HotelsByDay & FlexBook are startups based in New York City and made up of a team of hospitality industry veterans, technology experts and entrepreneurs who decided that there should be a better way for hotels to leverage their unused inventory during the day and for guests to be granted flexibility of check-in & check-out of a hotel room outside the conventional hours.
We think that travelers need a more dynamic option when they shop for hotel rooms and we strive to create the best platforms for hotels to provide this flexibility to the consumer. This spurred the creation of this unique platform to marry the ideas together.
CEO & Founder
Vidur Raj Bhalla
Tech & PM
Advisor - Canada
Elesha Gabriell Aflalo
CEO & Founder
Yannis has a rich background of 15 years in travel, from guiding tours in Europe at a young age, to co-founding an exotic travel agency, and then directing a New York-based global tour operator company. Throughout his professional life, for both his clients and personal travels, Yannis had to always pull strings to get a more personalized hotel check-in or check-out times.
Frustration turned to illumination, witnessing first-hand the important customer behavioral shifts of the ‘on-demand’ economy: something could be done in boosting hotel revenues by selling un-committed inventory for the day.
Yannis gathered some of the hospitality industry’s brightest to form HotelsByDay & FlexBook, two innovative solutions for both guests and hotels to seamlessly process & monetize flexible room inventory. The start-up launched in early 2015 and quickly turned profitable, demonstrating the clever engineering of both solutions. Next step: scale globally, for more fluid domestic & international travel.
A highly accomplished travel industry executive, Brian brings over 20 years of specialized experience spanning multiple facets in global hospitality. Starting at the hotel property level, Brian co-founded two successful web-based hotel technology firms that serviced a range of proprietary online products and services. In addition, he held NYC based hotel general manager positions that entailed overseeing all sales, marketing, operations and administration.
A successful entrepreneur with a proven industry record, Mr. Dass started two online hospitality technology and marketing firms, Timeless Hospitality (acquired by TravelClick) and Open Hospitality (acquired by Pegasus Solutions) encompassed a series of integrated online systems for hoteliers. Brian develops complex CRSs, e-Commerce platforms, booking engines and mobile applications specifically tailored to the Hospitality and Travel industry.
Nathan, who hails from South Africa is an entrepreneur and investment professional with 15 years experience. He developed trading strategies and data science technology in quantitative finance at CQS, a top five large global hedge fund. As an investment banker he reported to the board for the EUR650m global credit business at BNP Paribas in London. He later qualified as an enterprise architect and served at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, architecting and program managing large scale, international technology projects with NYSE, CME and LSEG from concept through to implementation.
Leveraging his financial insight - he co-founded a pioneering music rights investment company in California with Grammy-award winning music industry executives and advised on international film financing deals with Academy award-winning directors and producers. As a venture advisor, he developed and implemented scalable business strategies for emerging and established companies in travel technology, fintech and real estate.
He earned a Bachelor of Business Science Honors in Economics, Finance and Information Systems at the University of Cape Town. He grew up in hospitality in South Africa and brings his combined experience to HotelsByDay.
Advisors & Consultants
Advisor - Industry Expert
Identified by Lodging Magazine as one of the ten hospitality experts changing the travel industry, John Burns established Hospitality Technology Consulting to assist hotels and other travel companies deal successfully with the increasingly complex world of electronic travel distribution.
Born and educated in Canada, Mr. Burns began his hotel management career at university conference centers, first in Ottawa, Ontario and then in Vancouver, B.C. Throughout his career John has served as Assistant Director of Sales at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver and later as the Director of Reservation of Sales for the entire chain. After his stint at the Hyatt brand he was the Director of Reservations at Ramada, Inc, later becoming the Director of Property Systems Support. Furthering his expertise in hotel reservation technology, Mr. Burns previously spent time at THISCO (now Pegasus Solutions) as its Vice President-Product Development. Moving to technology-innovator INTRICO he developed that company’s customer service organization.
