Category Archives: About eZee

How GST Return Filing Works For The Indian Hospitality Industry

Filing tax returns poses as a very vital step towards maintaining the country’s economy and one’s business. That’s why, with new tax regime rolled out in India comes the major responsibility of GST return filing; which is going to be a monthly deal from September 2017.

Previously, we researched and analyzed the impact of GST on the Indian hospitality industry. Adhering to the slab-wise GST structure for the industry, the hoteliers and restaurateurs will need to be discrete and accurate with the sales and purchase data and clear up the disputes and amendments.

Ergo, following our impact analysis, we’ve come up with the action steps you as a hotelier (or a restaurateur) need to take for GST return filing for your hotel (or a restaurant).

Temporary Steps for July and August: GSTR-3B Form Submission

What do hotels and restaurants need to know?

Mandatory for all GST registrants, GSTR-3B is a simple and summarized form introduced by the government to let you file GST returns for the months of July and August*. You’ll need to file GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 for both these months later in September.

GSTR-3B won’t be applicable from September onward, and you’ll have to file complete GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 forms for your tax returns.

You won’t need to provide detailed invoice information for GSTR-3B, and rather only the total amount pertaining to each field in the required format of the data.

Filing GSTR-3B is mandatory for hotels and restaurants who fall under the GST regime. If you’ve had no transactions at your property in these two months, you need to file a nil GSTR-3B form.

Subject to the announcements made by the government to not accept GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 in future for any reasons whatsoever, it’ll be mandatory for you to file GSTR-3B for that month.

What is GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3?

Under the GST law, a normal taxpayer will be required to furnish three returns monthly and one annual return. The three returns monthly are said to be as: GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3.

All three of these returns are mandatory for all GST registrants. You’ll need to file NIL returns if you’ve had no transactions in that month. In addition, Input Tax Credit will have its own mechanism for these returns, such that, CGST credit cannot be set off against SGST liability and vice versa.

What is GSTR1?

GSTR1 will include the outward supplies you made to other registered businesses (B2B) at invoice-level and that to the unregistered businesses at rate-wise level.

The GSTR1 form contains 13 tables in all, according to which you’ll need to submit the sales data of your property of that month. Considering your hotel (and/or restaurant, as the case maybe) type and the sale you made, only some tables will be applicable for you and not all.

Using your GSTR1, the government will populate the GSTR 2A of the recipient (or guest) who purchased from you and your GSTR3. Once GSTR 2A is populated, you’ll be able to accept the sales; which will in turn lead your recipient to file his GSTR 2 in next 5 days. That’s why, you are given 5 days time to amend your GSTR1; post which you won’t be able to make any revisions in the return.

What is GSTR2?

The GSTR2 will contain details of the inward supplies you purchased in the month. The supplier you purchased from will be able to make the amendments to his GSTR 1A after you’ve uploaded your GSTR2 form.

In this form, you’ll need to mention whether you’re eligible for Input Tax Credit or not. If yes, you will have to fill the amount of eligible Input Tax Credit as mentioned in the invoice.

What is GSTR3?

Most of the details in the GSTR3 will be auto-populated from GSTR1 and GSTR2. Only some information, you’ll have to verify and add. If you have not filed your GSTR1 and GSTR2, you won’t be allowed to file your GSTR3.

The process goes like, once your GSTR3 gets generated, you’ll have to pay off the tax credit and then file the GSTR3.

Steps hotels and restaurants need to follow after September

The GST return filing is going to be a 3-step detailed process mainly, followed by the actual payment. This is how its going to work:

What’s the timeline for GST return filing?

Following is how the revised GST returns filing dates look like:

For the Month GSTR-3B GSTR1 GSTR2 GSTR3
July 25th August, 2017 1st-10th October, 2017 31st October, 2017 10th November, 2017
August 20th September, 2017 1st-5th October, 2017 6th-10th October, 2017 10th-15th October, 2017
September onward –NA– 10th of next month 15th of next month 20th of next month

How can hotels and restaurants file their GST returns?

Filing GST returns under the newly introduced GST regime is extremely pivotal as the delay or mismatch or absence of filing the returns will influence the credibility of your business, your compliance rating and prompt returns. There are primarily 4 ways in which you can file your GST returns. Nonetheless, you’ll have to solve the disputes yourself regardless of the method you choose to file your GST returns.

  1. Directly via the Government Portal: The most simple and straightforward method to file your GST returns. Calculate, form and submit your returns manually on the government portal, make amendments and finalize the tax payable.

    Submission Amendments Cost Efforts
    Manually via the portal Manually via the portal NIL 10-12 days to gather data

    Major Hassle: Since you need to gather and submit all the details manually, it can give way to errors and inaccuracy.

  2. Through a Certified GST Practitioner: Considering the current scenario, most of the hoteliers and restaurateurs rely on their GST practitioner to submit their GST returns.

    Submission Amendments Cost Efforts
    GST Practitioner Guided by GST Practitioner ~ INR 5000/month 10-12 days to gather data

    Major Hassles: Coordination with GST practitioner, troubles of gathering the data and eventually having to make amendments and resolve disputes manually under the guidance of the practitioner.

  3. Through a GSP: Either you can directly contact any GSP from the GSTN approved 34 GSPs across the country, or choose a hospitality solutions provider who has a ready integration with GSP with their hotel PMS and restaurant POS systems.

    Submission Amendments Cost Efforts
    GST Software of the GSP GST Software of the GSP Cost of the GSP 10-12 days to gather data

    Major Advantage: You’ll be able to make amendments in the GSP software directly from the interface itself, thus reducing your hassles of downloading the file and manually solving the disputes. Besides, an accounting software may or may not be suitable for hotels and restaurants, but any GSP will be ideal for the industry.

    Note: We have ready integration with JioGST GSP, such that, you’ll be able to submit your GSTR1 data directly from our systems automatically to the GST software. Cost of getting JioGST GSP will be INR 2000/month with JioFi device and unlimited 4G data connection.

