On Campus

IIM, IIT students set up Zostel for backpackers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 09, 2014 Published on February 09, 2014

A view of a Zostel room.

If you are a backpacker this might interest you, well, even leave you happy. Now you can plan your next backpacking adventure to Jaipur and Jodhpur leaving behind the horror of untidy hotels and stinking washrooms. And, don’t forget to thank a bunch of IIT and IIM graduates for Zostel - India’s first chain of backpacker hostels.

Zostel is India’s first chain of backpacker hostels offering secure, hygienic, centrally-located and pocket-friendly accommodation for young travellers. Started by IIT and IIM graduates on August 15 last year, currently Zostel is present in two cities – Jodhpur and Jaipur.

From their own experiences of hostels across the world the team got the idea of coming up with top-class facility that can meet the international standards of security and hygiene that are set by the industry’s western counterparts. Zostel provides spacious AC dorms, common kitchen, laundry service, TV, Internet, library, board games and other interactive facilities just under Rs 500.

The team is a bunch of seven young travel enthusiasts. Four of them are from IIM-Calcutta. After Dharamveer Chauhan, Paavan Nanda, Akhil Malik, and Tarun Tiwari graduate in April, four of them will be joining Zostel full-time. Of the other three co-Founders, Chetan Singh Chauhan and Abhishek Bhutra are from IIT-BHU and are already working full-time. The seventh partner, Siddharth Janghu is a former employee of JP Morgan. Their idea has already started bearing fruit, with Zostel getting rave reviews from travellers. Both the properties are ranked at 1on Trip Advisor, Hostel World and other booking portals.

The team is considering going the franchise route at some places.They also plan to launch the first of its kind 50-day internship programme where an applicant gets a chance to serve the post of Zostel CEO (Chief Exploration Officer). Zostel has already won Business Plan competitions by Richard Ivey School of Business, IIT Bombay, and is now eyeing the Wharton India Economic Forum B-Plan contest on February 22.

Published on February 09, 2014
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