Archive for February, 2007

Ginger Hotels Online Reservation Engine Review

Ginger Hotels

Ginger hotels an budget hotel initiative by Taj Group finally has an online presence . The hotel website is available at . The site provides necessary information on format of the hotel and services offered. Example The most advertised self-check-in facility. Pick and Drop counter using which you can get your laundry services done as well as order food from restaurants delivering near by. This is pretty good keeping in mind most of the people who stay at budget hotels tend to eat outside the hotel due to food tend to be more expensive in hotel as compared to eateries in neighborhood.

Anyway getting back to the hotel reservation engine used. The site is not compatible with Firefox and Opera browser hence had to do extra effort to open internet explorer to test the site. Finally when the reservation engine loaded correctly on the server after providing my dates and contact information the site took me to a registration page which again asked for the same information and created a user name and password with the details provided. On login with the same rather than advising me on selection made or if the rooms are available on set date and confirm the total cost for the stay they took me straight to Online ICICI Bank payment gateway web page.

Very bad by any online reservation engine standard. This will lead to great loss of advertising revenue for converting site hits into sales. We have sent an email to Media relations officer to forward our review to concerned authority in the organization lets see if Ginger hotels can respond back with changes to take advantage of web as an effective sales medium

Airdeccan goes for new Internet Reservation Engine

This is just in air deccan india’s leading low cost no frill airline has dumped interglobe technologies India   for Radixx International a US based travel technology software provider for their Online Internet Reservation Engine. Launch of Air deccan site marked Interglobe’s arrival in Travel technology vertical as an established player.

Using Radixx International’s hosted Air Enterprise suite which has also found taker earlier in Go Air . Go Air has much more simpler and efficent reservation engine instead of Air Deccan airlines. On Feb 27th 2007  till 2 PM air deccan reservation engine was still having trouble pulling out fares but after couple of attempts to run a query resulted in result format similar to Go Air.  The Corporate and Travel Agent login is also down due to changeover in system.

Possible Indian companies dont understand concept of effective changeover or Business Continuity planning keeping in mind Air deccan operations are 100% dependent on internet as sales channel.

This is second airlines in short span of 10 days to change their reservation engine and site format after jet airways first covered on Business India 2.0.

Yes Bank and UTI bank to go for Co-branded ATM ran a story on RBI allowing yes bank and UTI to launch co-branded ATM. As a consumer how does it effect one and secondly as a business what scope of opportunity does it open businesses.

We all have been using ATM’s for a while now and understand its working. Very basic if you use your bank atm their is transaction fees or no fees based on type of account maintained. If you use some other banks ATM to withdraw cash you need to pay more transaction fees. Some time keeping in mind hassles and lack of availabilty of own bank ATM you tend to use other bank’s atm to withdraw cash. In other countries outside india its a full fledge business for smaller banks to cut down on their running expense for ATM network to become bank end providers as white label service providers and let non-banking entities manage ATM setup,installation and maintainance cost.

Keeping this in mind lets look at opportunity this sector hope to provide. At the rate which bank account penetration is increasing in india keeping in mind requirement to maintain bank account for various types of transactions the industry is going to grow. Hence mass base is available for the services. Secondly with concept of shopping malls hitting india it would not be possible for all banks to have ATM’s located in every shopping mall hence another space of opportunity.  Cash less transaction will became way to go forward and with RBI policy making banks participation in program necessary it brings sense of reliability for consumers also sense of process for organizations with access to banks cash corpuses.

This brings down level of investment for non-banking entity to space and capital expenditure requirement for ATM machine and network maintainance.

Possible suitors for such sector are : Reliance Capital, Essel Group (ITZ Cash), Bharti

Is it really worth to go for Blackberry for GTalk

Since launch of blackberry pearl postered all across media from airtel to hutch all top providers offering the handset on the network, it really make the indian mind tickle which has liking for new mobile phones and flashy cars. Recently some one asked my advice before going in for the blackberry pearl, mid level IT proffesional with only use for the pearl to using Gtalk VOIP capabilities to remain in touch with his partner. Doing some further research on Gtalk for blackberry revealed that main reason for him to go for Blackberry is not supported. It allows basic instant messaging and email. This is available on any phone across any network from yahoo and msn for long time.

So anand if you are reading this post Blackberry is not the phone you should go for. – PVR Movies online booking engine

PVR Movies Logo is not a bad designed website but unfortunately their online booking engine still requires lot of work.  I use the site a lot to get show timing and new releases date. But never actually tried to book movie tickets online, given the new year resolution to do maximum purchases online i thought should give them a shot. Registering with PVR website was a task in itself for me as i never expected the site to be not friendly to Mozzila firefox browser. Once the registration was completed they had an email system where activation code is sended which need to be entered on the site to get the account activated. I thought the problem only lay with registration system hence again gave the site shot with firefox browser selected the movie and show which i wanted ticket for. Though i like the online seat selection procedure with live feed on seats available, but again ran into problem after entering credit card was unable to get response back. Problem firefox. Tried the whole procedure using Internet Explorer worked fine. Wasnt happy paying INR 10 extra per ticket as convienance charge but its alrite as atleast it ensures i will get seat in show of my choice. Site has lot of usability issue and would have preffered to book it using movietell but unfortunately they still dont have PVR cinemas on their movie booking engine.

Movietell on other hand has improved a lot with faster retrival of information and easier user interface to manage with nice use of javascript and AJAX. Keeping more information aside for next month review of movietell to launch National Property Stock Exchange – can it work!!

Financial Express carried a news about to launch National Property Stock exchange with liquidity corpus of 500 crores. I had thought of similar idea almost 9-10 months back but following short falls lead me to scrap it for time being

– With higher valuations of property what kind of mechanism or calculation to be brought down to breakup property into equity. So more than one buyer could be invested on the property.

– What kind of property will be allowed to get listed keeping in mind in India biggest problem with properties is unclear title or unregistered properties

– In terms of liquidity as property registration and transfer etc takes long time how can they promise within 7 days money invested will be again available to buyer if willing to get out of the investment

– How will the sub-brokers etc benefit in getting people to sell their property via national property stock exchange in terms will they get commission on trades for doing nothing or defined procedural role have been created.

– Will margin account concept be made available for people to invest in properties at higher interest rate. If yes then if one partner is pledging equity in property as collateral will conset of others required.

Though property in india has high investment return but the reason for that being 60% of money is being traded in black market and mostly speculated. Will have to wait for more rules and further press releases from to understand their model.










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Travel Portal Synergies – to power air deccan hotel engine

First it was – spicejet airlines and now its – air deccan news. Travel portals in india have stuck upon opportunity to help low cost airlines derieve value added benefits from their existing online infrastructure setup. This will help travel portals to keep moving their inventory which is essential to keep up with the volume targets and help airlines to monetize and keep customers from wandering off to travel portals like travelguru which are going the package deal way to woo in clients.

For all the travel portal owners potential list of airlines to get in touch to derieve business.

– Kingfisher Airlines

– Indigo Airlines

– Go Airlines

these are the airlines one should bet on to get some synergies going.

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February 2007