These Entrepreneurs are Offering Cosy Co-living Facilities to Millennials
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A new job, a new opportunity and a new city, but that same feeling of loneliness. For millennials, be it a career move in the right direction or for academic growth, moving cities has become a common norm.
You walk into a new city with bags filled with memories from the place that was called home before this one and you are ready to start all over again. The usual hunt begins – a house, a flat-mate, necessities that complete the house and more. Anyone who has moved cities knows that the house hunting hassle can be a big one.
In an attempt to provide modern living facilities to millennials, Viral Chhajer, Varun Bhalla and Devashish Dalmiya founded Stayabode – a co-living space. With currently five operational properties in Bengaluru currently and with the aim of opening 12-15 more properties by December, the Stayabode team is growing at a fast rate.
Home for Millennials
Targeting the young generation that is always on the move, the concept of Stayabode is to create a space where like-minded people can get together and feel a little less lonely in a new city.
According to studies, over 40 per cent of urban millennials tend to feel lonely. These standard community living spaces offer comfort and warmth to its residents. “People have become very mobile. Due to the availability of better opportunities in different cities, millennials keep moving. And when they change cities, their entire lifestyle gets hampered. So, along with that comes a massive feeling of loneliness,” said Chhajer.
According to Chhajer, the hassle-free living space works as a boutique hotel, where your sheets are changed, your room is cleaned etc, yet you have the liberty to turn the space into your home.
Is India Ready?
While the concept of co-living spaces with shared common areas have existed for a long time abroad, in India it’s still a new idea and more so when it comes to unisex co-living spaces like Stayabode. The same even turned out to be a challenge for them. “We even had parents come in saying that they are concerned that a boy and a girl will be sharing the same roof. But we were very clear that we would not discriminate on gender basis,” said Chhajer.
With 24*7 security and background verification of each employee, the price point is high for a Stayabode accommodation, but that hasn’t stopped them. “We have many from the banking community living in our spaces. People don’t mind living with their colleagues as well,” he added.
Having proved the uniqueness and effectiveness of their concept with their profitable venture, gaining investor confidence too wasn’t a difficult task. With an entrepreneurial background as this is Chhajer’s second venture, he also knew that building the right team was of utmost importance. “We are a small team of 24, consisting of people with right set of people,” he said.
Uberization of Real Estate – The Future?
Chhajer suggested that they are building a new asset class. For long, the construction of buildings has either been for domestic or commercial purposes. But for co-living spaces, a structural change is required. “This adoption will have to be done at the builder level. With the sharing economy wave, this is bound to gain importance and builders are already taking notice,” said Chhajer.
This brings up to the topic of Uberization of real estate, where an individual doesn’t actually own the property they live in. Chhajer said, “we are walking towards one such economy.” “Owning a house in a metropolitan city is almost an impossible task for a millennial. So, renting becomes the most feasible or logical choice. But with rents becoming higher, the concept of co-living spaces takes off, where one actually pays a lot lesser in terms of per square feet,” said Chhajer.