in 1981, AK Techotel started out with the name AK Radio. ln the beginning the company only consisted of Klaus Ahrenkilde. As an enterprising young engineering student who wanted to improve his economy, he rode around on his bike and picked up TV sets for repair. The workshop was his own small student apartment on the 5th floor.
He eventually got so much to do that he had to hire a technician, and rent more room to store all the TVs in. The location was a basement under Hotel Denmark, the first hotel which inquired about buying or leasing hotel TVs.
Today, Klaus Ahrenkilde is still the owner and CEO of the AK Techotel Group. The company develops advanced IT solutions and has 45 employees in 4 countries. More than 700 hotels collaborate with Techotel about one or more products.
Klaus traded the bike in for a motorcycle.
Some highlights since then:
ln 1983 Klaus Ahrenkilde started to deliver TV and AV equipment to hotels on a regular basis. Revenue in 1984 was over 670.000 EUR. In late 1984 the company had 9 employees.
In 1986 the name was changed to AK Techotel A/S
The development of advanced IT solutions, booking systems, and hotel cinema began. The Hotel booking system, AK Hotel Manager, was developed in the years 1985/1986 and the first installation was implemented in late 1986 at the Golf Hotel in Viborg.
We concentrated on further developing our hotel system to a booking system that integrated all of the hotel’s needs. The result was a total solution for hotel management: Booking, sales and marketing system, AK Hotel Manager, later named Techotel Exclusive.
In 1988 we received the first official recognition for our hotel system as the Hotel and Restaurant School in Copenhagen selected Techotel Exclusive for their hotel education.
In 1989 AK Techotel A/S established a subsidiary in Sweden. In two years Techotel Exclusive became the best selling hotel system in Sweden.
In 1990 AK Techotel signed a distribution deal with Radiostofan in Iceland and for the Icelandic hotel market. Immediately after signing Techotel was in tough competition with several international hotel systems and got a contract with the two largest hotels in Iceland.
In 1991 Techotel signed a distribution agreement with ICL, Finland for the Finnish hotelmarket and they simultaneously stopped the sale of their own hotel system.
As a natural consequence of the large geographical spreading of Techotel Exclusive, Techotel A/S developed Techotel Direct Booking, so that all hotels can use the system and they can send bookings to each other and communicate directly with travel agencys. Techotel Exclusive became the highest selling system in the entire Nordic region
Techotel signed a distribution agreement with OY Unicash for the Finnish and Baltic markets
In 1994, Techotel signed a distribution agreement with Hospitality Systems BV for The Dutch market and with ICS (ICS is now AT & T), for the Polish market. In addition contracts were signed with Madro GmbH and HyperSoft GmbH in Germany.
Techotel bought SMS Sweden and took over SMS activities in Denmark.