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SaffronStays eyes South India market for expansion

Over a span of 24 months, SaffronStays, a micro-hospitality start-up founded by Devendra Parulekar and Tejas Parulekar has catered to over 13,750 guests from its strongest captive market: Mumbai. SaffronStays curates boutique homes across the country and partners to manage the hospitality operations, branding, marketing and reservations. SaffronStays presently has properties in Alibaug, Dapoli, Mulshi, Matheran, Panchgani, Karjat, Gholvad, Kamshet, Lavasa, Goa, Gwaldham, Jaipur, Kodaikanal and Ooty and holds over 100 rooms in its inventory. Now, the company is looking to position itself as a category creator in the micro-hospitality industry and establish an Indian market for highly curated vacation rental and holiday experiences. By onboarding over 2000 homes in the next 3-4 years, the company has set its target to an inventory of over 10,000 rooms. With an Average Room Rate of INR 7,500 SaffronStays aims to compete with global giants based in Europe, USA and China that were valued at US$200 million via corporate M&A transactions over the past 12 months.

The brand that has acquired more than 30 exclusive homes across the country with a strong presence in Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand is now looking to replicate its successful model in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry with a target of acquiring and managing 45 homes with 180 rooms across 6 states by the end of FY 2018. The group has opened a Southern Regional Office in Bangalore to manage operations and maintain SaffronStays standards across the country.

Tourism in South India is fueled by abundant Tea and Coffee Estates, culturally rich packages and royal, heritage homes. SaffronStays aims to tap into markets like Coonoor, Coorg, Munnar, Yercaud and Poducherry that align with the brand outlook. Devendra Parulekar, Founder, SaffronStays said, “We are specifically targeting watering holes of HNIs - exclusive clubs and associations like member-driven gymkhanas and Owners Associations to spread the word. These homeowners are money rich and time poor, and we want to restore and manage their estates for them. Owners of large ancestral homes in Coorg and Coonoor were the flag bearers of homestays in India, and we want to make sure their product is available to a larger market via our services. At present, the Indian leisure home market is sparsely populated - approximately 200,000 homes across the country. Over the next 7 years, this number is projected at 700,000 homes. The scope for penetration is immense.”

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