Cycas creates new Managing Director role to lead its growing European hotel portfolio.

Cycas continues to strengthen its leadership and hotel management expertise, following the appointment of Apurva Pratap as the company’s first Managing Director.

Apurva will join the hotel operator from 1 May, bringing nearly 25 years of hospitality and investment experience to the new role. He joins Cycas from The Student Hotel in Amsterdam where, as Chief Customer Officer, he was responsible for the portfolio’s commercial performance. Under Apurva’s leadership, the company augmented its sales, yield management and marketing functions, increased direct business share by 50% and boosted guest satisfaction levels across its properties.

During nine years in senior strategic and operational roles with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Apurva was instrumental in exceeding European revenue targets by $200 million while reducing commercial spend for hotels. Key to this success was his ability to drive performance improvements and engagement levels across the commercial and distribution teams.

Prior to that, Apurva led a series of travel-related projects in the US, Europe and Australia for McKinsey & Company, where he was instrumental in assisting Delta Airlines execute a turnaround strategy via a $3 billion cost-efficiency programme. He also held senior positions at Starbucks, where he grew the business by 20% in one year by transforming its multi-country tea business into the company’s fastest-growing beverage line.

Matt Luscombe, Chief Executive Officer of Cycas Hospitality, said: “I am delighted to welcome Apurva to Cycas Hospitality. I’ve known Apurva for many years, and he’s an inspirational leader as well as having one of the sharpest commercial and strategic minds in the industry. His passion for people, values, energy and pioneering spirit are a great fit for Cycas. I’m very confident he will help us take the company to the next level, for our team and our investment partners, as we scale the business across Europe.”

“I’m very proud that, despite the pandemic’s challenges, we’ve doubled the size of our business since I joined Cycas two years ago. With Apurva’s deep understanding of how to maximise hotel performance across a wide range of markets and hospitality segments, I have every confidence that Cycas is well placed to double our portfolio again, drive strong returns for our investment partners, and bring in more fantastic hospitality talent over the next two years.”

Apurva Pratap, Managing Director of Cycas Hospitality, said: “Hospitality is a people business, and for me Cycas sets the perfect example of how a company can deliver the best returns for its partners by consistently following its philosophy of keeping people at the heart of every decision.

“At a time when the hotel sector across Europe remains highly fragmented, I look forward to helping Cycas build on its multi-market, multi-brand management expertise, secure new operator partnerships and cement its hotels’ reputation as the best places to work as well as stay across the region.”

The MD appointment comes on the back of Cycas having opened six properties and signed three new deals so far this year. As a result, the hospitality specialist now operates hotels across five European countries with six global hotel groups.

Over the last two years Cycas has in-sourced its financial function and significantly expanded its operational and commercial teams to reinforce its market-leading position. In recent months Cycas has also invested in an industry-leading data analytics platform to ensure the company continues to deliver the greatest possible value for its hospitality partners.