Mr. Burns, is an AH&LA Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), is a past member of the Global Board of Directors of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), past Board Member of the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) and past chairperson of that organization's Technology Committee and its Applications Committee. In 2002 he received HEDNA's Outstanding Contributor Award for his support of the association's activities over the past decade. Burns is a co-founder of Hotel Technology-Next Generation (HTNG).
He has authored three training programs for HEDNA as well as numerous articles for hotel and travel industry publications - some now used as course materials by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and Purdue University. He speaks frequently to hotel management, hotel school, technology, and travel industry audiences across the globe.
Kellie Pelletier is an award-winning public relations professional with 18 years experience in consumer travel, B2B travel, e-commerce/technology and lifestyle. For the past decade, Kellie has focused on launching consumer travel sites. She’s emerged as the PR industry’s leading expert in online travel with a proven track record of success. She led the U.S. global launches of KAYAK and Jetsetter, the U.S. launch of Routehappy and MileCards, and contributed to the PR launch of Orbitz.
Because she enjoys the adrenaline rush (and sleepless nights) of openings and launches, she also contributed to the launches of:
- Several new cruise ships and one new port for Royal Caribbean
- Both Ritz-Carlton hotels in NYC
- Mohegan Sun Casino’s hotel and conference facility
- Restaurant and retail additions to Mohegan Sun Casino
- Restaurants for Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group
- 50+ Starbucks stores in mid-Atlantic region
- Several exhibits for The Smithsonian Institution
Kellie spent the better part of the past 18 years studying media. As a result, she is a skilled storyteller able to craft must-cover stories. Her deep knowledge of the travel, e-commerce, and technology industries enables her to craft the kind of trend stories media are looking for. She strives for quality coverage with an emphasis on company features and founder profiles.
Advisor - CEO of Intelligent Hotels
Jeffrey Osborne, Co-Founder & President of Intelligent Hotels, is recognized worldwide for his cutting edge, results driven, approach to the design and implementation of systems that enable hotels to maximize profits through savvy revenue management. Using the expertise developed during a 25-year hospitality career involving corporate, operational and revenue management positions, Mr. Osborne has successfully put his results-driven strategies to work for independent and branded hotels, resorts and casinos throughout North America and overseas.
Mr. Osborne has been awarded a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hotel and Food Administration from the University of Guelph, outside of Toronto, Canada. He has taught Revenue Management and Strategic Pricing classes to both Graduate and Undergraduate students at New York University, and developed and hosted a 4-part Webinar series through HSMAI University. Osborne took the lead working to bring HSMAI Europe into the fold by developing their first educational presentations and introducing the concept of the Special Interest Group, now with some 15+ European Advisory Panel members. He developed and presented a five-day Revenue Management training program for Kempinsky Hotels International in Dubai and was the Revenue Management speaker at the AAHOA National Conference. Additionally Mr. Osborne has addressed technology, sales and revenue management forums at HITEC, The New York Investment Conference, The New York Hotel and Restaurant Show, and other major North American and European conferences relating to Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and e-Commerce initiatives.
Advisor - CEO of Adlift
Prashant has over 8 years of online marketing experience and has successfully built numerous sites into multi-million unique visitor sites through a combination of SEO & SEM.
Prashant Puri is the co-founder of AdLift.com, a niche internet marketing firm, and Director of Acquisition Marketing at Bookrenter.com. Prior to AdLift.com, he was Head of Global SEO for Shopping.com (an eBay Inc Company). He previously served at Yahoo! where he worked on increasing monetization of display advertising inventory for Fortune 500 companies and co-founded AdLift.com - a SEO/SEM company based in India. Prior to Yahoo!, Prashant led AT&T Interactive search marketing team where he successfully leveraged niche search engine optimization and marketing techniques to measurably increase traffic, and drive them to become the second largest local search player in the US.
Prashant frequently speaks at leading industry events including SES & Pubcon as an expert in search marketing.
Prashant earned a BTech in Electronics from Bangalore University, India and a MS in computer science from Columbia University, New York.
