Carlson Rezidor boasts 63 hotels in a country where the total room count is less than that of New York. Barlow attributes that foothold to experience; Carlson has been in India longer than anyone, except maybe competitor Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, although the exact entry date is too close to call.

Carlson executives are eyeing their share of the pie. The company has 44 hotels in the pipeline, the majority of which are Country Inns & Suites (14) and Radisson Blu (10)…the executives have high hopes for the Park Inn by Radisson brand, which is set to leverage the unprecedented growth in the country’s middle class… Though the upper-midscale brand boasts a 26-year track record of success in Europe, it’s a somewhat unproven commodity in India. There are only three Park Inns under operation at present.