Skip Heinecke of the Minor Hotel Group talks to Sydney PauldenWhy would anyone with big ambitions give their company the name ‘Minor’? This is a question I put to Skip Heinecke. He was certainly the right person to ask, because he is the brother of the founder of the company, Bill Heinecke. What’s more, he is the elder brother and Bill was virtually a ‘minor’, just 17 years old, when he first started the business. That was 38 years ago, but the company is still the Minor International Public Company.
The Heinecke family is American, yet the group is based in Thailand.
‘We grew up in Asia’, explains Skip. ‘Our holding company is known as MINT. There are about 40 daughter companies. In addition to hotels and hospitality, we are in the sectors of food manufacture and distribution, private jet aircraft sales and the installation of spas.
‘The Minor tag shows up in them all. For example, we have MJets and we have MSpa International. We have over 200 retail outlets in Thailand specialising in fashion and cosmetics. Minor Food Group has over 1,300 restaurants.’
And in the hotel sector?
They have the brand names of Anantara (‘top of the range in luxury, with an eastern flavour’) and Avani (‘contemporary, understated’).
‘We opened our 99th hotel – the 25th Anantara - on 1st November 2013 in Angkor Cambodia. The 100th property will be up and running before Christmas 2013.’
Since the interview, just a few days ago, the arrival has been announced of the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa in the north of Thailand. This is a re-branding of the acquisition of The Chedi Chiang Mai.
Skip Heinecke ended by saying: ‘In five years time we are aiming to have 150 hotels.’
Considering that Minor Hotel Group was only set up in 2001 and seeing what has been achieved in just 12 years, who can doubt that they will achieve their targets?
Pictured: William E Heinecke - CEO Minor International