  4. Through Tally Accounting Software: Tally is a certified GSP as well a GST-ready accounting software, which will provide you with all of your purchase data accurately in the required format.

    Our GST-compliant hotel and restaurant management systems have a ready integration with Tally. On that account, if you choose this option for filing your tax returns; you’ll have GSTR1 data ready from our software and GSTR2 data ready from Tally.

    In addition, Tally being a GSP; you will be able to directly submit your tax returns to the government through Tally’s GST software.

    Submission Amendments Cost Efforts
    Through Tally Through Tally Cost of Tally software 3-4 days to gather data sales data

    Major Advantage: Since Tally is a GSP and a GST-ready accounting software, you’ll be cutting down a step here to get GSTR2 data and submit your returns through a single means.

Why having a hotel or restaurant software is recommended?

In either of the above cases, you’ll have to collect and submit your sales (outward supplies) and purchase (inward supplies) data from your accountant (if you have). Consequently, while gathering the sales and purchase details; your hotel or a restaurant will need help from both – the practitioner/accountant and the PMS or POS software you use. Automated operations, ready data, and several other benefits of a GST-ready hotel and restaurant software can help you in filing GST returns.

  • Available Data: GST-compliant PMS or restaurant POS systems will provide you with ready GSTR1 data right from the system, thereby in the long run, easing your efforts of filing GSTR1 and even in filing annual returns.
  • Cost-effective: Whether you choose to go via the government portal directly, or hire a practitioner, or any other way, getting a hotel or restaurant software and an accounting software will prove to be considerably cost-effective and time and effort-saving.

    Compared Costs*

    GST Practitioner Cloud PMS On-premise PMS On-premise POS Tally Software
    Cost/Month = ~INR 5000 Cost/Month = ~INR 2000 per 10 rooms One-time license fee = ~INR 46000 One-time license fee = ~INR 23000 One-time license fee = INR 18000 for one user
    Cost/Year = ~INR 60000 Cost/Year = ~INR 24000 Optional AMC Charges = ~INR 6900/year after 1st year Optional AMC Charges = ~INR 3450/year after 1st year License Renewal Fees = INR 3600/year

    *The prices shown here may tend to change as per your requirements.

  • Interface with GSP: The all set interface of the software with a GSP will help you submit your returns automatically from your hotel and restaurant software through the GSP software and to the government.
  • Error-free: Without a software, the returns that you submit may be prone to manual errors and calculation glitches. But with the PMS or POS software’s automated operations, you have minimal worries about accuracy.
  • Manual Amendments: In case of any amendments, you’ll have to manually download the file from the government portal, make the necessary changes and upload the JSON file (mediator file) again, thence making it a tedious process.

Suffice to say that, purchasing a software for your hotel or restaurant will be highly beneficial for your business, and help you in your GST return filing; regardless of the option you choose from above.

We have GST-compliant cloud PMS, on-premise PMS and on-premise restaurant POS system to give you everything you may need in managing your taxes and operations, in addition to offering customized GST reports and GST-compliant invoices.

Handling and filing multiple returns may take a toll on your business sooner or later. Solidify and streamline your operations in this prevalent GST regime with GST-ready hotel software and restaurant management system.

Check out our GST-compliant systems:

eZee Absolute Cloud PMSeZee BurrP! On-premise POSeZee FrontDesk On-premise PMS

Note: All the information given on this page is subject to the notifications passed by the GSTN and Government of India.

Impact Analysis Of GST On Indian Hospitality Industry

Hospitality industry is a versatile field encompassing accommodation and entertainment services, accounting, food and beverage, event management and above all, guest satisfaction.

With that, there comes an imperative need for this industry to walk hand-in-hand with latest updates of the market, and seek for all-inclusive technology solutions which can help them in governing their hotels and restaurants effectively. Wider the utility, greater their exposure towards taxation and other compulsions from the government authorities. Along these lines, the Indian hospitality industry gives way to heaps of levied taxes and scores of highly paid services. So, as India warms up for GST, the hospitality industry should get ready with GST compliant hotel software. The impact of GST will go far and wide, enabling everyone, right from a manufacturer and a supplier to distributor and consumer to give their part in improving the country’s economy.

Here, we have carried out a complete impact analysis of GST on the Indian hospitality industry. Read on to get a detailed overview.

Taxation In India

Taxes ensure that, whatever the government provides you for your progress, is duly paid back after a certain pre-calculated ROI, eventually generating income for upcoming projects.

Whether it’s a direct tax, or an indirect tax, or just rolled out Goods & Service Tax; whether levied by the central or the state governments, taxes are a mandate which come along with anything you produce, manufacture, import, buy or sell regardless of the industry you may belong to.

Taxes in India have been a surefire way to do that ever since the Constitution of India has allocated the power to levy taxes to the Central and State governments.

The current taxation scenario in India states two major and distinct types of tax regimes in India: Direct Tax and Indirect Tax, contrasting primarily in the way they are implemented. Direct taxes are those which you pay directly to the government, namely, income tax, wealth tax, corporate tax, property tax, including others.

 

Whereas, indirect taxes are those which are not directly levied on the taxpayers, but rather levied on the goods and services you consume; such as, the value added tax (VAT), service tax, sales tax, excise duty, customs tax, and others. The indirect taxes are added to the price of the goods and services, leading to a higher amount being paid for them.

The Need For GST In India

According to the current indirect taxation scenario running in India; state government imposes VAT, luxury and entertainment tax, entry tax and taxes on betting and gambling; whereas the central government levies excise duty, service tax, customs duty and central state tax.

This shows that, for goods produced or manufactured within the country and then consumed later on; VAT is computed on a value which includes excise duty. And with different government imposing them, the credit of VAT is not available against excise and vice versa.

This indicates a cascading effect of taxes, that is, a currently functioning tax over tax regime.

This leads to a high-cost and inefficient tax structure prone to revenue leakages. Thence, the need for a comprehensive indirect tax structure came up, giving way to Goods and Service Tax. So, a short while ago, the government of India passed the long overdue GST bill, taking the whole country in a wave of extracting the corresponding act and reforms.

