StayApart: If you are a travel enthusiast who love to visit different places frequently, how did you feel staying in your home during lockdown? We know most of you must have felt the lockdown period as an eternity. Many of you must be waiting for the end of ongoing pandemic, so that you can start your trips once again. While lockdown in many countries is being lifted but experts say, the movement of tourists across nations will not be possible soon.
However, you can still fulfill your traveling desire by charting out some of the best holiday destinations within India. Considering a current scenario, we would not recommend you to choose the popular destinations. You should rather plan for places which are less popular or not explored by many people yet. Although, choosing a not so popular destination might not be that difficult but finding a good accommodation will definitely put you in vicious circle.
Dinesh’s journey from IT to Hotel industry
Dinesh who born and brought up in Chandigarh, after pursuing his graduation in Mathematics and Economics in 1985, he started his career with a private firm as a System Analyst. In 2008, he joined Golden Tulip as a Sr. Business Analyst (about which he says “I never planned to enter into hospitality sector, it was all accidental”). Though, just after he had got a job in Golden Tulip, the Travel and Tourism industry got hit by global recession. Hotel was the second most badly hit industry that time.
But Dinesh had already decided not to leave the industry no matter what happens; he was certain that Indian Hotel and Tourism industry had huge potential and would grow rapidly. Hence, he continued working in the same industry for another eight years. During those eight years, he worked with many big Hotel chains like Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Louvre Hotels Group and Swiss International Hotel & Resorts.
Vision behind StayApart
Taking inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s desire to promote local, Dinesh quit his job and started his own venture “StayApart” in November 2017. It was founded with a motive to resolve the problem of accommodation for travelers in small cities, towns and villages in India. Dinesh, who started this journey alone, met his first investor just after one year of registering his venture. Sumit Kumar invested Rs.26 lakhs in StayApart. The investment helped Dinesh to scale up marketing which eventually led him to acquire more customers for his startup.
StayApart provides enticing hand-picked accommodation in some of the amazing locales for staying apart from the city and spend some of the most memorable time in the lap of mother-nature and experiencing local culture. “Our focus is on providing our guests with unique experiences in new and unexplored destinations. Idea behind StayApart is to help local communities and promoting rural tourism at micro level where true India lives”, said Dinesh Chugh, Founder and CEO (StayApart) in his note to Startup Anecdotes.
StayApart’s Gross Merchandise Volume was Rs.1.5cr and Rs.3cr in the year 2018 and 2019 respectively. In 2020, the ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions due to country wide lockdown have brought the entire tourism industry to a standstill and it will take longer to recover.
During lockdown the platform has recently added 50 new properties. StayApart now has partnership with more than 150 properties (Hotels, Resorts and Homestays) across 100 locations in small towns and villages in India.
(Edited by Team Startup Anecdotes)