TravTalk - India

2023 best year in 30 years

Anuj Bang, Chief Informatio­n Officer, Stuba, is determined to enhance the user experience on the website. He speaks exclusivel­y to about what the online accommodat­ion wholesaler will bring to the travel trade in 2024.

- Hazel Jain

Year 2023 marked a historic milestone for Stuba, a premier online accommodat­ion wholesaler catering exclusivel­y to travel agents and tour operators. It was the best year for the platform in over 30 years of trading in both sales and profitabil­ity – a testament of its resilience, strategic investment­s and commitment to its partners. Anuj Bang, Chief Informatio­n Officer, Stuba, is ecstatic.

He says, “Our proactive investment­s during COVID ensured that we emerged stronger than ever, both in structural readiness and technologi­cal advancemen­ts, which positioned us favourably for the rebound that exceeded expectatio­ns.”

A huge achievemen­t was the 100 per cent adoption of its platform for curated hotels, launched to the trade last year. This platform became a driving force behind Stuba’s substantia­l growth, offering travel agents a powerful tool to enhance their effectiven­ess.

“Throughout the year, we have continued to evolve the platform, introducin­g new curations such as trade deals, VIP perks, boutique hotels, and pre and postcruise accommodat­ions. Our commitment to product strategy was further solidified with the appointmen­t of Malcolm Lindop as Sourcing Director based in the UK. In a short time, his contributi­ons have proved invaluable in contractin­g the right products, ensuring Stuba remains at the forefront of delivering excellence to our travel agent partners. The expansion of our global sales team, including a strengthen­ed presence in India, reflected our commitment to listening to and serving the evolving needs of our travel agent partners,”

Bang adds. wins, we are confident that we are on course for another exceptiona­l year of sustained growth and profitabil­ity. In 2024, we remain dedicated to enhancing the user experience on our website, driven by continuous feedback from our valued travel agent partners. Our commitment to delivering features and tools that cater to the needs of travel agents underscore­s our unwavering support for their success,” he shares.

Behind the scenes, substantia­l investment­s are being made to comprehens­ively upgrade Stuba’s infrastruc­ture, including advanced cloud capabiliti­es, the implementa­tion of Artificial Intelligen­ce (AI) across various business functions, and the upgrading of its Customer Relationsh­ip Management (CRM) and finance systems. “These efforts are geared towards elevating our service standards, enhancing speed, and ensuring efficiency in our interactio­ns with both travel agents and hotel partners. We have already set the service bar very high to deliver excellent service, and we intend to continue to challenge ourselves and raise the bar even higher,” the young CIO says.

Collaborat­ions

Stuba has recently formed a strategic alliance with Vervotech, a renowned B2B accommodat­ion data management brand, to enhance its offerings and deliver immaculate accommodat­ion content to its customers. Through this partnershi­p with Vervotech, Stuba’s goal is to leverage Vervotech’s AI-driven hotel mapping technology to offer its customers a property list with the latest content, removing all possibilit­ies of duplicate hotel content and bad property mappings. This move also nullifies any possible challenges for Stuba related to passing outdated hotel partner data to its customers, which effectivel­y enhances the quality of its accommodat­ion offerings.

A huge achievemen­t was the 100 per cent adoption of our platform for curated hotels, launched to the trade last year. This platform became our driving force

Stuba’s platform uses clever tech to curate hotels by lifestyle categories, including luxe, beach, family, as well as predictive analytics to show trending hotels and exclusive trade deals, enabling travel agents to fine-tune their accommodat­ion searches to precisely match their client’s needs.

Sharing why he loves his work, Bang says, “There is a lot to love as I have been involved with the organisati­on since 2007. Both travel and technology are such interestin­g domains close to my heart. I get to work with such great minds and souls from within the organisati­on and the broader industry that it helps me develop as an individual every day. It is immensely satisfying when you realise that so many people, including our own staff and individual­s directly and indirectly connected to Stuba, are positively impacted by the business of which you are a part of.”

 ?? ?? Anuj Bang
Chief Informatio­n Officer (CIO), Stuba
Focus areas for 2024
As we head into 2024, Bang’s expectatio­ns and focus areas are grounded in the momentum gained from the successes of 2023. “On the back of our strategic investment­s and early
Anuj Bang Chief Informatio­n Officer (CIO), Stuba Focus areas for 2024 As we head into 2024, Bang’s expectatio­ns and focus areas are grounded in the momentum gained from the successes of 2023. “On the back of our strategic investment­s and early
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