The hospitality and travel technology firm Bird Group has forayed into consumer-centric digital apps business. Beginning February, the venture, called Bird Apps, has launched two apps - Launderette and Odigos - while two more apps are still under development.
The Launderette is unique because it has tied up with existing five-star hotels in Delhi-NCR, and uses their unutilised capacities to offer dry cleaning and laundry services. Dhruv Madhok, sales and marketing head at Bird Apps, says that large hotels have unutilised capacity of about 70 per cent throughout the year. "They are happy to tie-up with us to make that incremental revenue on their existing facilities."
For Launderette, Bird has joined hands with individual hotels but going forward it will be working with chained hotel brands in several other cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore and others. It's already in talks with Taj Hotels. Launderette, which competes with the brands like White Tiger and Presto, makes 30 per cent commission on every order. "The prices offered are comparative or sometimes even lower than the established brands," claims Himanshu Kumar, business head, Bird Apps.
Odigos, on the other hand, is like the Uber of tour guides. It aggregates tour guides across the country, and travellers can use the app to directly connect with the guides. The app is still in beta with over 25 guides. Bird is working to ramp up the number to about 1,000 in three months. "We are starting the services with golden triangle - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Since it's a technology platform, we can take this product to pan India," says Madhok.
According to some estimates, there are about 2,500 certified guides in North India which are registered with the ministry of tourism. The market is highly fragmented at the moment. Odigos is trying to organize the market by matching tourists with the right guides based on date, location, price and language preferences.
Bird Apps has a 30-member team, and is entirely funded by the parent company. "Raising venture capital is currently not on the agenda," says Madhok. Over the next few months, Bird Apps will be doing formal launch of Odigos, and introducing another app for seamless check-ins at lounges, hotels and airports.
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