Dolf MulderCEO of Hotek Hospitality Group
Dolf Mulder is currently the CEO of Hotek Hospitality Group, a provider of innovative security and comfort solutions for the hotel sector.
Dolf Mulder seeks to differentiate itself in the market, having more than 25 years of experience in the development and manufacture of electronic locks and products related to the hotel sector.
Graduated from the University of Applied Sciences of the Netherlands, Dolf Mulder is one of the special guests at PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS Connecting Stories.
1. You are CEO of Hotek Hospitality Group. Can you tell us a bit about your journey and professional experience?
In 1994, I started as a trainee in the hotel locking business and in 1999 I founded Hotek and started as importer of some different lock brands. Our complete story can be found here.
2. What led you to found Hotek Hospitality Group?
As an independent person, I wanted to do things in my way and that is why I have founded my own company: to do things different then the rest. Why should I do the same like everybody else? Life is short and you have to make the best of it.
3. What is the business model of Hotek Hospitality Group?
Our focus is on the hospitality market, including hotels, cruise ships, student housing and cowork spaces with an unique approach. As a manufacturer, we do everything ourselves: development, production, installation, after-sales and 24h service world wide.
We want to control our own products as we are specialists in the hotel locking business and only work with partners who share our DNA and passion for the hospitality sector.
And we are still a family operated company with no banks involved. Being flexible to adopt the future needs of our guests and creating innovations is the key for our company.
4. How has the company evolved?
We started as a hardware lock supplier into a IoT system provider.
5. Building better relationships with the people around us can be a very productive goal within organizations in order to leverage the potential of a team. As CEO, what are the best ways to achieve this goal?
For mobile key solutions, we see that external partners for a better guest journey are more important then ever. Together we can create the best solution. Internally, it is important as a CEO to act like a coach. Give the space to your staff to make things happen and help them like a “father” to make sure they learn to make the correct steps, so they can service clients better and better.
6. As an entrepreneur, what challenges have you found over time?
There are two major challenges: growing with more staff and the changing mentality in the world. And these two challenges go hand in hand.
In 25 years, the world has changed a lot more than 100 years before. I don’t want to be the “old” guy and say that things were better 25 years then now. But with the launch of mobile phone and social media, I see a lack of personal communication and feeling. But in this time, you have to accept what you cannot change and change when you cannot accept. That is my life philosophy and makes it a lot easier to make choices in life and business.
Go with the flow and be open to change your beliefs. This I also demand from my team. We have a fantastic team within Hotek with the same spirit to help and serve our clients. Everyday, I am happy I can work and, of course, being positive is not always easy, but I know that if we focus on a solution rather than the problem, it makes life a lot easier.
7. How do you see entrepreneurship today?
It is a big difference starting now in 2021 or in 1999. In 1999, there were no “startups” and “crowd funding”. In 1999, starting a business it was a normal thing, like being responsible for your staff and customers. To be honest, this is what I am missing with the startups nowadays. Their goal is to make easy money without any relation to their customers. I miss the real passion to be active within the hospitality sector for a long term relation.
8.How has the hotel sector reinvented itself and how does Hotek Hospitality Group follow this evolution?
With the covid situation, the hotel sector has to change and is forced to see that the world has changed. And still, the hotel sector is 90% the same as in 1999. Especially the bigger chains are very conservative and believe that they are up-to-date with a bluetooth mobile key solution. But if they check their figures, they will also see that a lot of guests are not using this technology simply because it is not functional.
Downloading an app was big news in 2012, but now guests don’t want a third party app on their phone and getting a lot of emails before their stay. So, with our GuestKey product, we have shown in practice with 200 hotels that guests are happy with receiving a simple SMS, Whatsapp or QR code on their phone. With one click, they see all the information about the hotel and get their mobile key, which opens without any delay.
9. What are the plans for the future?
Our plans are making sure that hotels worldwide will understand our GuestKey solution better and see how we can help them with the after covid period.
Not everybody is aware that we can add our solution to the current electronic lock of the hotel and provide an online cloud based control system for all the doors in the hotel. Without changing anything in the door!
10. Knowing that PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a worldwide recognized portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions for all kinds of sectors and industries, how do you think technology can be a factor of differentiation and innovation nowadays?
Yes, a kiosk solution is an important step for hotels to make over their reception staff into a host. Welcoming guests with a smile and not filling the paperwork with the guest in front of you. A mobile key solution like GuestKey is the perfect partner for kiosks and interactive tablets to create keys.
So, I am happy to create a partnership and thank you for your time and interest in our company.
Connecting Stories is an editorial space led by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS which consists of conducting exclusive interviews, directed at influential personalities who work in different sectors of activity.
The project, conceived by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, includes the publication of success stories, through small interviews with influencers who want to share details about their projects, opinions, plans for the future, among other subjects.
The idea is to connect stories, share knowledge, develop networking and generate content that can provide new visions, opportunities and ideas.
Founded in 2000, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a world renowned Portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions, for all types of sectors and industries. To know more about our story, click here.