In one sentence: We are India’s first chain of backpacker’s hostels offering secure, hygienic, centrally-located and pocket-friendly accommodation for young travellers.
Just like every new Creation, we also have our fair share of motivation behind setting up this venture. Since the moment we stepped into graduate school, we had always been tossing over ideas that can keep us motivated enough to go to work every morning. Something, that doesn’t seem like a job. We realised that a common string that connects all of us is the love for travelling. We have backpacked across Europe and Asia, and something we had all found glaringly absent in the Indian tourism sector is the concept of backpacker’s hostels. A backpacker’s hostel is a place where young travellers meet, chill and party together. Owing to the facility of shared dorms, bed rates come off much cheaper than expensive hotel rooms which not only charge a bomb but also tend to ensure their guests stay within the 4 walls.
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India is a traveller’s paradise but you will find so many Indians who have travelled to all corners of the world but have still not explored even half of their own country. One of the major reasons for this is the lack of any great alternatives in the accommodation market. The thought of bringing this concept to India found immediate resonance among the team and we launched our first hostel in Jodhpur the Independence Day i.e., August 15, 2013. That was a symbolic event as we signed out of the Vanilla corporate life that beholds most business school graduates.
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Honestly speaking, funding our business school education at the same time as finding enough money to put behind our start-up was a pretty difficult task which couldn’t have been achieved without the support of our families and friends. To meet the ends we had done everything from taking education loans, playing poker, to pinging friends on Facebook for $100 donations. We are a 7 member team out of which Paavan, Dharamveer, Akhil and Tarun are currently in IIM Calcutta. Abhishek and Chetan are IIT BHU graduates and Zosteling full time. Siddharth is working with JP Morgan but he plans to stop taking his boss’s calls from 1st team of Techies and Designers who help us be what we are.
Past 7 months have been a roller coaster ride for us but the excitement is only increasing with each passing day. As we speak, we are Rank 1 on Tripadvisor and Hostelworld with a 5 Star rating in all the cities where we are present. We have a media reach of 5,00,000 young audience and have a highly engaging Facebook page with 12,000 subscribers. We have got a chance to serve more than 2500 guests from more than 40 countries and have been featured by various National and International Media houses. Being still in school, we participated in 8 business plan competitions and fortunately bagged First Prize in all of them. Some of these competitions being Richard Ivey Business Plan competition (Canada), IIT Bombay Eureka, IIM Calcutta Launchpad, VJTI, NITIE, Tie Chapter, etc. We are also one of the finalists in Wharton India Economic Forum to be held on Feb 21 and India Pakistan Startup Dosti which is scheduled in March. March onwards.
Currently we are in talks with a couple of investors to secure external funding which would be used to secure a pan-India presence in the next couple of years. Based on the interest demonstrated so far, we would soon be launching our first franchise as well.
• Website: www.zostel.com
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zostel
• Tripadvisor: Jaipur Tripdvisor – Click Here (rank 1 out of 187, 5 star rating); Jodhpur Tripdvisor – Click Here (rank 1 out of 74, 5 star rating
• Youtube: Zostel Channel – Click Here
• Media Coverage: Businesszone, UK: Five Startups Around the World; Zostel in Hindustan Times; Zostel in Yourstory
About – BEST INTERNSHIP EVER
In an attempt to promote the backpacking culture among Indian youth and make them aware of the beauty of this country, Zostel has launched this campaign. Simply put:
• First of its kind Travel focused internship
• Applicants between the age group of 18-35 years to be shortlisted after an exciting and highly engaging selection process
• Interns get an opportunity to travel across India (15+ states) on an all expense paid expedition (food, travel, accommodation, etc covered)
• In addition, each intern will get a stipend of INR 50,000
• Duration: 50 Days; Timing: Mid-May (flexible)
• Role & responsibilities: Interns require to capture their experiences in the form of blogs, videos, pictures as they accomplish interesting tasks planted for them in
• Coverage: Internship covered by all major media houses (digital & print).
Partnership with youth media channels to ensure mass followership during the 50 Day programme. A dedicated Youtube channel for the journey & excitement with an inherent pull among target audience. We have ourselves interned with Goldman Sachs, McKinseys and JP Morgans of the world, but trust us when we say that few years down the line if somebody would ask you – “What is your one of the wackiest experiences in life?” All you would do is pull a leaf out of this Internship that we have planned for you after sacrificing endless nights of sleep and securing a bagful of grade drops.
Important Dates (Website: http://bestinternship.in/)
• Application window for First Round opened on Feb 14, 2014
• Online rounds from Feb 14 to March 31, 2014
• Personal Interview of candidates from April 1 to April 15, 2014
• Release of final list of interns on April 20, 2014
• Internship timings: Mid-May onwards
• Note: An applicant can enter the process from Feb 14 to March 31, 2014 and complete all the process in an expedited manner.