Kaneswaran Avili has been an airline executive specialized in commercial turnaround and no-frills business startup. During his stint at AirAsia, he was instrumental in Air Asia’s turnaround efforts, regional expansion and cross-border brand expansion via joint ventures into Thailand and Indonesia.
Over last 7 years, Kanesh continued to pursue his passion in aviation commercial function and have successfully turned around the commercial unit for Viva Macau, Citi Link Indonesia, Tiger Air Singapore and latest being SpiceJet in India.
He is currently the CEO and co-founder of NIDA rooms. It is Asia’s largest Virtual Hotel Operator (VHO), operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand & Philippines.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
NIDA Rooms has revolutionized the travel industry by becoming the largest virtual hotel chain in Asia. Our innovative business concept allows hotels to market themselves on a global platform via NIDA Rooms. NIDA Rooms provides our guests with Right Location, Right Price and Right Quality—we offer reliable, quality and consistent experiences which include multicity presence, air conditioned room, clean and hygiene toilets and towels, comfortable bed, complimentary WIFI, amenity kit and instant confirmation upon booking. Since its inception in September 2015, we have over 3,500 hotel partners in the NIDA Rooms network-Malaysia: over 800 hotels, Indonesia: over 1,000 hotels, Thailand: over 1,500 hotels and Philippines: over 300 hotels. With the future expansion to Vietnam, Singapore, and other continents, NIDA Rooms is set to be the largest virtual hotel chain in the world.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
I believe in the concept of ‘sharing economy’, following the success of AirBNB, Uber, Tesco Mobile and Tune Talk, amongst others. The understanding and experience of managing Low-Cost Carriers in the region have further escalated the interest to start NIDA Rooms.
What is your life mantra?
- Respect everyone
- Never afraid of changes
- Embrace risks
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Cost has always been the most challenging part.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Beg, beg, beg.. Hahaha! On a serious note, innovation, creativity and attaining high productivity through size and scale is crucial towards cost reduction.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Seed round 1: USD 1.3m (Friends and Capital Ventures). Currently, we are at the final stage of announcing the second round of funding of over USD3m.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Not applicable. Our management team has over 200 years of top level experience so the brain drain problem will not occur.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Hard work
- No holds barred
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Whatsapp. It empowers communication in the most effective way.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I would like to get back to the fitness regime, back to the gym and get rid of my 1 pack!
Answer in less than 50 words
Dream the impossible
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
What are your plans for next 3 years?
I would like to grow NIDA Rooms to be the largest Virtual Hotel Chain (VHC) in the world. Another objective is to assist NIDA Rooms hotel partners to transform the budget accommodation revenue model.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I will not change anything as I have been lucky and enjoyed my career journey.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
- Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Success is never ending, failure is never final.”