Xenia Abode Services: A Global Lodging Company

Date:   Thursday , January 05, 2017

Globalization has put companies on the universal footprint, necessitating their professionals to hit the road across theirglobal centres for project-based or client-based requirements. While many projects are weeks or months long, some stretches to around a year, depending on the call of the project, a better understanding & performance. As more and more millennial begin to make up a larger portion of the global workforce and enter their professional life, their travel behaviours are more focused on alleviating travel related stress as they place higher value on work-life balance and are savvy about how to travel efficiently. This growing emphasis on health and recreation is pushing companies to find accommodations not only close to a work location, but also near attractions and points of interest where employees can relax, explore and de-stress themselves.

But despite the need for more travel, many companies continue to cut their travel expenses as it affects their bottom line. Hence corporate travel managers often face a particular challenge: How to keep its professionals happy and productive while on extended assignments and provide accommodations that feel like the home? Generally corporate accommodations across the world are located near local hotspots, gyms and workout facilities, popular restaurants and public transportation to accommodate employees\' various recreational needs, and forward thinking firms are now looking at such corporate lodging facilities to help contain costs and improve travel management. More than ever, furnished apartments are considered a leading cost-saver, especially for project-based professionals on assignments. However finding the best suited accommodation solution was never so easy until Xenia Abode Solutions came into existence in 2009.

Better Services with Guaranteed Saving

With 500 suppliers spread across the globe, Xenia offers lodging options in over 4,00,000 properties scattered over 70 countries (US, UK, Canada, Singapore, UAE, China, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Netherland, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and many more) that promises a guaranteed saving anywhere between 16 to 22 percent. The company provides hotel accommodation (all categories), Apart Hotels, short stay fully/partly furnished/unfurnished apartments, long stay fully/partly furnished/unfurnished apartments, and equipped with a 24/7 services team with a turnaround time for all inquiries of one hour for hotel and 48 hours for apartments. for each inquiry with proximity information and reviews, with rates fixed for the entire lease period and provision for the employees to stay on rotational basis. \"We take pride in the fact that our customer retention rate has always been around 98-99 percent,\" says, Nithin Sadanand Chairman & CEO, Xenia.

Lowest guaranteed price, multiple search options by country, city, location, latitude/longitude and preferred hotel, detailed filter options by star category, price range and world map filter and MIS report generation puts the company a notch higher than its competitors. Xenia currently works with more than 350 active clients from Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Aerospace, Financial Services and Healthcare industries. \"These industries have considerable number of employees frequently travelling overseas on projects and business meetings for both short term and long term.

Hotels/accommodations are their biggest overhead under travel expenses. It is also challenging and time consuming for clients to make these arrangements on their own involving finding the appropriate property at the right price, confirming the booking, seeing through the payment settlements and others,\" says Nithin. But with Xenia, corporate clients and business travellers are finding it extremely convenient to manage their overseas hotel/accommodation arrangements.

Xenia provides access to thousands of participating properties across the world with a diverse range of accommodations and price points to meet the varied demands of today\'s corporate travellers. Its product offering brings additional value to corporate clients who align their accommodations spend with Xenia. These products and services help corporate travel managers and procurement officers control costs while taking advantage of the local strength with global value that the company network brings to the marketplace.

Working on a very ingenious hybrid revenue model, Xenia generates revenue from its purchases as a wholesaler but do not sell to the resellers; instead it move up further in the supply chain and sells it directly to the consumers. The clients are therefore able to enjoy wholesale price without any additional selling costs. Xenia\'s customer service delivers the unique customer experience, and its technology roomfactory.com enables to meet service proficiency standards. This enables the corporate worldwide to avail Xenia\'s exclusive rates at the touch of their fingertips. Resultantly, from inception until now, Xenia has seen triple digit growth year-over-year on both turnover and revenues. Its results are testament to its on-going commitment to innovation, its attitude towards adapting to new and changing markets and efforts to attracting and retaining clients.

The Emergence

Nithin\'s past experience in corporate travel management companies directed and moulded his interest and skills to kick start a niche corporate accommodation company like Xenia. \"My experience helped me gain stronger insight in not only ticketing management but also in hotel/accommodation management of business/corporate travellers. As a brand new startup and with corporate hotels/accommodations management being a fairly new concept at the time, I certainly faced challenges in purchases and large inconsistencies in supply,\" reminisces Nithin. Leveraging his expertise, Nithin found the right business solution at the right time (2009) and made quick decision to expand his services from corporates in India to the rest of the world.

While Nithin ventured into the market to reach out, talk to and win clients, his wife Priya Sundaram (Executive Director) worked on understanding the critical factors, problems and what it takes to shape a startup. PrakashVarma and Snehalype Varma, the directors of Nirvana Films and good old friends of Nithin, came on board as investors which boosted the growth since 2010. \"When we started, there was no real terminology for what we were doing. It was a challenge to help the market understand exactly what it was that we were bringing to the table and what we were looking to achieve, but our company has certainly come a long way since then,\" asserts Nithin & Priya.

Selling the concept itself was a challenge for the duo. Xenia products and its pricing are unique and most importantly very dynamic. It has taken a big leap in the trend of hotel/accommodation business, right from purchasing heavily discounted room nights from thousands of properties across the globe in their respective currencies to delivering them at wholesale price to its customers world over, primarily from India, Sri Lanka, UAE, Mauritius and US. Trade credit was another major challenge. It is not because of its financial situation or valuable customers but due to the whole purpose of the business module being defeated. Initially the business ratio between credit and cash was 70:30, which has upturned now..

The Growth

Staying ahead in business is a constant thought process that runs in Nithin\'s mind day-in day-out and aims to make Xenia the leader of the crowd rather than being just another member. The 128 strong Xenians functioning from nine global offices constantly strive to bring in new ideas, make it better, take it further, and build it higher in this business space to keep controlled savings defined for corporates in their overall accommodation expenditure and provide the best customer service experience.

Nithin personally believes that the foremost reason for workforce development is the ability to create jobs, provide opportunities that can change lives, especially for people who have real talent and aspirations, rather than just based on academic merit. Hence the company has built a very beautiful and strong work culture over the years which enable the employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Xenia tries to plan frequent fun events and get-togethers to help build morale, enable team building opportunities and provide them with a sense of belonging. Training and development is an integral part of its employee development program. The company considers keeping Xenians abreast with the latest trends an important priority as it is through these programs that they acquire new skills, sharpen existing ones, perform better, increase productivity and be leaders.

Going forward, the company has identified key areas that will put it on a clear path to expansion and growth. The strongly focused five-year plan aims at expanding its network globally, especially in the African, European, China and Australian regions, thereby increasing its capabilities that will take it farther and faster. Xenia constantly emphasizes on innovation and above all, it always aims at providing the customer with a positive and unique experience that encourages them to return to it over and over again.

Key Management:

Nithin Sadanand, Chairman & CEO

Nithin is responsible for formulating the overall strategy, vision and focus necessary for the company to continue its pace of rapid growth and expansion worldwide.

Priya Sundaram, Executive Director

Priya is accountable for organizational development, employee retention, employee training and development.

Destinations: U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, & Sweden

Industries: Automobile, BFSI, BPO, Consulting Organizations, Consumer Services & Products, Energy & Infrastructure, Healthcare, IT, ITES, Telecom, & Manufacturing

Offices: Dallas, London, Dubai, Colombo, Mauritius, and India (Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune & Bangalore)