Published: 19th June 2019
How Odisha start-up TRAG Sales4You makes it easier for hotels to handle their biz
Sourabh Khandelwal, the Founder of TRAG Sales4You, wants to ensure that by the year 2020, they want to entre Raipur. Before that, they want to cover Odisha
Every hotel nowadays is associated with OYO Rooms, the New-Delhi based hospitality company, in one way or the other. It made Sourabh Khandelwal wonder about the dire state of the hospitality industry itself. So it was in his second year at Ranjita Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Bhubaneswar, that Sourabh started TRAG Sales4You. "Why do people go to Taj Hotels or the Oberoi? It's not just because of their food, it's because of their staff and service and this is what budget hotels lack," says the 21-year-old. Often, not only are these staff members underpaid, but they don't know basic courtesies or are not aware of the hotel's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Sourabh's start-up was initiated to change all of this. But did owners of budget hotels really care about service, especially when the advice came from a 21-year-old? We were surprised to hear that they did much more than that.
The commission that TRAG Sales4You takes from hotels is 20 per cent, but only from the profits
Sourabh's first project was Hotel Lalit Heritage in Jharsuguda. It has 26 rooms and when Sourabh visited it first, only six were occupied. "This was despite the facilities being good, it being located near the railway station and having nice food," recalls the entrepreneur. Through their market research, Sourabh and Co found out that though the rooms at nearby hotels were smaller, their staff was courteous and that was what was lacking here. So they immediately trained the staff, gave the rooms a makeover and started a social media page and tada, in one month, the rooms at Hotel Lalit Heritage were fully occupied. And today (technically around ten days ago), they opened their first fine dining restaurant in partnership and on their first day, they did business worth Rs 80,000.
We want to ensure that hotels are doing the best they can
Sourabh Khandelwal, Founder, TRAG Sales4You | (Pic: Sourabh Khandelwal)
Their SOPs and plan of action are all created on a case-to-case basis. "If it's a student's haunt or an area where there are a lot of corporates, we develop policies depending on this and a lot of other factors," says Sourabh who has worked at Trident Udaipur and Mayfair Lagoon in Bhubaneswar. The logic behind all this is simple, "Why should owners pay commissions up to 50% or share their brand name with a franchise when they can run the hotels themselves," he questions.
They registered the company just about two months back
For the future, the team is working on developing an app that will facilitate room booking and before you think MakeMyTrip or Goibiibo, let us tell you that the app will list the phone numbers of the hotels and the customers can make a call and book the rooms directly. Currently, they have six clients and are flooded with calls regularly by hotels from Angul and Rourkela, asking for their help. "We want to tap into the whole of Odisha by the end of this year and we will," says Sourabh with a steely determination.
Picture time: The team during the opening of Timberland | (Pic: Sourabh Khandelwal)
More on offer
The start-up also takes care of:
Cost control: To ensure that the hotel's profit only increases
Brand management: They keep a track of what is being said about the hotel
Renovation: If there is a need, they give the hotel a makeover
Menu design: They can help you decide the perfect menu
For more on them, check out sales4you.in