Recently many startups have sprouted in the hotel industry arena serving different purposes and addressing different challenges facing the industry.
Deepak Mavinkure, the founder of Repufact, shares his viewpoint on the growing hotel industry space and how his startup is trying to solve one of the major challenges in this space.
Deepak Mavinkure, founder and CEO, says, “A large part of the ticket size is going to the middlemen unnecessarily and that is a major challenge being faced by the industry today. A 25 to 30pc share of the hotel’s profit goes to middlemen which need to be solved.”
How do you solve?
The founder with an experience of over a decade in the industry says that with this new venture Repufact, he tries to solve this issue and connect hotels and consumers directly.
After working on the first product for seven months, the company has launched its first platform Repufact and with three more products to be launched eventually.
Repufact, being a guest intelligence analytics tool helps the hotel online reputation management to understand which services are doing well for their guests and also provides feedback on the services that need to be improved. With this, the company helps the hotels to enhance their services and build a better rapport.
“If a guest likes a particular hotel’s coffee or the ambience, we make sure that it adds up in the hotel’s market positioning and helps them gain in many subtle ways.”
The company collects such information that is the likes and dislikes of the guests and their perspectives in three different ways. Firstly, through trade reviews that is the user-generated content which is verified.
The second source is to gather information from social media where a vast amount of content is generated.
Travel blogs act as a third source which provides credible and accurate information for the company. Top 100 travel bloggers have been identified by the company who helps them gather the required information.
“After gathering all the information, it becomes simple for us to do the analytics, identify the loopholes and advise the hotels to act on them,” said Deepak Mavinkure.
On the other side he also explains that listing the positives of a hotel, also helps the hotel make more profits.
In a month, the company has attained 72 customers across India which includes GRT Group, Pride Group, budget hotels, serviced apartments, standalone hotels.
The company has also partnered with Reznext through which they will soon be serving more than 2000 hotels across the country.
The company was recently funded with several Rs. 8 cr which helped them build their first product.
“We have four more products in the line. But we do not plan for any funding right now, it will only be after a year and a half. Our investments now will mostly be on enhancing technology.”
Challenges as a startup
The founder lists up a few challenges that he thinks every startup faces in the initial stage:
Funding is always a question
How will I scale up so fast?
Will it go wrong?
Can I handle so much data?
The Roadmap ahead.
The company plans to launch three more products. Revfact, its second product will be launched in the next six to nine months, which will focus on improving the revenues of the hotels.
The founder added, “A lot of focus is on B2C but corporate travel is lagging. Witnessing an opportunity here, we are building this product which will help the hotels to connect with the corporates.”
“Once both the products are in the market, we will have a tremendous amount of data which will help us build standards for customers. In simpler terms, we plan to build a standardization for the hotel industry. Also, we plan to build online loyalty, which will benefit consumers at that moment.”
“Lastly, based on an individual’s needs, we plan to customize and provide service to each individual. This will add much more value and will surely give a boost to the entire service,” commented Deepak Mavinkure on the company’s roadmap.
He added that by the end of 2015, the company plans to have 50 employees and in the next six months have more than 10,000 customers.