Hackpacker by Construkt Media: The hostel startup

By : |May 13, 2016 0
Image courtesy construktmedia.com

“You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done”-Russell Simmons.

Do just that and you can create a startup like Shashikiran Rao did! Construkt Media, a first-of-its-kind entrepreneur platform in Bangalore which offers convenient, community-curated, business-friendly hostel accommodation for the traveling startup and creative community.

Shashi Kiran Rao, founder of Construkt Media, who is also an entrepreneur-in-residence at startup accelerator NUMA and Airbus BizLabs, “It’s basically a place designed with a mix of backpacker culture and hacking culture and we would like to call it ‘hackpacker hostel.”

The idea was cracked on a survey that Construkt had ordered to see the kind of money people in the startup sector spend on business travel. According to the study of 2000 startups, nearly 18,000 room nights were required per year across the country for traveling startup entrepreneurs.

“It really woke us up,” says Rao. “It was a huge number, given that we considered only tech and product startups in the survey.” Rao teamed up with Karan Bahadur, a production coordinator at TEDx Bangalore, to roll out the startup hostel.

CIOL Hackpacker - the hostel startup

In a bootstrapped budget of Rs 22 lakh, the startup started. 3,500 sq feet independent bungalow in the luxurious neighborhood of Indira Nagar, the four-bedroom Startup Hostel has the capacity to host 20 people at a time. A stay for a night comes for only Rs 850 and includes facilities such as a self-catering kitchen, Wi-Fi, lounge space, laundry, meeting spaces and more. It also offers customized packages for longer stays. Most importantly, it’s a place where designers, artists, techies and entrepreneurs can get connected to peers in the city.

“Price is definitely an advantage here. More than that, the peer-to-peer learning experience is an exclusive benefit because people get to interact with the startup community here. This will be a single-window entrance to the city’s entrepreneurial energy,” Rao said.

When hostels are cheap alternatives to hotel rooms, OYO-acquired Zostel, the standalone hostel booking platform is creating competition for Construkt. However, Rao disagrees, “Zostel is focused on the general backpacker community. The price points and value propositions are different. It could be competition from a bed-to-bed standpoint, but not from a hostel-to-hostel perspective. Ours is a community space.”

The startup plans to offer 100-120 beds across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi-NCR and Goa by the end of this financial year. Rao is looking forward to working with like-minded partners, not institutional investors, to scale to different cities. “We would want to partner with individuals rather than institutions because we don’t know what this business is going to look like in the future. We don’t want to get into raising money and valuations,” Rao said.

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