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Before you prepare for any interview you should first be well acquainted with the role and responsibility of the position you are going to apply. Demand Managers and Business Development Managers are like two sides of a coin.

By DIBYAJYOTI PANDA

Overview

Before you prepare for any interview you should first be well acquainted with the role and responsibility of the position you are going to apply. Demand Managers and Business Development Managers are like two sides of a coin. Demand Managers manage demand. They are responsible for bringing customers. Business Development Managers are responsible for the supply side to keep up with the demand.

In case of OYO, It has been seen Demand Managers and Business Development Manager does the same job sometimes. Oyo Demand manager is about bringing business (room nights). You would have to register and get business from travel partners and retail agents and convert them to successful leads. It is mainly called as offline sales.  E.g meeting admins of other companies, convincing them to book a hotel or rooms via OYO when they are going to arrange any official events or party etc.

The main responsibilities of the Demand Manger in OYO are given below :

  • Drive Offline Sales through rigorous cold calling and meeting potential clients/corporates/organizations to sell OYO Portfolio
  • Identify/On-board/Develop Channel partners
  • Periodic market Research for finding different avenues for demand, collecting competitors data and effective data mining for generating prospects
  • Responsible for end-to- end Sales process from qualifying clients to closing the deals to retaining/acquiring new accounts/clients, in a specified region/market
  • Understand client’s requirements and tailor-pitch the product portfolio accordingly
  • Maintain and review monthly Sales Tracker of accounts and targets
  • Ensure collection of accounts receivable/outstanding amount from client/accounts.

Note: The answer are fictional and should be modified according to your situation experience.

Tell me about yourself ?

  • My name is Dibyajyoti and I am from Odisha. Currently, I am working as a freelancer in multiple sectors like web development and digital marketing.
  • I completed my Btech from IIIT, Bhubaneswar in Electronics and Telecommunication. In my final year, I was selected as a Google Summer of Code student within 103 countries and successfully completed the project within 3 months and received the monetary award from Google.  From the next year onwards I have been honored as a mentor in the same program.
  • Alongside with this, I was doing affiliate marketing of Flipkart and Amazon.
  • In the past, I have sales experience where I played the role of financial advisor in ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.
  • Back in 2016, I was a part of the winning team and the best performer of SmartE challenge organised by NEN and Snapdeal, where we have to onboard maximum number of vendors to Snapdeal. As a team we onboarded 30 vendors out of which 25 was on-boarded by me in a period of 15 days.

How did you achieve your Snapdeal thing ?

Note: This is one version of the types of questions that you may be asked according to your introduction. This is an example in my case based on the last point of my Introduction. (It’s a good idea to end your introduction with your most relevant experience to the job. 90% of the time the concluding statement of introduction has an impact and the interviewer goes on to ask the next question based on your concluding Statement. So focus on your strength area in the concluding Statement.)

  • We created a visiting card and leaflet. We used to handle them a leaflet just after giving our introduction and some features of Snapdeal like about percentage of commission and all. We were very strict about it. Because we knew visualizing is more understandable rather than giving a long boring sales pitch. We were trying to make our conversation more interactive and interesting.
  • It is said that when you do it yourself, you gain more experience,clarity and confidence. So when I onboarded my father’s business I gained almost all practical knowledge and solved the vendor’s queries.
  • We learnt from our failures on day 1. We were searching contacts through online and approaching them to come to Snapdeal. But they were almost onboarded. So we went to the railway station where people import and export things manually.We collected their contacts and approached them.
  • We created a dedicated Whatsapp group of potential sellers whom we approached to discuss about the onboarding process. So, after we onboarded one seller, we used to greet him/her with a message about the next steps. When other sellers saw that, they also got motivated and wanted to get on board as they could see that people are actually getting on-boarded eventually and their fears were turned into motivation. They also had a sense of trust on us as well as a competition with the other sellers. But it was tough for the first seller. Then it became easy for us with time.

Why you want your career in marketing ?

  • Because I believe, marketing is everything today. You can say, it is the main part of any business. Marketing is no more an expense today. It has become a primary investment these days. We can see every successful company investing more than 50% of its revenue in marketing and it grows day by day. More investment means more career opportunities and experiences. So, there is a never ending possibilities of career in marketing. 
  • It is said without marketing an innovative product has no value. In hindi, “jo dikhta hai wohi bikta hai”. If you minutely notice, all the big giants from OYO to Flipkart everyone is only focusing on marketing. They are not doing any productions themselves. Rather they are innovating new marketing strategies to market the product of vendors, property owners, etc.

