This Start-up is Depending on the Pillars of Environment, Social and Governance to Disrupt Hospitality Industry
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The hospitality sector is a billion-dollar market throughout the globe and an equally paramount market in India. Moreover, hospitality or the service industry is a sector which has been always at an advantage, knowing how robust the Indian tourism ecosystem is. The sector not just provides upmteen employment opportunities but also positions the economy on a stronger pedestal by attracting FDI. According to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), during the period April 2000-December 2018, the hotel and tourism sector attracted around US$ 12 billion of FDI. The goverment also cannot neglect or overlook the importance of this sector. Under Budget 2019-20, the government allotted Rs 160.50 crore (US$ 22.25 million) for development of tourist circuits under Swadesh Darshan.
The latest start-up to attract the investor’s eye is V Resorts. Launched in 2014 in Sattal, it raised $10 million in Series A funding led by HNIs and existing investors including Bedrock Ventures and RB Capital. Entrepreneur India interacts with Aditi Balbir, Managing Director and Founder of V Resorts, in an email exchange.
Footprints In and Around the World
She said that the funds will be used to invest more on the technology platform, giving customers 360-degree independent travel experience. She also shared, “Through this investment, we are planning to expand our footprint in India and also enter new markets across South Asia and the Middle-East, making each resort green and focusing on a commitment to sustainability.”
At a time when hospitality start-ups are doing astonishingly well in the world including the likes of Oyo, it is not wrong to say that the hospitality sector has immense potential or growth and well, competition. Amidst such expectations from the sector, Balbir’s vision is clear. It is to attract more and more customers to new destinations and creating circular economies - where local income increases as tourist traffic increases.
She says, “We are focusing to build properties around sustainability – careful use of water, natural filtration plants, recycling & waste management to avoid polluting natural resources, solar plants for energy efficiencies. The hospitality projects shall be the natural consumers for all.”
Battles Fought and Won
Balbir has immense faith in her business structure and venture. She is confident that it is just the beginning and more is to come.
She says, “Given our cost structure, we can quickly monetize a new destination which in turn creates local income. Across our properties, we provide standardized as well as a unique set of experiences at every single resort, curated and executed by our own staff and not an outsourced entity.” She also adds, “Our operations are deeply ingrained around sustainability and the three pillars of environment, social and governance.”
Amidst surviving in a challenging ecosystem, V Resort has scaled some growth but not without battling some fiery situations. Balbir says, “One of the biggest challenges for me was to overcome ground level difficulties and expand V Resorts’ reach across the country.” She further says that with most of her resorts located in some of the most remote and offbeat parts of the country, it was a major challenge to align the local authorities, local property owners and local authorities with the business model that V Resorts follows. “. Thankfully, I had got enough support from villagers and local people in my journey of turning V Resorts into a leading hospitality chain promoting the circular economy. In a span of just four years, V Resorts has grown from six to 150 resorts.”
There is, undeniably, huge scope for growth and expansion and the ISB graduate has her eyes set on the future.