Bookbyslot plans to raise funds to expand
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Born in Kanpur, studied in Delhi, completed post-graduation in New Zealand, worked across Mumbai and Dubai- the sobriquet ‘global citizen’ suits Anubhav Agarwal to a tee. He was living in Dubai for about four years when the entrepreneurship bug brought him back to New Delhi to launch his startup Bookbyslot, one of the first few travel booking engines to provide slot booking to its patrons. A former banker with JP Morgan Chase and Emirates National Bank of Dubai, 35-year old Agarwal, brings in his global outlook into Bookbyslot.
An elaborate tête-à-tête with Baishali Mukherjee captures Agarwal’s entrepreneurial dreams, journey and ambitions. Read on!
I used to travel in India and abroad a lot and I noticed that often I ended up paying whole day’s hotel tariff despite staying in the room only for a few hours. I thought and researched that many people across India and the world face this same problem. This was the trigger which gave birth to Bookbyslot in 2016. I was also inspired to do something on my own when one my close friends launched his startup and told me that it was not easy starting up and it was not everyone’s cup of tea. I took this as a positive challenge.
Going slow but steady
I conceived Bookbyslot to deliver high-quality product with a strong emphasis on safety, fun, professionalism and a personal service. Our philosophy of Explore, Experience, and Evolve epitomizes our goal to provide a life-changing experience for our guests in a safe and fun environment. Our network is strongly supported by more than 500 business associates and we offer travel services for all investor segments including corporate schemes, holiday packages, slot booking and full night booking. We have already achieved a big milestone by signing up with more than 150 hotels big hotel chains in India and signing tie ups with big corporate houses of the country to work with them together and increase our business and gain traction.
We started with an initial investment of Rs 20 lakh and my co-founder Atul Krishan and I promoted the company. We are presently looking forward to bootstrap the business first by generating more revenue and becoming a profitable venture post which we would look for seed funding to expand in different cities.
After the soft launch about two months ago we have gained good visibility among customers, hotels and the industry. There has been a decent traction in the market and we have cloc ked around 100 bookings in two months of time.
Growth in business is always collective
Presently we are operating from two offices, one in South Delhi and the other being located in Mumbai. We have hired employees with extensive back ground in travel and hospitality business coming with almost two decades of experience. The team includes five members in the sales, business development and procurement of hotels. Our technology, marketing and communications team makes the strength to 10.
We have a simple and terse hiring strategy and always look for individuals with exceptional talent and rigour to perform and go out of their normal work duties, people who aspire to become big as we grow as one team and the organisation reaches new heights. I personally believe that anyone can work hard but it is about being part of the team. No one person can grow alone, he/she must trust the team he has at his disposal to help him/her reach where they want to.
It’s all about the potential of your product
Travel Space has always been crowded with giants being around, the only thing constant is time that it will keep on moving something that might be huge today might not exist tomorrow. It is not about the competition but about what your product has the potential to do. Providing the users with a service of the future is what start-up owners should be looking into. Rest will follow.
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