Travelers in India might want to stay under a Taj roof when bedding down for the night. The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) operates the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, also known as the Taj Group. The company operates approximately 60 luxury, leisure, and business lodging facilities in India; it has an additional 15 overseas locations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Included in its portfolio is The Pierre hotel on New York's Fifth Avenue. Most properties are owned by the company or its affiliates and subsidiaries, but some are managed under contract. IHCL is part of Indian industrial conglomerate Tata Group.
IHCL brands include the Taj (luxury), the Gateway (upscale), and the Ginger (budget). New hotels are in the works for Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. During 2008 and 2009, IHCL opened about 10 hotels in cities such as Bangalore, Panjim, Varanasi, Chennai, and Trivandrum. In addition, in 2009 the company spent some $100 million renovating The Pierre in New York.
The company's iconic Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai was severely damaged when the city was hit by a major terrorist attack in late 2008. Less than a month later the property re-opened with tighter security; however, in 2009 IHCL reported that its total income was hit due to the closure.
The company traces its roots to 1903, when Tata Group founder Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata opened Taj's first hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Bombay.