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Luxstay proves itself worthy

Released at: 10:23, 14/10/2018

Luxstay proves itself worthy

Photo: VET Magazine

Mr. Nguyen Manh Dung, President of Luxstay, tells VET about the company's journey to being a major player in the home share world.

Can you tell us something about Luxstay’s business performance? 

Underway in 2017, Luxstay provides a technology platform created to link demand for vacation rental connecting home-owners with travelers having the demand for vacation rental. It made more than 2,000 bookings last year, with an average value of $40. It grew significantly in the first half of this year, recording a five-fold increase to more than 10,000 bookings with an average value of more than $100. There are now more than 3,000 accommodation units on Luxstay’s system, including homestays and high-end villas in many cities and popular destinations around Vietnam.

Luxstay shook hands with Japan’s Rakuten Lifull last month. In what ways will you cooperate?

Luxstay signed a cooperation agreement on September 27 in Hanoi with Rakuten Lifull, a member of Japan’s Rakuten E-commerce Corporation, becoming a strategic partner in Rakuten’s travel and accommodation business. The strategic cooperation is part of Luxstay’s plans to expand in the Asian market, marking new developments in the hospitality industry for both Luxstay and Vietnam. Japan, meanwhile, is also an attractive destination for Vietnamese tourists, and for this reason Luxstay’s cooperating with Rakuten Lifull. Customers of both sides now have more diverse choices. Vietnamese tourists to Japan can stay in a local home through Luxstay, while Japanese tourists can easily find homestays and villas in Vietnam through Rakuten’s vacation rental platform.

Luxstay and Rakuten Lifull also plan to invest in and launch a chain of accommodation brands in Vietnam called Rakuten Stay, cooperating with real estate developers in condotels. Rakuten Stay will manage the operations of serviced apartment buildings in accordance with Japanese standards and in cooperation with real estate investors in condotels.

What have been Luxstay’s most memorable achievements? What motivated you in accomplishing these achievements?

I am very enthusiastic and saw potential in investing in a technology startup in specialized online booking platform for vacation rental in Vietnam - Luxstay. We have ambition and a positive direction with a host of new opportunities. I have been very impressed with Luxstay, not only because it has outlined a clear direction and development goals but also because it contributes to society in general and the tourism industry and vacation rental industry in Vietnam in particular. The startup operates under the sharing economy model and was the first “home sharing” model in Vietnam.

Life has given me a lot of motivation, and I always remember to be determined to “master my life” and “master the game”. This has been a guideline in my efforts throughout life. I never allow myself to step backwards, because I think I must move forward to change, to create new values, and to contribute to the society and the community.

What challenges does the company face? Are there any obstacles that make you feel discouraged and want to give up?

With Luxstay, the opportunity is also the challenge, so if this challenge is overcome then Luxstay will achieve great success. Tourism in Vietnam does not only benefit from international visitors; the domestic market is also quite exciting. Trips by domestic tourists are usually shorter but more frequent, and the need to have a holiday, go on cultural explorations, and seek open spaces is still strong. Customers are looking to choose accommodation in homestays or villas, where they have close spaces and privacy for creative and experiential activities. This is also one of the opportunities and challenges for Luxstay, forcing it to perfect its platform and offer a wide range of options at the most affordable price for customers.

As a new startup in the vacation rental segment, Luxstay has also faced fierce competition from other long-standing platforms with large customer bases. This is a challenge that Luxstay must overcome to prove itself worthy of being one of the largest and most professional vacation rental booking platforms in Vietnam.

How would you evaluate the millennial generation in general and the startup community in particular in Vietnam? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

The millennial generation has the advantage of being born in the information technology and social networking era. They have more access to the outside world and more opportunities to study abroad, so are better trained. They are quick to grasp technological trends and know the advantages of technology platforms in business and management, so can easily get a startup running with little capital, even from just one person.

The weaknesses are related the strengths. There are so many opportunities and it’s easy to get started, so they don’t actually focus on the business. A lack of persistence is a major reason for their failure. In addition, this generation is quite independent, so their spirit of teamwork is poor. Many founders from this generation began from technology, so they often focus on technical issues but forget that the core value of new products and services is being something that customers care about. This has also led to many failures.

What advice would you give to the millennial generation with ambition and passion for startups?

My advice is “be realistic” and “always learn”. As I have said, although they have good ideas, their ideas don’t always match user demand and do not bring value to users. If they are not focused on one goal, they will easily fail.

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