Tell me about your work/sales experience?

Here, you should try to reply to the point that is only relevant to the job. Read the job description properly and show the interviewer how you have some relevant experience that matches the job description. E.g you can extract my marketing experience points from “Tell me about yourself” question written above and explain those briefly. 

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Strength
I dream big and I work hard towards achieving what I dream. i.e I am goal oriented.
I am very dedicated and achieve my goals by giving an extra effort ie. By hook or crook. I am patient and focused. 

Weakness

I am a perfectionist which I believe consumes more time than required. E.g I don’t publish a software until it gets stable completely. I try to fine tune my website until it looks very amazing. Which I should not be so much obsessed with so that it could save some time. But I believe better safe than sorry. 

Will online retail finish offline retail eventually?

No. Because someone or the other may always  prefer to go to the store physically. As per my experience the branded company outlets never joins any third party online marketplace. They give their own franchise. Vendors and Distributors of the company actually sell the products through online. So there may be a chance of duplicate product selling by some unethical vendors. So at least i will personally prefer visiting the brand’s outlet physically. Everything can’t be bought looking at its picture only. Now a days some online vendors are using other vendors catalogue photos even if they have the same product of different looks. If you see minutely in the root level online retailers are indeed fueled by offline stores only. Successful retailers that outlast their competitors have used a variety of formats and channels to meet their customers, and will continue to do so.Factors like the smells, sounds, and human interaction that can be found at a store are hard to replace

 What is Micro Market ?

This is a pressurised job. So how can you fill your target ?

  • If there is no pressure in sales or marketing. There will be no result
  • If you love your work, then you will hardly feel any stress.
  • Stress means target so if you do a proper planning to reach your target then less stress will come in the way.
  • Less stress is negligible and can be handled by visiting some places, hanging with friends and all
  • If you see my past experience, you can analyze that I have always gone through competitive environment. Like the snapdeal challenge within 15 days, completed gsoc project within 90 days etc. So healthy amount of stress is actually good
  • At last, stress is a part of life, from childhood to till now  I have successfully passed all those small stress, so in future also I believe i can.

How will you convince the travel agents to sign up with Oyo rooms?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f94tazkOGrw 

https://www.oyorooms.com/travelagent

How to approach the customer again who is angry about our services?

  • Firstly, I would listen to the customer calmly.
  • Ask what the customer wants to see happen.
  • Then assure him/her that you are with him and help him/her to completely sort out the issue
  • I will be analyzing the issue, find out the root cause, check if it is the repeating issue etc then give the solution as per feasibility.
  • Assure that OYO takes care of the customers feedback very seriously
  • I will try to be genuine and honest. I should try to develop good rapport rather than giving the usual sales pitch. 

How to convince a customer about our room?

First I will understand the customer’s needs like what he/she is seeking. What are the facts he is prioritizing while booking a room. If it is the privacy or cleanliness or location. So according to the situation I would put the picture of OYO what we are providing. If we are meeting his/her expectations or not. Along with his need I would also highlight some points what OYO is offering extra like breakfast and assistance by a dedicated OYO captain etc.

How a company can be improved through branding?

  • Branding is an important part of Marketing. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from competitors and clarifying what is it that you offer that makes you the better choice. There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise, reputation and logo. All of these elements work together to create one unique and (hopefully) attention-grabbing professional profile.
  • Branding Gets Recognition
  • Branding Generates New Customers
  • Improves Employee Pride And Satisfaction
  • Creates Trust Within The Marketplace

What are the sources through which you can generate leads?

  • Try to onboard a corporate with greater employees movement.
  • Keep track of events which can attract outside people in your micro market.
  • Work with retail partners.Ask your family and friends to contact you whenever someone is travelling and needs cheap accommodation.
  • Try to collaborate with band people, card printers and farm lawn managers. Sometimes they do pass very good bulk leads.
  • Talk to reception people in nearby hospital. They will pass leads about people who come from other cities for health checkup and stuff.
  • Be in touch with university or college authorities of your city. During admissions parents do look for accommodation.
  • Propose honeymoon packages to newlywed couples in your relations. These packages are good and cheap. + They fetch great amount of GMV in your kitty.

