RedDoorz opens for busi­ness

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - SUNDAY BIZ - By An­nelle Tayao-Juego @neltayaoINQ

To be a tech-driven, mod­ern ac­com­mo­da­tion brand that is avail­able on ev­ery rel­e­vant street corner in South­east Asia—and, pos­si­bly, the world.

Such is the am­bi­tion of RedDoorz, an on­line ho­tel book­ing plat­form which prom­ises high­qual­ity ameni­ties and ser­vices in af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tions. The com­pany part­ners with ex­ist­ing bud­get ho­tels which they re­brand un­der their name—a name that guar­an­tees a pleas­ant stay that won’t burn a hole in one’s pocket.

“Our busi­ness model works a lot like Grab,” ex­plains COO Rishabh Singhi. “They don’t own any cars, but the drivers op­er­ate un­der the SOPs of Grab. Same­with us—we don’t own any prop­erty, nei­ther do we op­er­ate them. We do the en­tire client ac­qui­si­tion for the ho­tel, mean­ing only RedDoorz is re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing in cus­tomers, and that ho­tel has to op­er­ate on the SOPs given by RedDoorz.”

Singhi adds that RedDoorz’s brand of hos­pi­tal­ity re­volves around three things: tech­nol­ogy, house­keep­ing, and guest re­la­tions.

He says more of­ten than not, the two-, three-star es­tab­lish­ments that part­ner with them are sim­ply out­dated, their own­ers and staff un­aware of to­day’s ho­tel stan­dards.

“These ho­tels nor­mally op­er­ate very low-tech, whereas RedDoorz op­er­ates on a high-tech plat­form,” he says. “[Our tech­nol­ogy] saves them a lot of time, plus if they were to buy this type of tech­nol­ogy that’s out on the mar­ket, it would be out of reach for them. It’s very ex­pen­sive. So they get ac­cess to this tech­nol­ogy, and the train­ing on how to use it.”

Then there is fur­ther train­ing of house­keep­ing and guest re­la­tions staff.

“In the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor, the ho­tel could be two-, three-star, but ser­vice could be five-star. And that’s the good thing about Filipinos—they have that ser­vice mind­set,” Singhi says.

And it’s be­cause of such mind­set that Filipino trav­el­ers have much higher ex­pec­ta­tions when it comes to ho­tel ser­vice com­pared to their Asian coun­ter­parts, Singhi em­pha­sizes. The com­pany has also ob­served, in its al­most one year of op­er­at­ing here in the coun­try, that Filipinos also travel more fre­quently; like to spend money; and are highly so­cial—their dis­cov­ery of travel ac­tiv­i­ties starts on so­cial me­dia, not Google.

RedDoorz also ad­dresses the needs of mil­len­nial trav­el­ers, Singhi adds, whom he says have habits that are com­pletely dif­fer­ent from older gen­er­a­tion.

“When our par­ents would go out for hol­i­day, it was a rare oc­cur­rence. [Younger trav­el­ers] go out to travel three times a year, on av­er­age. And the in­come lev­els of these peo­ple aren’t that high, so if you travel three times a year, you would have to travel bud­get at some stage, but you don’t want to com­pro­mise on safety, com­fort. So that’s what we are ad­dress­ing,” he says.

Singhi, along with RedDoorz CEO Amit Saber­wal, started the com­pany in 2015 by rent­ing out just one apart­ment—their own—in In­done­sia to trav­el­ers.

Soon they were rent­ing out 15 apart­ments, but Singhi says they re­al­ized that it wasn’t ex­actly what they wanted.

“Our dream was to have a ho­tel chain across South­east Asia. We didn’t knowhow, but we wanted to be a player in the ho­tel in­dus­try across South­east Asia,” says Singhi.

Lit­tle by lit­tle, the two worked out ex­actly how they wanted to op­er­ate be­fore land­ing on the model that worked.

The brand’s name­was in­spired by a com­mon color found in all of South­east Asia’s coun­tries’ flags—red—as well as the com­pany’s de­sire “to open our doors,” says Singhi.

RedDoorz now has around 500 ho­tel part­ners in the re­gion, with 70 prop­er­ties in four cities in the Philip­pines.

With their rapid ex­pan­sion, Singhi says they plan to be the No. 1 name in South­east Asian bud­get ac­com­mo­da­tion—and, even­tu­ally, across the globe.

“That’s the funny thing about am­bi­tion,” says Singhi. “It just keeps get­ting big­ger.”

RedDoorz COO Rishabh Singhi

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