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‘The recovery for hotels will be based around - efficiency, automation, & technology’

Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 11:51 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

With the pandemic striking the global hospitality industry hard, it has become imperative for the sector to doubly focus on revenue management in these tough times. Technology has become a key enabler for the industry to emerge victorious from the pandemic. Aiosell, a brainchild of Siddharth Goenka, is revolutionising the industry by automating the business of hospitality. Asmita Mukherjee spoke with Goenka to understand how Aiosell is helping the hospitality industry to recover by using technology in the aftermath of Covid-19.

According to you, how is Aiosell going to revolutionise the Indian hotel Industry?

Aiosell has the ability to revolutionize hospitality, because this industry has not seen automation & AI, especially in the area of dynamic pricing & revenue management, which is Aiosell’s biggest USP. Finding the right price to sell a hotel room is one of the biggest decisions for a hotel to make in this digital world, and most of the industry still uses manual methods to do this.  Aiosell has the ability to convert the entire hotel marketing, revenue management, and operations into a simple, light weight, cloud-based, efficient system that can help hotels get better results with minimum costs and lesser efforts.

Please brief us about your offerings

Aiosell is an All in One Hotel System with Dynamic Pricing. All areas of hotel management & marketing are combined seamlessly into one system, thereby giving maximum results with minimum efforts to the hotel owner. The system includes all modules required for a hotel owner, including Automated Revenue Management System with dynamic pricing, Property Management System with contact-less checkin, Channel Manager, Booking Engine & Website, Reviews and Reputation Manager, Competition Shopper, OTA Management, Analytics & Reporting.

Do you think that technology can be a path to recovery for hotels, in the aftermath of Covid?  If yes, how?

The recovery for hotels will be based around three pillars: efficiency, automation, & technology. Hotels will need to adopt concepts that focus on revenue and cost efficiencies because profit would no longer be taken for granted. Fixed costs will be converted to variable costs and extra flab will be reduced. Hotels will need to minimize manpower strategy keeping in mind automation possibilities in every department. Staff to room ratios will see a downward trend. Back-office teams that perform repetitive tasks will be replaced by integrated All in One systems that combine operations, marketing, and guest relationship management. Large clunky IT departments will be replaced by cloud-based lean integrated systems, leading to an increase in productivity & yields. Ancillary business units like restaurant, bar, spa, and gym which have a high operating cost and low profitability maybe outsourced or removed from the portfolio. Smartphones, tablets, kiosks using AI and AR based technology will be used to enhance guest experience in areas like room service, concierge, travel desk and reception. IOT devices will be used to optimize energy & maintenance costs.  Hotels will focus on direct channels like brand websites and booking engine to reduce OTA and agent distribution costs.

What are your growth and expansion plans for Aiosell?

Aiosell is currently being used in 20 countries by 200+ hotels. We plan to reach 500+ hotels across the world within the next year, as the need for automation & AI will increase post the COVID pandemic.

Do you think that the India hotel industry has matured after the pandemic to adopt emerging technologies? If yes, which emerging technologies are currently being evaluated by the industry?

Indian hotel industry is still quite some distance away in terms of adopting new technologies. Most hotels are still using old / legacy Property Management Systems that have not innovated with times. The systems need to be manually backed up on a server based environment, which need to be converted to cloud based systems. Most hotels do not put focus on optimising their business from OTA channels and direct booking engines. Most of them do not have automated systems to measure, track and respond to their Online Reviews & Ratings. In most systems, the pricing decisions are done manually in an ad-hoc manner few times a day. The online booking systems do not integrate with PMS systems, making it a seamless integrated system that increases efficiency and reduces errors.

How did COVID-19 impact the business of Aiosell?

Covid-19 has impacted the business for Aiosell tremendously. Our business turned into Zero overnight, during the 2020 lockdowns, because hotels around the world were shut down at the same time with no business. However, with every calamity comes a moment of opportunity. As hotels started to open up around the world, the need for technology was understood and felt and we added many new customers to our portfolio post pandemic. In fact, we reached our pre-covid revenues by December 2020. We are experiencing similar backlash in the second wave of covid, but we sincerely hope to come out of it victorious.

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