India will be now, one of the 160 countries worldwide, to have implemented GST in it’s economy.

Similar to Canada, India will have a dual-GST model; wherein the tax will be administered by the central as well as state government, Brazil being the only other country to adopt a dual-GST model. For a sale within the state, SGST (State GST) and CGST (Central GST) will be applied. Whereas, for a sale outside the state, IGST (Integrated GST) will be levied. The CGST and IGST will be collected by the central government; and SGST by the state government. Along with this, the GST council has narrowed down on a 4-tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent; such that 12 and 18 percent will accommodate most of the goods and services.

Impact Analysis Of GST – What does it bring for Indian Hospitality Industry?

In the current indirect tax regime, the hospitality industry is plagued by multiple taxes of service tax, VAT and luxury tax; eventually being a victim of tax over tax. The GST with rate dependent on annual turnover of the hotels and restaurants along with the tariff they impose and services they provide will subsume all of these taxes and bring them under one single entity. Moreover, it will help reduce multiple taxation, giving a significant boost to the hospitality and tourism industry.

Presently, the centrally administered service tax is levied at 9 percent in the hotel industry and 6 percent in the food & beverage sector. Besides that, the luxury tax and VAT are state-dependent.

Therefore, the effect of GST will be liable to the location of your property as well as the annual turnover of your property.

Hotels and lodges with a tariff less than 1000 INR will be exempted from GST, whereas those having their tariff between 1000 to 2500 INR will attract a GST of 12 percent. The hotels having tariffs in the range of 2500 – 7500 INR will be imposed a GST of 18 percent, whereas luxury and 5-star hotels will be imposed a huge GST rate of 28 percent, bringing a dampening effect on the sector. Take a look at how hotels in India will be effected post GST rollout:

Tariff Range GST Rate
< INR 1000 No tax
INR 1000 – INR 2499 12%
INR 2500 – INR 7499 18%
> INR 7500 28%

Additionally, the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector is going to have a neutral to marginally positive impact due to GST depending on the restaurant’s turnover and services they offer. Owing to the high abatement rate of 60% in the sector, the overall tax comes close to 18.5-20.5% currently. Therein, a major impact will fall on AC restaurants inside 5-star and luxury hotels, which have attracted a GST of a whooping 28%. Here’s how the restaurant industry will fall under GST:

Turnover & Services GST Rate
< INR 50 Lakh 5% (Optional)
Non-AC Restaurants Restaurants Without Liquor License 12%
Restaurants with AC or Central Heating 18%
Restaurants Serving Alcohol 18%
AC Restaurants Inside 5-star Hotels & Above 28%

Supply of food and drinks, banqueting and outdoor catering will fall under a GST of 18 percent rate, including alcohol, food and other supplies as a bundled service.

The major impact of GST will fall on banqueting, wherein the effective tax comes up to ~23-35 percent, following the luxury tax applied by selected state governments.

The GST of 18 percent will thus lead to banquets becoming reasonable consequently offering a huge haul to the hospitality industry.

In a nutshell, the GST is going to have a neutral impact on the indian hospitality industry for the most part, except the banqueting services, luxury hotels and restaurants.

Technology In GST Compliant Software – An Important Factor

Hospitality industry has always been a competitive and an ever progressing one. Because of it’s widespread exposure across the world, technology becomes an unavoidable and pivotal factor to maintain it’s reliability and newness. That’s why, when one talks about recently introduced tax reforms, government rules and regulations for this industry; a major part of it is taken by hospitality software.

As the GST has hit the sub-continent with a wave of brand-new tax regime, it is substantial for all hoteliers and restaurateurs to go for GST compliant hotel software. eZee Technosys, being one of the very few companies to offer a complete package of integrated hospitality solutions; has always been up-to-date with any technological or economical trends of the industry. And it efficiently manages to keep it’s users in pace with contemporary updates.

Be it regional or worldwide, eZee has proved itself as a pioneer in the industry. Following a successful customization of our solutions as per GST compliance for our users in Malaysia, we have developed our solutions as GST ready hotel software for India.

 

Considering the demands of GST norms, billing and tax calculation for hoteliers and restaurateurs in India, eZee solutions will let you manage your property efficiently and impart exceptional services to your guests through accurate tax calculation, GST-compliant invoice and receipt generation, submission of multiple GST returns on a timely basis and more.

Our cloud PMS, on-premise PMS and restaurant POS software are now GST compliant, ready to accommodate your GST requirements. Sign up for our GST ready software right now.

GST Compliant Cloud PMSGST Ready Restaurant SoftwareOn-premise GST Friendly PMS

Suffice to say, it’s a known fact that taxes play a vital role in the growing economy of any country, giving way to a streamlined and well-maintained growth structure.

*Note: This information is subject to the tax reforms employed by the Government of India.

eZee gets a new CTO: Transformation on its way

Chief Technology officer. This designation itself expresses that the personage leading this position would be subjected to scientific and technological aspects and governance in an organization.

For a tech-pro company like eZee- living and breathing technology; position of CTO is a vital rank in itself. Hence, choice of a successor would affect company’s technology strategy and become a deciding factor in upcoming growth and development plans. However, with technology transforming everyday, technology officers are expected to develop and implement ingenious strategies. Consequently, aligning these plans with organizational goals is what a technology leader does best.

The Big Announcement

On the morning of 25th March, a general assembly was called at eZee. All eZeeites gathered with a dash of surprise and wonder on their faces. As zero hour approached, Aeijaz Sodawala, CEO of eZee started addressing the audience. And during discourse, in presence of all employees, Vipul Kapoor declared name of his successor, that is, Harshdeep. He announced that Harshdeep Khatri will be Chief technology Officer to lead tech innovations at company.

After 9 years of dynamic leadership on various technology frontiers in eZee, Harshdeep Khatri will now officially rise to mantle of CTO of eZee Technosys: the company constantly innovating with breakthrough technologies.

