Meet one of our new HSMAI members:
the Spanish Company Mirai & their CEO Pablo Delgado
Pablo is the CEO of Mirai, a leading Distribution Consultancy & Technology provider. While studying Computer Engineering, he developed one of the first Internet Booking Engines (IBE) back in 1997, which soon started helping hotels jump into the Internet era and understand how online distribution works. With more than 20 years in the industry, he understands the changing dynamics of online distribution (that occur every year) very well and has become an expert in advising hotels on how to dis-intermediate and improve their GOP. He also ended up mastering the new metasearch layer that just arrived, which will compete both with major OTA and Google. Back in 2006 Pablo graduated from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business.
Pablo about Mirai
At Mirai we help hotels sell their rooms directly to their customers, which helps them save the money that normally goes to the online travel agencies. This means a reduction in intermediation costs and therefore an increase of the GOP (Gross Operating Profit).
With the arrival of the Internet, this job was supposed to become easier over time. Unfortunately it is the other way around and it’s becoming more difficult.
Three big problems the industry faces today:
- Intermediation (especially Booking.com and Expedia) is winning the war and controlling more and more of the hotels’ sales (in many cases over 50%-70% of their total sales).
- Price comparison sites (Trivago, Tripadvisor, TripConnect and Instant Booking), Google Hotel Ads (including the promising Book on Google) and Kayak are now showing hundreds of new “travel agencies” (you have never heard of) that sell the same hotel at a lower price (a price hotels do not authorize and have no idea of how that rate ended up there). Huge problem.
- Hotels are not taking advantage of “mobile” and are missing out on this new opportunity. Again, intermediation (and again Booking.com) is winning and becomes the true “owner” of the hotels.
This situation is not sustainable and has to change.
This is Mirai’s current value proposition.
Not an easy task but a doable one.
Q: You have a demanding job. Could you tell us what a day at work looks like?
A: The first thing I do is review my to do list and organize the day’s subjects. I take advantage of the first few hours to prepare and get rid of my issues, because after 9am everything gets much more complicated. My job has turned from delivering all the time to helping and empowering my team to deliver.
Q: What do you consider to be your personal strengths?
A: Focus, focus and focus. You cannot make 3 things at the same time.
Empowering my team to believe they can do anything they imagine.
Q: What does it take to become a successful executive in today’s travel and hospitality sector?
A: It’s crucial to understand the very dynamic ecosystem that constantly evolves. It’s very easy to lose the big picture and jump into the many tentative short-term decisions that divert you from the long-term objectives.
Q: How may other HSMAI members benefit from you?
A: We believe that sharing knowledge in an open way is beneficial to the whole sector. We love to do it through our blog, events, meetings with hoteliers… In terms of hotel distribution and innovation in distribution we have a powerful and very clear discourse, which generates a stir in many cases, and rarely leaves anyone indifferent. We would also like to be able to convey this to the HSMAI members.
Q: What would you like to get out of HSMAI?
A: Receiving inputs from senior executives from important companies is always very helpful as it gets you out of the comfort zone. Also maintaining a strategic collaboration with other leaders of the sector and sharing knowledge with them.
Q: What do you think is the best about HSMAI?
A: Their vision to make the business grow in every segment of the industry, and also to make each person who is part of the organization grow professionally.
Q: Is there anyone you’ve been looking up to and why?
A: I have great opinions of many HSMAI members and not only one. There is a lot of knowledge accumulated and spread among the many members.
Q: Do you have any nice traditions at your office?
A: We try to celebrate all achievements with all the team and prepare two parties a year here we gather all the company. We then share all numbers with very high degree of transparency as well as the many things we’ve done well and the threats we have ahead. It helps the entire company feel like a large family where we take care of each other.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: Looking back and seeing what has been accomplished and how far we have advanced. At the same time being able to enjoy every single minute as if it were the very first day.
Q: Describe your perfect weekend
A: My weekend is only for my family and friends. I don’t care where to go and what to do, as long as I’m with my wife and three kids.
Q: If you were trapped on a desert island, what would you take with you, if you could choose one thing?
A: Tricky question. I’d take whatever allows me to connect with my family. If not possible, at least my spotify account to enjoy my new life at a paradisiac desert island ☺
Q: What is your next travel-destination?
Q: Do you have any special hobbies?
A: Running and swimming.
Q: Thank you for your time. Do you have any additional comments?
A: Thank you! Looking forward to starting this strategic alliance!