How will you get new customers? What are the sources through which you can generate leads? How will you prepare database of prospect customers in order to present your manager that these are the customer whom you would like to approach.

  • I will first try to take advantage of social media. E.g I can share the information with my friend’s circle if their corporate or team is going to arrange any event, just inform me. So that I can go and try to convince the event organisers.
  • Keep tracking of local events and parties. There are many websites as well from where I can get the information.
  • Get referrals from existing customers. Talk to my clients and see if they know of anyone who could also benefit from our services or expertise.
  • I have to be extrovert as much as possible. Every day I will try to talk with few unknown people. May be on the bus or in a cab etc. Have to set a target.

What is the Impact of Tourism in India?

Tourism in India has registered significant growth in recent years and the country has tremendous potential to become a major global tourist destination. Tourist Attractions in India: India provide lavish treatment to all visitors, no matter where they come from. Tourists are attracted by It’s visitor-friendly traditions, varied life styles and cultural heritage and colorful fairs and festivals. Also include attractions like beautiful beaches, forests and wildlife and landscapes for Ecotourism; snow, river and mountain peaks for adventure tourism; technological parks and science museums for science tourism; centers of pilgrimage for spiritual tourism; heritage, trains and hotels .

Positives

  • Generating Income and Employment
  • Source of Foreign Exchange Earnings
  • Preservation of National Heritage and Environment
  • Developing Infrastructure
  • Promoting Peace and Stability

Negatives

  • Undesirable Social and Cultural Change
  • Increase Tension and Hostility
  • Creating a Sense of Antipathy
  • Adverse Effects on the Environment and Ecology

If someone has to spend one night at Paharganj and he does not want much of luxury however GOIBIBO is giving one room at Rs 700, how will convince the customer to purchase the product from oyo who is selling rooms at Rs 900 in the same area.

  • First I will understand his requirements. What are his basic needs and what aren’t?
  • So keeping an eye on customer’s basic needs and situation I will tell him that how OYO is going to solve his problem. E.g His primary needs may be privacy but not luxury. He might have an interview the next day and doesn’t want to be late. So I will tell that how OYO employee inspects every room in every week. He is going to get a breakfast in free of cost at his doorstep so he doesn’t have to find a shop nearby  and waste time etc.
  • Tell him that OYO has its own properties and whatever price it is displayed is the final one where GOIBIBO has its commission over the display price. So final price may increase.
  • Make him realize that OYO is giving services worth a 1000 bucks in 900 while he has to pay 1000 to GOIBIBO to get the same services.

You are the demand manager, one of your corporate clients who had booked through you had a real bad experience. You are approaching him once again. How will you approach?

  • I will try to convince them that the experience they had with one property might not be the same with another.
  • I will show them how we took steps against the property caretaker to fix things and gave warning to the caretaker not to repeat it. 
  • We will give them some offer so that they take the service with us the next time also.
  • And that time I will make sure to follow up with the property they choose and do a background check in order to make things right. 

What do you know about OYO?

OYO, is an Indian hospitality service and budget hotel network. It was founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal and has since grown to over 8, 500 hotels in 230 cities in India and Malaysia and Nepal. 

Some more important points may be included if needed.

In 2017, OYO Rooms was chosen as India’s Most Promising Hotel Network (HolidayIQ Better Holiday Awards). In 2016, OYO Rooms won NDTV Dream Chaser of the Year Award, IAMAI Digital Startup of the Year Award. In 2015, OYO Rooms won Express IT Startup of the Year Award. It was recognized by Business Today as among the Coolest Start-Ups in India (2016) and ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top employee attractors in India two years in a row (2016, 2017). OYO is backed by leading global investors, including the SoftBank Group, Lightspeed India, Sequoia Capita, Greenoaks Capital, Hero Enterprise and China Lodging Group. 

Explain a little more about how it started and how you are fascinated by that. You can watch this video more details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzB7thSRtqg

What do you think about OYO?