After effects: Reactions. Cheers. And Congratulations.

eZeeites rolled out red carpet for Harshdeep, new CTO. Fondly Known as HRK in entire eZee, people know him as a master of converting theoretical concepts in reality.

This decision has come on a very right time, when eZee is going for a next level growth and expansion plan. Appointment of new CTO will open up a whole new dimension of growth in terms of technology.

Today hundreds of users are using eZee’s cloud based hospitality solutions. We are growing exponentially in terms of customers, users, partners. In that case, major challenge is to control technology to sustain this massive growth. We are enrolling and serving a mighty number of clients with each passing month. Summarily, we need solid optimized products along with strong and skilled teams of engineers to be in the service of such high volume of live users. As a leader Harshdeep can bring in same vision in entire team and deliver ultimate user experience.

New CTO is totally equipped with all expertise to manage products on a larger scale. Dynamic in nature, Harshdeep always goes that extra mile. People know him as a leader with example. A unique trait in his personality makes him go to the depth of puzzles, execute from various perspectives, and then design a solution that fixes solution forever.

What lies behind co-founder’s discovery of successor

Vipul has certainly got some plausible arguments on why he put seal on HRK’s candidature. “He is very good at implementing different concepts of technology, concepts that are complex in nature.” he said. “Theoretically existing concepts too require research of applicability. And I am confident that Harshdeep contains that grit and can certainly take eZee solutions to the next level.”

Enlightening further with wisdom about CTO and accountability that the designation holds, Vipul shared, “One has to be a team player, one has to run large teams and numerous products. A CTO works with everyone, works on every technology. Therefore, an understanding to gel with everyone is a must. Talking to team, dealing with their daily affairs, requirements, questions, challenges, and career aspirations is a critical and essential skill a leader should possess.”

Aeijaz Sodawala, CEO of eZee welcomed new CTO with ultimate gratitude. He said, “I particularly thank Vipul for bringing about succession plan and eventually select Harshdeep. I welcome him and offer complete cooperation and assistance to him in execution of new ideas and new technologies that make eZee solutions even better. “

Hitesh Patel, co-founder and Managing Director of eZee expressed delight on decision saying, ”Harshdeep has played an exceptional role as a Head of Cloud technologies in eZee through a challenging period of technology transition. His proven track record of successfully leading cloud based products assuredly makes him a perfect candidate to be chosen for position of CTO to lead technology advancements at eZee. I am happy to see him at this position today.”

Throwback: A look into the flashback

To sum up Harshdeep’s journey in eZee, he went from a junior programmer in 2008 to Head of Cloud Technology by 2015 and now Chief technology Officer in 2017.

He is known for massively bringing down scheduled downtime from 2 hours to 2 minutes during the release of new versions of eZee cloud solutions, and he heads towards 0 downtime now.

As an interface programmer, Harshdeep worked with desktop based technology in initial days. Foreseeing potential of cloud platform, eZee went ahead to build a cloud based service segment. Harshdeep took over research and exploration part to evaluate viability of cloud platform in eZee solutions.

He researched on what technology to implement, which infrastructure to use, thenafter leading the team, he kick started production of cloud based hotel PMS eZee Absolute. Going forward, he commenced development of other cloud based products like eZee Reservation booking Engine and eZee Centrix Channel Manager. He closely supervised minutes of software framework, architecture, development, deployment, support, troubleshooting and everything concerning those solutions. As a result, we could build robust solutions and are able to support hundreds of live users using them.

And yes, eZeeites had to say this

The way forward

In a product based company like eZee, position of CTO can prove to be challenging. Not only the technology but hardware, infrastructure, devices, databases, live users, support, teammates and every peripheral that one can imagine emerges as a challenge.

How innovation comes into play? You come across a tech advancement such as Machine Learning, and you think about how can you use it to make your own products better. What new feature or adoption of which new mechanism can make it easier for your users? Well, that’s how a Technology Officer can lead and build a technical masterpiece that facilitates every user.

“Operating in domain specific company operating in hospitality industry, leaders cannot do without sound knowledge of industry. Ultimately, why we develop hospitality solutions? To solve hoteliers’ daily management troubles and help them run their business more effectively. Until and unless you understand their needs, what their guests demand from them, you won’t be able to build a right software. That’s another skill set you require.” says Vipul Kapoor.

One must be strong and ready to build and sustain massive IT infrastructure, millions of live users, and ability to support them, in order to go to the next level.

A technology officer observes and analyses changing industry trends and advancing technology spectrum. In order to maintain numerous product mix altogether and handling such large teams, a CTO must be equipped with dynamics to adopt new technology and fundamentals. To drive growth, one needs to acquire skills; have unique approaches; listen to customers, partners, team players, collect feedback and work accordingly.

eZee and opportunities: A promise kept forever

Here at eZee, we have always offered utmost assurance to high performing talent to be recognized and brought to right place. In upcoming time, we are looking for more talent. We shall observe and create platforms and opportunities for them. Right talents always find matching challenges and responsibilities at eZee.

Best example of rewarded talent is CEO Aeijaz Sodawala himself. Aeijaz went from a support engineer to achieve CEO position eventually. And now, starting from a junior programmer to reaching CTO rank, Harshdeep has certainly raised the bar higher with this remarkable achievement.

Notably, in eZee; every talent gets equal exposure and a chance to grow like never before.

Endnote

Meanwhile, the new CTO sends out an energizing message, “We are ready with all new plans and goals to be best in technology. We are at a place where a single person plays multiple roles. Together we can work on everything what we are and can be best at. Our strength is strong portfolio of various products. Therefore, we will be focusing more on providing flawless user experience and building trust factor.”

To which eZeeites respond, ‘It is big time to stand with new CTO. We shall march forward and thrive together. Whatever we do and whatever we develop, our sole aim would be unanimous – to provide best technology to all hoteliers worldwide.’

eZee’s CEO Speaks On Future Plans And Growth

Amidst his busy work schedules and hectic life, Aeijaz took out some time to tell us about his future plans and agendas for eZee. He speaks on how his journey has been so far as eZee’s CEO, how he intends to move ahead with the whole team. Besides that, he also speaks on employee engagement and business expansion.

