“Everyone is looking for profit, so how much profit you can generate for your client is what matters the most.” – Sourabh Khandelwal, Co-founder and CEO, Trag Sales4You
“We are a profiteering partner with hotels and restaurants. If you have a restaurant and you are in loss, we will convert that into profit. That is what our business provides,” says Sourabh Khandelwal, Co-founder of Trag Sales4You in a conversation with Startup Story Media.
The idea of hotel & restaurant management
Sourabh was still a college student when the idea of starting a restaurant and hotel management business came to him. It was during a 4-months internship in Udaipur with Oberoi Hotel when the idea came to him. The first chance to actually manage a hotel came to him when he was working with Mayfair Rourkela.
Sourabh tells Startup Story Media the story of his first assignment, “I was working with Mayfair Rourkela. One day someone visited us there and told us that they had a hotel in Jharsugda which was in the loss. That was the first offer I had and when I visited the hotel I realised that the hotel had everything but what it lacked was a well-trained staff. I started working on their property alone and in just about a month, the whole scenario changed and the hotel started running in profits.”
As of now, Trag Sales4You manages hotels and restaurants for owners and saves them the trouble of having to come and visit the place on a regular basis.
“We track everything in Restaurants and manage it for these owners. At the end of the day, we provide the complete data about their restaurants on a regular basis – from the staff to the expense and profit, we update them on everything. So owners could get a daily report about their restaurants and they didn’t have to come here for a daily visit,” Sourabh tells us.
Uplifting and promoting the staff
It would be totally wrong to think that Trag Sales4You is only focused on growing itself – it focuses equally on the growth of its employees as well.
“The major problem I found in this industry, with independent hotels and restaurants, is that the staff, even if they are skilled and working hard, they don’t have a future. A man who is a manager remains a manager for years, even his salary doesn’t increase that much. So what I found is that even they should be skilled, like bigger restaurant chains have skilled employees. With experience, their salary should grow, they get promoted, their workload decreases. This doesn’t happen in independent properties – here, a manager stays a manager, a steward stays a steward,” Sourabh tells Startup Story Media.
As they started receiving more projects from different restaurants, they started noticing the employees more and depending on their skills, started promoting them. “What we found out was that as their roles changed, their performances improved and they were working with much more dedication,” Sourabh cheers. Soon enough, Sourabh was joined by another partner, Sanjeeb Panda.
Challenges and developments
“The biggest challenge was to find someone as a cofounder. I’m from a management background and I’m good at that part, but I’m not very good at the tech part. If you want to be successful, you have to use technology as well as you can. Finally, I found an old friend, Mithun Meher, to join me as the co-founder,” he says.
Trag Slaes4You has grown a lot since it started. What began with a single, freelance project, has now turned into a whole business which is employing many people. They are even going to launch an application on 15 February that will be useful in taking care of entire operations where owners of these restaurants and hotels could track everything about their business. “Coronavirus wrecked the hospitality business but this application will help in managing things for the owners,” Sourabh says.
Message to everyone
Sourabh tells Startup Story Media that Promotion of staff has worked the best for them. “It’s always our staff and their promotion that has worked the best for us.”
Always believing in the power of people management and developing relationships, Sourabh has even founded a startup community. “We top 10 startup founders of Odisha together started a Trust named Scomm India. We are registered Trust and we have now more than 120 startups and people in our community. All the founders come together and sit on a table to discuss our problems and their potential solutions. We also organise Entrepreneur’s Day out every February. It’s a picnic kind of thing, where all we entrepreneurs go out somewhere, we discuss and cook together,” Sourabh said.
Sourabh says that his message to young entrepreneurs would be, “Passion is very important. Whatever you want to do in your life, be passionate about that. Passion is very important.”