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Highlights from the article in zonestartups.com

Blynk

Meet Sunny Goenka and Vishal Dokania, the twin founders of mobile hospitality software, Blynk. Both have past experiences in successful family businesses but were rubbing their heads to do something of their own in technology and thus, started Blynk.

Sunny has completed his engineering from the UK and has done MBA from SP Jain Institute, Mumbai. He has worked in his family business, Hemlines, which manufactures and exports merchandise to global retailers like Metro and Tchibo. He has extensive experience with web technologies, SaaS products and ERP implementations. Vishal has an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from University of Maryland, College Park and a MBA degree in Entrepreneurship from University of Missouri, Kansas City. He has worked as a software developer in the USA with Cerner Corporation and Sprint Nextel. Vishal moved to India in 2008 and has worked in his family’s interior furnishing and manufacturing business, Durian, which is a famous brand in India.

Their startup, Blynk, aims to revolutionize the interaction between hospitality industry and its guests by providing innovative mobile app solutions. It makes mobile apps for hotels and restaurants. Guests can explore the property, order services and access a host of powerful features. Vishal takes care of the technology and product development. Sunny heads business development.

Hospitality industry is at the forefront of providing self service solutions to their guests. They are looking for ways to directly connect with guests to provide a better service and to increase revenues. Blynk makes it easy for the hospitality industry to join this revolution by creating a powerful and branded platform apps for hotels and restaurants.

For instance, if you are an hotelier or restaurant owner, you can have your own branded app on the Apple and the Android app store, powered by Blynk. The app can be downloaded by your guests or you can use your own tablets in rooms or in the restaurant. The app has powerful features specifically for the hospitality industry. You can also directly change the app content from a web based control panel. There is more than what meets the eye! Blynk is powering apps of hotels from Canada to Thailand. At the moment they are powering more than 50 hotel apps and growing at a fast rate.

Some of their prestigious customers are Deerfoot Casino, Canada; The Park Group of Hotels, India; Charme Hotels, Netherlands; Tropical Garden Lounge, Thailand; Madhubhan Resorts, India.

They won the “Most Innovative Product” award at Travel & Tourism Fair (TTF), one of India’s largest travel trade fair. Currently, incubated at Zone Startups India, a joint venture between BSE, India and Ryerson University, Canada.

Read the Original article here.

Blog

Highlights from the article in restaurantindia.in

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So far, mobile applications have been used primarily as a source of information and feedback. But now there is an increased integration between different restaurant offerings with mobile platforms in the areas like customer loyalty, placing orders and making payments and also promotional activities etc. For instance, Chaayos, a restaurant serving tea, uses the popular web chat platform, ‘Whatsapp’ to take orders and customer feedback thereby making the process simpler and less intrusive for the customer. And the trend is bringing the customers closer to the restaurants.

Speaking on the trend, Vivek Kapoor, Managing Partner, Dineout shares, “We at Dineout have seen significant increase in our ordering numbers since we launched our App on IOS and Android. We are getting almost 30 percent traffic through our mobile channels only.”

What has prompted the trend?

Research says many restaurants and the online food ordering and table reservations websites are moving towards the platform called Electronic Reservation Book (ERB) and are integrating Point of Sale (POS) and Androids in their businesses.

Even few technology investments are no longer limited to just backend operational initiatives or POS systems. Restaurants are turning to technology investments that directly improve guest experience. Also online orders and reservation platforms are partnering with restaurants on ERB.

According to a recent international study by Technomic on ‘consumers facing technology’, consumers use integrated mobile technology into their dining experience especially if it speeds up the process of getting their meal or paying their bill.

Restaurants using such technologies

Hotels like Peninsula Grand, Mumbai is using ‘virtual menu’, an advance tech-menu which is available on the restaurant website and can be viewed on tablets, palmtops, smart phones from where the diners can have an access to the menu offered by the restaurant.”

On the other hand, Lite Bite Foods are implementing Airline Control Programme (ACP) in their company to streamline the entire sourcing, selling and indenting.

Pizza Corner, the pizza chain in India has recently introduced mobile app ‘Today’ through which customers can order Pizza on just a single click. The user-friendly application helps customer access single detail information. The application is currently available to all Android users and will soon be available on the IOS platform.

Who are the solution providers?

With growing demand of such apps, companies like Blynk and MyPref in India have created apps to find and order food by using mobile apps being downloaded free.

MyPref has introduced a new smartphone app allowing foodies to search and locate specific food items and the restaurants. MyPref makes the guesswork out of a specific menu by providing reviews for each dish. The app is available on Android and iOS smartphones and its download is free.

Speaking on the cost required to create and maintain a mobile food app, Sunny Goenka, Co-Founder, Blynk, says, “It costs almost Rs 3000- 5000 per month to create and maintain an app. We have developed a platform which lets us create branded customised app for restaurants within few days. The apps have features required specifically by the restaurants like home delivery, digital/virtual menus, social media interaction and much more.”

Even QSR chains like Dominos, Pizza Corner, Starbucks, McDonalds, and Dunkin’ Donuts have also created their own mobile app to make the online food business much simpler and easier.

