There are a plethora of platforms aggregating hotel accommodations across countries and geographies but very few equip travellers to quote price-points they want. While most of the existing aggregators offer price-point quoted by hoteliers, Delhi-based Findmystay.com allows users to book hotel accommodations at the price they wish to pay for their stay. Importantly, Findmysaty’s model enables two-way communication between the customer and hotel rather than a non-negotiable price tag posted by the hotels.
How the idea evolved?
Findmystay.com went live in October this year after 18 months of product development and fostering of hotel alliances. “The idea was inspired by sheer love for travel and a need to address the cluttered online hotel booking space in India where no one was giving real value to the customer in terms of product enhancement and differentiation,” says Simran Sial, co-founder Findmystay. Launched by Simran and Rohit Khetrapal, the startup claims to have saved over a lakh rupees of its users so far.
The duo met about a decade ago through a common friend. “Simran initially thought of this idea and approached me to discuss how he should market it once it is launched. That’s when I offered to join him. But the product has come a long way since we started thinking on it,” adds Rohit. The duo debated and discussed for more than a year what shape and form the venture should take.
Team behind Findmystay
Rohit has done his post graduation in management, and is an avid traveller. Simran is a serial entrepreneur and self-proclaimed travel fanatic. He has been persistently supervising the business development of the organisation harnessing his years of experience as a hotelier. “Simran’s profound knowledge in hotel business has been instrumental in bringing the choicest hotels and corporate clients on board,” adds Rohit. Prior to trying his hands at Findmystay, Simran was van-guarding his homespun business of budget hotels, FFOUR.
USPs and differeniators
The startup’s unique selling proposition -- ‘Find My Stay @ My Price’ -- allows users to bid lower price-points and quote the amount he/she is willing to pay for a particular star category in his/her preferred location and then it’s up to the hotels to either accept or reject them. “Hotels which accept the customer’s offer are informed from our end to review and book. In most cases, we have been able to ensure that customers get their type of hotel at the price they are willing to pay,” reveals Simran. Findmystay claims to be 20% to 30% cheaper than existing online deals and discounts at any given time of the year. The company works on affiliate model and charges commission on every conversion.
Roadblocks so far
“Explaining a new concept like reverse auctioning of hotel rooms to our partners and customers has been the most difficult task. It was challenging to sell this new concept and explain how travellers can save more money by using Find My Stay @ My Price over the already discounted prices offered on leading online portals,” adds Simran. Additionally, attracting potential talent has been extremely challenging for the startup. The duo is confident that once a customer experiences the product, he/she is likely to remain loyal to Findmystay.
The duo has been bootstrapping Findmystay as they want a free hand to develop and grow the venture in their own way. In the future, the startup plans to target both leisure and business travellers. “We plan to launch international inventory, regular look and book offering and a mobile site soon along with innovative products in the near future which are at a confidential development stage,” reveals Rohit. Besides consumer segment, the startup has also launched B2B business solutions for corporates where it allocates a single-point resource for every client.