Travel

STARTUP STAGE: ZentrumHub’s AI-based hotel booking engine

STARTUP STAGE: ZentrumHub's AI-based hotel booking engine


Zentrumhub

Zentrumhub

ZentrumHub is an AI-powered hotel booking platform that is B2B, B2C and meta-ready and provides an end-to-end experience for users.

The India-based company, which has more than 30 employees, was founded in 2021.

What is your 30-second pitch to investors?

ZentrumHub is an emerging artificial intelligence and ChatGPT-based hotel booking engine and supplier connectivity solutions provider.

Zentrum Connect allows travel agencies to access 50-plus suppliers, global distribution systems (GDS), bed banks and channel managers with a user-friendly application programming interface (API) and start using rates and inventory from suppliers from day one.

Zentrum Booking Engine is an AI-enabled B2B and B2C booking engine with modules like revenue management, currency conversion, white label, agent boarding and hotel-room mapping integration that offers an online travel agency-like hotel booking experience. Its Chat GPT-powered chatbot lets users chat and get inventory and rate options dynamically live from the booking engine. Users can chat and get personalized results and recommendations from the chatbot based on their interests.

ZentrumHub is trusted by global travel businesses and Fortune 500 companies like Akbar Travels, Expedia, Booking.com, Smarter Travel, etc. 

Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.

ZentrumHub focuses on enabling all sizes of travel businesses to get their clients the fastest and most accurate results on API and an intuitive hotel booking experience.

With the rise of the tourism and travel industry, every online travel business wants to prosper, and new ones are emerging; they don’t just need a website but need recommendations on choosing suitable suppliers, business configurations like markups, offers, integrating their APIs, monitoring, getting performance analytics and handling customer support, etc. ZentrumHub does it all; we are not just technology providers but a consulting partner for our clients as well with our deep industry knowledge.

Our AI-enabled products, Zentrum Booking Engine, White Label solution and Zentrum Connect, are designed to solve the issues all travel businesses face in offering their customers the best hotel booking experience and managing every operation at their end.

Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.

Strength: With our skilled and well-experienced team members in travel technology and the vast network within the industry, we understand the ins and outs of the industry, giving us an edge over others. In a short time, we could associate with Fortune 500 companies.

Weakness: As a bootstrap startup, the turn-around time of the sales cycle completion is longer as large enterprises take time to try and trust something like us.

Opportunity: Revenue in the travel and tourism market is projected to reach $854.7 billion in 2023, as per Statista. The industry will need modern technology and a modern approach to handle this growth. This presents a massive opportunity for travel businesses and, in turn, us.

Threat: We are confident about our solutions and plan to learn as we progress in this journey while improving wherever needed, but we don’t see any threats currently.

What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?

Currently, the travel industry has been complaining about the following pain points:

The travel businesses have to face several challenges when it comes to integrating supplier APIs on their end:

  • Understanding and implementing supplier APIs require a high level of technical expertise. Travel agencies need a team proficient in API integration, system configuration and troubleshooting.
  • Continuously keeping APIs and current systems updated to gel up with dynamically changing technology behind these supplier APIs.
  • Ensuring that the information from these APIs is up-to-date and reliable to provide a positive customer experience.
  • Differentiating themselves from competitors to attract customers and secure bookings by providing a seamless booking experience.
  • Handling data securely and complying with data protection regulations.

We simplify the process and solve several issues like the ones stated above, no matter the scale and model of clients’ business.

So you’ve got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?

We are grateful to have the trust of some esteemed clients in our kitty in such a short period. We bank on their recommendations, and not only that – we are investing in sales and marketing to ensure we get more eyes on our products and people experience them firsthand. But long story short, we will always have our clients as our brand ambassadors.

Tell us what process you’ve gone through to establish a genuine need for your company.

Every travel business, regardless of size, needs fast supplier integration APIs, the ability to choose suppliers, quality and accurate inventory content and a hotel booking engine with essential features like revenue management, currency conversion and hotel-room mapping integration.

Many also need complete white-label solutions and a back office system with full control and on-spot changes as per requirements.

We provide solutions that cover everything – from integration to customer support.

