Simplotel Hotel E-commerce Hits 6% Of Total Occupancy | Helps To Dial In 300 Phone Calls Monthly
“Simplotel is bookings made easy! We have seen an unbelievable jump from doing 12 room
nights annually to 450 room nights last year after onboarding Simplotel.”
Shaunak Verdia, Director, Bamboo Saa Resort & Spa
These days, we hear a lot of business leaders and motivational speakers advising people to ‘Follow your passion!’ and ‘Find your purpose! Every single day will not feel like work once you do that.’ Shaunak Verdia, Director of Bamboo Saa Resort & Spa, is a perfect example of these said quotes.
The young entrepreneur was a banker in his previous career stint, with a masters degree in finance from the UK. He then went on to join ICICI Bank after which he joined the British lender Barclay’s and helped set up the entire data analytics unit in India. “I always had two things close to my heart: numbers and food,” says Shaunak. It was inevitable that his passion would lead him to set up a hospitality business.
Shaunak put his vision into action by starting a 150-seater restaurant called The Bay Leaf in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Fuelled by its success he then began construction of Bamboo Saa Resort & Spa in 2012 at the same location. The 71-room luxury resort finally opened shop in 2017 and its multi-cuisine restaurant is still called The Bay Leaf.
Bamboo Saa onboarded Simplotel in January 2020, two months before COVID-19 hit the country. “I was always looking for something like Simplotel — website & booking engine. It took me only five minutes during the demo to realise the opportunities with Simplotel’s platform. More than the frontend, it’s the backend that lets you experiment with rates, discounts, seasonality, add-ons and much more. All this is simple and easy,” says Shaunak.
Bamboo Saa Spa & Resort would do about 12 room nights a year through the website. But after onboarding Simplotel, the luxury resort clocked 450 room nights in one year. Simplotel’s Hotel E-commerce (website & booking engine) delivers 6% of total occupancy directly. However, there is more to this than meets the eye. “We believe that because our website & booking engine are user-friendly, loads fast and has effective SEO, our website visitors have grown. This combined with our marketing efforts and customer service has propelled our direct business to grow to 35% of the overall pie. We receive about 250-300 calls each month,” says Shaunak. At present, 30% of Bamboo Saa’s business is online out of its hotel distribution strategy.
He believes that the pandemic has taught him a lot on how to manage costs. “The hospitality industry is already so complex. During the first and second wave, it was important for us to manage costs and also grow our revenue and profit. We wanted to avoid shelling out high commissions to online travel agencies (OTAs) and travel agents. And, the only way forward was to grow our direct business,” says Shaunak.
“Our experience with Simplotel has been great so far. The customer success and operations teams are prompt with regards to solving and following up on our issues. Even the analytics, like the scorecard that Simplotel provides, has all the relevant information that a hotel owner needs. Simplotel is definitely bookings made easy,” concludes Shaunak.