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 June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.