How has your journey been so far, as eZee’s CEO?

[Aeijaz] I’ve been a part of eZee since last 8 years. Starting from a support executive to operations head of Malaysia office and to the CEO; the journey has been exciting and challenging. Since taking over as eZee’s CEO, I am actively taking more responsibilities and concentrating on understanding the basics, rather than arranging closed door meetings. I have been trying to learn about the team’s thought process and customers’ expectations with an intent to align both.

Being a CEO of a multi-faceted company has helped me grasp the pain points and requirements of our clients, partners as well as team members.

I haven’t been to any trade event, exhibition, seminars or got involved in much of the sales activities in the past year; but I’ve tried to be a part of each operation going on in the organization.

It isn’t that complex, if you stick to fundamental things and put your maximum bandwidth in the right place. eZee stands strong on three of its pillars: clients, partners and team members. And at the end of the day, solving their problems is a big joy knowing that I am able to keep all of them content and happy.

How do you boost your team’s morale?

[Aeijaz] Encouraging all the team members for their active participation in business endeavor is primary objective of the company. Since the beginning, we have maintained an organizational transparency such that every team member feels free to share his thoughts and ideas.

Most important aspect, is that we do not believe in bosses having their ‘closed door’ cabins which may be a hurdle for reaching to base level members.

The department heads create an active synergy by working closely and sharing same space with their team. Regular and fair performance evaluations are done acknowledging their involvement and efficiency. Around 70 team members in various departments were recruited in the past one year. We have several engagement programs like Employee Referral Program and even Innovation Reward Program, encouraging the team members in giving their best to the organization.

Moreover, apart from professional sharing at workplace, we make sure that all employees participate in extra-curricular activities like picnic and sports leaving aside professional barriers.

eZee's CEO Also Follows The 'No Cabin' Policy to have other team members reach him easily

What is your core strategy for 2017?

[Aeijaz] One of the strategies for 2017, is to ensure customer delight. Rather than spending high on marketing to acquire customers, we plan to spend on customer satisfaction attracting more of referral business. We want to hear a ‘WOW’ from every customer that enrolls with us. That is why, we are spending huge in terms of support and technical manpower which will eventually delight our customers. Before we ensure that we have a strong support team ready to give exceptional support services, we won’t go for higher customer acquisitions.

With this, we have started working on the next round of advancement, improving the user interface of our products and making them the most adaptable and flexible. Rather than adding features which are useful to limited customers, we want to majorly focus on our existing customer base, making their experience better with us.

What are your major challenges at this point?

[Aeijaz] Each business has its own set of challenges while moving ahead in the industry. Gaining pace in expansion, we are adding huge customers, and also doing massive recruitment. As Surat city is not a IT hub, availability of relevant experienced staff is scarce. The biggest challenge lies in getting people prepared and ready to provide excellent support and services to clients. Other thing is to make the team members know how to empathize with clients, understand their background along with regional level policies and requirements. Once we furnish new team members with case studies, knowledge banks and provide overall training; only then, we can expect to get positive reviews from all our clients and partners.

How does eZee stand-out from other competitors?

[Aeijaz] Since its inception, eZee has catered to the needs of all kinds of establishments in the hospitality industry. Be it a budget hotel, luxury hotel, chain of hotels, stand-alone restaurants, bakeries, cafes, or chain of restaurants; eZee has maintained a niche position in providing a suite of integrated hospitality solutions which are developed taking into consideration the minutest operations of hotel and restaurant management. The launch of our cloud technology platform – eZee Ultimate demonstrates the same. With no investment and no contracts; this platform will enable hoteliers to take complete advantage of prevailing technology.

We nurture a professional team of more than 150 members including developers, support, deployment, marketing, sales, accounts, customer relationship, etc who are poised to provide users with excellent services. We carry a bundle of varied levels of clientele from South Asia, Africa, Americas, Australia, Gulf countries, Europe, etc. With that, we also have a strong channel partner network offering our products and services in all corners of the world.

What do you have to offer for smaller hotels?

[Aeijaz] We provide solutions for all class of hoteliers. But, for small and mid-sized hotels, we launched eZee Ultimate, a complete hospitality technology platform available at no cost, with an aim to equip them with latest technology and helping them establish their brand name in the market. Harnessing a decade of power packed know-how, eZee’s solutions are seamlessly integrated which consists of several interfaces providing basic as well as ancillary services at very competitive rates to hoteliers. The clientele base of eZee includes a big list of small and mid-sized hotels which form a solid base making eZee a prominent game changer in hospitality industry.

When did you realize that eZee should offer no investment plan called eZee Ultimate?

[Aeijaz] Understanding hospitality market scenarios and unique requirements of the industry, eZee has always been a forerunner in offering the most reliable and efficient hospitality solutions. Over the years, we perceived the need for technology in the industry, especially for small and mid-sized hoteliers. Limitations in infrastructure and financial aspects have always kept them from investing in technology until now.

So, the first thing which came into our mind was to devise a no investment strategy, in order to equip all kinds of hoteliers with cutting-edge technology.

On that basis, we contemplated and put forth eZee Ultimate – a range of technology platform available at no investment and no subscription fees. With time, eZee Ultimate has been established in almost all hotel segments; and we intend to spread it far and wide empowering hoteliers extensively.

What are the benefits of eZee Ultimate for hotels?

[Aeijaz] The major benefit which eZee Ultimate renders is; absolutely no investment and no lock-in contract for a suite of integrated solutions. Hotelier pays a minimal amount only for the confirmed online bookings he gets, a compelling transaction based model of business. Hotelier can manage his daily operations and inventory distribution from a single dashboard and eventually he won’t have to deal with multiple vendors to manage different systems. Instead, in eZee Ultimate, he will get all the solutions under one roof. Not all companies provide all-in-one solutions for hotel management. We’re also offering free hotel website in eZee Ultimate and it plays a major role in increasing direct bookings of a hotel.

eZee's CEO, Aeijaz Sodawala Speaks On Future Plans & His Journey So Far

Do you find opportunity in hotel solution apps?

