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Jay Kumar

Technology in the Hospitality Industry

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Jay Kumar is a passionate leader in the hospitality industry.

While entrepreneurship has its perks, the highlight of Jay’s career is that he gets to help others develop professionally.

Jay has a sharp eye for pursuing new tech solutions that will improve the client experience.

As a third-generation hotelier, Jay Kumar has seen many hotel industry trends and can easily spot value in something that adds to a guest’s overall experience. He is a huge supporter of technological advancements in the hospitality field and anything that creates a seamless and stress-free guest encounter.

His hospitality experience started in his childhood as his grandmother paved the path in Los Angeles in the 1970’s by becoming a motel owner and eventually building a large portfolio of many small motels. The company soon became a family business where Jay and his brother, Neil, began assisting in operations at Jay’s young age of 14 years old by making rooms and doing assorted jobs around the properties. He began his undergraduate academic career at Baylor University but later transferred to McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA where he took a position in the area with a hotel his father was investing in. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and business management and was named to the universities President’s Honor List during his time at McNeese. Jay has been a general manager at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in 2010-2012, and after a few years, became the principal of JNK Hotel Management. He is also currently a managing director of the venture capital and private equity firm Millennial Investment Group.

Jay Kumar has also won several awards. At the age of 17, he won the Torch-Bearer Award & Newcomer of the Year Award under publicly traded Intercontinental Hotels Group, and he has also led his team to Wyndham’s Worldwide’s award of-The Best of Wingate Award-in 2017. He is a member of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, and in his free time, he supports various causes, such as programs fighting against human trafficking and industry-related crime. He has previously met with Senator Ted Cruz & Congressman Brian Babin, during his biannual travels to Washington, DC.

Jay Kumar sees some exciting technological changes on the horizon. The biggest changes to the industry so far have been a leaning towards mobile check-ins/outs and robust methods of gathering guest feedback to create a stronger impression on each visit as the industry grows. Virtual assistants and “pocket concierges” are also being used to take room service orders and to give local suggestions for entertainment or dining or even medical emergencies. Augmented reality is being incorporated into signs to guide customers to specific locations, and facial recognition and biometric tools can now generate facial IDs, eliminating the need for room keys and allowing guests to authenticate in house purchases without wallets. Jay knows the connected guest of the future will want a fully personalized, digital interaction with their hotel — from seeing their name at check-in, to having access to tech lounges and meeting spaces, to relying on a hotel’s knowledge of their food preferences and past purchases in order to please them. He looks forward to incorporating such elements into his own properties as they become more accessible.