Trade News
Inbound/ Domestic News
Outbound News
 
Home In Conversation Details

IN CONVERSATION

Friday, 15 September, 2017, 17 : 41 PM [IST]

‘The journey of Evolve Back will be the same mystical trip down the roads of history and culture’

The House of Ramapuram, promoters of The Orange County Resorts, as part of taking their eco-friendly and community based resorts concept beyond the borders of Karnataka in India and also beyond India, has taken a new brand name, Evolve Back. Notwithstanding the renaming, the promoters assert that they will continue to uphold the time tested ethos and philosophy embedded in the ‘spirit of the land’. Jose Ramapuram, Director-Marketing, Evolve Back Luxury Resorts in an interaction with P Krishna Kumar elucidate the reasons behind the renaming, future expansion, investment challenges in the eco-resort space, etc.



Q What made you rebrand Orange County, a well-established resort brand, as Evolve Back Luxury Resorts? What is the significance of this rebranding in the future journey of the company?
We, The House of Ramapuram, are planters by tradition, diversified into the hospitality business in 1994 by setting up a small resort in their 100-year-old, 300-acre ChikkanaHalli Estate in Coorg. What came naturally to us was to share our way of life and warm hospitality with our primarily urban guests. As we are prepared to expand the locational footprint of our resorts to other parts of India, Africa and Asia, we felt we need a universal name that was inspired by our ‘Spirit of the land’ philosophy.

The Orange County name was chosen for our first resort at Coorg, in memory of the captivating fragrance and flavour of this wonderful fruit which was, not long ago, part of the spirit of Coorg.



Being crafted specifically for our resort in Coorg, it was not conveying the ‘Spirit of the land’ character of our new resorts – Kuruba Tribal Village themed resort at Kabini and the Vijayanagara Palace themed resort at Hampi.

Moreover, we found that in the global tourism markets, the brand name ‘Orange County’ had a very strong association with a county in California, USA.

Today, as we prepare to expand the locational footprint further in India, and to Africa and Asia, we realised the need to rename the brand to reflect our ‘Spirit of the land’ spirit but with a universal appeal. That’s how we arrived at a more appropriate name ‘Evolve Back’.

Q The core of Orange County has been your commitment to sustainable and responsible luxury. What significant changes the rebranding would bring to that core or what additional aspect you would stress upon in Evolve Back?
‘Evolve Back’ is the new brand name given to the same ‘Spirit of the land’ experience which we strive to immerse all of our guests in. It is inspired by the past when the air, land and all of nature was pure, hospitality was from the heart, life was simple, nice and peaceful, culture was of the land and food was from the goodness of nature. Evolve Back is the signature style of delivering all these with the best in comforts and luxuries.

In short, nothing has changed besides, just the name. The journey with Evolve Back will be the same mystical trip down the roads of history and culture. Despite the name change, the ownership, management, and operations or the company are still under the ownership of Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd.



Q Since the rebranding coincides with the launch of your new property in Hampi, how would the brand ethos be reflecting in that property? How your latest resort in Hampi is different from the other two resorts?
Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace in Hampi is inspired by the grandeur and magnificence of the 14th Century Vijayanagara Empire and is located 4 kilometres from the historic ruins of Hampi. Kamalapura Palace complements its surrounding by adding to its beauty and splendour, while enthralling its guests with its luxurious offerings.

The Evolve Back property in all its resplendence is a glorious tribute to the hey days of the Vijayanagara empire. The entire project has been designed after spending many months with the locals and in studying the history of the region. Special care has been taken to weave in the cultural and traditional aspects of Hampi into the architecture, the theme, the interiors and other aspects of Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace. Visitors to the property will get to soak in a slice of history though the myriad elements that make a play for one’s senses during their stay.

Q You have recently announced your plans to go scouting for properties outside Karnataka in India as well as to overseas destinations in Asia and Africa. Could you share your future investment plans and timelines for these developments?
Evolve Back is looking to expand over the next three years, during which we expect to open four new properties across India and abroad. The investment for the expansion is estimated to be around INR 112 crore. This entire investment amount is planned to be raised with a mix of internal accruals and debt.

We are looking to tap the new-found interest among people for experiential travel, especially at untapped destinations. We usually avoid overcrowded destinations, and scout for those un-spoilt markets where we sense the potential to grow — not just for us, but also for the destination.

We will be developing a resort at Kumta in North Karnataka district over an area of 30 acres with an investment of INR 50 crore. This resort is planned to be themed on a local fishing village. We are also looking at a palace-themed resort at the medieval town of Mandu in Madhya Pradesh. This property is expected to see an investment of INR 35 crore.

In the interim, a property each in African and an Asian country are being planned.



Q What are the challenges investors in eco-resorts face in India considering it requires comparatively large land area at ecologically sensitive and fragile locations?
The biggest challenge we face is in acquiring land in these locations. Land in many parts of India is largely fragmented and furthermore we will need to acquire the land from multiple individuals. The next challenge is in getting the required clearances for the project from multiple departments and signatories. Environmental laws are typically very rigid and hence take a lot of time and effort to comply with all the requirements.

In addition to this, because of the vast distances between locations, basic services such as electricity and water are typically hard to come by. In fact, most of the basic infrastructure that we take for granted, is missing or inadequate and needs to be developed from scratch. All this is not only extremely time consuming causing unnecessary delays but also ends up escalating costs as a result.

krishna.kumar@saffronsynergies.in
 
Post Your commentsPOST YOUR COMMENT
Comments
* Name :      
* Email :    
  Website :  
     
Receive the best of Travel content in your mailbox.
Enter your e-mail ID for our
Weekly e-Newsletter
   
© Copyright 2015 Saffron Synergies Pvt Ltd