Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ramanathan

Akshay Ramanathan

Founder & CEO, Sukoon Travel Group

Akshay Ramanathan brings big-idea thinking alongside a passionate curiosity for marketing, technology, and all things digital to the hospitality industry. Mr. Ramanathan began his professional career working with major companies like JetBlue and T-Mobile to generate brand awareness among university students on his local college campus.

Working at global advertising agency, BBDO, on the MARs brand account, confirmed Mr. Ramanathan's fascination with helping businesses market their products and services in the online space. The specialization into telling stories and marketing specifically travel experiences came after living abroad in South America and the Middle East. Mr. Ramanathan developed a passion for the hospitality industry and soon returned to school to pursue a masters degree in the field.

Shortly after graduation he joined HeBS Digital, creating a new role for himself as Business Development Analyst. In this position he identified and helped secure international business opportunities and expand product lines to new markets. He played a key role in bridging marketing and sales efforts and streamlining internal department processes through developing a technology stack. Now as a young entrepreneur and independent consultant he relies on a combination of specialized technology applications to help him grow and scale his business.

Mr. Ramanathan is presently working with hospitality businesses to assess the overall efficacy of their digital assets and e-commerce strategy. In doing so his aim is to make technology more meaningful and accessible for his clients who seek to maximize the value of their online marketing efforts.

Outside the office Mr. Ramanathan is an active member of the community giving back through various volunteer efforts. He presently serves as the Community Service Chair for the NYU Tisch Center Alumni Society as well as plays a role in other organizations such as HSMAI Greater New York Chapter and StreetWise Partners.

Mr. Ramanathan holds a M.S. Degree in Hospitality Industries from NYU and is a regularly featured speaker and participant in university programs and events.

Please visit http://www.sukoontravelgroup.com for more information.

Mr. Ramanathan can be contacted at 347-501-0850 or ramanathan.akshay@gmail.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.