A proper distribution system is a real challenge in the hospitality industry. The sector ties up with many online and offline channels to make services available to the end user when they need them. However, the process is not that smooth, and many times, in the absence of a proper channel for distribution, the inventory goes unused, causing loss to hoteliers.
AxisRooms, which provides a technology-based channel management system, claims to solve the problem of distribution in the hotel industry. It manages inventory and pricing for all online travel portals. The channel manager for hotels ensures properties of all sizes can maximize their online exposure. This system also claims to increase revenue and reduces the time and cost it takes to update rooms.
“We have completely automated the distribution system by enabling hotels to push inventory, price and content through a single dashboard instead of maintaining multiple channels,” says Ravi Taneja, Co-founder and COO, AxisRooms.
With such a system, hoteliers have been able to address the perennial challenges related to distribution. They now have a clear picture of demand. They offer better customer service, have achieved visibility to control the inventory, and have improved execution with customers.
“Our target clients are hotels, online travel companies,offline channels like tour operators, and small & medium enterprises. Our clients’responses have been amazing. There is very little attrition, and our clientsalways acknowledge our performance. Hotels rely heavily on our distribution strength today,” says Ravi. AxisRooms follows a transaction fee model, the fee for which it chargesfrom the hotelier.
Ravi’s experience as an hotelier, in an online distribution company, and with an online travel agency helped him to see the challenges intertwined with all the three sectors. The experience helped him to identify problems at both the suppliers’ and buyers’ ends, which led to a technology-backed solution for the same. His vision for AxisRooms is to make it the ultimate destination for all players in the industry, for their inventory distribution needs.
AxisRooms claims to work on an innovative platform in the channel management system. Innovation on the platform has been done by launching Hotel Exchange (HEX). The platform works asa B2B marketplace for suppliers and their offline buyers, a single platform fot them to transact on. It also enables the discovery of partners; a supplier can contract a buyer through the platform itself. It calls itself a prime mover in this space,as no other distribution company has come close to launching aproduct like this.
AxisRooms is a self-funded organization. The initial investment of Rs 1.8 crore was made by the founders to form a team, launch the product, and bring traction to the platform.
In September 2013, the venture raised seed funding of $1 million. It used thisto scale up its market, enhance the product, and to distribute rooms not only to online travel companies, but to offline channels too.
There are few other players who provide similar solutions as online distribution modules, like Maximojo, Rategain, Ratetiger, and Siteminder, but they only work towards distributing to online channels.
For distribution to offline channels, there have been global distribution systems (GDSs) like Amadeus and Galileo, but they are too complex for mass markets and obviously come with huge distribution costs. AxisRooms thus claims to position itself as a single player for a hotel's complete distribution at a cost which every single player in the ecosystem can afford.
“We lead the Indian market today. We definitely have competition, but none of them have been able to serve the medium and small hoteliers like we have. Our team understands their requirements; we give them what they need at the right price,” says Ravi.
Struggling with adaptability
The key challenge in this segment has always been pushing small hoteliers to use the system. However, AxisRooms has overcome this challenge in the last few years. “We believe in the product solving the problem, rather than people behind the systems solving the problem, for the clients.”
The venture has been growing at the rate of 7% month-on-month for the last two years, and it sees growing business in the coming years.
“Today, we help hoteliersdistribute content and reduce their operations’ efforts and cost. In the coming months, we would also help them increase their yield by empowering them with strong analytical and revenue management tools. In the next two years, we would like to see ourselves distributing to more than 7000 hotels and powering more than 25,000 rooms per day. We should be a 150 people team by then,” says Ravi.