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.
Bijal Patel, 31, is CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality and the youngest chair of the California Hotel & Lodging Association. He’s made even more history at CHLA by agreeing to serve an unprecedented second term as the lodging industry emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Patel is a third-generation hotelier. Being so steeped in hospitality at such a young age is not new for members of the Indian American hotelier community, but Patel fears the pandemic has drained the industry of emerging talent. Lodging Leaders spotlights Patel, who represents a leadership demographic that is fighting for the life of the hospitality industry as they watch their peers veer toward other career paths.
Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.