Advisor - IP and Legal
Keth co-founded an Internet start-up in the early ‘90s using his expertise as a data communications and telecommunications engineer (holding a BS and an MS in Electrical Engineering).
He worked at Verizon and the MITRE Corporation in senior engineering positions. His love of entrepreneurship remained intact after attending law school and working at boutique and major law firms (including McDermott, Will & Emery). In 2000, Keth co-founded his own law firm, presently known as Ditthavong & Steiner, P.C. He grew the firm from 2 people to over 60 employees and positioned the firm as an international powerhouse in intellectual property -- with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, San Diego, and Taipei. Keth also pursues other business ventures in software, film and music, as well as beverage.
Vidur Raj Bhalla
Vidur Raj Bhalla, CFA, Portfolio Manager at Bernard Herold & Co., Inc., graduated with a degree in Accounting and Financial Management from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Bombay India. Vidur also received his M.B.A. in Finance from the Lubin Graduate School of Business at Pace University in New York. Vidur is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts, General Securities Principal, and a Registered Options Principal. Vidur currently serves as a Director of Mission For Vision (USA) Inc., which is a registered charity providing vision healthcare in developing countries.
Tech & PM
Tony has 10 years of experience under his belt in various roles in the financial industry. He currently manages a portfolio of VC investments for high-net worth investors and also oversees the trading and operations of a hedge fund.
He grew up with a love of computers and technology and further enhanced his proficiency by earning his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. With a strong background in tech, he utilizes his knowledge to advise in development and other technical aspects of HotelsByDay.
Loulu Lima, CRME, CHBA known as an industry expert, has +20 years in hospitality, specializing in Sales/Marketing/Hotel Distribution/Event and Revenue Management. Her experience covers on property as well as working with online travel agencies Travelocity and Travelzoo. Having the entrepreneurial spirit, Ms. Lima has run her own businesses focusing on travel, hospitality and F&B. Ms. Lima is also on the board of HSMAI Austin chapter and is a member of HEDNA and has a number of published articles in Hotelexecutive.com.
Advisor - Canada
Tatia has held several senior positions in a variety of industries specializing in print and online marketing for over 20 years. She has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience in the hospitality industry most recently with Travelzoo, American Express, Guestlogix and Leonardo.
Advisor – Hotel Strategy & Technology Expert
Anupam Agarwal has extensive global business experience designing and leading successful B2B Digital sales & marketing transformations, sales operations, and technology implementation in multiple complex environments.
Most recently he was SVP Global Sales Strategy & Operations at Starwood Hotels & Resorts with responsibility for driving a Digital Transformation while supporting double digit revenue growth for over $10B in B2B revenue and improving the performance of 5000+ Sales Associates across the world.
Previously Anupam was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company in the High-Tech and Marketing & Sales Practices based out of San Francisco where he led engagements relating to growth and sales & marketing at several F500 clients. Prior to that, Anupam was a member of Deloitte Consulting’s CRM practice in San Francisco. He started his career as a software developer for Citicorp working in Mumbai and Singapore and later worked for a Business Intelligence Startup in Silicon Valley.
Anupam earned a Bachelor of Engineering Degree from Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, India and has also completed McKinsey’s Executive MBA Program.
Gilberto brings over 20 years in global hotel chain and hotel suppliers experience in the Travel and Hospitality industry. He developed a career in eCommerce in areas of revenue management, business development, supplier relations and channel distribution. Gilberto conveys contracting experience where he established commercial agreements at B2C and B2B levels, as well as managed connectivity implementations to build and grow stronger partnerships with different business groups, wholesalers and major hotel chains. Gilberto comes with a great experience with global companies like GTA, Choice Hotels and Best Western and we're delighted to now have him join the HotelsByDay team.
Elesha Gabriell Aflalo
Formerly of sweepstakes.com, Political.com, and software implementation for The Magazine Manager; Elesha is a well rounded marketing technology professional. She is skilled in performance based marketing and data science. In addition to increasing bookings, she brings a toolbox of advertising revenue streams that compliment our existing revenues.Back to Top