[Aeijaz] Considering the ever-evolving demands of smart phone engagements and their usage, a space has opened up for creating mobile apps which are handy and can be operated from any place and at anytime. Just recently we launched eZee Absolute App, the simplest PMS app and eZee Centrix channel manager app to allow hoteliers to track hotel happenings on the go. These apps will give them access to hotel management system, manage inventory distribution and rate updates from their smart phones respectively. We also have digital restaurant menu apps – eZee iMenu and eZee eMenu, available for Android and iOS.

Besides this, we have Appytect used by a hotelier to build their hotel mobile app. We are also planning to come up with an app to manage mini-bar and house-keeping operations in near future.

What are your comments on partner network and business expansion?

[Aeijaz] Partners are integral part of our business and they are in eZee’s business endeavor since its very beginning. Our partners create and develop business in their regional off-shores. We have covered several regions up till now and many are yet to be conquered.

Right from sales, to team building for support, we provide support to our partners which form an essential base in streamlining their business.

So, for business expansion of our network; we did our first angel investment in a start-up – Travinns Technology LLC, a Bangalore based hospitality revenue management firm. Further, eZee plans to expand on global level developing alike partnership with similar hospitality and revenue generating firms.

Nurturing our global business partnership, we offer them business insights, newsletters, advertising, promotions through exhibitions and personnel assistance flying from head quarters at Surat.

How is eZee getting armed with future plans?

[Aeijaz] We are a bootstrapped and profiting IT company. We have a clear idea on where we want our product offerings to go. In the coming future, we will produce less, but whatever we produce, we want to give a remarkable factor to it. Right now, we are just concentrating of better customer experience and top notch support. The rest we believe, will fall in place automatically. Besides this, we plan to release a cloud restaurant POS system – eZee Optimus in some time to facilitate restaurateurs with the benefits of cloud technology and simplified operations.

We have instated a new team for outbound sales; focusing on the aspect of canvassing campaigns, thereby reaching out to the hoteliers in the comfort of their own offices to explain the benefits and importance of emerging technology for their business. Unlike our inbound sales-force, this team will majorly concentrate on widening eZee’s reach across Indian sub-continent entrusting hoteliers with technology.

eZee has advanced exponentially since Aeijaz took over as the CEO. Myriad of partnerships, growth in infrastructure and team size, and an impressive enhancement in customer services – 2016 brought around a noteworthy year for eZee.

Aeijaz has been a instrumental part of eZee’s growth trajectory over the years. A strategic leader, he was appointed as eZee’s CEO in November 2015. He is acquainted with the know-hows of the hospitality industry and intends to walk progressively with the whole team and establish a firm presence of eZee in the industry.

Walking In Sync With Twenty-first Century Women

What if any education, job, or anything you get is not discriminated by cast, creed, religion or race you belong to? And instead, everything is dependent on talent and skill of an individual.

Just imagine! It will be a world worth living in. A balanced world, where equality and just decisions are employed at each phase of life.

‘Equality Implies Individuality’ – Trey Anastasio

And while talking about equality, the most dominant one coursing through the world is that of gender.

Originating from the stone age, streaming through the medieval era, and commanding it’s presence in the modern world, gender inequality has been a substantial yet unfavorable part of the society. Primarily targeting women in it’s prime; this inequality had managed to seep through the most minutest and under-developed segments of the world. Girl child killing, untimely abortions, favoritism towards men for education and jobs, lesser opportunities, and even lesser scopes of breaking the stereotypical barriers; gender inequality has powerfully affected women of the world.

‘Gender equality is not a woman’s issue. It’s a human issue. It affects us all.’

All things considered, women remained a suppressed part of the modernistic and male-dominated society. Until one fine day; when women like the Rani Lakshmi Bai, Madam Marie Curie, Kalpana Chawla, Anne Frank and Mother Teresa set foot in the world and transformed the ways of traditions.

That’s when a revolution struck; giving way to the untrained yet unyielding women, shaking the entire foundations of how the society worked and functioned.

‘You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.’ – Zig Zagler

It is thereafter, that the opportunities started flowing; giving once in a lifetime chances to the women who managed to surpass the boundaries of the traditional mindsets. Segments like fashion industry, technology, literature, media, politics, and everything which constitutes the world have seen women participating with equal fervor, giving a 360 degree deviation to the existing procedures.

Then as well, eZee too has given myriad of chances to women since it’s inception; eventually employing and establishing capable team leaders in the varied departments right from product development team to deployment team; marking their presence in the contemporary trends in the industry. Carrying a modest 3:1 ratio of men to women in it’s team, eZee has always been impartial towards the common myths of Indian culture. Believing in giving equal opportunities to everyone, eZee has never let the typical factors affect an individual’s progress.

Besides this, women in eZee have tested the waters of onsite implementation trips; showcasing the best of eZee’s solutions and services to clients. Rendering flexibility of working hours; eZee has given a leeway to pregnant women in the team, giving them a chance to be an up and running part of the company till the very end. Thus and so, be it a just-out fresher, or an experienced one, be it a woman having kids; eZee has always focused on skill and talent.

eZee Wishes All The Women Out There, A Happy Women's Day.

Akin to those women who brought around a revolution in the world, the women in eZee have evoked a noteworthy transition in the work ethics, environment and culture. eZee has always and will remain an unbiased part of the industry; believing in talent and skill rather than letting common issues like gender come in between.

‘There is no force equal to that of a determined woman.’

[Infographic] Year in Review 2016

The year 2016 has flown by and we have been striving to spread our wings far and wide. From endeavors to uplift, 2016 was a mixed bag of efforts and achievements for eZee squad. Looking back, we analyzed and built this success review story especially for you.

We are here with flashback for the year 2016 with product innovation, new product releases and business endeavor, and accolades of praise. Read on and feel proud, because we live and work only for true-hearted users like you.

Year in Review

 

We are ready to rock 2017, with a promise that we’ll deliver solutions and services better than the best.

