On March 24th, 2020, the employees at Zostel were just about to wrap up their day in their Indiranagar office in Bangalore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown that day, which started from 25th March 2020 and continued till early June. Those who are aware of Zostel know how comfortable they make their accommodation for students, professionals, and travelers moving across cities. With the lockdown implemented, how were they going to continue operations?
Early days of Zostel
Zostel came into existence on 15th August 2013, as a way to let travelers enjoy roaming around cities in India. It wasn’t restricted to the cliched hostel concept prevalent in the country but was open to professionals and tourists as well. 7 friends decided to create a concept where hostels met Gen Z individuals of today. With a small capital of Rs. 50 lakhs, taking part in various B-school competitions and raising money through bootstrapping, Zostel established properties with amenities and later furnished it to provide an experience like never before. The first Zostel to be ever made was in Jodhpur, followed by Jaipur.
What Can You Expect To Find In A Zostel?
A home space having all the basic amenities at affordable rates is the ideology behind creating a Zostel. It has a proper home with beds, a common space with games, a space for bonfires, open mics, and more. Every Zostel is different from the other, as local flavors are kept in mind in designing the appropriate city-centric Zostel. For e.g., in Bangalore, you would find an element that binds the people there in comparison to what you would find in Siliguri. Combining tastes, language, and culture, the theme of a Zostel differs making it special and comfortable for locals as well as tourists in a particular city.
Initiatives after lockdown
To counter the lockdown situation, Zostel paired with bloggers and micro-influencers to have fun online corridors of music, conversations and more. They named the series ‘#COMMONROOM’ as a way of achieving a throwback to how people enjoyed staying at a Zostel and enjoying themselves in the common room they shared with other guests. This helped keep Zostel’s fame significant even during the pandemic. As the company thrives on building spaces for the flow of creativity and people skills, it has recently introduced new, long-term packages known as ‘stay-cations’ and ‘work-ations’ that sets it apart from other companies.
Trying to build on the work from home culture, at any point of time from anywhere, Zostel brings in a new dynamic that hasn’t been rivaled till this point. What do you think of their creative planning and marketing skills?