Partnering with more than a 1000 properties in India, STAAH is a New Zealand headquartered technology company offering cloud-based channel management and booking engine for accommodation providers. Tarun Joukani, Managing Director, STAAH India, on how the company is providing cost-effective one-stop solutions to its growing clients base in India
What are your key product offerings for the Indian hospitality sector?
STAAH offers a suite of technology products that are aimed to helping hospitality businesses optimise online distribution and maximise their online revenue potential. This is done through a wide range of product offerings, including an industry-leading channel manager, a booking engine, website development with designs and tools that are geared to meet the unique needs of the hospitality sector, and a gift voucher management system that is tailored to the needs of accommodation providers and restaurants. India is a key market for STAAH. All products are available in India. In fact, the products are co-developed and advanced features added in conjunction with our Indian clients.
The gift voucher management system – Gift Voucher Engine – is the latest addition to our product range and allows properties to easily set up and manage an online shop for gift and cash vouchers. It is already being successfully used by properties around the world, including the Lemon Tree Group of Hotels, the Bawa Group of Hotels, CPG Hotels and Mayfair Hotels & Resorts in India.
Which is your most important client segment?
Independent hotels and hotel groups largest proportion of our client base in India currently. Having access to our top-of-the-line, affordable technology solutions and being supported by an India-based team to service their needs and trouble-shoot is a huge bonus for these accommodation providers.
What kind of leverage does your channel management products provide to large operators?
Larger operators and accommodation chains will benefit from using the STAAH Max Channel Manager. Once installed it becomes the central cloud-based platform to manage rates and inventory for one or multiple properties. Extremely intuitive and easy to use, there is little training needed to start using it in a manner that improves operational efficiency that is particularly crucial for larger operators. The platform has an in-built analytics system that provides insightful and easy-to-read reports that are handy for both revenue managers and senior management who’re looking for a single view dashboard of the business’ online performance.
Since it has been developed by a team that has been associated with the distribution of hospitality products for decades, we have our finger on the pulse of the market, what it needs and future trends. This means integrations and product development are quicker and in-tune with the needs of properties. For a business that wants to remain competitive in this dynamic environment, this is critical.
Complementing our Max Channel Manager is the Max Booking Engine, which is customisable and responsive to a group’s need. Most importantly, its many features include the ability to make a trip itinerary and book multiple hotels – something larger groups cannot ignore. It is available in multiple languages and currencies.
How can boutique hotels, smaller resorts, independent properties get benefited by implementing your solutions?
For smaller resorts and independent properties that are typically resource-crunched, we are a cost-effective one-stop-shop for all their online distribution and growth needs – an integrated platform to service their reservation management requirements.
Our product suite can be customised to meet the unique needs of smaller properties, enabling them to ‘be seen’ through our Instant Channel Manager that opens up distribution of their accommodation to more than 100 OTAs and major GDS, also integrating with major payment gateways and property management systems that they may already be using. The ConvertDirect Booking Engine is a flexible and easy to use system that helps properties grow their zero-commission, direct bookings. Between the two systems, features such as insightful reporting, tracking competitor rates and installing a widget on the website that displays key OTA rates, helps optimise online revenue.
STAAH’s InstantWebsites has been developed keeping in mind smaller properties. It makes building high-performing websites a breeze and has a very simple content editing system.
For a growing hotel chain what are the biggest advantages of cloud-based channel management solutions?
- Instant and quick update of inventory and rates across all channels with the press of a button.
- Accessible anytime, anywhere and even on-the-go with the STAAH app.
- Operational efficiency – a cloud-based channel management cuts out hours needed to manage multiple online channel and reduces the chances of manual errors.
- Insightful reporting leads to data-led strategy decisions on online distribution and growth.
- An integrated platform to manage the booking management needs of all properties in the group.
What has been your focus on innovation?
The travel and booking landscape has completely changed in the last few years. How we find our next travel experience, how we research, where we book it…it’s all changed, redefined first by the advent of faster internet and now by mobile. As a major Google study says about mobile, “It’s fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro-moments.” It is important now, more than ever before, for brands to be relevant at each stage of this fractured consumer journey and be completely flexible to meet their needs to remain competitive. Our product innovation has been centred on this dynamic environment, providing hospitality businesses the tools and platforms they need to increase their digital footprint, maximise their online growth and remain ‘relevant’ to their core audience.
Your perception of the Indian hospitality market and how STAAH solutions are uniquely positioned to help hotel businesses?
We’ve spoken about dynamism and technology being a disrupter in the hospitality and travel sector. This is also true of India and forward-thinking hospitality businesses, be it the small independent property owners or larger chains, with an eye for innovation are bound to turn some of the challenges into opportunities.
And that’s where STAAH fits in. We are well placed through our suite of technology products to help hoteliers deal with concerns around aggregators or address the shifting consumer mindset that is seeking authenticity and personalisation. We offer technology that the consumers are ready to adopt and what will drive real value to hoteliers.