When you think of college hostels, grimy walls, unhygienic standards of living, constant invasion of your privacy and ragging, are only some of the horror stories that might possibly run through your mind. Of course, you could fall in the percentage that found a decent hostel, and lived out an average college life. Whichever side of the scale you weigh in on, one thing is for certain—the friends you made, helped you make it through it all. This exact notion is what pushed Shubha Lal, Karan Kaushish and Nidhi Kumra forward, with their startup ‘Your-Space.’
Taking the hostel industry by storm, they set up a premium, yet affordable housing option for students in Delhi. Conceptualized in 2015, the project truly gained momentum in 2016, and is targeted towards women going to college. Safe and comfortable accommodation is a key requirement, not only in India but also internationally.
To put it in perspective, over 80% of students securing a college admission are looking for accommodation outside of campus college hostels. This market is estimated to be around INR 20,000 crores annually, in 20 of India’s top cities. It remains largely unorganized and is led by small ‘mom and pop’ operations. The aim of Your-Space is to handle and address the inadequacies faced by students with respect to their accommodation so that their focus remains on making the best of their life at university. “Having lived ourselves in hostels in India and abroad, we appreciate the convenience of having a clean, serviced, home like place to come back to at the end of the day,” says Shubha.
Currently, the students living at Your-Space’s accommodation in Noida, have the choice of either an individual room, or a shared room, each with an en-suite bathroom, and a balcony. There is a communal space to socialize, and get to know the people you’re essentially living with, a lounge, an indoor game centre, a gym, and a yoga zone. Group activities (no, not the kind we all shy away from) like movie nights and game nights are also frequently hosted. “Each room has been made, keeping in mind the place all three of us would have liked to stay in ourselves. We know what we missed back in our hostels, so we’re hoping to fill that gap,” continues Shubha.
As of now, the startup is based in Noida, but they are focusing on expanding in Delhi, in 2017. Specifically, around Delhi University’s North and South campus areas. In the future, other cities including Mumbai are all options, too.