 

As an eZee customer, you are never alone: Read our tale of perseverance

Communication is the most important tool for any association to flourish. Right? Well, not completely. ‘Right’ communication along with persistence is the key to make yourself hear loud. This very thought has been instilled into each and every team member at eZee, helping them to tie the loose ends at every situation.

This month we have another praise worthy incident from our Cloud Deployment Engineer- Parth Pol, who successfully put forward an incredible example of diligence and patience.

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Last month, for a particular date, it was found that we had requested to update Stopsell on Premium Room for a property. However, while updating Stopsell on a leading OTA we got an error because of some server problem from their end. As a result, the Stopsell did not get updated and we received an overbooking.

As a testament, Parth sent the XML log to them stating the error that we received and the eventual consequence.

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After few days, their representative got back to us via mail saying that they are willing to refund the money, provided we tried to update the Stopsell at least “3-4 times” after getting the “blank response”.

Parth sent the screen-shot of our multiple attempts to the representative who further forwarded the issue to their NOC (Network Operations Center) team. There was no reply for many days, but Parth continued with the follow up. It took nearly 22 days for their NOC team to reply that there was no issue with their server on that particular day. In short, it was implied that there will be no case of refund in the picture. Still determined to get the issue straight, Parth replied that if the server was up then why we did not get any response from sever!

To fault anyone at this stage would have been pointless, but they showed us red light with a reply- “This is not an issue from our end.” Parth did not let this go easily. He mailed the “blank response marked in red” again and asked to find the “loophole” at their end. Also, if their server was alright then they should pass the XML logs for the same. It seems Parth had the foresight to know what would work because next day we got a call from them confirming that the refund process would be initiated. Parth relentlessly followed the case for a month and got the end result in our favour.

We have dabbled in many complicated issues over all the years, and like always, our specialized team members ensure that they are determined and equipped enough to stand as a unit with our guests whenever the need arises. While we soak in the glory of this commitment tale, our team is gaining momentum and getting ready to take up another issue.

Because, at the end of the day, all this is for a higher purpose— 100% customer satisfaction.

Team Success: How Did Our Support Team Win Hearts

When you think about traveling, what comes in your mind?
Mountains.. Or lakes.. Or beaches.. Or amidst nature’s lap? Maybe that’s what turns a random journey into a remarkable one.

This is how eZee’s annual picnic turned out to be one of many memorable times for everyone. Carrying a dire need of an escapade from the monotonous routines, eZeeites embarked on for 2-day picnic at Hill Zill Resort, Bordi.

And when our picnic was put to effect, we began contemplating on all possible scenarios which might lead to our 24×7 support’s letdown. We aimed to ensure that while we are out enjoying, our users did not face any difficulty. We deliver, what we promise.

We Were All Set!

The resort was truly a part of nature’s abode. But as they say, when you are off to do something good, you are definitely going to face some blockades.

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A man in battle is never on vacation.

Undertaking the user-first approach, our major objective was that despite anything, our users should not face any inconvenience. For then, we wanted that none of our team members miss out on any activities at the event. Aware of the hurdles we might face on account of the resort’s far-off location; we were prepped with a bunch of plans to keep our 24×7 support up and running.

Back up plans were set up; backup of those backup plans were forged. And we left no stone unturned to give the best in our whole team’s absence. A weekend, less resources, and internet connectivity issues: it poses a challenge to manage it efficiently. Imagine the efforts!

Getting a great team in place was half the job done.

For us, our preparations started days before the actual event. With one member from each departments; NextGen Support, Cloud Support, Development teams, as well as from cloud deployment team, we had a team ready to leave couple of days before the picnic, to set up our make-shift support center at the resort.

2 net-setters from different internet service providers, 4 members, and 2 days. That’s what it took for us to assemble our back-up plan. Luckily, we received absolute co-operation from the resort owner, letting us occupy their reception area without any disruptions. With our support center ready at the destination, our Goa team too chipped in with their share.

And the best part was, our team members volunteered to provide support during the picnic hours. We put forth a projected agenda for the support team, such that they get a fair chance to participate in the event activities. Therefore, our support was divided into two-hours each between the team members. Accordingly, one senior and one junior support engineer were paired together, helping them get acquainted with each other and learn.

Support at Picnic

Adding another feather to the cap, when all of us were exhausted after a hard-rock dance party on the first day, some of our team members went ahead and provided support for the whole night.

And We Nailed It

And we did it. Against all odds, our team managed to surpass the barriers and gave an excellent support to our users. Such that, our users could not predict that we were solving their queries not from our office, but from a place 150 kms away.

Quality is remembered, long after price is forgotten.

In such wise, when the resort owner observed our team toiling even during the picnic to ensure our users’ work is not disrupted, he peeped in to find out about eZee. Fascinated by our service and dedicated efforts for our users, the resort’s owner found himself asking for our product demonstrations. Such was our team’s star quality, that he went on to adapt eZee solutions for his resort after knowing about our products and having a conversation with our sales team member.

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Hill Zill Resort’s owner, Nagesh Pai says, “I’ve never seen a more pro-active team. The best part of eZee is that the products are very comprehensive. They have been developed after considering a hotelier’s each requirement in mind. Even the smallest one. At least 4 of your team members were always present at the reception, either chatting or talking to your clients on the phone, whenever I walked past the place. I can see the efforts you make for your users to have the best experience with your products. And I highly admire that.

The ‘Extra’ For ‘Extra-Ordinary’

With an efficient team, and a zest to offer the finest to our users, we willingly went out of the way to make sure that no query which comes to us goes unsolved and each of us had an even-handed experience. With a spirited support team, always on toes to resolve the users’ queries, we managed to win over hearts with our dedication even on a picnic event.

You either find a way, or make one.

Pursuing a customer-orientation approach since its inception, eZee has never failed to put forward the user’s needs in all situations. The high-ended team work, dedication and co-operation of not only our support team, but also from other teams makes it worth the whole result.

