[The Turning Point] Shared living led IIM-A grads to launch student housing startup Stanza Living

The Turning Point is a series of short articles that focuses on the moment when an entrepreneur hit upon their winning idea. Today, we look at New Delhi-based Stanza Living, which offers housing solutions for students and working professionals with 55,000 beds across 14 cities in India.

India has been witnessing a silent migration crisis, which has led to over 20 million migrant students and working professionals, dependent on a largely unorganised, shared housing sector. Cramped spaces, lack of quality amenities, poorly maintained infrastructure…the sector is riddled with gaps.

Anindya Dutta (L) and Sandeep Dalmia (R).

Anindya Dutta, the Co-founder and CEO of Stanza Living, believes there is also an immense disparity between demand for quality living solutions and availability of supply.

“There has been no fundamental disruption in the space for decades, since our student days. We also realised how intrinsic a nurturing, supportive, and hassle-free co-living environment has been to shaping our own personal and professional journeys,” Anindya said.

Anindya and Sandeep Dalmia, the Co-founders of Stanza, Living were dorm-mates at IIM-Ahmedabad, where they pursued an MBA in the same batch. Anindya was working with Oaktree Capital in London, and Sandeep was a Principal at Boston Consulting Group. Having developed their skills in analysing investments and advising businesses, the duo was keen to start their own venture.

About four years ago, they discussed the lacunae that existed in student housing and discussed a potential business model that could deliver real value.

“The idea of creating a unique, high-quality, shared-living concept in India was born from our collective experience in the UK, US, and India.”

The co-founders interviewed over 2,000 students, parents, real estate providers, and other industry stakeholders to fine-tune the concept.

Sandeep said, “We are reimagining shared living as a full-stack, hospitality-led, end-to-end managed, technology-enabled ecosystem for a hassle-free living experience. The biggest differentiator is how we are radically rethinking existing systems by driving tech-enabled innovation at each step of the value chain.”

Founded in 2017, New Delhi-based Stanza Living now records high consumer demand across 14 cities, with 55,000 beds under management. It is reported to be the most funded shared living startup, with $70 million from marquee investors like Falcon Edge, Equity International, Sequoia Capital, Accel, Matrix Partners and Alteria Capital.

The shared living startup is also present in Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Indore, Noida, Pune, and Vadodara, and is soon launching in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kochi, Jaipur, and Nagpur.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)


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