Zolostays, a hostels, PGs, and flats aggregator in India, has done well for itself in the increasingly populated Indian market by honing in on something very specific to keep it apart from the rest – the customer experience.
It was 6 am and the founders of a new startup were hard at work – not brainstorming or writing out plans on a whiteboard, or sending out a flurry of emails to prospective clients. No, Nikhil Sikri, Akhil Sikri and Sneha Choudhary were cleaning and mopping floors.
This was not something they had imagined they would have to do when they started Zolostays in 2015, but the founders had their priorities right from the get-go: they would stand out in the crowded co-living market by keeping their customers at the focus of their operations.
So that morning, just a couple of hours before their new tenants were due to arrive, the three founders were simply fulfilling a promise: Their customers were expecting a well-fitted out a co-living space and that is what they would get. The furniture would be in order, the food would be in place, housekeeping and maintenance of the property would be taken care of, as would be the most important draw for the millennial customer: Wi-Fi.
The caretakers had low standards and the cleaning crew were a no-show, so the trio simply rolled up their sleeves and got down to work, making sure the four properties lived up to their customers’ expectations.
That was two years ago. They started out with $1 million in funding from Nexus Venture Partners in 2015. A little over a year later, they grossed Rs 6.2 crore (approximately $8 million) in revenue in FY 2017. That December, they raised a $4 million Series A round, once again led by Nexus. And by the end of FY 2018, revenue had more than quadrupled to Rs 26.4 crore.
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