Jumps 700% On Simplotel Hotel E-commerce Platform
“From 2% of total online bookings coming through the website, TGI hotels now generates 12-13%
of its total online occupancy through the website. I honestly believe
Simplotel is the best platform for hotel chains like us.”
Arun Kumar VK, Co-founder & Executive Director, TGI Hotels
TGI Hotels, or The Great Indian Hotels, is a chain of small and medium-sized hotels & resorts spread across India. The hospitality chain was founded in 2014 by Amitava Roy (Founder & CEO) and Arun Kumar VK (Co-founder & Executive Director). As of 2021, TGI Hotels has 13 properties with an aggregate of 947 rooms — showcasing their potential for massive growth. “We began operations with a 21-room cottage-styled hotel on a lease-based model. After witnessing our success with this hotel in Yelagiri, our promoters encouraged us to grow our venture,” says Arun.
In November 2016, TGI hotels onboarded Simplotel. This was after researching and rejecting several proposals from website and booking engine service providers. “We had been observing Simplotel’s work. We had also received good reviews about Simplotel from our industry peers. We loved the website design which was neat and also that it was customized for every customer,” says Arun.
From 2% of total online bookings coming through the website, TGI hotels now generates 12-13% of its total online occupancy through the website. With 65% of their total business online (for the FIT or Free Independent Travelers sector), Simplotel Hotel E-commerce (website and booking engine) now accounts for 6-7% of the total occupancy. “We knew that the hospitality sector is moving online. I believe the role of travel agents is also diminishing. Today, brand credibility is based on reviews and word of mouth across various digital platforms.”
Arun loves the website’s structure, design and interface. He adds that the booking engine is also seamless and makes it super easy to drive bookings from visitors. “We have had negligible complaints from customers so far. Even during the pandemic, when we faced a lot of cancellations, the refund process was optimized so smoothly that we didn't have to worry about anything. I honestly believe Simplotel is the best platform for hotel chains like us.”
After onboarding Simplotel, TGI Hotels continued to have various service providers chasing them. But this 5-year partnership has withstood the test of time. Arun attributes this to the team at Simplotel. “Right from the CEO to the technical staff, every individual is responsive and a well-wisher. In such a partnership, both parties need to be on the same page. And we have observed with Simplotel, that they always are able to act on our suggestions and even provide ideas that have helped improve our website and booking engine experience for our customers.”
Arun believes the pandemic has dealt a body blow to the hospitality industry. Even though revival was exponential after restrictions eased after the second wave, he feels that the industry needs more young blood and entrepreneurial spirit. “We are looking to add another vertical to our business with a hotel management college. I believe that both academics and training need to match with the current market scenario. A lot of emphasis will be placed on technology as we believe digitalisation is the need of the hour. Technology will continue to provide a seamless experience to the end-user in our industry.This will be our way of giving back to the community for all our fortune and success,” says Arun.
He concludes, “If I have to sum up Simplotel in a sentence, then it’s the future of the hospitality technology space!”