Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Nagalia

Sanjay Nagalia

Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder, IDeaS - A SAS Company

Sanjay Nagalia co-founded IDeaS Revenue Solutions in 1989 and served as Vice President of Products and Services until 2001. After leaving to pursue other entrepreneurial interests, Mr. Nagalia rejoined IDeaS in 2012 with more than 20 years of experience in product development and operations and serves as Chief Operating Officer. Since his return, Mr. Nagalia has been instrumental in reinvigorating IDeaS innovation engine; launching multiple, first-to-market products in that time. Early on in his career, Mr. Nagalia's entrepreneurial side was on display. From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Nagalia co-founded and led a consulting company in New Delhi that offered management consultancy and custom in-shore and off-shore software development. This company was at the forefront of helping many small-to-medium--sized Indian companies with computerizing their financial systems and operations. In his time away from IDeaS, Mr. Nagalia co-founded Apex Decisions, Inc. and held the position of Chief Operating Officer from 2002 to 2011. Apex Decisions provided automated pricing decisions and revenue management solutions for fashion retail. Apex Decisions, Inc. developed specialized models for customer behavior and how they relate to customers' buying decisions. Mr. Nagalia received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. On completing graduate studies, Mr. Nagalia worked at Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ. His early work involved developing videotext solutions (a commercial offering from AT&T and Knight-Ridder with capabilities similar to a web-browser of today) and the world's first credit card enabled public telephone that was launched at Cincinnati Airport in 1985. During his tenure at Bell Labs, Mr. Nagalia experimented with cutting-edge technologies of the time including touch-screens, voice-recognition systems, graphical user-interfaces and early versions of the computer mouse. Mr. Nagalia's commitment to technology advancement is a significant part of his other professional pursuits. He played a critical role forming the vision and mission of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) as a member of the organization's original charter committee in 2000. It was in this committee that a diverse set of hoteliers and hospitality technology providers defined a roadmap for collaboration, communication standards and partnership for worldwide members of the newly formed organization.

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Mr. Nagalia can be contacted at 952-698-4200 or sanjay.nagalia@ideas.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.