The capsule hotel business is not yet popular in Indonesia, but that does not prevent Ahmad BoQois and his five partners from rolling out this business. Without fanfare, they have operated a Bobobox capsule hotel in Bandung which currently has 62 pods. The market response was fairly good. Bobobox’s business idea is inseparable from the creation of six founders who are indeed fond of traveling.
His team was convinced that this type of hotel would sell well after doing various researches. Especially in major cities of Japan such as Osaka, this type of hotel has long been popular, namely hotels that provide a large number of small rooms and are named hotel capsules. That market fact whipped up the courage of six Bobobox founders: Frans Risky, Hafidz Syahrial, Ahmad Qois, Agung Mahesa, Brian Andrianto, and Zulfikar Rifan.
Qois and his six friends chose the location of the first capsule hotel on Jalan Pasir Kaliki, Bandung, because it was judged that the city already had the right ecosystem.
Bobobox tries to come up with some capsule hotel problems such as security, privacy, and phobia of narrow spaces. Therefore, the pod in Bobobox is made in L shape, and from the shape of the box, there can be two rooms, up and down. “Most capsules are maximal for one person. With this L shape, we facilitate sleeping space for a maximum of two people and one small child. In terms of security and privacy, we also manage. There are also mini desk facilities for work, “Qois, who graduated from the Department of Communication Management, Bandung Islamic University explained.
One of Bobobox’s innovations: integrating it with technology. For example, to open the door, QR Code technology is used. Examples of cases such as guests are on their way until more than two in the afternoon. When guests are on their way to the train and are worried that they may not enter or are afraid of being charged, they generally have to conform to the hotel. From the Bobobox application that has been downloaded, customers can do it all online. So when you arrive at the hotel, you only need to validate the data and can directly enter and use the pod.
Bobobox targets millennial customers. For marketing and promotion, it relies on the uniqueness of the hotel concept which eventually became viral. It relies more on promotions through digital marketing. At present for weekdays Bobobox rental rates of Rp 178 thousand for one amenities and weekend Rp 223 thousand for one amenities. Each additional facility is subject to a charge of Rp. 25 thousand. Hotels with 35 employees have an average monthly income of around Rp. 300 million.
Seeing a good market welcome, Qois et al. plan to open a branch in another city. Although it runs smoothly, it does not mean that Bobobox business has no challenges. The challenge is that there are many guests who are not used to resting in capsule hotels so they must be able to share knowledge about staying in capsule hotels, for example, they should not be too noisy, respect fellow travelers, know each other and make more experience through communication. Also, how can you direct those who have not been literate in technology to be able to literate technology? Therefore, we target smart travelers and millennials who are usually more tech savvy.