Using our AI-powered Zentrum Booking Engine and supplier integration platform Zentrum Connect, travel businesses drastically speed up their time to market and boost conversions and profits.

ZentrumHub exponentially scales up the travel businesses and helps launch one quicker.

How and when will you make money?

We are already making revenues and are profitable with more than 35 customers and more than 50 suppliers connected with our platform, including leading travel agencies from North America, South America, India and the Middle East. Our target is to reach 100 customers by the end of next financial year.

What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?

Our leadership team comes with a rich background in travel technology and experience in building and transforming agencies with multi-million and billion-dollar revenue.

Abhinav Sinha, CEO, from the beginning of ZentrumHub – has been the driving force behind its technological advancements and business growth. He brings over a decade of experience to the world of travel technology. He’s a tech enthusiast and a strategic thinker skilled in building SaaS products, business development, business strategy, budgeting, and client onboarding.

Bhushan Tamhankar, COO, is a seasoned strategist at ZentrumHub, bringing over eighteen years of invaluable experience from the heart of the travel industry. Bhushan has left an indelible mark in the travel landscape with a career spanned across renowned organizations. With Bhushan’s visionary leadership, ZentrumHub is primed for an era of strategic excellence and industry transformation.

Mrigendra (Boney) Mittal, sales and marketing director. His journey is a testament to over a decade of mastery in sales. With a rich tapestry of experience, Mrigendra is responsible for charting ZentrumHub’s go-to-market strategy. He’s the driving force behind the company’s sales initiatives, strategic partnerships, and client relations. With extensive and ever-increasing knowledge, guidance, and insights, we are confident that we have what it takes to be a game-changer in this business.

Kumar Waghmode, director of engineering, is an impressive leader with an illustrious career spanning over 12 years. He boasts an extensive and diverse skill set encompassing various software development platforms, including agile tech, DevOps, MLOps, analytics, continuous delivery, and design thinking. His visionary approach and unmatched acumen position Kumar as the driving force behind the strategic evolution of our product offerings, destined to set them apart as one-of-a-kind solutions.

Sharlet Rajeeva, director of customer success, oversees customer support, onboarding, and customer relations. She brings over a decade of experience and expertise in handling various types of customers. With a proven track record of leading high-performing teams, she has successfully managed to catch the nerve of the customer and solve the issues strategically. Sharlet’s leadership carries a culture of excellence, making her an invaluable asset to the team and a pivotal contributor to ZentrumHub’s customer success performance.

How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your business?

At ZentrumHub, we don’t just offer a job opportunity; we provide a way to create a dent in the travel industry and a fulfilling career. Our dedication pushes beyond traditional workplaces with the core values of innovation, cooperation, ownership, transparency, empathy, and personal growth.

We help create a co-thriving environment that fosters our team members’ professional and personal aspirations. We know that a well-balanced life is crucial for personal well-being and professional success, and we act on it. Our pleasure is encouraging flexibility for our team members and celebrating their varied opinions, beliefs, and achievements beyond work.

What’s been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?

We never thought attracting the right talent would be so time-consuming. We are still adding more members for our different departments, but this takes a lot of time as it is challenging to find people who understand your products well and take ownership.

And, of course, expanding the company footprints across the various markets takes a lot of patience, and you have to prove why your solutions are the best.

But we enjoy all of these processes, and this is what got us here and will take us ahead, too.

Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact – so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?

With our experience in travel technology, our next-gen products and a solid team, we will be one of the lucky ones.

Since we understand the specific needs of different markets, our products have strong logic, help clients quicken their time-to-market and have dedicated customer success teams; we can offer customizations tailored to every client’s needs. Only we can offer our clients such a combination of solutions so they can take their burden off.

A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?

As mentioned earlier, we are thankfully going strong now, and we hope to have expanded to more global markets with around 100+ customers by the end of next financial year.

What is your end-game (going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)?

Our ultimate aim at ZentrumHub is to become the global hub for supplier API connections. We’re focused on achieving this by consistently innovating to build the most brilliant and fastest hotel API platform while expanding our reach through significant enterprise customer acquisitions. Our vision is to grow and lead the way in this dynamic industry with no specific exit strategy.

PhocusWire’s Startup Stage

PhocusWire profiles startups in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.



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