Co-founders Viral Shah and Dhaval Chokshi are empowering hoteliers with their startup HelloGM, which provides a single interface to see data from disparate property management systems easily compiled, analyzed, and utilized. A data-science-focused endeavor, the pair grew the company as members of the Master of Business Creation program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. They graduated from the program in May 2021 and are positioned for growth.
HelloGM brings hoteliers success through accessibility. “Our idea is any business should not be left behind in the competition of data science just because of the financial constraints that small businesses have,” Shah said. A desktop and mobile friendly interface allows hotel managers to conveniently view dashboard features that track revenue, occupancy, and the average daily rate of their hotels. “We know in this era of information technology, data is everywhere. We work on bettering our product so the data we collect can be used to help hoteliers maximize their profits,” Shah said.
Shah and Chokshi are excited for the future of HelloGM, which is looking bright in the light of their new destination resort client. “This resort is a unique opportunity for us because it is a resort with hotels, spas, market, and restaurants. What we are working with them today is to get the data from these different systems together in one place,” Chokshi said. This shows promise for the future versatility of their product, which they hope will become an industry standard. “Our far-reaching goal is to become a de facto data analysis platform that businesses of any scale can depend on for their analytics needs,” explained Chokshi.
It is no surprise that the pair of dedicated entrepreneurs are finding success with their startup. “We both possess exclusive skill sets — Dhaval is more on the business side, and I am on the technology side — so as a team, we find a good blend because we cover our own areas,” Shah expressed. A true kitchen-table project, the two began their partnership as friends with a shared passion for engineering. “We had become friends and were just at my home one day when we talked about this idea — that’s where we started our professional journey together,” Chokshi said. HelloGM is the result of their years of experience in sales management and engineering.
Both entrepreneurs credited their entrepreneurial development to the Master of Business Creation, which is offered by the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at the Eccles School and supported by Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. The nine-month immersive program gave the two access to business courses, curriculum workshops, practicum labs, and financial resources. As a part of the 2021 graduating class, Shah and Chokshi feel grateful for the mentorship and guidance they received from their peers and professors. “That is one thing that I cherish a lot — that we became a part of this course. Otherwise, I don’t know where we could have learned this. We could have been successful, but I doubt we could have been so knowledgeable and entrepreneurial like we are today,” Shah said.
When asked what advice he would give to new entrepreneurs, Shah prescribed patience and perseverance. “In today’s era, we always look for something that gives you a quick result. But in startup culture it is important to believe in your idea and adhere to it. It could be simple or very complex — all that matters is how you execute it,” he said. Chokshi had similar wisdom to share — “Be a do-er, not just a planner or a thinker. Sometimes there are challenges, but just try. You’ll learn something and then fine tune it. Gradually you will get better and better at that — but ideas have no value until you execute them.”
Learn more about HelloGM at hellogm.com.