Lesson Learnt From The Journey of Treebo
Where the team functions with the mind of an engineer and with a heart of hotelier, Treebo can be designated as a digital hotel. Being the pioneers for many digital innovations over the span of three years, Siddharth Gupta, Co-Founder, Treebo Hotels shared his four learnings from the journey of Treebo so far.
IT’S BEEN just over three years since the company’s founding, and Treebo is already India’s highest rated and third largest hotel brand in India (behind Taj and ITC). While the hospitality industry has attracted a huge amount of capital over the years, one of the problems largely unsolved has been the quality of stay experience at budget hotels, especially in the Rs 1000 to Rs 3000 price segment. Treebo, promising to serve satisfactory and everlasting guest experience in that domain, runs in a franchise model currently present in 75 cities with over 400 franchise and 10,000 keys in total.
“We are building the Mc Donald’s of the hospitality industry, where until now the budget segment was only dominated by the standalone very similar to the F&B market back in the 90s,” said Sidharth Gupta, Co-Founder, Treebo Hotels. He was speaking at the BW Hotelier Indian Hospitality Awards and Summit 2018 at The Leela Ambience, Gurugram.
Where the team functions with the mind of an engineer and a heart of hotelier, Treebo can be designated as a digital hotel. Being the pioneers for many digital innovations over the span of three years, Siddharth shared his four learning from the journey of Treebo so far.
- Competitive Advantage is a Myth:
With adequate technology, information abundance age, shifting loyalties of customers in the age of social media and with the adequate capital, anyone can do what they are willing to. Competitive advantage is a myth as no one is secure. According to Siddharth, only three things can have competitive advantage i.e., if one is in a network business if one is having proprietary assets and the execution DNA of the organisation. “At Treebo we believe in ‘six months head start’ which means in a competitive market as such, we stay six months ahead,” he said.
- Disrupt Internally to Avoid External Disruption:
The vulnerability to get disrupted stems from lack of willingness to innovate, or lack of capability to innovate. Giving the example of Nokia, Sidharth stated, “Nokia lost out in the smartphone battle irrespective of the fact that they were the pioneers to build a smartphone. The only reason behind was they did not have the courage internally to dedicate resources to something which did not have the market at that point in time.” In Every three months, Treebo organises a hackathon in order to continue to disrupt internally.
- Fail Fast Fail Smart:
In a traditional setup, where failure is always looked down upon, Treebo rewards the failure because “unless you don’t fail, you don’t learn,” believes Sidharth. “At Treebo we have two values, ‘obligation to invent’ and ‘display urgency’. Combining the both, we encourage our colleagues to try out an idea even if it gives 70 percent of surety,” he stated.
- Be Clear About Your North Star:
Sometimes in the lure of disruption and innovation, one might start questioning or compromising something that actually is very important for their business. For Treebo it is the absolute obsession with the customer experience. Sidharth believes, “We are very clear that experience is our north star and in midst of all the innovation happening we make sure we do not disturb to deliver a good experience to our guests and to our partners. At the same time, the north star should not become the disguise for stubbornness.”
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