Tata Coffee makes hospitality foray

Daily News & Analysis - February 28, 2006
Tata Tea's gameplan of increasing "agri and non agri" businesses is becoming clearer. Its subsidiary Tata Coffee has announced its foray into the hospitality sector by throwing open its Coorg plantation for the visitors. It has converted three estate bungalows into 15 rooms, and christened them Plantation Trails. By the end of the year, the number of rooms shall rise to 35. DNA Money had reported on January 31 about Tata Tea's plans of exploring other revenue streams like tourism and alternate cropping. Managing Director P Siganporia had said that the company would explore all options of exploiting land and human resources for growth.

According to Tata Coffee's vice-president (corporate), Christine F Jamal, the company has similar plans for its Hassan and Chickmagalur plantations in Karnataka, which would be firmed up after gauging the response to the Coorg experiment. However, the number of rooms in those plantations would be lesser. Jamal said the company plans to market the property using the travel agent network and their own marketing personnel. It has priced the rooms at Coorg at Rs 2,500-Rs 3,500 each for a couple (taxes extra).

Outdoor activities such as open-top jeep drives, biking, fishing and golf would be available. According to an analyst, it is a positive step for the company, given that idle resource - both land and manpower - will be used.