Zuzu Hotels, an International budget hotel brand promoted by former Expedia India Country Head, Vikram Malhi, will be focusing more on building technology before venturing on aggressive scaling up of the brand. After setting up Zuzu Hotels in January 2016, the company has been able to put the brand on top of nearly 200 budget properties in countries like Taiwan, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India.
“Ours is a very involved model so we want to be slow and steady in our approach. We are currently working on a bunch of technology so that we can engage with owners and make improvements easily and quickly with the help of technology. Since we are working with owners in different geographies in the world, we want to build technology which will help us coordinate and make improvements very fast,” said Malhi. Moreover, technology will also help the company to contain “people cost”, he said.
Talking about the Zuzu model, Malhi said that Zuzu is a completely “involved brand” from a budget hotel owners stand point , helping owners manage the hotel better in terms of distribution, pricing, revenue, maintaining quality standards, etc. “Generally, these owners are good at day to day operations, but are not good at managing their distribution, revenues, traveler experience, etc.,” he said. As a brand, Zuzu helps hotels to sell their inventory through all Online channels, support pricing strategies, improving quality standards to deliver traveler experience, and staff training.
We are doing same things that an established brand manager of the likes of Hilton, Taj or Accor deliver to the owner, but without incurring lot of expenses . In the category we are in, consumer doesn’t care about lot of frills,” Malhi said.
When asked about plans to raise funds for expansion, Malhi said that they do not require lot of funds in this business model. However, he informed that they might look at Series A at some stage.
Zuzu has about 45 member hotels in India.