  1. OYO is constantly learning,constantly evolving – moving fast and not afraid of new things
  2. They are an ever growing group of people who are passionate about their work
  3. OYO wants to better itself and competes with itself
  4. And I being an individual thrive to grow in such a fast paced environment, I feel I can use my experience and skills to enhance the growth of the company.

How to promote a new product offline?

  • Reach out to existing customers and inform regarding the launch of new product.
  • Give them some discount coupon to avail discounts while booking for new product. 
  • This will help in spreading the word to new customers as well as retaining them as existing customers will be delighted to get some new service.
  • Then another way is distributing pamphlets with discount coupons near medicals, stations, college, office etc
  • Arranging small events/games in mall involving some prizes/ lottery

Why do you wish to join OYO?

Why you should join OYO: (as stated by an OYO employee on quora)

  1. OYO is constantly learning,constantly evolving – moving fast and not afraid of new things
  2. They are an ever growing group of people are passionate about their work
  3. OYO wants to better itself and competes with itself
  4. And I being an individual thrive to grow in such a fast paced environment, I feel I can use my experience and skills to enhance the growth of the company.
  5. They’re constantly learning, we are constantly evolving – we move fast, we are not afraid of new things
  6. They’re an ever growing group of people, a lot of who have already been in the position you are in and are passionate about sharing our experiences – not existing in silos
  7. We are hungry to better ourselves – our critics encourage us as much as our promoters do – we believe we’re still in our early days.

Can you sell me this pen?

I highly recommend you watch the below videos.

https://youtu.be/TE4KtInhHSg

https://youtu.be/48HDFXFe4QI

Imagine a room which is priced at 1000rs in OYO website and app. You are being asked to sell the same room for rs 1200 offline. Can you sell it at a higher price if yes, how?

Yes, I can sell it for Rs 1200. I will give something else complementary alongside the things offered by OYO. May be I can include a mini Lunch meal along with the package and offer the same room at ₹1200/-. I can change the complementary service based on the customers requirements and provide them the price. Like if they are accompanied with a child I will offer to put up an extra bedding. 

Else i can provide the room at 1200 and attach 200 discount coupons to their account which can be availed on next booking through us.

Tell me about family background and location preferences.

My father works as a social activist and business. My mother is a housewife and also helps my father with the NGO related work. I am the eldest son in my family. I have 2 younger brothers. 1 pursuing BTech another studying in Class 7.  I have no location preference. I have been staying away from my home, in hostels and PGs since my +2. So I am used to staying away from home as well. 

What are the strategies done by Oyo room compared to its competitors.

What are your hobbies?

It depends but travelling can help you much for this position. Exhibiting a desire to experience new cultures and environments—especially if your role would involve working with foreign colleagues, partners or clients—can really help your resume shine.

If a person cancel his hotel booking, OYO have to bear loss. How can minimize that loss? What problem will occur when we start taking booking fee at booking time? How to identify a person which is frequently cancelling bookings?

In order to minimize the loss, 

  • We can start charging a small percentage of the booking fee as the deposit money which will be charged at the time of booking. If the booking is cancelled 48-24 hrs prior then it will be returned. If cancelled 24-12 hrs prior, half of the deposit returned. If cancelled after that, no amount should be refunded.
  • We can on the other hand keep a small percentage of the Booking fee as a fine amount to be charged from the customer on his next booking.
  • But if we take full booking fee, it might be an issue as people might not be willing to pay full fare at the time of booking. But if we charge in the above stated ways at least they will be paying in order to make up for the losses OYO incurs.
  • We can also keep an option of waiving off the deposit/fine if our customers have a genuine reason. And we can limit this waiving off to 3 times a user. This will help us retain our customers in the future. And also identify people frequently cancelling their bookings and hence controlling the losses occurring due to these situations.

How will you increase our sales as a demand manager in OYO?

How many Companies you can get onboard , what are the companies “names” your worked so far?

How will you contribute to OYO considering your past work experience?

Note

I can guarantee, if you prepare for these questions very well, you will surely crack the job. While your answers may/may not vary from what I have discussed above (as those are answers suggested by me) but surely this will help you prepare for the interview. Let me know in the comments if you have any queries, you can also share your experience after you face the interview. Do let me know if they ask any other questions apart from the above, so that I can include them here along with the suggested answers. Feel free to comment, so that others can also be benefited. 

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