Interview with Shahid Puthanpeediakkal – Founder & CEO of Hora Rooms
Q. Please introduce yourself in brief.
A. I am a people person, loves meeting new people and learn new things from them. Also, I am passionate about my work and enjoy what I do, I always look for opportunities than settling with what I have and where I am, which helps me in my journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. What is your start-up story.
A. The idea of starting this venture came up 2 years back when I and my friends found it difficult to find a space to stay for a few hours. I thought about providing such a space where we can stay for a few hours and ended in Hora Rooms. I still remember those sleepless nights when I was confused about my future and plans that burned in my head. Somehow I found the courage to implement my thoughts and worked on it.
Q. How difficult was your struggle during initiation of your start-up?
A. During the initial stage, I found it hard to convince hoteliers into my idea because it was a new idea to sell rooms for hours and they were into such things for the first time even though there were others who sell rooms for a time slot. The first hotel to trust us and tie up with hora is hotel Metro Calicut. Later with the help of my colleagues, especially my Co-founder and CEO Mr Muhammed Arif who have an immense experience helped in the growth of hora rooms. We fought it out and implemented our idea to hoteliers in Kerala where we started our venture.
Now we are available at entire Kerala, Mysore, Bangalore. Looking forward to cover pan India by end of Jan 2019. It’s never easy running the show, especially when you are starting a new venture, I learned that its ok to mess up with things, to fall, to feel that everything is over but it’s perfect only when we rise from that situations and face them boldly. No matter how much I am prepared, fell over unexpected hurdles but learns back quickly with the support from my well-wishers. I started with nothing but believe that I will end with something fruitful for my future to hold with the blessings of God Almighty.
Initially, it was very hard to convince everyone to get funded, later I got my cousin Abi Nawas as my first investor who is also a co-founder of hora rooms.
Later Afshin, sayam Basheer and Faisal joined Hora Rooms as directors. It took one year to launch my business to the customers and I remember my very first booking from a customer. That day was very special to me and I was very happy to know that people started using hora app, one of the happiest moment in my life. I checked my mail a hundred times maybe others felt that I am insane but I only know how I felt that day.when one’s dream and thought comes to reality.
People do judge our startup easily and give negative feedback, I do remember people around me telling that this idea doesn’t gonna work, I just waved a smile to them, now it’s secret happiness when seeing those people using my app to book hotel rooms. During the early stage of hora rooms, we really find it difficult to find customers, all the travelers were used to book a hotel on a daily basis, I need to change that culture and that was not easy, we have been pushing our ad through social media and some of them were very eager to check us,got good reviews through our social page ,it really took 1 month to get us through a good number of booking. We tried calling up our customers to know the feedback and we were very happy to know that most of them were satisfied.
Q. What is your Hora Room business into?
A. Horarooms is a web based platform where users can book hotels for hours from a minimum of 3 to 12hrs. It doesn’t sound logical to pay the hotel for 24 hours for the actual stay of few hours.
Horarooms enable customers to save their time and to get a fair price for their hourly stay. Horarooms provides hotels at different locations to allocate rooms at your schedule.
Horarooms approach helps customers to avoid forced waiting and extended stay.
Q.What Is The Other Effective Way To Measure Success Of CEO?
A. Other than the profit of a company I do believe that its the attitude of coworkers or employees towards the company that determine the success of a CEO. It will be a reflection of how they feel.
Q.Your message to the world.
A. It’s not about dreaming and boosting about your dreams, its all about having the courage to step into your dreams.