The time when eZee set a new benchmark of client satisfaction

When we consent our services to any guest, we encounter people from all walks of life. Some motivate to push the envelope, some shower affection, while some leave behind a story to be shared with everyone. We take back something from each experience because these multifaceted guest feedback give us the opportunity to contribute more and feel stimulated by the end of each project.

Mr. Walter, Manager at Youth Hostel Los Amigos, Guatemala, recently shared his experience of working with us. This is one tale of fine workmanship which we would like to visit again and again. When anybody mentions customer support, we expect services within the line of duty. Thanks to our customer support members, we succeeded to offer much more than usual support in the case of Youth Hostel Los Amigos.

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There was a time when Mr. Walter had a major database management problem because of machine breakdown at their end. His property was live, but there was problem with server file on the local machine. This could have incurred significant losses to him. It was almost past midnight when he approached one of the eZee support team members. Our support executive not only merged the space between professionalism and comfort, but also worked non-stop for more than 12 hours with Mr. Walter to fix the problem that was affecting the overall functionality.

In his own words:

Since there is not much space left to write about the support executive, I will take this opportunity to say that one member of eZee support team is the best i have ever encountered as far customer service is considered. He was with me for more than 12 hours supporting me and figuring out what I could do to fix my problem. If it wasn’t for him, i would’ve had many many more losses and guests would’ve not felt satisfied. I would truly give him a medal or an award for best employee of the century! There is so much more that i want to say and i know it’s been a while since they helped me out, but i promised I would leave a review because of all their professionalism and skills. A big thanks to all of you in eZee support team, you are all great!!

Amigos
Mr. Walter
Manager
Youth Hostel Los Amigos, Guatemala

A message like this reaffirms your believe in dedication and commitment. There can be hybrid shades of thoughts once you jump on the field to fix a particular problem, but what matters in the end is your ability to establish your expertise and conjointly define a human empathy that will shine through.

The experience with Youth Hostel Los Amigos has been a rewarding one, but the final toast has to be raised to the zeal with which we continue to move ahead. After all, satisfied guests are always the happy ones!

How eZee manages to provide quality service?

In a time when almost every facet of the hospitality industry is donning a mask of ease and comfort, finding a hotel software becomes more important that it ever was. In the swamped market of hotel management software providers, everyone claims to be the best. So how do you know, whether the technology provider you chose is delivering quality service you deserve at every step of your hotel operations?

Everyone claims to be the best, how do you know if you made a wise decision by choosing yours

We do get a timely reminder of the fact that it is almost infeasible to create a bug-free software, especially when new plug-ins and features keep getting added. But, at eZee, we understand that our conviction of being best in the market should resonate with the expectation of our clients.

Today we will give you an insight into the efforts that goes into providing quality support that sets us apart from others

This is how we do it!

Taking care of the basics: 110% scrutiny from the initial development process

First things first, our development process paves the way for nothing short of well-researched specifications. We just don’t know how to take short cuts, we work on fixing issues in totality instead of haphazard fixes or entrusting the important tasks to people who don’t understand technology. We embark on the expedition of maintaining the highest coding standards so that the technology used by us is not hindered by any limitation.

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Emphasis on maintaining a technologically-inclined team

The modern dynamics of technology requires smart resources who can not only work 24/7/365 but also are passionate enough to realize the indispensability of advanced, bug-free technology in every run of their daily hotel operations. In order to accommodate the customer requirement adequately with a smartness quotient.

 

We are proud of the super talented group of techy individuals we have here, they engage in open and creative discussions rather than nod their head vigorously in agreement.

 

Our motto is to provide the best technology not to sell maximum licences, thus, the majority of team eZee consists super talented group of techy individuals as opposed to the sales people. We invite open and creative discussions rather than developers and engineers who nod their head vigorously in agreement. This is why we pride ourselves in being able to retain team members for a very long period of time.

An impeccable and methodological training process

To ensure our ever growing clientèle base is perpetually acquainted with top-notch hospitality solutions, we impart methodological and systematic training. We conduct module wise training that is specifically designed for executives belonging to all levels from the hospitality industry ensuring a 360° learning of the industry and its needs.

Our training process is specifically designed to train all level executives with the inside-out of eZee solutions as well as  360° learning of the hospitality industry and its needs.

 

Training

Our software training process encompasses explaining of the comprehensive functioning of software and the industry by experts. We introduce different ploys in order to make the learning process easier. In addition, we elucidate how the system can be fine-tuned to the specific requirement of the property. In short, we provide a platform for hands-on learning along with training material, case studies and rounds of discussions. This is because we understand that satisfied client engagement creates a pool of pleasant memories and that is why hoteliers choose eZee.

We so mean it when we say that your feedback is very important to us

We are aware that in the hospitality industry new elements are getting ready to redefine the game. Having a rigid prototype in mind is unhealthy as it can break anytime. We regularly approach our international client base and extended network of Channel Partners so that we get genuine and unbiased feedback from them. This significantly helps us to remove existing veil of ignorance or obscurity, if any.

The presence of our special consulting team really helps

You have to exercise precision if you want to bring anything new to the table. We know this and thus, we have founded a special consulting team that understands the customer requirements from a 360-degree perspective and guides the development team accordingly. Today hotel industry is indeed highly competitive , and focusing on customer requirement is essential to boost profitability in the niche.

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We have a super cool team who checks and re-checks codes and its optimization

We get it that this is a customer driven market and the quality end result is extremely critical especially when it comes introducing new technological features. For this, we have a dedicated team that keeps a tab on re-checking of codes and overall optimization process. At a time when stiff competition is rife, one cannot imagine growth without remarkable customer support.

An unforgettable contribution of the Quality Analysis team

Our testing team is highly agile to carry out various processes after every code change. They make sure that appropriate measures are taken to provide the clients a positive experience. We provide enough training to breach the limitation and focus on a bug-free software. So it’s not just the involvement of support team, but many other fundamental elements that are working day and night to give the customers an uninterrupted experience.

The journey is still going but the quest for excellence that we foresaw is happening and is witnessed by our happy clients.