Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Nagalia

Sanjay Nagalia

Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder, IDeaS - A SAS Company

Sanjay Nagalia co-founded IDeaS Revenue Solutions in 1989 and served as Vice President of Products and Services until 2001. After leaving to pursue other entrepreneurial interests, Mr. Nagalia rejoined IDeaS in 2012 with more than 20 years of experience in product development and operations and serves as Chief Operating Officer. Since his return, Mr. Nagalia has been instrumental in reinvigorating IDeaS innovation engine; launching multiple, first-to-market products in that time. Early on in his career, Mr. Nagalia’s entrepreneurial side was on display. From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Nagalia co-founded and led a consulting company in New Delhi that offered management consultancy and custom in-shore and off-shore software development. This company was at the forefront of helping many small-to-medium--sized Indian companies with computerizing their financial systems and operations. In his time away from IDeaS, Mr. Nagalia co-founded Apex Decisions, Inc. and held the position of Chief Operating Officer from 2002 to 2011. Apex Decisions provided automated pricing decisions and revenue management solutions for fashion retail. Apex Decisions, Inc. developed specialized models for customer behavior and how they relate to customers’ buying decisions. Mr. Nagalia received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. On completing graduate studies, Mr. Nagalia worked at Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ. His early work involved developing videotext solutions (a commercial offering from AT&T and Knight-Ridder with capabilities similar to a web-browser of today) and the world’s first credit card enabled public telephone that was launched at Cincinnati Airport in 1985. During his tenure at Bell Labs, Mr. Nagalia experimented with cutting-edge technologies of the time including touch-screens, voice-recognition systems, graphical user-interfaces and early versions of the computer mouse. Mr. Nagalia’s commitment to technology advancement is a significant part of his other professional pursuits. He played a critical role forming the vision and mission of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) as a member of the organization’s original charter committee in 2000. It was in this committee that a diverse set of hoteliers and hospitality technology providers defined a roadmap for collaboration, communication standards and partnership for worldwide members of the newly formed organization. Please visit http://www.ideas.com for more information.

Mr. Nagalia can be contacted at 952-698-4200 or sanjay.nagalia@ideas.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.