Two Indian American entrepreneurs founded Reservations.com in 2014. Since then, the company has experienced continued growth and success.
Five years ago, Yatin Patel and Mahesh Chaddah had a novel idea: bring the human touch back to the world of online travel. With deep experience in the space, the two founders realized that there was an opportunity to provide a higher level of service to customers looking to make hotel reservations. As the disruption in the online travel industry accelerated, Patel and Chaddah believed large competitors like Priceline and Expedia had started to fall short on their commitment to customer service.
Patel was born in Mumbai, India and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Gujarat University. With an early interest in the arts, Patel eventually pursued a Masters Degree in Industrial Design from the National Institute of Design. Upon graduating, Patel realized that working for someone else was not in the cards. He pursued entrepreneurship in an effort to satiate his desire to innovate and build, rather than work towards realizing someone else’s vision. This entrepreneurial passion led Patel to immigrate to the United States in pursuit of opportunity.
Once in the United States, Patel perfected his core expertise in profitable digital media buying techniques for e-commerce businesses. This resulted in Patel building, investing, and selling numerous e-commerce. While a career in the arts never materialized, Patel is still an active photographer who has spearheaded multiple exhibits to support non-profits and central Florida charities.
Chaddah was also born in India. His father was a member of the Indian Armed Forces, which resulted in frequent relocations across the subcontinent. Chaddah was curious at a young age and naturally found himself interested in technology. He eventually earned a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering. After immigrating to the United States, Chaddah moved to Florida where he began working with local entrepreneurs and e-commerce businesses. Chaddah and Patel crossed paths while working on a project and found they shared a desire to pursue disruption in the online travel industry. From there, Reservations.com was born.
Today, provides consumers with access to over 500,000 hotels around the world. In addition to ease of use and simplicity, the company also provides 24/7 access to human agents to assist in the reservation process. While the industry as a whole has treated service as a cost center, Reservations.com doubled down to build out the infrastructure to support large volumes of inbound sales and support calls. This now serves as a key differentiator for the company, driving more than 50% of all reservation activity.
In addition to a foundational focus on service, Reservations.com has also taken a different approach to travel planning. For the most part, most large companies in the industry have treated travel as a “one size fits all” product. At the same time, consumer preferences towards travel are changing rapidly. Travel is experiencing a resurgence in social relevance and becoming a product through which societies collectively measure success. Experiences are swapping places with material possessions to become more desirable. In order to better serve the customer of today and tomorrow, Reservations.com recently launched its R.Club loyalty program. The program matches each traveler with a travel concierge to help plan entire travel itineraries. The R Club also provides access to special deals and a waived service fee on all reservations.
The company’s foresight has been well received by the broader market. Hotel reservations made through the platform are up nearly 25% from last year and profitability has expanded. In addition to financial success, the Company has also begun to accumulate industry recognition. In early August, Reservations.com was named to the INC 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Public Companies in America. It has also received a 2019 Central Florida Fast 50 award, a Great Place to Work® certification, a 2018 Best in Biz award, and a 2017 Bronze Stevie Award for best hospitality and leisure website.
Co-Founder Yatin Patel was also recently recognized in the 2019 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business awards alongside professionals from Pepsi Co., Morgan Stanley, and United HealthCare, among others. The awards were established in 2001 to highlight the best of Asian American entrepreneurs in the United States.