Mahesh Chaddah is the Co-Founder of Reservations.com. Chaddah oversees technology strategy and process improvement, as well as the development of applying solutions that allows Reservations.com to anticipate and lead market transitions. Additionally, he also oversees the integration of new business models, and fosters disruptive innovations for the company.
How did you get into the industry?
I have been in the travel industry for 12 years with a background in technology. After finishing my studies, I began working with partners who had already been in the travel industry and were working on technology for travel. In 2000, online travel reservations started getting much bigger and it’s something I naturally fell into.
Any emerging industry trends?
The travel industry is always evolving. Today, we are experiencing a pendulum swing where OTAs are making a comeback. By applying a balance of both artificial intelligence and human beings to provide customer service, we are pushing industry trends for our customers.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
With the travel space shifting back to that human element, we are staying ahead of the shift by enhancing the human element in travel. Our customer service center offers 24/7 phone support where consumers can call to make bookings or to report a problem and get assistance in resolving their issue right there on the phone. With mobile bookings increasing over the past five years, we have utilized machine learning or A.I. to have that human element.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
My co-founder, Yatin Patel, and I decided that we wanted to create Reservations.com once we noticed that the landscape of the industry over the past five years has consolidated into larger brands, such as Priceline and Expedia. For instance, Travelocity, a 2nd tier brand, was consolidated by Orbitz, and then Orbitz was purchased by Expedia. There has been a paradigm shift from human travel agents to the digital side with no interaction with the consumers. We have the ability to fill this void as Reservations.com becomes a household name and recognizable brand.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
Currently, we are focused on creating a traditional travel agent personalized by human interaction, powered by A.I.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
Our key focus for Reservations.com is to provide a seamless experience for consumers. We only create partnerships with services that will benefit the consumer. For example, to further fulfill traveler’s needs, we partnered with car rentals so that it is at the customer's convenience. Keeping the human element in mind, we want to change OTAs and integrate A.I. Essentially, when making any business decision, the customer is always top of mind.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
The ideal experience is that they can seamlessly book across the different platforms and be confident to get the best choices suited for their needs or specific requirements.
Career advice to those in your industry?
The single most important advice I can share with others trying to break into the industry is to always be thinking ahead of the consumer and solving problems that will improve their experience. The industry is always evolving, so you must anticipate what the consumers’ needs will be and then meet them.