popularity of Indian market grows, will other global and domestic chains increase their aggressiveness, posing enhanced competitive threats?
7. Does Starwood’s announced expansion plan discourage competitors from entering Indian markets? Why or why not?
8. Do you agree with Aloft’s founder Ross Klein, that the brand is suitable for emerging markets? Why or Why not? Does the brand connect well with other Starwood properties?
9. Do you agree with Starwood’s decision to enter the mid-priced limited service market with the new Aloft brand?
10. Why is Starwood expanding with a newly created and untested brand like Aloft? Does the brand concept work outside of the US? Why or why not?
11. Will the brand work in India as a new generation of Indian customers emerges? What elements of the Aloft brand make it easy or difficult to bring to India?