Repeat business cushions tough times, enables future growth
H.K. Desai is the quintessential American success story. An electrical and mechanical engineer from Valsad, India, Desai moved to the United States in 1967. A man open to business opportunity, Desai owned and operated various small businesses until the hospitality industry caught his attention. Starting with one small motel, over the last two decades Desai’s portfolio of hotel properties has multiplied many times. H.K. and his son Tushar Desai are the entrepreneurs behind Blythewood Investments.
“Our family has a history in the service industry,” Tushar Desai said. “We’ve established a reputation for being reliable and offering consistent service. People know what to expect when they stay with us. They like our quality and since most of our properties cater to the business traveler, repeat business is a primary market for us.”
The Desais appreciate the value of repeat business and that’s one reason they returned to BCI Lending to refinance an existing loan from a traditional bank.
“We’d done business with BCI Lending on our Hampton Inn in Newberry, so we had a good track record with them,” Tushar Desai said. “They were open to refinancing our loan when traditional banks were not.”
Larry Jones of BCI Lending said, “We had confidence in the Desais. They’re astute business people. They know how to make things work.”
The property Desai wanted to refinance was their 90-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Blythewood, South Carolina. Catering to the business client, this property features services such as copying, e-mail, wireless internet access, executive suites, fax machine and fully-equipped meeting rooms. There are also two executive apartments featuring two beds, two baths, a living room and a full kitchen.
“We opened this property in 1999, then in 2001 the terrorist attacks of September 11 happened. That effectively shut down travel for quite a while. It wasn’t until 2004 that travel began to pick up again,” Tushar Desai said. Meanwhile, loan payments still had to be made, investors were becoming restless and debt accumulated.
BCI Lending was able to structure a fully amortizing long-term loan that allowed for improved cash and a more appealing balance sheet. Rather than worrying over a balloon payment, the Desais knew what their loan payments would be each month throughout the life of the loan. This bit of financial stability was very welcome.
They’d had enough surprises.
“We survived the downturn in the travel market and things are moving forward rapidly for us now. We’re developing other properties,” Tushar Desai explained. “We couldn’t have done it without the loan structure offered by BCI Lending. We had built a solid relationship with BCI Lending and it paid off when we needed some financial cushion during hard times. I have no doubt that we’ll return to BCI Lending the next time we need a business loan.”