We talked to Luís Brites of Clever about the hospitality industry and the effects of the pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Luís Brites: Thank you so much for asking. We are doing well, and I hope it will continue that way. I also hope that you and your family are also well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company.
Luís Brites: I’m 55 years old, born in Estoril, a trendy place near Lisbon. I have a degree in Economics and an MBA. For the last 12 years, I’m professionally connected to the IT Software Solutions (Saas) for the Hospitality Industry in Portugal.
From 2017 to nowadays, I’m the co-founder and CEO of Clever Hospitality Analytics (www.cleverhospitalityanalytics.com), a new company with new analytical solutions to offer to the hospitality industry.
Clever was born with this goal: to enable the hotel to integrate information from different data sources from their hotels or group of hotels, without limitation.
How does your company innovate?
Luís Brites: There’s evidence that there is a scarcity of BI and Analytical tools and solutions for the Hospitality market with an affordable price and convenient time of implementation that could massify the usage of these solutions. Only big chains (top in the world) have developed these kinds of solutions, so a vast virgin market needs these solutions.
CLEVER’s unique solution is an innovative pre-build BI and Analytical platform (for Hospitality) that tremendously reduces the cost for the final client (hotel) and the time of implementation. The differentiation consists of gathering all our 25 years of accumulated knowledge of hotels business and materialize a structure of KPI’s that suits 80 to 90% of the management information that hotel managers require.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Luís Brites: We work mainly for the Hospitality industry, so as a partner of one of the most affected sectors in the world by this pandemic, we are also supporting our clients’ efforts. We had to rationalize even more our operation, but so far, we are keeping all our employees and the quality of service.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Luís Brites: We had to redefine our medium-term strategy and adapt our operations to this reality. The biggest lesson to everyone, in my opinion, is to have an open mind to always ADAPT and ADAPT and ADAPT!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Luís Brites: Always thinking that I’m privileged to do what I like, to be the leader of an exciting project and also trying to put everything on balance and also avoid to suffer in anticipation.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Luís Brites: In terms of competition, we don’t have any direct competitors from companies from our native country (Portugal) until now. This is due to our unique concept. Internationally we found few companies on the same path, and of course, companies in the USA and Canada. But from our perspective, we are a “bit ahead” in our concept due to the full integration of the ERP data, meaning that we also present the accountancy values (namely costs of sales), allowing the hotel manager to have always the GOP and GOPPAR calculated and available in dashboard visualization.
Naturally, we targeted first our native market. Still, the model and the concept of CLEVER applies to all Hospitality in other markets because the management principles, KPIs, Business rules, relationship with OTAs, etc. are basically the same, so our model suites to the internationalization of the business, which is, obviously, one of our goals. CLEVER, by nature, is a scalable solution and relies on a potentially scalable business model.
Your final thoughts?
Luís Brites: I want to share a message of hope to everyone, hoping that the next summer this pandemic will be over and we all can resume our normal lives without forgetting the lessons learnt during this challenging period