On Your Next Trip, Would You Prefer Staying at 'The Other Home'?

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According to the ICRA 2012 Report, the hotel industry is expected to fall short of meeting the long term demands of an economy growing at 7-9% p.a. There is already a shortage of accommodation at key tourist location during vacation time. Further, with India’s burgeoning middle class, it is expected that there will be significant demand for the mid-market or economy segment. This has increased the demand from both, domestic and international travelers for economic non-hotel properties- vacation homes, service apartments, villas and homestays.

Already a large number of non-hotel/special properties are available in India and the availability is expected to increase. The issue in the current scenario is that there is a micro-offer in terms of small properties and there is a micro-demand from travelers. Thus, properties owners need marketing muscle to reach the travelers, whereas, travelers look for third-party accreditation and support. This leaves critical supply chain gaps. The Other Home is a startup that aims to address this gap by connecting travelers with the best suited accommodation options and other support services.

Experiential Tourism in India is still in a nascent stage as compared to other developed countries. Despite expansion of the tourism sector in general, the key missing dimension in India is ‘experience’. “Travelers never remember their trip but the experience during the trip. With this basic thought, The Other Home was founded in August 2010,” says Jaspal Singh, founder, The Other Home.

A non-hotel properties’ aggregator, The Other Home provides vacation rentals, holiday homes, homestays, outdoor adventure, heritage and eco-resorts with over 500 properties in 24 states. The company enables travelers to explore local food, culture, heritage and lifestyle, creating a marketplace for people to have vacations in alternate accommodations and also enrich their vacations with various experiential dimensions. On the other hand, it helps small property owners to reach the large target audience and generate extra income.

“The idea of The Other Home was borne out of the basic human desire to escape to another reality of whatever comprised home in another dimension of time or space, in dreams or reminiscence brought out by experiences of the past or a yearning for the future. The term is designed to promote the concept of ‘Home Away from Home’ and refers to properties where people don’t miss the comfort and taste of home even while away from home; in the perfect setting of that alternate reality in the hills, by a brook or right amidst undulating sand dunes on a moonlit night,” adds Jaspal.

Manoj Aggarwal, an Angel Investor and Mentor for the startup, is a management professional and a civil servant with experience of working in government as well as commercial organizations. An engineer and graduate from IIM (Lucknow), he went on to do his Civil Service training from the French National School of Administration (Ecole Nationale d’Administration) France and received a Master degree in Public Administration and Management from University of Pantheon Sorbonne, Paris.

The Other Home has registered a revenue growth of 100% in last 3 quarters. Till date, the company has done a booking of around 1,000+ room nights, worked on 9 advertising assignments, and has generated some revenues from property listings and leading marketing effort for some properties.

Travel industry is one of the key sources of employment in India. However, the market is still very fragmented and un-organized, mainly dominated by small local players who are not worried about the experiential factor. Travelers are also compelled to make these choices and are often not able to explore new locations owing to the absence of information. There is large number of opportunities available in this sector to fully explore the geographic and cultural mosaic of India.

Do check out The Other Home for alternative travel-stay options! For other interesting startups in the travel space, visit mygolatushkyThe Blueberry Trails,  JoGuru and Touristlink. Also, check out some websites offering adventure sports.!

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