Hello there, today in our Startup Interview series, we are publishing an interview with Team Bag2Bag.
Let’s get into it!
At a glance
- Startup name: Bag2Bag
- Sector: Hospitality
- Launch Date: 15 December 2017
- Location: Bangalore
- Funding: Bootstrapped
Hi, Could you please explain your startup?
If you simply say Bag2Bag is a technology-enabled hotel booking service provider, but we have innovated in this space in order to provide better customer service. So, we came up with hotel booking on an hourly basis with flexible check-in and check-out timing.
Our vision is to maximize the benefits of both the hotel partners and end customers. Hotels get benefited by an increase in occupancy, which as per the recent researches is one of the biggest problems of the hotel industry & end customers get benefited by saving on room rents. So, pay only for what you actually stay whether those are budget or luxurious hotels.
The idea was essentially developed by realizing our own pain when we have paid a hefty amount of money for hotel rooms while traveling for exams, interviews or even leisure. We have started doing some research and spoke with friends and found it a real pain that exists in this fast-changing world.
Our mode of travel has become so fast that in a single day we have a meeting in Bangalore and another in Singapore, we have started renting cars and bikes instead of buying them, even our size of luggage has become so light, but we are still stuck in legacy style regular 24-hour hotel booking. This must change and in fact evolving very fast.
Could you briefly tell us about the Founders?
Anurag Tiwari: Anurag Completed Btech in Electronics and communications and have previously worked with Hewlett Packard as Subject Matter Expert for a span of 5+ years. At Bag2Bag taking care of Business Development, Operations and Corporate tie-ups.
Gaurav Garg: Completed Btech in Information Technology and have previously worked with Cisco as a Software Engineer for a span of 5+ Years. At Bag2Bag leading the technical team on all the platforms be it Website, App or Hotel Dashboard.
Alok Mishra: Alok is a technology professional and has worked in the biggest MNCs around the globe with over 10+ years of rich experience. He holds an honor. Engineering degree and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). At Bag2Bag taking care of marketing and future strategies and planning.
Who is your Targeted audience?
Our business is internet-based & app-based so mostly youths are our target audience. Folks aged 20 to 45 who do frequent travel for businesses, adventures, education & day/night outs, etc. In the long run, we want to see all groups of people gets benefited from our services. More aged people travel for religious purposes, medical purposes & those who take short lay-overs in big cities, etc.
What type of strategies do you think is valuable to take the company to the next level?
Like any other e-commerce portal, we must ramp-up our customer acquisition and establish brand loyalty. We acknowledge the fact that Hotel booking portals are not something new to the market and there are huge players, national & international, operating successfully but we have identified a specific niche where no big players thought of providing services.
So, we are establishing ourselves from this specific service of hourly/customized hotel bookings.
It’s just a start for us and we are getting a good response. At the same time, we are planning expansion in other key cities as soon as we can. “Economy of scale” is something we need to achieve fast in order to maximize our revenue.
We are also strategically choosing the location of our hotel partners so that we can target all customer segments.
Since we are a technology-driven start-up, one of the key parts of our strategy to give consumers the best experience when they visit our portals and app. Also, we strive hard to introduce new features and products to reach out to all types of device users and give them a friendliest possible way for hotel bookings. We have plans to develop even more using the latest tech to out-stand in the market and hopefully, we would be doing that soon.
How would Bag2Bag contribute to the Society?
This is one question we like most. India is a fast developing country and of course one of the fastest-growing economy but per capita income is still very low here. We have a major part of the lower middle class who are continuously traveling for work, education, etc, but couldn’t afford to stay in hotels because of skyrocketing prices and ended up spending hours either on a railway station, shade or bus stops. Why can’t we offer them something which they can afford?
Most of these people just need to stay for a few hours, so we feel it is our duty to provide those hours of stay to our responsible citizens. If there is infrastructure ready, then its good to use that in the best possible ways. This is the best interest of society and fulfilling business as well as social needs.
Another important aspect is security. It is not hidden that the threat is even more for senior citizens and women. So, for all these people traveling to meet their relatives, to see their kids studying in another city or to take good treatment, it is essential to ensure that they get required and affordable stay. We feel proud that we are serving to some real social needs.
The work we and you and everyone needs to do is to spread awareness about the concept because acceptance is highly required and as we know people haven’t even accepted internet easily 😊.
What are your future plans?
At this moment, we want to expand our services in all major cities of India. One of the things we have in mind for future is to partner with Corporates because they can really get an instant benefit of our services and we also wish to partner with some other type of service providers such as commute, food, lifestyle, etc. to provide bundled services to our customer.
What challenges do you face in the market currently?
Right now, Hotels are not very accepting of the booking format we talk about so expansion is a slow process, but we see this is changing. Hotel businesses now see a huge scope and they are gradually opening.
The concept “hourly” itself makes a different angle of thought in society. We keep working on spreading the words about the benefit of our services to make people aware. So, social acceptance is also a challenge and I think it will go with time and as more and more people will use and experience the benefits of our services. Sometimes the consumer doesn’t really know what they want but someone must identify the need to fulfill the consumer expectations.
There are a few other operational challenges being a start-up such as high customer acquisition cost etc. but we are positive to progress well.
Could you share some statistics so far?
We have not accepted any outside funding for now, but we feel very fortunate to keep receiving the interest from investors. But we welcome those interest and hope to see us with some great partners in the near future.
We are very enthusiastic about our business revenue. As a start-up, we have started generating some revenue almost every day and that is great provided we have limited inventories. The road-map is clear and with all plans in place we believe to ramp-up the revenue in the coming months.
What advice would you like to give the upcoming entrepreneurs?
Our advice to budding entrepreneurs would be Firstly, “Understand the customer need and refine the product/services as per that. The funding and success will follow when people follow you and people are customers” and Secondly, “World needs a lot of entrepreneurs. Everyone cannot be Zuckerberg overnight so have patience and keep giving your best”.