I recently had the opportunity to talk with Yatin Patel. He is the CEO and Co-founder of Reservations.com, the innovative booking startup that is making huge waves in the the travel industry. Read our conversation below to learn more about his journey to success.
1. Please tell us about yourself and Reservations.com.
I’m a creative designer, founder, investor, philanthropist, and experienced entrepreneur. I have been in the business industry for more than 20 years and I have an extensive background in the internet technology and e-commerce arenas. I am currently invested in the hospitality industry. In 2014, I co-founded Reservations.com with my business partner, Mahesh Chaddah. Together, with our amazing team, we run one of the most essential startups in travel.
Reservations.com is the future of travel. We are an Orlando based company that is a leading online travel agency (OTA). Simply put, we connect travelers to the places where they want to be. We have relationships with more than 500,000 hotel properties across 5,000 locations around the globe. When people come to our site, we are able to offer them amazing deals on booking their hotel stays and car rentals.
2. What inspired you to start your business?
As a creator, I like to develop solutions to problems. Reservations.com solves a need that many travelers have. I wanted to offer a booking experience that was simple, modern and people-friendly. Our business encompasses all of those aspects in an easy-to-use platform that makes taking trips a better experience.
3. What is one of the biggest challenges in your industry and how do you rise to overcome that challenge?
The hospitality industry has many challenges, but one of the biggest challenges is automation. Often times, large companies are so automated that they are not accessible to their customers. We understand that challenges arise and we make it easy for our clients to contact us. Our solution to this industry-wide problem is simple, better customer service. To meet this need, we have invested in around-the-clock call centers where customers can get in touch, anytime. This creates a worry-free travel experience that has helped us grow and service over 2 million travelers since our inception.
4. Reservations.com is a great domain name! Why is it important for business owners to have a good name?
Thank you. Your name says a lot about your business. It should be chosen with great care. With Reservations.com it’s clear that we are a reservations company. We wanted to let the world know that we are the go-to place for your traveling needs. Although many one-word domains are scarce, there are other ways for business owners to express themselves. Whether you are looking to be creative or practical, it’s important to find a name that reflects the essence of your brand, while also providing something you can grow with. Reservations.com not only defines us, but it also gives us room to grow to offering a variety of booking services in the future.
5. Please share an interesting fact about yourself.
I’m a professionally acclaimed global photographer. It is something that brings me great joy in my personal life.
6. What are your future goals for the company?
We hope to expand into other reservation markets in the future. We are also rolling out the R Club, an exclusive loyalty program that offers our valued customers special discounted rates and access to our trip-planning experts. Our travel advisors are vastly knowledgable about creating itineraries and are available to help members design the perfect vacation.
7. Any tips for startup owners?
Start where you can and don’t be afraid to grow. We began with just a single domain name; we did not have major outside funding and have since grown into a large-scale company. We are independent and our fast growth shows that hard work pays off. We are also dedicated to constantly improving our business; we are always evolving our service to better meet the needs of our customers.