hosteldunia.com, a Hyderabad based portal, that provides users with with information regarding hostel facilities available across various areas. The informations provided include facilities, food menu, address, pictures, reviews, and ratings. This makes it easier to compare available hostel facilities. Currently listing are available for Hyderabad only.
The search function on the portal is very helpful as you can narrow down your search result by using the various search filters like pricing, room type and facilities. All listing also come with a location display on a google map, making it easier to figure out the exact location of the facility.
Hostel owners can register with the site and list their hostel with details regarding facilities and pricing along with images. The portal also has a page called Hostel Life, where users can submit a story about their experience and every month the best story will be published on the site.
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 Existing portals such as Sulekha, just dial, and others provided limited, outdated, and not completely credible information.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. :)
I've lived in hostels for a lot of years now, and can safely say that it's a pain to search a hostel that suits your needs and with all the amenities you need. More often than not, I have regretted joining a hostel going by the hostel owner's promises only to vacate too soon. Hosteldunia, founded by Raju Ambaragonda is a solution to never-ending hostel problems. Currently in beta, hosteldunia operates in Hyderabad as of now. A quick chat with Raju to know more -
Tell us the idea behind hosteldunia. When is this launched and what kind of traction has it seen so far?
Raju Ambaragonda 226x300 Hosteldunia lets you find the perfect hostel for your needsAfter graduating from college two years ago, it was imperative to look out for accommodation outside my university first time in my life. Until then, I have been used to the convenient hostel facilities provided by the city colleges where I studied in. That's when I realized how difficult it was to find a decent place to live in, especially when the online user directories provided only contact details of hostels and no further information.
The idea of starting hosteldunia.com came to me during my personal struggle to find an ideal accommodation. I realized that there are so many people coming into the city every day for work, studies, and so on. I thought; why not provide detailed information about hostels after personally checking them out, including what these places offer and what they don't. We have received over a 1, 21,309 views so far, with 150 unique visitors every day.
What kind of checks do you perform before listing a hostel on the portal? How are the reviews provided on website - by the team or crowd sourced?
We respect 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(Actual plan), one of our executive 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.
We have also provisioning the users to write their comments/reviews rating on our portal.
Currently in beta, how many hostels is the portal housing? Tell us the market research that went in before starting up?
So far the idea is for Hyderabad to check the response for Beta test. We have more than 1000 hostels information from Hyderabad that need to be validated.
How do you plan to generate revenues?
The future plan is to make a subscription model and promotional offerings for hostel owners.
How has been the interaction with hostel owners in Hyderabad? Are they open to going online and managing their pages?
Building the website was easy; the biggest challenge was to get people to trust us, especially owners to register their hostels on the site.
Initial days, It was bit tough for us to convince the hostel owners to get them online. However after listening to our concept and understating the mutual benefits, 70%-80% owners showed interest. And the great thing today we are seeing is, they are directly registering in our website and calling us for support.
TTP's take on HostelDunia
Hosteldunia is definitely addressing a big problem and the platform will definitely have many users. Currently in beta, the startup should focus on getting reviews properly on the website, as this would be the main USP for anyone visiting the website. More user engagement on the site, and gathering testimonials from people who find the hostel using hosteldunia would help serve credibility about them in the user community.