REPUP: Expansively Growing Its Customer Base At 600% & Are Planning To Go Global Soon
REPUP is a B2B ORM – Online Reputation Management platform. It provides customer experience management tools for hotels and hospitality businesses. The platform helps hotels to measure, benchmark and improve the user experience of their guests.
BWDisrupt interacts with Pranjal Prashar, Co-Founder REPUP
Founding Date: December,2014
About the CO-Founder Pranjal Prashar
Pranjal comes from a working middle class family in Bihar. Pranjal’s Mother and aunts were teacher so he grew up with reading lot of books and listening to classical music. Problem solving approach and creative thinking was strongly encouraged at home. His Father was working with Air force so he moved to a small town called Sirsa in Haryana for education. He was really fascinated with Microsoft’s DOS in childhood, so willingness to study computers was there.
Since his elder brother was studying in IIT Delhi at that time, chasing IIT JEE was mandatory. He settled with an additional I and studied IT systems at IIITM Gwalior. Started building products in college, loved the power of technology.
How it was started?
Pranjal introduced their first module in 2013, a brand advocacy platform for hospitality businesses. Based on their data and inputs from clients he decided to build something which can give a holistic pictureof online reputation and help the clients improve the customer experience.
Hospitality sector were already getting serious about online reviews and comments. Restaurants were runningout of business because of blogs and social posts. The solution was needed and there was a white spaceso he decided to jump in.
What are the Unique key feature/services that you offer?
REPUP applies semantic technology and has in its kitty intuitive decision making tools. It uses a patent-pending algorithm to present guest experience in a measurable framework. The platform generates performance reports to enhance guest experience. Their patent-pending technology analyzes original review data with almost 90% accuracy.
How Repup different from existing ones?
Repup brings value to its clients - The hospitality industry has undergone a sea change in terms of customer expectation and behavior. Countless reviews in several languages are made every day on known and unknown, travel and holiday platforms. Having knowledge of all feedbacks and then making sense of this clutter can be an unnerving task. REPUP makes life easier for its hotelier clients by compiling all reviews onto one single dashboard. Hoteliers get all the reviews and information regarding their hotels on a single platform.
What is you current Funding Status?
Indian angel network (IAN) (an undisclosed amount). Sanjay Mehta, KeshavMurugesh and Apurva Parekh &AjitSuranahad led this round of investment.
Describe the mechanism of your Monetization Model?
Flat annual rental based upon no of keys.
Please tell us about you recent Traction details?
In last 12 months RepUp has grown its customer base by 600%.
Growing at monthly 8/9% the company is eyeing international market.
What are your Future plans?
The company has already added known industry names like RaddissonBlu, ITC Welcom Heritage, Fortune, Lemontree Hotels, Fabhotels, Pride Hotels and many more to its client list. It plans to add another 2000 clients to its list this year.
Can you elaborate about your Marketing Plans?
RepUp is reaching its target market through a mix of traditional & digital marketing mediums. RepUp has Feet on Street in 4 cities and a very strong channel partnership across tier 2 cities.
Tell us about the major Challenges faced?
Pranjal tried his first startup in college around speech recognition technology and got introduced to startup world in 2008 through Power of Ideas by ET & IAN. He was among last 150 companies who got mentored through IAN members. The startup did not take off but he learnt a lot during those 3-4 months.
Before building another product, he decided to learn the nuances of running a business and so he joined an early stage startup Aujas. He worked in Aujas Networks, a growth stage startup for 3 years before starting up.
REPUP is already looking to tackle future challenges by creating ecosystem around the platform, OTAs & and industry applications are being integrated in the first phase to provide deep analytics of connected data.
What is the current Market Size you are looking at?
Hospitality in India is still in early growth phase, online transaction is growing at 35% per annum growth rate. Out of 1.2L hotels in India 80% are still unorganized. Some industry reports suggest 10.7B dollar market for CEM/ORM.
How is online reputation management directly affecting revenue volume of hotel industry?
Online reputation management – ORM has become the buzzword for the travel and hospitality sectors. ORM has gained a particular importance in the hotel industry because of the sheer volume of business that the industry generates from online sources. The online volume pie is becoming chunkier day by day.
Today in India 25% of entire hotel bookings are done online. 90% of the users read a minimum of three online reviews before making a booking. And the smartphone empowered traveler is free to leave as many reviews online as he wishes has left the hoteliers with a Hobson’s choice – Manage your reputation online or die trying!
Those online reviews that come armed with additional statistical data or an action button are more potent indirectly affecting the revenue of the hotels. Goibibo shows the number of times a review has been read on their platform thereby automatically adding a variable degree of credit to each and every review in the eyes of every new reader. A “book now” action button alongside a customer review increases the significance of the review manifold. The connection between the online reputation and sales becomes direct and immediate.
Additionally, reputation needs to be managed across a varied number of known and unknown platforms so that it reflects in positive changes in sales volume. An understanding of the cross-platform interplays online also helps the hoteliers to manage their own ORM. For example, Makemytrip and Goibibo are leading Indian Online Travel Agencies - OTAs. Both these players are currently investing heavily in review platforms. Quite simply Review platforms add creditability to OTA offerings. OTAs account for almost 72% of the total online bookings. Customers book standalone and individual properties mostly through OTA channels. The remaining 28% of online booking is through individual websites mostly of brands that have a chain of properties. So it is very clear that ORM reigns supreme in the minds of hoteliers today to drive revenue and growth.
A recent study undertaken by us at our organization has thrown up some significant results for the hoteliers. The study shows that a mere 1% increase in reputation score leads to a 6.9% increase in Average Daily Rate – ADR. The same 1% increase in reputation score leads to 1.4% increase in occupancy. This study shows a direct and a high correlation between ORM and occupancy and revenue volumes. A better ORM score definitely translates into a higher revenue for hotels.
Occupancy rate, ADR, and Revenue per available room (RevPAR) have traditionally been the KPAs in the hotel industry. New age hotels like OYO, Treebo, and Fab Hotels have added new KPAs like a number of reviews, ratings, rankings and guest satisfaction index. This shows the seriousness and importance accorded to ORM. Reviews are a veritable mine of information for hoteliers to get an in-depth insight into what satisfies their customers and which areas need to be re-furbished immediately. Online reviews reach prospective customers far and wide. ORM is no longer a luxury – it is a necessity for the very survival of the players in the hotel industry.
The hotels that are going to win in the long run will be determined by:
- Their ability to get a glowing and positive online review from 100% of their guests.
- Their ability to quickly analyze and consume guest reviews into their internal processes and make effective changes immediately.
Around The World