Dharamveer Singh Chauhan, CO founder and CEO @ ZOSTEL and ZOROOMS Dr Kalam once said that dreams are not what you see insleep, they are the things that do not let you sleep.
The story of Dharamveer’ssuccess is based on his struggles to fulfil his dreams. Not only in India butZOSTEL & ZO ROOMS are being appreciated all over the world.Dharamveer SinghChauhan is the person who dreamt of doing something big on his own and is onthe right path to complete it. This hospitality business venture, Zostel and zo rooms wasstarted by Dharamveer and his colleagues in august 2013.These IIM and IITgraduates pooled in Rupees 20 lakh to float the venture, starting their firsthostel in Jaipur.
The start-up has since expanded to many more locations like —Jodhpur,Udaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Delhi, Goa, Rishikesh, Pushkar and Jaisalmer. Today withover 700 zostel properties in more than 45 cities, Dharamveerand his team hasmoved towards new heights. In one year their vision is to cross 1000+ zostelproperties and 10000 zostel rooms.
The name Zostel tells a lot about itself,these are the short stay hostels which gives you all the facilities of a hotelat very affordable rates.”During our trips abroad, when we were still incollege, we stayed at some very good and cheap hotels. This experience promptedus to come up with the idea of Zostel, and fill a wide gap in the Indianhospitality space,” says Chauhan. Rates of the rooms starts at Rs 400 aday, Zosteloffers all the basic services such as laundry, library access to theinternet and also gaming zones. Customers can choose between airconditioned dormitorieswith bunk beds and private rooms, with rack rates ranging from Rs 400-500 a dayfor dormitories to Rs 1,000-3,500 for rooms with two occupants.
The start-up, which hosted over 20,000 backpackers in 2013,across all its properties, received a funding of Rupees 5 crore fromMalaysia-based angel investor Presha Paragash in May 2014. In October 2014,Zostel established its first foreign facility in Vietnam. Taking all the annualfootfalls and average ticket size into account, the company’s 2017-18 revenueis expected to be more than Rupees4 crore. The biggest hurdle that Zostel founders faced at the time ofstarting out was lack of awareness about the concept of backpacking or solotravel. “The biggest challenge was to create awareness among domestictravellers to gain traction,” says Chauhan.
The idea of zostel was tooffer an alternative to travellers not interested in conventional, oftenexpensive, hotels and looking for good, affordable options. As backpacking has gained popularity in India, Zostel’scustomer profile has undergone a marked shift. When the start-up was founded in2013, 90% of its customers were foreigners and only 10% were Indians. Now, it’s65% foreigners and 35% Indians.
” Zostel has also created a market thatdid not exist in India: solo female,” says Chauhan.