Kunal Patel grew up in the hotel industry. The son of successful multi-property owners, he learned firsthand how difficult it is to make a hotel run efficiently.
Kunal commenced studies in Business at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla, before transferring to Florida State/Florida A&M College of Engineering, where he majored in Chemical Engineering.
After excelling in his coursework and completing an internship with Carbonyx Inc., he joined the Carbonyx office in 2011 in Dahej, Gujarat, India. There, he oversaw daily operations at a $100 million facility where his responsibility including human resource management of more than 300 staff members, procurement, marketing, and product sales.
In 2014, he formed Hoteligent.com to provide innovative software and hardware solutions to help hotels improve efficiencies and drive profits. As Chief Executive Officer, Kunal partnered with MagicJack to create a commercial-quality VoIP solution for hotels – HOTELiJack. Together, they’re offering dependable, unlimited local and long distance telephone service for Hotels using their existing Internet connection, enabling hotels to save 60% or more compared to traditional phone solutions.
Lodging Econometrics has tracked the hotel industry since 1998. Its global database includes new-hotel pipelines as well as renovations and brand conversions. Hotel franchisers once eager to launch new brands are focused on converting existing hotels because it’s a faster way to recover revenue lost to the COVID-19 pandemic than through new construction. In Episode 346, Lodging Leaders explores the increasing number of conversions in the U.S. hotel industry and what owners and operators need to consider before repositioning an asset.
In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., financiers anticipated a swell of distressed hotel businesses. Some raised rescue funds to respond to what they thought was a pending crisis. Though there are financial rescues taking place, the level of such activity is far below what industry advisers and fund managers expected. Commercial real estate investors positioned to act in the early days of the pandemic held off and are now just beginning to unleash their cash hoards totaling billions of dollars. Episode 345 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the state of capital investment in the hotel industry.