We are: iManage My Hotel
Incubated at: Jaarvis Accelerator
iManage My Hotel is a PHP codeigniter-based software which assists with hotel management operations. It was born out of a conversation with a hotelier in Gangtok and the following discovery of the lack of an ERP solution for managing hotel operations.
Genesis: It all started when Sourav had a casual conversation with a hotelier in Gangtok (2013) on why there is no specific system that he uses to manage his business. Sourav looked into their processes and found that there is no process at all. A hotelier does crores of business but there is no tool or ERP to manage his procedures.
He also found that there are lots of solution available in the market but none of the hoteliers were using it. One of the reason being – legacy solutions are very, very expensive and requires lot of manpower for its operations. It’s not simple. You have to build a solution which is cost effective as well as requires less or no manpower.
This made Sourav curious and he built a basic solution for them to see how they react. After many rejections and further development, he was able to put together a minimum viable product which solved their problem of managing reservations, guest check-ins, check -out, no show’s, sales report and so on.
Founders: Sourav Goswami and Amit Bannerjee are childhood friends and who have previously worked together in a public sector organization. Amit went to work for different corporate jobs and Sourav was running a web development firm. In late 2015, we decided to pursue this idea full time.
Sourav Goswami, CEO, has done his B.Sc IT from Sikkim Manipal University and started his own software development business – Crystal Planet Solution Pvt. Ltd. – after quitting his public sector job.
Amit Banerjee has done MCA from West Bengal University of Technology and serves as CTO. He quit his public sector job to work in a private firm in Chennai and later joined Slideshare. He joined LinkedIn when Slideshare was acquired by the former.
Our Product: We provide a Property management solution, a channel manager, an online booking engine and a restaurant management system which helps small and mid sized hotels digitize their operations. We are not the only provider in the market, there are other players who have been in business for more than 10 years. We also provide continuous service to our customers.
Currently we have more than 160 hotels using our product. We are targeting mid-sized hotels with 20-40 rooms and a tariff of Rs. 2000-5000 per night that come under the category of budget hotels and 3 star hotels. We are also targeting Bed & Breakfasts or B&Bs as well as serviced apartments.
Particularly with B&Bs, they are priced low – around Rs. 1000-1500 per night and have very few rooms (around 10) per property, so they cannot afford to hire a well qualified, experienced manager. So while developing our product, keeping in mind these users, we created a user-friendly, simple product and makes the manager’s job easier.
Current Indian Hotel Scenario: The hotel industry is not getting disrupted. Disruption in India was already done by MakeMyTrip, way back in 2000 and recently by Airbnb. What we see now is amalgamation of different channels and ideas to attain the same objective. In the coming years, we will see innovative channels coming up (which we aren’t able to see now) but the core of the industry will essentially remain the same
Competitor: We have five big competitors –
- IDS Next – It’s a legacy based system (desktop application) and too expensive for mid sized hotels. For a owners its difficult to check reports real time over cloud.
- Djubo – Djubo is a good Channel Manager and Booking Engine. A hotel needs a lot of modules like Housekeeping, Restaurant management, inventory etc which Djubo is not able to deliver. Secondly it doesn’t work without internet so hoteliers are not able to use it when the internet connection doesn’t work.
- XMitter: Doesn’t work without internet and its mainly focuses on Channel Manager.
- Axisrooms: It’s a channel manager and doesn’t provide any other solutions for a hotel.
- Staah: It is only a channel manager and a bit expensive for mid sized hotels.
We focus in entirety of the product and our system works online and offline both. We are fast mover in interior locations.
Challenges: It is indeed very, very difficult to convince hoteliers since they are not used to this idea. The newer generation is more adaptive to using software but there is indeed adoption issues with older people. Also, there is this assumption in India that software is always Free and can be “downloaded” from the web, which is a big challenge.
Advantages of being part of an accelerator/incubator: It’s been a learning experience so far. Jarvis has not only given us support, mentoring and industry connects but it has also tamed us. Jarvis has taught us how to structure the business so we can preserve as much capital as we can so that we can build a clean, healthy business. We just got incubated in Feb but so far we have got help in PR, HR and recruitments, Office space in Gurgaon.
We were also part of the Nasscom10000 incubation program. After Bangalore, Nasscom opened its second startup warehouse in Kolkata. We were among the four startups they incubated in Jan 2016. So the next six months we were a huge learning experience for us in terms of understanding valuation, investors and building our self-confidence. It led to us receiving funding from Cleartrip in Nov 2016. We are looking forward some more nuances of building and expanding a business at Jaarvis.
In both programs we have been mentored by industry specialists.
Vision: Our immediate future plans include expanding to all Indian cities, tourist destinations and developing a good South Asian market for our product. The hotel sizes are well-suited to our product and thus makes them potential customers. We want to see happy hoteliers worldwide who have their business organized, structured and digitized.
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