Hosteldunia.com provides a simple and easy search for hostels around you. Right from food to facilities to pictures, every detail can be accessed online. A trouble free website that comes as a boon for travellers, students, employees or anyone that’s looking for a comfortable and ideal accommodation. Usually it’s quite a task when it comes to seeking such a place as most search engines complicate the search process. A similar situation was faced by Raju Ambaragonda, the founder of this search website. Here’s a sneak peek into his story and that of Hosteldunia.
When, why and how the idea of starting Hosteldunia clicked? When was it started?
Upon completion of my education, it was imperative to look out for accommodation outside my university. Existing portals such as Sulekha, just dial, and others provided limited, outdated, and not completely credible information. This forced me to either call each hostel or preferably personally visit each of the hostels for detailed and reliable information. This gave me the idea of creating a platform that socially empowers and provided latest information. The idea transformed into reality in March 2013.
So far the idea is for Hyderabad only to check the response for Beta test. We have information of more than 1000 hostels from Hyderabad that need to be validated.
What value /benefit are you giving to hostel owners?
Hostel owners benefit in many ways especially when it comes to advertising and promotions. Besides that they get a dedicated portal to be a part of and also expand the hostel’s reach with social media platforms.
What kind of services/ facilities are you giving to the hostel residents?
We provide the users with in-depth and much needed information about hostels around. We strive hard to provide everything that they might want to know about hostels info like facilities, food menu, address, pictures, reviews, and ratings without going to each hostel and check.
Hostel residents: we take valuable feedback from hostel residents and ensure that the feedback is reflected on our portal. Also, we help them find a better hostel with discounts/offers.
Do you conduct any quality check before listing hostels on your website?
We respect the user’s time on our site that drives us to provide quality service. We validate the information provided by the hostel owner at the time of online registration. In order to validate the hostel owner’s information, one of our executives personally visits and conducts quality checks on the given info and right away takes pictures + Geo location + nearby places (restaurants, malls, ATMs and travel details), etc.
Who has been your inspiration?
Firstly, it has been my parents. They are the ones who have stood behind me in every twist and turn of my life. I have personally seen them facing hardships and failure in life and also learnt from them how to cope up with failures with a radiant smile. I always have seen my father managing his work and family so well. My father instilled in me the value of hard work and showed me how to face obstacles. His words “Don’t be one among the crowd, be one for the crowd” have always helped me to look at things from a broader perspective. My parents and friends had great belief in me and I worked very hard to not let them down. This made all the difference in my life.
Secondly, Ramesh Loganathan, he is the VP and Managing Director of Progress Software. Ramesh is highly energetic and hyper active. He is admired by many Progress employees and as well many entrepreneurs. As a VP, he is very busy. However, even if you leave a message, he would see it and respond to it immediately. I learnt from him how to value your employees & show commitment towards them.
What one piece of advice would you like to give entrepreneurs?
I’m not sure whether I have earned enough knowledge to give an advice to my fellow founders. However, I will share a few common things:
Fear of failure – Try it
An entrepreneur should be brave, ready to face challenges and have a never-say-die attitude. You just give a try with 100% efforts.
Fear of Risk – Chase it
Life without risks, there is no fun.
Fear of Financial insecurity – Plan it
Get yourself organised, research the opportunity of market. Take help from others and establish a fallback position for your worst case scenario.
Fear of what others think – Leave it.
Kickstarting in Hyderabad and hoping to slowly expand to other cities, Hosteldunia seems as a novel idea for a lot of people. A simple website with useful features gives them extra brownie points. Do try it out if you are ever in Hyderabad and looking for some place to stay.