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“We’re expecting to Clock Rs 2-3 Cr Revenue in 2017-18” - Co-Founders, Stanza Living

The company’s core aim is to disrupt the billion-dollar student housing market in India by creating a process driven framework and innovating product offerings, by leveraging technology.

Anindya Dutta and Sandeep Dalmia (L-R)

Stanza Living is a unique student accommodation start-up that creates and operates world class residences for students.

Headquartered in New Delhi, the company is founded by IIT and IIM Alumni - Anindya Dutta and Sandeep Dalmia. In November 2017, Stanza Living completed its first round of investor funding totalling $2 million from Matrix Partners and Accel. Currently, Stanza Living offers accommodation for students in the National Capital Region centred around Delhi, and has plans to expand into educational hubs across the country. It also offers community networking and internship opportunities to students on its platform. It’s ‘Stanza Social’ initiative is focused on a student’s social well-being, holds monthly networking events with start-ups and bigger firms.

In an interaction with BW Disrupt, Anindya Dutta & Sandeep Dalmia, Co-Founders, Stanza Living spoke about their venture.

How did you start Stanza Living and what was the concept behind it?

The idea of creating a unique, high quality student living concept in India was originally derived from Anindya’s first-hand experience of the student housing market while he was working with Oaktree Capital, a private equity firm in London. This excited him to explore a similar opportunity with the very fragmented, unorganized nature of the student housing market in India. With Stanza Living and its student first approach to co-living, we have created a truly experiential hospitality-like product offering for students.

All business strategies and product offerings which we have devised and implemented are hence based on developing a strong, deep and solid understanding of the student consumer and her/ his needs, wants and aspirations.

How are you disrupting the student accommodation market in India?

Stanza Living is disrupting the student accommodation market in India by re-imagining co-living for the new-age student community. We, at Stanza Living, are creating a community living platform providing best of lifetime experience to students in India.

While there were many unorganized, fragmented mom-and-pop operators & a few organized housing service providers, there was no one exclusively focusing on student specific requirements. That was the opportunity we wanted to explore. The intent is to disrupt the student accommodation market by introducing a technology-enabled, professionally-managed community living experience by innovating and internationalizing the product offerings. Similarly, on the other side of supply chain, Stanza Living aims at offering a long-term solution to our supply partners in terms of significant value uplift to house owners and developers.

The company has been working towards organizing the industry through a process driven service model, and simultaneously transforming it into a scalable business by enabling every element of the operating model through a range of technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence.

What are the challenges faced by Stanza Living? 

One of the biggest challenges that the company faced initially was educating landowners about the opportunity to become part of organizing and standardizing the highly competitive student housing industry, which for years has been dominated by unorganized and fragmented mom-and-pop operators. 

However, we have spent a significant amount of time conveying, explaining and educating property owners about the clear value proposition which we are offering and have seen a recent surge in interest from landowners, developers and property investors as well who are now excited about the opportunity to partner with an organized player like Stanza Living.

What does Stanza Living stand for? And, how do you visualize it in the next five years?

Stanza is not just another hostel or paying guest accommodation, but a unique living concept created for students moving to a new place to pursue their dreams. We, at Stanza Living are re-imagining co-living in India with its student’s first approach by creating best of living experiences with our world-class accommodation offerings.

Stanza Living started with Delhi and is currently aggressively expanding and is now about to launch several world-class residences across multiple macro cities such as Delhi University - South Campus, Delhi University - North Campus, Noida, Greater Noida and Dehradun.

When did you launch operations? What was your initial investment?

Stanza Living launched its operations in April-2017 and we are a one-year young business. The business was originally seed-funded by the co-founders.

How much amount of funding Stanza Living has raised till now? What is your monetization model?

We have received $2 million as funding from Matrix Partners and Accel. Based on the 100 beds launched last year which are fully occupied, the company is currently clocking run-rate revenues between two-three crores this year and we are expecting to grow at least 10-fold this year in terms of revenues.

Who do you consider your competition? What is your differentiation against them?

We believe that student housing is a new category in itself that is in early stages of its evolution. However we do realize that there is a large pool of unorganized players & limited set of organized rental/pg service providers in the same space. Stanza Living’s students first approach and its offerings of a professionally managed, process-driven & tech-enabled community living experience to students is what differentiates it from the rest of the market.

What is the market size and opportunity?

We, at Stanza, see a massive disruption opportunity in the student housing industry which generates annual revenues in excess of $14bn. A recent report by JLL states that the supply in the student housing market currently stands at six million beds, suggesting a massive shortage of five million beds.

This is the market that we are targeting and are working towards organizing the industry through a process driven, technology enabled service model, and simultaneously transforming it into a scalable business.

It is public knowledge that your current capacity right now is 100 beds. What are your plans to expand this capacity and by when?

At present, our both the residences in North Campus are running at full capacity, with over 100 students staying with us. In the next 2 years, the company is looking at expanding its portfolio to over 10,000 beds. 

How many cities are you now present in? What are your expansion plans?

So far, we have provided 100 beds in Delhi. This year, we are continuing to grow and strengthen our offering in Delhi-NCR and are also looking to expand to couple of other potential markets. After Delhi, we will continue to expand to all large educational hubs like Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur etc.

What is the percent of growth you have been witnessing since its commencement?

We have witnessed 20x growth since our inception. We have grown exponentially, with the numbers of beds we are managing rising from 100 to 2,000 in the last 12 months.

What is your revenue for FY’17-‘18? 

We’re expecting to clock2 crore-3 crore in 2017-18.

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Stanza Living student housing market

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