Changing the payment gateway

There are now numerous POS platforms that leverage the iPhone and other mobile devices, including Android-powered smartphones and tablet computers like the iPad, so that restaurants can process payments in the field with a credit-card reader. The readers either attach to mobile devices of the operator’s choice or accept payment through mobile applications like Google Wallet.

Atchayam Foodbox, a Chennai based automated restaurant is also using mobile phones applications to make the payment gateway easier. The diners can pay through credit or debit card by switching to the POS platforms on their iPhone and smartphone devices.

Eric Ho, Founder, Yo Yo Noodles, says, “Mobile technology is definitely becoming increasingly popular. The ability to be able to place orders from a phone app is great. I feel that within 2-3 years, we will start to see this market grow more than ever before, now we are still in early stages and people are still in the stage of familiarizing with the whole concept.”

Read the complete article here.

Highlights from the article by Jon Inge.

Jon Inge

The expanding role of mobile technology continued to be a hot theme all year. Most chains and several independent properties launched or improved their own guest-facing apps for booking and loyalty program management, and many vendors added to the range of useful apps for hotel management and staff.

Blynk launched tablet-based E-Menu apps for restaurants, bars, cafes and lounges.

As usual, many vendors landed significant multi-property orders from clients looking to standardize their operations as much as possible. These included (in alphabetical order):

Blynk: The Park Group (12 properties in India)

Read the complete article here.

TheTechPanda300x100

 

At Blynk, we love reading about technology and one of our favourite websites is The TechPanda. So of course we are excited to share that they recently wrote an article about Blynk.

When wives meet, they chat sarees, kids and husbands. And more often than not, they insist the resisting husbands to meet up, atleast once. Vishal & Sunny’s wives were friends and managed a local charity. Upon their insistence, the husbands met, and the rest they say is history!

Blynk has found a need in niche hospitality segment and high end hotels would be definitely willing to have apps complement their premium service. A strong team and a definitive target market are Blynk team’s assets.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Tour

Blynk is proud to be one of the first few companies to partner with TourWrist, the leading platform for 360* Virtual Tours. Read their announcement here, which they made at ITB Berlin.

Hotels and Restaurants are best suited to get direct benefits from virtual tours as you can demonstrate your facility much better. Virtual tours enable your guests to have a realistic experience of your rooms and property. Virtual tours will engage your customers and have proven to directly increase revenues via an increase in bookings and reservations. Statistics show that virtual tours can increase bookings by over 40% than compared to showing only images to your guests.

Using TourWrists’ innovative technology, you can now show 360* Virtual Tours in your mobile apps, powered by Blynk.

We strongly feel that every hotel and restaurant should incorporate virtual tours in their websites and apps by following the below simple steps:

  1. Shoot virtual tours of your property if you don’t already have. Virtual tours cost approximately a minimum of only $1,000 to shoot. One virtual tour shot costs ~ $100 – 150. So you can plan a day shoot with a min of 8-10 shots.
  2. Upload to TourWrist.com. Many virtual tour photographers provide their own custom software to display this on your website. However, we suggest to make it clear that you would like your virtual tours to be uploaded on TourWrist.com.
  3. Show the world. TourWrist is like a YouTube for virtual tours. So your tours will be visible to the millions of people who visit their site and apps. You can also easily embed the virtual tours directly on your website. The virtual tour will also be visible on your apps, powered by Blynk.

The virtual tours on our apps are an experience for your guests. When they open the virtual tour on an Apple or Android device, they can simply move the device to view the virtual tour. Something which is not possible on your website. To see how that works, check out this video.

At Blynk, we are working hard so that guests can do things on your mobile app, which they cannot do on your website. Our partnership with TourWrist adds one more reason why it is a must to have a mobile app.

We are avid readers of Tnooz, a popular travel tech blog. We are excited to be mentioned by them in their recent article – A startling stat on mobile hotel booking, and more travel tech news, along with other companies like Southwest Airlines, Priceline and MyTaxi. Sean O’Neil, who wrote the article, is a travel tech columnist for BBC Travel.

We also got a shout out by Eye for Travel, a leading blog on travel and tourism, in their aptly titled article – Calling room service: could you please bring me a tablet. Thanks Andrew for the mention.

Blynk was featured in the recent issue of HospitalityBiz Magazine’s special issue on In-Room Entertainment. Read our comments on page 16 below.

Cover Page

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Blynk Hotel UI

So proud to announce that Blynk Hotel’s new user interface design gets profiled on one of the most respected UI design websites – Behance.

Check out more screenshots on Behance of our new UI here.

TTF Award

We are proud to announce that Blynk Hotel was awarded ‘The Most Innovative Product’ back-to-back at both TTF Ahmedabad and TTF’s 100th show at Mumbai.

We are proud that our lead designer, Dhanish Gajjar, was profiled in Creative Gaga magazine http://www.creativegaga.com/. We wish you a lot more recognition which you truly deserve. 

– Sunny Goenka, Co-Founder.


© 2013 Blynk Systems Pvt Ltd. All Rights Reserved.