Ali Moloo cofounded and launched myDigitalOffice (MDO) in 2015 to provide customers with centralized, digital access to all their hotel’s most critical documents and cross-functional performance metrics. Prior to MDO, Moloo was CEO of DigitalOffice.ca, one of the fastest-growing office product companies in Canada. While still in college, he helped launch a property management company, Highpoint Management, whose asset base grew to $40 million. Phocuswright named Moloo among the Best and Brightest Travel Leaders Under 35, Class of 2019. Since launching MDO, he has seen the company through tremendous growth, most recently landing MDO a spot on the 2022 Inc 5000 list, ranking No. 668 among the fastest-growing private companies in the United States and No. 6 in the travel and hospitality space. Outside of work, he likes to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs under the EO Accelerator program.
Moloo shares with Adrienne Weil, vice president of strategic partnerships and business development for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), what MDO is all about, the innovations that are changing the company’s approach, how the industry is evolving, and more.
Can you give a bit of background on your company?
Growing up in a family of hospitality workers in Alberta, Canada, I saw firsthand how disconnected and old-school the process of running a hotel can be. In 2015, I founded myDigitalOffice, with the goal of alleviating some of these pain points. Our solutions now offer everything from inventory to labor to document management on a single platform. Over the past few years, we’ve grown the company from around 50 employees in 2019 to over 300 today. It has been amazing to watch, and we’re honored that our products are able to give hoteliers the insights they need to be successful.
What innovations have changed the way MDO approaches its hospitality clients over the past few years?
At MDO, we’re driven by helping our hotel partners solve challenges with data and technology. During the pandemic, we built a free tool to help hoteliers better forecast demand amongst competition in their respective markets. We realized that because hotels were down so many people, they could no longer manually capture information, but they still needed information to run their business. Therefore, through both organic and M&A growth, we’ve further expanded our platform into hotel revenue insights and budgeting & forecasting—both of which are critical pieces of the hotel puzzle. In this new era where data is gold, MDO is focused on helping hospitality executives make data-driven decisions to improve the guest experience and operate more efficiently.
How did you first hear about AHLA and what made you want to get involved with the organization?
The hospitality industry has always been a part of my life: I was raised in it, and it has a special place in my heart. I know AHLA is fueled by the same fire as MDO, helping hoteliers have access to resources and insights that equip them to make data-driven business decisions. That is one of the main reasons I jumped at the opportunity to be involved with AHLA. Being a member of AHLA has increased our visibility, provided an efficient platform for thought leadership, and provided important recognition among hoteliers. We are looking forward to continuing to collaborate to support the industry.
How do you see the hotel industry evolving over the next five years?
The hospitality industry is at a pivotal moment in its storied history, undergoing a necessary digital transformation. We have to understand the Internet is only roughly 20 years old, and owners and suppliers spent the past two decades patching systems together to tackle new traveler needs. Over the next five years, we’ll fix many of the integration issues so operators have access to the right data to make the most profitable decisions.
What do you like most about being in the hotel industry?
Nothing compares to the way traveling and discovering new places can excite us and reinvigorate us. As the myDigitalOffice team grows, many of our new team members cite the ability to impact such a dynamic and welcoming industry as their main attraction. We’ve all been bitten by the travel bug, and driving innovation in hospitality permeates our company culture.