Q: Please tell us about yourself and the path that led you to Hotels.ng.
Irabor: My name is Justin Irabor, and I am in charge of marketing and PR at hotels.ng. It is my job to ensure that hotels.ng's brand mantra and value promise is communicated to our customers and to integrate customer feedback into our service offering so that hotels.ng is always delivering the best possible hotel booking service and constantly improving and adapting to our customers' requirements.
Before Hotels.ng, I was the Product Manager, Community Manager and Chief Editor of Nigerian Bulletin, an online PR platform that structures corporate brand messages and favors engagement metrics over impression metrics.
Q: What is Hotels.ng (what services does it provide and who created it)?
Irabor: In a nutshell, Hotels'ng is Nigeria's largest online booking agency. It is a technological solution for hotel reservations all around Nigeria. Users who need affordable rooms and who are looking for hotels that match their peculiar needs visit our platform and get hotel recommendations tailored to their budget and aesthetic/service needs. We assist all our users in making the process as smooth as possible: from visiting hotels.ng to checking in to their hotel room. The platform was founded by Mark Essien in 2013 and it has continued to grow since then.
Q: Why Hotels.ng?
Hotels.ng is what it is for two reasons:
1. It exists because we provide a service people had been looking for even before we set up shop. Essentially, we identified the market, and created a service that met the market need. What we offered - and what we offer now - is an escape from the quintessential hotel booking stress, and we have lowered the entry bar for the enjoyment of luxury in Nigeria. With our platform, anybody who needs a hotel can get one – at a price they like! We have created good synergy between hotel users and hotel managers by reducing hotel manager overhead and this has spilled into lower hotel room rates.
2. The name hotels.ng itself is something Mark Essien decided on in the nascent stage of the company because it was a short, simple, relevant and easy-to-remember value promise.
Q: What is next for Hotels.ng?
Irabor: We currently provide hotel reservations for every city and state in Nigeria, and have begun to spread our reach to other countries in Africa. We recently raised startup capital that is now going into expanding our market and extending our value.
Q: How important is technology in the business and operation models of Hotels.ng?
Irabor: The core of our operation rests on two fulcrums: the technological framework and the team. Hotels.ng is built on the simple premise that a specialized team working with scalable technology that is adaptive to market and environmental events will be successful in the long – and in the short – term.