Today, we have self appointed guardians of Indian culture who are against public displays of affection but won’t let people get a room if they seek privacy. India has become a place where people harass couples and lovers are afraid of stepping out their homes on Valentine’s Day. This young entrepreneur has come up with a plan to rescue couples. It’s 2016 and this change was sorely needed.
Sanchit Sethi, a graduate from BITS Pilani, along with Blaze Arizanov, a digital marketer, started Stay Uncle in April 2015. Theie target market is travelers in search of rooms for a short duration. Indian hotels provide rooms on a 24-hour basis which people find expensive when they want a shorter stay. This is what Sethi says about where he got the idea for the startup:
What was surprising was that 99% of the enquiries we were receiving were from unmarried couples looking for rooms. We started fresh all over again. This time, with the focus on unmarried couples.
Hotels don’t allow unmarried couples to stay in their rooms because their reputation gets tarnished. Most couples just want to avoid the hassle that police creates.
There is no law in India that prohibits (unmarried) couples from renting a room, Sanchit told Quartz. As long as you have a government identity card, you should be given a room. We don’t live in the 1950s any more. What we are trying to do is change the mindset of hoteliers.
Stay Uncle has tied up with 34 hotels in Delhi and 10 hotels in Mumbai, and they plan on expanding their reach further still. Though many hotels are afraid of the fact that they will lose their reputation, big names like Trident and Oberoi have also tied up with them.
Some people are worried about the hidden cameras and security. Sethi and his team ensure privacy and security. Till now they have given rooms to almost 200 couples and none of them have faced any issue. Tying up with reputed hotels is helping the Stay Uncle team stay confident in this regard and gain people’s trust.